Learning Across Borders

International Exchanges

Through Pingree's LAB programs, students learn to compare, question, examine, understand, and empathize with a broader range of viewpoints, histories, and cultural perspectives. LAB strives to help Pingree students graduate with a more sophisticated understanding of human history and society, including an awareness and appreciation of the variety of ways that people come to understand and negotiate their world as part of today’s interconnected global community.

How it Works

During a student/teacher exchange, Pingree families will host an international student in their home for approximately two weeks while their international guest attends classes at Pingree. During March vacation or summer vacation, the Pingree student will be hosted abroad for approximately two weeks in the home of the same student and will participate in classes and visit sites of historical and cultural significance.

Each exchange has a limited number of students who can participate. Students who wish to participate in an exchange must complete an application and obtain a teacher recommendation. The applications are reviewed and participants are selected by members of the LAB committee.

Local Excursions

The Local Learning Across Borders (LAB) program provides enriching opportunities to extend student learning beyond the classroom walls. With an emphasis on experiential learning, service, and community-building, students will visit significant sites and take advantage of the many resources—both cultural and natural—that surround Pingree’s campus. In doing so, students will broaden their perspectives, deepen their understanding of the interplay between coursework and the real world, and enrich their relationships, both within and outside of the Pingree community.

Trips in the fall trimester are organized by grade-level. Past trips have included:

Grade 9: Camp Bauercrest in Amesbury

Grade 10: Hike up Mount Major in New Hampshire

Grade 11: Legislation simulation at the Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate

Grade 12: College visits

Winter trips are designed by the faculty and are intended to extend and enhance classroom and student learning.

2018 Local LAB Trips

Time for Tea: A Tour of Salem Tea Shops

Embark on a walking tour of Salem’s tea and coffee shops, learning about Salem’s rich history in the tea and spice trade along the way. After lunch, head over to Jolie Tea Shop where you’ll learn about the health benefits of tea, do some tastings, and make your own special blend to bring home.

So You Want to be a Doctor?: Massachusetts General Hospital Tour & Simulations

Spend the day at Massachusetts General Hospital and explore the world of emergency medicine. Visit the Ether Dome, learn about the history of one of America’s premier hospitals, and engage in various medical simulations.

Calling Future Politicians: A Day at the Massachusetts State House, Boston

Get a look at the vital place of work for the leadership that guides our state today. Meet with Congressmen and Senators and get a tour of the State House, the oldest building on Beacon Hill.

Transforming Boston: The History and Landscape of the Fens

Learn how Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture, transformed Boston’s polluted waterways and mudflats into the scenic Fens we enjoy today.

A Day in Boston’s Chinatown

Come to Boston to explore the third largest Chinatown in the United States. Students will learn about the history and culture of Chinatown by visiting sites like the Chinatown Gate and a Chinese grocery. Feeling hungry? Next stop will be an authentic Chinese lunch at a dim sum restaurant.

Cutting-edge in Cambridge: Holography Workshop & Google Office Tour

Explore the many scientific, artistic, and technological innovations that originated and continue to evolve in Cambridge. Tour MIT’s gallery and part-take in a workshop on holography. After lunch, head over to Google to get an insider’s tour of their funky offices.

Historic Portsmouth, NH: US Naval Shipyard Tour

Head north for a day of history! Partake in a unique opportunity to tour a US naval shipyard and talk with World War II veterans. Next visit the Portsmouth Athenaeum to view primary source documents relating to slavery, civil rights, and Portsmouth’s fascinating history.

Techie for a Day: Beta Test Software in Boston

Spend the day at the LearnLaunch offices meeting with entrepreneurs, beta testing products in the education technology space, and watching presentations--and then provide honest feedback that will help the businesses better develop their products.

Corner the Market: Stock Market Simulation and the World of Banking

Travel to Bentley University in Waltham to learn about the world of stocks and bonds as you join in a stock market simulation. Speak with bankers to learn about the profession’s highs and lows.

Volunteer & View in Gloucester: Open Hand Food Pantry & Cape Ann Museum

Spend the morning doing service work at the Open Door Food Pantry, including prepping meals, stocking shelves, working in the garden, or serving guests. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the historic Fisherman's Statue and then head up to the Cape Ann Museum to see exhibits on art, culture and Cape Ann’s history.

Concord Hymn: The Old Manse & Walden Pond

Channel your inner-Transcendentalist and see the home where Emerson and Hawthorne lived (near where ‘the shot heard ‘round the world’ was fired to start the American Revolution!). In the afternoon, lounge about the shores of Walden Pond and walk in Thoreau’s footsteps.

Utopian Dream: The Fruitlands Museum

Spend the day touring the Fruitlands utopian village site and learn about the challenges and triumphs of communal living. In the afternoon, tour the Shaker Museum and explore the grounds of this beautiful location.

Art by Design: DeCordova Outdoor Sculpture Park

Ever dream of building your own outdoor sculpture? Head to the DeCordova in Lincoln for inspiration! Roam the spacious grounds, learn about the meaning behind the sculptures, and then etch your own design.

From Page to Stage: Massachusetts Young Playwrights’ Project, Boston

Participate in a variety of workshops with professional actors and then watch as they perform plays written by Pingree students. A great opportunity to learn from the pros!

The Art of Glass: Diablo Glass-Blowing Shop

Spend the day learning about the art of glass-blowing and seeing it firsthand. Students will also have an opportunity to craft their own pieces.

Adventure is out there!: Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary

Head out for a day of adventure and team challenges at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, part of the Mass Audubon Society. Gear up with paddles to canoe along the gentle Ipswich River until we arrive at Pine Island for a campfire, picnic lunch, and games. This is a great opportunity to have some fun with friends out in nature, and no experience is necessary!

Slavery and Abolition: Boston’s Museum of African-American History and Black Heritage Trail

Step back in time and visit the houses of worship, homes, schools, and Underground Railroad sites of Boston’s African American community. You will also participate in an Abolitionists’ Debate on “The Politics of Anti-Slavery” in the same African Meeting House on Beacon Hill used by antislavery societies, debate clubs, and women’s groups before the Civil War.

Judge for a Day: Massachusetts’ Supreme Court and Justices

Visit the John Adams Courthouse and get an inside look at how the Massachusetts State Supreme Court functions. You’ll have the opportunity to talk with judges and get their take on the law and famous cases. In the afternoon, explore Boston’s North End and sample the culture of this vibrant community.

Nature Calls: Service and Hiking in the Middlesex Fells Reservation

Do your part and engage in a trail-side service project at the Fells. After lunch, go on a guided hike and nature walk where you learn about the reservation from experienced park rangers.

Etching Escher: M.C. Escher at the Museum of Fine Arts

This trip will combine math and art in a unique way. See Escher’s mind-bending creations at the MFA and then head out to draw your own inspirations!

2017 Local LAB Trips

A Day in Boston’s Chinatown: Scavenger Hunt and Lunch at a Dim Sum Restaurant

Just Google It: A Tour of Google’s Cambridge Office

Environment and Evolution: Harvard Museum of Natural History Tour and Climate Change Workshop

Inside Industry and Immigration: Lawrence Heritage Park and Immigration Workshop at Lowell Mills

The Artists’ Eye: Designing and Exploring Art Exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts

Food & the Future: Tour of the Food & Future CoLab, Cambridge

Find Your Inner Engineer: Kinetic Sculpture Workshop and Gallery Tour at the MIT Museum, Cambridge

Slavery and Abolition: A Visit to Boston’s Museum of African-American History and Black Heritage Trail

DaVinci the Genius: Art History and Engineering at the Museum of Science, Cambridge

Paper Cranes and Candy Canes: The Mathematics of Folding Origami at MIT, Cambridge

Calling Future Politicians: A Day at the Massachusetts State House, Boston

Wicked Witch of the East?: Witches in Popular Culture vs. the Historical Record, Salem

Hands on History: An Historian’s Look at Portsmouth, NH including African Burial Ground and the UNH History Department

Purposeful Shopping: A Tour of Thrift Stores on the North Shore

North Shore Sustainability: A Tour of Recycling, Composting, and Efficiency Sites

Behind the Scenes: Filmmakers and TV Producers Visit Pingree

At Peace: A Mindfulness and Meditation Retreat at Pingree

Salsa con Salsa: Salsa Dance Workshop and Salsa-Making at Pingree

On-Campus Workshops

Each February, Pingree students, faculty, and staff take a day off from their usual routine for invigorating on-campus workshops, thought-provoking assembly topics, and a rousing student-faculty basketball game.

Sample Workshops

Hip-hop Dance Session
Get your groove on! Work with instructors from the Boston Community Dance Project to learn the basics of hip-hop. Students will also learn about choreography and craft their own routines in this high-energy workshop.

Learn to Knit (for a Cause!)
Students will learn how to knit and every participant will make a 7x9 inch rectangle to be sent to an organization called Warm Up America. WUA collects knitted rectangles and makes them into afghans for homeless or impoverished people across the globe.

Pysanky: Ukranian Egg Writing
Learn the traditional art of Pysanky and explore various motifs and symbolic colors used in Ukranian egg writing. Pysanky, which comes from the Ukrainian word pysaty, meaning "to write," uses dye recipes, written-wax batik methods, and incorporates folk designs from legends and beliefs.

Whether you'd like to learn to make jewelry for yourself or as a gift, this workshop will result in the design of several pieces. Learn the techniques of wire wrapping cabochon pendants and more advanced works, including the Tree of Life. Experiment with beads and stones to create necklaces and other projects.

Elements of Chinese Culture: Tai Chi and Dumpling-Making
Come explore various aspects of Chinese culture through the guided movement and meditative practice of Tai Chi, taught by a respected local master. The second half of this session will involve the preparation and tasting of traditional Chinese dumplings.

How We Argue
Do you enjoy debates, writing argument-based essays, or proving your point to your friends, siblings, and parents? Do you enjoy keeping up with current events and figuring out the arguments each side is making? This workshop will introduce a powerful tool for engaging the most controversial issues. We will teach you to expose the hidden structure of arguments to reveal unstated premises and weak support relationships. Much like practicing scales for piano or jump-shots for basketball, learning to map arguments makes students more precise, confident thinkers across disciplines.

Improv 2 Improve
Improv 2 Improve is Pingree School's social justice theater troupe. The goal is to highlight relevant issues and topics related to the current national climate. In this workshop, participants will explore and engage in original scenes that depict various forms of discrimination and oppression.

Visual Literacy/Printmaking
Explore examples of the visual world we live in, including advertisements and branding messages. Using monoprints and text/image integration, you will have the opportunity to create altered images and add text in response. No printmaking experience is required, just openness and willingness to engage in expression.

Gymnastics and Muscle Movement
Hear about how muscles work together and the benefits of stretching before you hit the mats to explore the basics of gymnastics. Support your classmates as you all work through some tumbling-moves, safe ways to fall, balancing techniques, and more!

Leadership: Unlock your Inner Potential
This workshop will explore the variety of ways that students can be leaders in their own lives. Leadership is often mistaken as a quality that people are born with, instead of a skill that can be developed. Through activities and conversations, students will expand their capacities to be leaders.

Yoga and Mindfulness
Bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing through the ancient practices of yoga and meditation. Students will explore mindfulness by learning yoga techniques and breathing exercises, and by participating in reflective activities that reduce stress and unlock creativity.

Draw ZenDoodles and Patterns in Nature
Zendoodling is the art of drawing designs using structured patterns. By concentrating on small, intricate blocks of patterns at a time, you will create not only a work of art but a mood, focus, and state of mind. We'll learn about the practice, take time to look for Pingree patterns, try our hand at designing our own unique elements, and compose some zendoodles together. This meditative practice is fun, relaxing, and imaginative.

There’s nothing quite like fresh, homemade salsa! Learn all sorts of facts about salsa while making (and tasting!) several different types of salsa. Layer in flavor, color, and texture with different ingredients and become an expert on variations and seasonings.

Urban Art and American Culture
Over the past forty years of contemporary American history, urban art has played a key role in sharing and shaping the collaborative culture known as hip hop. We will explore the characteristics of Urban Art through the curation, creation, and communication of current topics through digital mediums to gain a better understanding of the value this art plays in our daily lives. In this hands-on workshop, we will take social & cultural issues head-on through the creation of our own digital murals to share a message/story that speaks louder than words. Bring your laptops!

Weather Forecasting with Meteorologist Dave Epstein
Work alongside a professional meteorologist as you learn about weather patterns, weather-forecasting, and isotherms. Bring your laptop, as you’ll be doing your own weather-mapping!

Hospital Medicine: Minimizing Human and System Error
What happens where there are errors in the operating room? Beth Israel Hospital medical professionals will address the topic of medical safety and lead participants through a series of simulations that they conduct with med students.

The Economics of Clean Energy & Wind Turbine-building Competition
Get an inside look at the business of wind energy, which is a fast-growing field in Massachusetts. You’ll learn about how wind energy works as well as how it functions economically. Next, you’ll test your mettle to see who can build the best wind turbine.

This is a hands-on workshop where you’ll learn how to build the stone walls you see all over New England. You’ll also hear about how these beautiful walls have impacted New England historically and economically.

Students will design and fabricate models of airplane gliders using paper, manila folders, balsa wood, and styrofoam sheets. They will start with simple designs created by folding paper, then move on to designs that are drawn and cut by hand, and finally to designs created on the computer and cut with the laser cutter. Each design will be tested for things like distance and accuracy, and modifications incorporated into the next iteration to make a better glider. A final “air show” competition will be held in the turf gym with prizes awarded for Time Aloft, Distance, Design/Artistic Expression, and a Fiasco prize.

Bookworms Unite!
In this workshop, we will gather to read and take pleasure in a short novel and to discuss the words and worlds we confronted. Our conversation will propel participants into a conversation that, ideally, leads to understanding, imagination, agitation, empathy, and, if we’re lucky, even awe. Pingree supplies the novel; you supply the illumination.

Tell Me in a Flash: 200-Word Stories
This workshop is for creative thinkers who love storytelling but don't like to linger in a narrative for too long. Do you think you can write a story in 200 words? In this workshop, we will read examples of flash fiction and then write our own, which we will publish in our very own online literary magazine. Graphic/web design enthusiasts are also welcome to help create the website (and design artwork to complement the flash fiction if interested).

Seafaring with Captain George Grimes
Hear fascinating and inspiring tales from a lifelong sea captain and a recent lighthouse keeper. Captain Grimes will also teach students about reading nautical charts and boat safety, and then students will engage in a “design a working harbor” project.