Winterim Master Class


Winterim is a four-week intensive winter term that provides you with additional opportunities for deep, authentic experiential learning. You are able to choose a master class in an area of personal interest, then delve deeply into the topic of your choice, refining your individual skills and understanding.

To enhance your learning, each course offers either a local, regional, or international travel experience. Since you will be putting in the same number of hours as a typical semester, but with the intense focus on one subject area, you will receive academic credit for these classes.

Examples of Past Winterim Experiences:

  • Studying the culture, customs & language of the Peruvian people & traveling to Peru, climbing Machu Picchu
  • Street Art: Studying skills like silkscreening, spray painting, stencil making & graphic design to create original street art. Trips to local museums & art studios enhanced this course.
  • Marine Biology: Delving deeply into the science of Marine Biology and traveling to Belize to study the rich cultural and biological diversity of the local marine life.



State & Federal Government Up-Close & Personal

*****8th Grade Exclusive Trip*****

We, the people of Sparhawk, are heading to Washington, DC! Find yourself walking through the National Gallery. Stand in front of the Constitution. Look out over the National Mall from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This master class will provide students with an understanding of and appreciation for how the United States Constitution informs the departments and offices comprising local, state and federal government. Students will gain an appreciation for the vision of the founding fathers as they grappled with questions of governance. They will also witness government at the local level, and travel to Washington, DC to evaluate the structure and effectiveness of departments and institutions.


The History and Art of Puerto Rico

The island of Puerto Rico may be small in size, but this tropical paradise is anything but when it comes to natural beauty and a dynamic arts scene.  This tropical American territory is equally well known for its natural beauty, for its diverse plant and animal life, including hundreds of bird and tree species, and for its vibrant art, music, and culture. Its gorgeous capital, San Juan is home to world class art museums as well as a rich musical and culinary scene. In this course, students will study Puerto Rico’s diverse history, with a focus on its importance in the Spanish-American War and the legacy of Spanish and American Colonialism.  Students will also study the art of Puerto Rico, with its Taino, Spanish, and American influences.  Students will then travel to Puerto Rico and spend time in both Rincon and San Juan, as well as a visit to El Yunque National Forest for a day of hiking.


The impact of Women and Latinx on the music of the 20th century.

In this Masterclass students will be reading and listening to both well known and unsung heroes of women in music. As in most areas of life in the mid 20th century, the music business expected women to take a back seat. But that didn’t stop them from writing, recording, and performing some of the most important music of the time.  We will be traveling to Austin, TX which is one of the premier music cities in America. It’s unique location in Texas will also let us explore how the sounds of Mexico had an impact on music in ways that are sometimes celebrated but are more often hidden in plain sight.Students will each be picking a specific Woman and/or POC in music to research and write about. While in Texas students will visit famous venues and meet with contemporary Artists in the city for both meet and greets as well as some private performances.


Become a Sci-Fi Writer

What makes a science fiction story…good? Together, we will explore the elements of good science fiction stories, and embark on a writing quest. By the end of this short course you will have at least one scene written with well-developed characters and a reasonable plot. You’ll have plenty of inspiration with weekly film screenings (Dune, Interstellar, the Martian, Star Wars and Star Trek) and field trips (Boston Science Museum and local observatories). The non-field trip days will be structured with morning writing prompts/assignments to help you get ideas down on paper, and afternoon reading/science fiction discussions/film viewings/peer review sessions. The first part of the course will be focused on world-building. Then we will shift into character development, and how to construct a good sci-fi scene. The final two days of the course will be spent sharing your science fiction scenes with your teachers and peers.



In this masterclass, students will learn the intricacies of designing and creating a large-scale outdoor Mural. We will travel to local areas to learn about different styles of murals and explore the artwork of different artists and professors. We will take workshops with visiting artists and travel to museums across Massachusetts. Students will learn the design principles needed to build a mural and then will put all of their knowledge to use in creating the Mural on the back wall of the Sparhawk Upper School property.  This Mural will reflect our local environment and showcase the beauty of the Merrimack river fronts.