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For one week each February, the St. Andrew's-Sewanee community shifts its attention from the regular academic routine to intensive courses of study dedicated to experimental and experiential learning. Winterim gives faculty members and students an opportunity to collaboratively explore and discover their passions.

2019 Courses

Academic Workshops

Middle School Maker Challenge

Pairs of middle school students will design and build devices to accomplish specific tasks. They will then test the devices to see whose is most successful. They will earn points for their team. This is a spinoff of our Science Olympiad Winterim. We are offering some of the most popular building events in a low stress, fun, yet competitive environment. Monday: Paper gliders (distance, mass, time aloft) Tuesday: Balloon Powered Cars Wednesday: Bottle Rocket Day (Eggstronauts) Thursday: Bridges (mass ratio scoring) Friday: Clean-Up, Party, Presentation, Paper Plate Awards.

The SCIENCE of Food and Cooking

Have you ever wondered how a cake batter is different from a muffin batter? Or how a bread dough is different than cookie dough? What is the difference between medium rare and rare steak? How does pasta get so soft? Why do mashed potatoes get gluey? If you are curious about any of these things, if you like to work with your hands, and you like to read and talk about science, this course is for you! Each night you will be assigned a different reading to prepare you for cooking lab the next day. We will discuss what dishes/recipes we will be making, why they are a good choice for our concept, make them at my house, and then eat and discuss how they taste and how that is related to their structure and properties. Prerequisites: must be able to do arithmetic, to clean up behind yourself, and to be willing to actually read and to learn cooking terms in French, Italian, or other culinary languages.

Field Archaeology

Who came here before us? What did they eat? How did they live? Here on the SAS campus we have an abundance of archaeological resources in the form of rock shelters like Indian Shelter and Widow's Crack that were inhabited 5000+ years ago. The history of rock shelter use and habitation patterns on the Cumberland Plateau is still not fully understood, but it was certainly significant. Sadly, much of Indian Shelter has been looted over time and the information available from the artifacts and their context has been lost. In this hands-on, primarily outdoor course, we will continue the salvage excavation of Indian Shelter that was started during Winterim 2006. Advice and guidance will be provided as needed by University of the South Archaeologist Sarah Sherwood. The goal of this excavation is to continue the collection of diagnostic artifacts left behind by looters that will allow us to establish a basic timeline of habitation in Indian Shelter. Students will learn to responsibly excavate an archaeological site, to identify artifacts such as nutting stones, grinding stones, spear points, flint chips, pottery shards, and maybe even charred nuts or wood, and to properly clean and catalog these artifacts. During the course, students will learn more about the prehistoric cultures of the Cumberland Plateau and help to preserve this incredible cultural resource present on our campus. Participants should be prepared for physical work and getting dirty!

Philosophy of Geometry

Mathematics is a particular way of looking at the world and has existed as a common means of understanding reality since long before textbooks came along. Though we often encounter it through its symbolic language, prepared and presented to us by experts, math is embedded in our everyday engagement with things, and can be reasoned about and communicated without the need for complicated figuring. In this class we will begin with a very basic geometry question (What is a line?) and will carry out a week-long, hands-on exploration with no writing or figuring required, though you might feel compelled to make some simple calculations to deepen your own understanding. Discoveries will be shared in class discussion as we use common materials to construct and explore a variety of geometric artifacts such as cylinders, cones and hyperbolic planes, and venture outside to perform large-scale transformations of common shapes. Come define a geometric system that transcends Euclid’s universe of discourse, as each day we find a new background upon which to examine and even question some old ideas that we were oh-so-sure about.

Arts Workshops

Creating with Clay

Whether you are a beginner or have taken a clay class, you can participate in this clay Winterim course. In this workshop, students will design and create unique ceramic pieces. Beginning students will learn how to construct vessels using slabs of clay. Students who have already taken at least one semester of throwing at SAS may choose to spend the week throwing or handbuilding their wares. After a fun week of making pottery during Winterim and once the pots are bisque-fired, students will return to the studio to glaze their pieces during a work period. After the pots are glazed-fired, students may take home their pottery.

Life After High School: An Inspired Design Course

In this course students will be challenged to think critically about social and economic issues derived from YouTube videos, crowdsourcing, social media, and featured films. In this solution driven “think tank,” students will combine research, discussion, sketching, and computer aided design (CAD). Class will conclude with a visual presentation or movie to express ideas. Objectives: Make a friend, Make a count, Make a difference, Make some change, Make it last, Make the money, don't let it make you. If you have taken this class before, you are not eligible to take it again.

How to See Color and Paint it!

Ever wondered how to make color in your paintings look like colors in real life? It's all about light! Spend five chilly winter mornings learning how light and color can come to life in your paintings. We will do a series of exercises paintings, each of which will add to your artistic superpowers.

Design Challenge - Tiny House

Come and learn basic architectural principles and focus on form and space as they relate to the particular design challenge of a tiny house. After initial brainstorming, floor plans will be drawn to scale by hand and then a three-dimensional model will be created with foam core. Daily slideshows and lessons on architectural practices will help students place their work in a broader context.


We all love Pinterest - welcome to Crafternoon. We intend to focus on a craft skill every session and then give our fellow crafters the license to use the skill as they see fit. We will make bookmarks, loom-woven hats, journals, mini scrapbooks, accordion books, greeting cards, canvas prints, and so much more! You must possess a desire to try new things - no artistic ability is required!

Cross Stitch for a Modern Audience

Cross-stitch is a form of sewing and a popular form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a tiled, raster-like pattern are used to form a picture. As an art form, it has become more popular again as artists are creating more modern patterns including tongue in cheek puns and more mainstream design elements. You will learn how to cross stitch from start to finish on a small project to learn the basics, and you will then work on a larger piece that you can take with you to finish on your own. We will also be looking at how to create our own patterns using a computer software (Photoshop) to allow for creative control.

Cinema Workshops

Analysis of Young Adult Culture in Films

This class will explore the change of culture and the portrayal of teenagers in iconic high-school comedy films that take place from the 1970’s to the early 2000’s. Films such as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Superbad, Dazed and Confused and more will be shown! Due to the mature nature of some of these films, upper schoolers only.

Baseball in Popular Culture

Discover the significance of America’s national pastime on modern U.S. history and culture! Learn about different eras of the game, famous (and infamous) teams, the heroes and villains of the sport, and the unique culture surrounding the game through some of the most iconic and impactful baseball movies ever made. We will explore the impact Jackie Robinson made on both the game of baseball and the American Civil Rights movement in 42, the importance of statistics to the game in Moneyball, the corruption that plagued the 1919 “Black Sox” in Eight Men Out, women’s role in baseball during World War II in A League of Their Own, and the inspiration of a comeback story in The Natural. We will also examine the phenomenon of “daddyball” and the essence of the underdog in The Bad News Bears, the magical aura surrounding baseball history in Field of Dreams, the immense stress on the superstars of the game in 61, and the summer nostalgia for a pick-up game with your friends in The Sandlot. In studying these movies, we will not only enjoy the humor, drama, and nostalgia of America’s pastime, but also focus on the real-life influences on these works, some of which forever changed the game of baseball and even the country.

Community Workshops

Supporting Senior Citizens Through Music, Reading and Conversation

A group of students will travel to area nursing homes and perform music, read and have conversations. It is well known that elderly people (specifically those suffering from dementia) respond well to music. This service opportunity is open to both middle and upper school students. Transportation is needed on most days.

Grundy Greats

This course is an exploration of our closest community in the east: Grundy County. We will go to several historic and cultural sites and experience all the beauty and lore of the region. All that is required is a love of exploration and a positive attitude! We will be going off campus all five days. Please dress for hiking as that is how some time will be spent. Students who have already done this Winterim, plus those who have lived in Grundy county for longer than one year, should not sign up for this program.

InterAct (School Service Project Design and Implementation)

Right now there are 20,000 InterAct clubs nationwide and SAS is excited to bring this club to our school. A national requirement of InterAct is to design and implement 1 service project a year that benefits its school and community, and 1 international project that promotes greater international awareness and understanding. You will conceive of a service project idea during this Winterim course and develop a business plan to implement the service project at SAS. Throughout this course, you will be guided to complete a needs assessment, explore available assets, brainstorm ideas, identify a project, develop a project plan (including the budget, resources and time to implement the project), and to market the plan so that there is support for the project at our school. You will develop business acumen and leadership skills throughout this Winterim experience. The course is open to all students, but certainly it may be of greatest interest to those who are joining InterAct. InterAct clubs bring together middle and high school students to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self.

Leisure/Hobby Workshops

Basic Knitting

In this workshop, we will explore the basic techniques for knitting: casting on and binding off, knitting, purling, and garter and stockinette stitches. We will also learn how to choose needles and yarn and to read patterns. At the end of the week, participants will take with them the basic knowledge to create a scarf and additional simple knitting masterpieces!

Creative Expression through Strategy and Role-Playing

Calling all ladies and lords of the courts! It is time to embrace your inner hero! The Kingdom needs saving and the army need their leader! To Battle!!! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the center of a movie? What about replacing your favorite character in a book? How about competing against your friends in a battle of wits and luck? Well, look no further! This course focuses on the enrichment of creative expression through gaming. The course will be two-fold. We will cover the basics of both “Magic! The Gathering” and “Dungeons and Dragons” for students. Students will have the opportunity to pick which (or both) they would like to spend their time with. Students will work together in groups, varying in size, in order to accomplish their individual goals in these strategic games. The primary vision point is Communication. Students and faculty sponsor will enjoy shared time with a mutual interest and passion. Magic! The Gathering- A strategy card game that involves a simple, but very in-depth battle system in order to dominate opponents or score a decisive victory. Many students already possess decks, and several would be able to assist new players. Players are constantly planning their next moves, and preparing contingencies in order to out-play their opponent. Dungeons and Dragons- The original Role-Playing game. Players immerse themselves into a fabricated world in order to overcome adversity, complete complex and unique challenges, and of course- fight dragons! Players create original characters and interact with other characters to promote team-building and problem solving in a group setting.

Board Games for the Competitive

Board games require a certain amount of strategic thinking, cooperation, competitive drive, and luck. This class is for students that are interested in playing board games, whether they are seeing a game for the first time or the hundredth time. A variety of competitive and cooperative board games will be supplied. This course offers the opportunity for students to work together, use their brains, have fun, and be respectful and polite when winning or losing. Live, laugh, play!

Life Skills Workshops

Cocina Mexicana - Write Your Own Cookbook

This is a class focusing on the basics of the Mexican kitchen. Students will learn to prepare basic foods the way they are prepared by millions of people in Mexico every day. Learning how to start with a bag of rice and beans, onions, tomatoes and chile peppers, etc., and go through the step-by-step process to create a salsa, a dessert ,or even a meal, is the object of the class. All of the steps of all of the recipes will be recorded by the students in the form of a cookbook. If you have taken this class before, you are not eligible to take it again.

Art of Manliness: Skills Every Young Person Should Know

In “Art of Manliness: Skills Every Young Person Should Know,” we first will consider the usefulness of gender identity and expression and next consider which skills are needed for young people in the twenty-first century. Students—of any gender—will apply these skills in practical situations, such as ironing a shirt (or a blouse), changing a tire, or simply grilling out. Students will examine life lessons on how to answer and ask questions in a job interview and how to know when she or he is “the one,” while engaging, too, in honest discussions about healthy decisions and verbal consent, among other topics.

The Lost Art of Finding our Way

Based loosely on John Huth’s book of the same name, you will learn how to use a compass to find your way and navigate using a topo map as well as clues from the natural surroundings. You will learn basic outdoor skills as you investigate the many trails and wilderness areas on and around the SAS campus. Instruction will include a combination of hands-on activities and videos. Using your newfound skills, you will go on a scavenger hunt for small prizes and treats. This course is limited to 20 middle school students. You must be comfortable being outdoors and moving for 1-2 hours each day.

Korean Culture and Cooking

안녕하세요 – An-nyeong-ha-se-yo—Hello! Students in this class will learn to make Korean food, such as bulgogi, japchae, pajeon, bibimbap, soondubu, and tteokbukki. Don’t know what those are? Join us, and eat some of the best food ever created! You will wonder how you ever lived without Korean food! Please note: we will be eating meat and spicy food! We will also learn some basic Korean phrases and customs. 감사합니다 – Kam-sa-ham-ni-da—Thank you!

Yoga, Mindfulness, and Meditation

This winterim offering will be an introduction to these three principles. Each afternoon we will get on our yoga mats and experience a different style of yoga asana class. Some of the styles we will explore will be vinyasa, restorative, yin, and ashtanga. In addition to our asana (physical) work, we will learn a little about the eight limbs of yoga. Turns out yoga is not all about the body. Mindfulness and meditation will be a part of every session. All levels welcome. Loose, comfortable clothing and bare feet required.

Outdoor Adventure & Sports Workshops

Backpacking the Appalachian Trail in Winter

Discover the wonders of winter camping by spending four days on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina. Monday, we gear up, learn skills, and plan our meals. Tuesday morning we depart for the trailhead. We will hike about 25 miles in total, 6-8 per day, but the terrain will be challenging and scenic. While parts of the week are sure to push us beyond our comfort zones, the experience is always rewarding both mentally and physically. The school can provide most of the gear you'll need, and we will teach you all of the basic skills such as setting up camp, cooking, hanging bear bags, fire building, and risk management. The trip is open to all upper school students who are tough and willing to endure some minor suffering; the reward will be memories that carry you through the rest of the year!

Canyons and Yurts

This is a 4-day empowerment adventure at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia for girls. We will:

  • Engage in outdoor activities including daily hiking, cooking over an open fire, mindfulness practice, and games;
  • “Unplug” from the stresses of daily life and spend time laughing and resting together;
  • Spend a few hours each day learning about female leaders/influencers of the group’s choice from the fashion, entertainment, business, and political worlds;
  • Enjoy at least 2 hours each day on art projects, cooking, baking, and creative endeavors of the group's choice;
  • Host guest visitors at our campsite to discuss women in leadership, women in academia, and women in business;
  • Practice conflict resolution skills to help us navigate our complex social lives;
  • Build crackling campfires and eat lots of s'mores; and
  • Sleep in heated yurts in one of the most beautiful canyons in the USA!  


Explore several of our area's grand, gloomy, and peculiar caves. See flowstone, dripstone, breakdowns, columns, stalactites, stalagmites, hidden pools, and underground lakes. Dress to get wet and muddy and be ready to hike. We'll provide helmets and headlamps. (This is a no cell phone class.) We'll meet through lunch one day, maybe two (we'll pack lunches on those days).

Firewood Fundraiser

Want a great workout without going to the gym?...split firewood. Want to heat your home with a natural, renewable energy?...split firewood. Want to make some extra money?...sell firewood. Students will learn the process of cutting, splitting, stacking and selling firewood, along with chainsaw maintenance. Sales from the firewood, will go to a charity of the group’s choice.

Winter Trail Running

Although the weather can be discouraging, running does not need to stop in the winter. This course is an overview of two things: the feasibility of winter running and basic safety for trail running. SAS is fortunate to be surrounded by trails, both on our campus and on the university domain; however, it’s important to know how to run safely on these trails. We will review principles of running as well as do a hike to discuss trail hazards. These runs will include scenic destinations and will be on trails that are safe/ easy for jogging.

A Walk on the Wild Side

You have heard about the Perimeter Trail and have seen the signs. Now it’s time to lace up your boots and follow those blue blazes. During this week-long course, students will take a walk on Sewanee’s wild side by hiking the 20+ mile Perimeter Trail in five days. Each day, students will explore a different section of the trail, visiting some well-known areas such as Shakerag Hollow, the Forestry Cabin, Proctor’s Hall, and the Memorial Cross, but also some lesser known spots such as Dotson Point, King’s Farm, Audubon Lake, and Elliot Point. The winter landscape will provide us with wide open views of the valleys and coves, and we’ll take in two lakes, streams, waterfalls, and lots of interesting geological features. Throughout their journey, students will have the opportunity to reflect by journaling. Their journal may include, but is not limited to, thoughts, poems, and drawings. Of course, we’ll document our trip with photographs as well. In addition, local experts in forestry and geology will be invited to join us on parts of the trail to help us learn more about the local flora and fauna and the origin of the Cumberland Plateau. Through this journey, students will strengthen their sense of place and self, as well as their understanding and appreciation for Sewanee’s wild side. Students must possess a sense of adventure, the stamina for 2+ hours of hiking per day, sturdy hiking shoes, and weather appropriate attire.

Farming: Rainwater Capture and Sustainable Watering in the SAS Greenhouse

We are going to build a rainwater capture system, with the goal of converting the SAS greenhouse to rely entirely on rainwater. You will learn the predictive models of rainwater capture and sustainable water use that is reliant on gravity fed drip irrigation. Class will be centered around designing the system and building a rain capture system on the Boy Scout shed that will last for years to come. This project will incorporate tech and design systems around regulating water to crops along with the potential monitoring of progress within the greenhouse.

Fire & Smoke

Since the dawn of time, humankind has used fire to survive.  Cooking food over fire makes everything taste better. During this week-long course, you will learn the art of seasoning, preparation, and cooking over fire.  You will learn the five methods of live-fire cooking (direct, indirect, rotisserie, smoking/barbequing, open fire.) How to light and control a fire. How to harness the power of wood smoke in everything from appetizers to desserts. Several methods for gauging doneness. And much, much more. A variety of grills will be utilized including gas grilling, charcoal grilling, electric smoker, and even a campfire!  Food will be prepared, cooked, and shared by the group. Cooking techniques will range from basic to complex with short prep/cooking times to cooking all day long. Class size = 10 students.

What is Olympic Weightlifting?

Learn about the national and international history of one of the oldest sports in the world. Get an introduction into the science behind how your body responds to this form of exercise including force production, forms of adaptation, and the body as a lever. Learn the basics of how to organize and execute a proper training program. Finish the week by competing in a mock competition.

I’ve Got Game

Have you ever wanted to learn the rules and fundamentals of sports commonly talked about or played in the United States? This course will provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to understand and play football, baseball/softball, volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Each day we will focus on one sport starting with the review of elementary rules and regulations of each game. You will then be taught the fundamentals of the sport by participating in various warm-up drills and scrimmaging. Examples of warm-up activities include shooting layups, passing a football, hitting a baseball off of a tee, etc. After you have a grasp of the basics and feel comfortable with how the game is played, you will simulate a game with your fellow classmates through a scrimmage.* You will be able to demonstrate your athletic ability in a fun and relaxed environment while learning new skills. *football day will consist of flag football and there will be no tackling or blocking. Students interested in this course should have a willingness to learn, the ability to be physically active, and possess good sportsmanship. Students interested must be able to participate in physical activity for about 1.5 - 2 hours per day, with breaks, and must possess a willingness to learn.

Fly Fishing 

The fly fishing class will be taught in 3 parts daily. First will be approximately 20-30 minutes of class room time teaching equipment, general techniques, and species commonly pursued. Second will be fly tying for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. We will start with wooly buggers and move to commonly used trout nymphs. Third will be the casting/fishing portion to be held outside on the St. Andrews pond. 1-1.5 hours we will focus on roll casting and overhead casting for distance and accuracy. If water temperatures are warm enough we may pursue fish in the pond. Timing will depend on weather and student learning pace. Some days may focus more on tying and others on casting. Class time will be kept to a minimum. All equipment is included.

I just wanted to let you know how great Winterim was for my daughter. I was especially excited that she got to spend a week doing songwriting with Linda Heck. Linda is a remarkably unique talent, one that stuffier academic environments would be unable to appreciate. Hats off once again to SAS!

Adam Randolph, parent

What an absolute joy it has been to hear about our daughter's days this week. The meditation exercises, the positive thinking messages, the being attentive tips are feeding her soul. I know it takes time and effort to put this entire program together. Thank you for giving so much.

Kathryn Bruce, parent

SAS Winterim Schedule 2019

Monday, February 11

8:00 a.m. Chapel
9:00 a.m. Morning Session 
11:30 a.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Afternoon Session
3:30 p.m. Afternoon Programs

Tuesday, February 12

8:00 a.m. Faculty Meeting
9:00 a.m. Morning Session
11:30 a.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Afternoon Session
3:30 p.m. Afternoon Programs

Wednesday, February 13

8:00 a.m. Winterim Speaker: Actor Ray McAnally
9:00 a.m. Morning Session
11:30 a.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Afternoon Session
3:30 p.m. Middle School Afternoon Sports Programs Only
3:30 p.m. Boarder Breakout

Thursday, February 14

8 a.m. Morning Session
11 a.m. Lunch
Noon Afternoon Session
3:30 p.m. Afternoon Programs

Friday, February 15

8:00 a.m. Morning Session 
10:20 a.m. Afternoon Session
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Winterim Presentation/Celebration
3:30 p.m. Afternoon Programs