What is Tower Term?

-Bella Mulford '21

Tower Term, a week-long mini-term at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, is a chance for students to really look deeper beyond the classroom, apply life skills and be a Hiller that does things well, according to Dean of Student Life Art Hall.


Tower Term, which offers courses such as Build Your Own Escape Room, International Food, Grillin’ and Smokin’, Forensics, Boat Building, Backpacking in Shenandoah National Park and more, allows students to dive deeper into a topic of interest and apply skills learned throughout the academic school year.


“In class you learn a lot of stuff but this is like taking things you may have learned in other aspects and applying it to making an escape room, so it’s definitely applying what you’ve learned,” Bennett Fort ‘19 said.


For example, students in Forensics applied math concepts learned this year in order to solve a murder case, while students in Escape Room and Makerspace Workshop applied concepts learned in their science classes to build an escape room.​

One of the main focuses of Tower Term was teamwork. Students of the Escape Room and Makerspace Workshop Tower Terms worked together to produce one escape room with many challenging puzzles.


Students of the Makerspace Tower Term had the opportunity to travel to NextFab in downtown Wilmington, where they were able to work with 3D printers, laser cutters that engrave wood pieces and innovative 2D printers. The Escape Room Tower Term came up with the design and the Makerspace Tower Term created it.


Tower Term’s five-day term also teaches students life skills that will stay with them forever.


“I hope we all take away the importance of going out of our comfort zone and what a gift it is to be able to try new things and explore different things and learn that it’s okay to fail and to pick yourself up by your bootstraps, and if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” said Head of Upper School Megan Cover.


Cover, Math Chair Noreen Jordan and a group of 11 young women experienced this first hand in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia in the Girls off the Grid Tower Term, during which the girls unplugged for a few days while learning both camping strategies and teamwork.


Students in the International Food Tower Term learned about different cultures through food. They took a field trip to Philadelphia where they ate and immersed themselves in different cultures, specifically in Chinatown.


“I hope to learn a lot more about different types of food and I hope to expand my cultural palate,” Annie Abramczyk ‘18 said at the beginning of Tower Term.


Cover said that Tower Term is a time for all students to come together and work on skills that aren’t necessarily learned in the classroom.


“It helps us learn to collaborate, to be creative, to problem solve, to plan and to adapt, so this is a way for us all, teachers included, to experience things hand in hand,” Cover said.


Students from all Tower Terms learned new skills—from learning how to properly grill meat in Grillin’ and Smokin’ to learning about oceans and woodworking in Boat Building. The Meta Tower Term taught students a variety of life skills including website building, photography and writing articles.


“I think the benefit behind Tower Term is that what we’re doing is allowing the students to open their minds to a new concept,” Hall said. “I think what each student does is they look beyond what they may have brought to a particular Tower Term session.”