By: Sydney Rogers
As incoming freshman were getting prepared for their first day of school, SLA had offered a summer institute. s and was a way for the new comers to get to know the school a little bit better. Summer institute was not mandatory but was strongly advised. Although there were teachers, faculty members, and advisors guiding the freshman there was also a number of upperclassmen students who had volunteered to help work summer institute. The orientation was a way for freshman to get a taste of what their first day would be like. They were separated into groups called “Expedition Groups” and were designated a spot in Philly. They asked questions about their location, they researched and dug deeper, and at the end the freshman planned and created a project.
Summer institute was experienced differently by freshman and their upperclassmen guides. Freshman,Christina Santana says:“It was fun in a way for me to meet new people, but I didn’t know one person who was here And it helped me adjust to the SLA kind of learning style. It prepared me for what kind of work we would be given and it showed me where to go for certain classes.” The majority of the freshman who participated in the institution felt this way. Although they were busy working on their projects, there was plenty of time to get to know the students they are going to be spending the next four years with. The upperclassmen who worked at the institute were a good resource to the newcomers who seeked answers and advice from those who had experience in the SLA field. Sarah Berg, a freshman who attended summer institute this summer says, “One of them [upperclassmen] made me feel more comfortable on the first day by just like talking to me and being really friendly.” Sarah wasn’t the only freshman who had a similar experience. Many of them recall their upperclassmen guides as good role models and gained advice.
Summer institution was informative and helpful to many or all freshman who attended. They made lasting memories, and overall it made it so incredibly easier for all the freshman on their first day of school. They were more comfortable because of summer institute and it was an experience that shaped their very first day at Science Leadership Academy.