GDS Minimester 2018

An Inspiring, Risk-Taking Adventure
On February 7 and 8, the GDS High School took a pause from regular classes to engage in the first-ever GDS Minimester. Designed to be a two-day deep dive into one topic, students had an opportunity for an immersive, experiential learning experience without the confines of traditional schooling (schedules, assessments, etc.).

As HS principal Katie Gibson shared earlier this year, “This is a perfect example of some of the risk-taking we want our students to be confident in when approaching their own learning. Yet, as the adults in their lives, we don’t frequently model this for them. I am proud that the faculty is jumping into this endeavor with their hearts and minds open, and look forward to learning together along the way.”

At the culminating celebration last week, students watched a video featuring photos from their special experience, and then shared some of their takeaways with the rest of the school. Students told each other about what they had accomplished and learned, and also how they had grown over just two days.

“I want to put in a plug for this to not only continue next year, but be expanded to a week,” one student said. “The passion we experienced this week—that’s what education should look like!”

“This was the most influential experience I’ve had in my 14 years at GDS,” shared another, who had participated in “A View From the Other Side: Partisan Politics in Trump's America.” He reported witnessing and experiencing provocative, respectful debate, a thought echoed by one of the featured speakers from that class, Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of The Times-Gazette of Hillsboro, Ohio. As he wrote in an article in his paper, “Dialogue between people with differing views may not lead to agreement, but it hopefully leads to a greater level of understanding and mutual respect, something sorely missing from our political landscape.”

All told, students and faculty members reported out feeling invigorated and inspired.

Check out the list of offerings—themes sprouted from the passions and interests of our faculty and staff:
  • Africa Through Culture and Dance!
  • Art Behind-The-Scenes: An Exclusive VIP Pass
  • Art Outside the Lines: A Crash Course in Feminist Art History
  • A View From the Other Side: Partisan Politics in Trump's America
  • Bop and Bougie
  • Chemistry Demonstrations
  • Comedians & Society
  • Examining the Brains of Serial Killers and Adolescents: You have more in common with mass murders than you think
  • Experiential Disabilities
  • Exploring Reproductive Justice
  • Food, Culture, & the Immigrant Experience
  • From Then Until Now: HBCUs in a Changing America
  • From Yellow Peril to Yellow Power: A Crash Course in Asian American Identity and Politics
  • Hamilton vs. Jefferson: The Great Throwdown
  • Hands-on Practical Life Skills in the 21st Century
  • Hiking Through History in Shenandoah
  • Humanizing Homelessness: Understanding the Rise in Family and Youth Homelessness in DC
  • Introduction to Programming in Java Through Games
  • Just Mercy: Race and the Criminal Justice System in the U.S.
  • Lego Mindstorm RoboChallenge
  • Let's Talk About Sex
  • Living through the AIDS Crisis 1981-1994: A Personal Memoir
  • Modern Physics Experiments
  • Paper to Play in Fourteen
  • Pedals for Progress/Bikes for the World
  • Poetic Politics: the Voice of Protest and Passion for the People in Dangerous Times
  • Prisoners and Their World
  • Producing Music in a Modern Digital Recording Studio: Let's Make a Hit Song!
  • Sabermetrics
  • Stealing Stories
  • Ten Days that Changed the Country: Selma, Voting Rights, and Current Issues
  • The Great Immigration Debate: Exploring How Contemporary Immigration Has Affected the Country and the Diverse Viewpoints on This Issue
  • Ukrainian Easter Egg Decorating
  • Uncovering the Fallacies of the American Dream
  • Unplugged in the Wilderness
  • We Need A Hero: Representation in Superhero Media
  • Were You Born a Racist? The Neuroscience of Implicit Bias


4530 MacArthur Boulevard, NW, Washington, DC 20007


4200 Davenport Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016

Georgetown Day School is a coed, preK-12, non-sectarian private school in Washington, DC with small class sizes and a diverse school community. Our comprehensive, innovative curriculum includes hands-on learning, honors and AP classes, as well as advanced-level math and STEM courses. An education is not just college prep and SAT scores. GDS teachers focus on providing the best education for each child, from elementary grades through high school. The school performing arts program includes theater, dance, and music. The athletics program offers competitive sports for student athletes, including cross-country, track, soccer, lacrosse, and crew/rowing. With our strong commitment to financial aid, an independent school tuition is affordable.