In the Northeast, everyone has an Ivy League school practically in their own backyard. Peppered along the Atlantic coastal region are 8 of the country’s most prestigious educational institutions, known for their academics, athletics and elitist enrollment standards.
I’ve never had an interest in pursuing Ivy League status for my daughter. And she’s never shown an interest in attending. But I’m intrigued by these institutions that have shaped some of the greatest minds of the Western World. I’m enthralled by their architecture and history – their folklore and traditions.
The oldest of these schools, Harvard University, was founded in 1636 as New College. The youngest, Cornell University, is practically a baby in comparison, founded in 1865. History is tangible in the walls and spaces of places that old. Harvard, Yale, Penn, Princeton, Columbia, Brown and Dartmouth were all built before the American Revolution! And Cornell, just after the Civil War. The stories that must live in the walls of these schools – the palpable energy that must be felt in the bricks and mortar – in the earth and trees – in the very fabric that housed thousands of students, all adding their own brush strokes to a centuries old mosaic… No matter how elitist and exclusionary, there’s something very special about that kind of antiquity.
Which is why, when I heard about Splash! days at some of these schools,
I couldn’t wait to sign us up!
To my knowledge, Yale, Cornell, Princeton and Columbia all offer Splash programs – a day when middle and high schoolers can attend seminars taught by current college students. There are a huge array of classes ranging from 50 minutes to a few hours in length. Every subject is covered, from Pizza Making to Polynomials. There is a class for every kid!
The ages and grades for the programs are strict, so read the info page for each school carefully. Fees are very reasonable, ranging from $15 to $40 per day. Registration is easy and course selection is simple.
These programs are open to all students, whether private schooled, homeschooled, or public schooled. In these last few years I have with my kiddo, I’m looking to make the most of every opportunity. I can’t imagine a more memorable way to spend the rainy weekends of April than exploring the grounds of iconic schools and learning from college students. What an awesome way to spark the imagination and inspire the soul of my high schooler.
Hope to see you and your kids there too!
Here are the links!
Have you been to a Splash!? Heading to one this year?
Let me know! I’d love to hear about your Ivy League Experience!