BVR Accelerator 2024 Recap

Upper School students embarked on a week-long journey of immersive learning during the 2024 BVR Accelerator. There were 25 Accelerator sessions to choose from, allowing students to dive deep into a topic they were passionate about. From Sports Management and Business to Craft and Community, no two BVR Accelerator sessions were alike.

In BVR Accelerator sessions such as Joymakers: Engineering Empathy in Action, the week served as a workshop for students to design, create, and showcase a final product. Joymakers kicked off with a meeting between students and families of children with limited mobility. After taking notes on the interests and needs of the child assigned to them, students got to work creating products that could bring joy and make daily tasks easier. Students gifted their final products to each child, demonstrating what they created and explaining their design process.

Joymakers: Engineering Empathy in Action

Some sessions emphasized immersing students in off-campus locations. In Reading the Financial World, students experienced the high-stake, fast-paced environment of a financial trading room at Bentley University. Wilderness Explorers brought students to Northern New Hampshire to learn about wildlife ecology and outdoor leadership. In Embracing Our Dignity: Creating Community as a Form of Resistance, an overnight trip to New York City served as an opportunity to explore the rich tapestry of queer BIPOC experiences.

Getting students off campus got them out of their comfort zones . . .  At first, I could tell they were uncomfortable as they went through things that aren’t part of a daily school schedule. But that Friday when we came back from New York, students were very comfortable and willing to engage with one another . . .  Something like that can only happen if you get students out of school.

-Emely Cárdenas, Leader of “Embracing Our Dignity”
Wilderness Explorers

Not only were students exposed to new ideas during the BVR Accelerator, but they were also introduced to some new faces. Each Accelerator session was comprised of students from all grades, bringing together a wide range of diverse perspectives.

I really valued getting to build relationships with students over the course of a week. I got to see how much they knew and what expertise they already had.

-Emily Robertson, Leader of “Taylor Swift”
The Science of Music

The week-long, trans-disciplinary nature of BVR Accelerator allowed session leaders to get creative with what topics they could explore. For example, Choral Director Michael Sansoni and Upper School English Teacher Emily Robertson combined their passions for music and literature to create Taylor Swift: Owning Our Stories. In Streets to Stability: A Future Without Homelessness in Boston, students Talia Frumkin ’25 and Maya Bitton ’25 took the research they had completed for a Student Directed Project on homelessness and used it to create an opportunity for other students to get educated and take action.

I’m proud of what we accomplished. . . How students stood up and came to the challenge ready to face it head-on was impressive.

-Talia Frumkin ’25, Leader of “Streets to Stability”
The Magic School Bus for Social Action

In many sessions, guest speakers were instrumental in contextualizing students’ learning. In The Magic School Bus for Social Action, educators from the Bionic Project visited students to discuss how a physical disability can impact one’s life. Following this, a game of amputee soccer brought the conversation to life. In A Dog’s Purpose, Brookline Police Department’s fully-trained comfort dog, Bear, came to campus with Police Officer Katie McCabe. Officer McCabe detailed the logistics of having a dog on the police force, including how Bear was trained and his role on the team.

The Science of Wellness

2024’s BVR Accelerator empowered students to engage with their passions, collaborate with peers across all grades, and make the connection between their learning and the real world. Having a week of meaningful experiences outside of the school schedule allowed students to gain new insights into how they learn best, providing them with new tools to use throughout their time at Beaver and beyond.

To learn more about the BVR Accelerator, click here

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