For the past five years, the Packer Symposium program has become a highlight of the Upper School curriculum. The program consists of unique courses designed by our faculty members that covers topics ranging from food, to art, to prevalent social issues. These classes provide unique educational opportunities outside the classroom for our Upper School students — experiences that help inspire creative and critical thinking.
One example of a recent Symposium course is "NYC Culinary Expeditions" in which our 9th Grade students explored how diverse cultures have influenced food here in New York City. While also learning cooking skills, the class discussed the universal experience of eating and how cooking is a self-expressive and community-building experience.
Included in this week-and-a-half-long course was a visit to the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD). MOFAD has exhibits for people to taste, touch, and smell in order to teach about how food can connect us to the world around us. Packer alumna Viviane Eng ’14 led their tour.
Viviane remembers her own Packer Symposium experiences in a class led by Upper School History Teacher Erland Zygmuntowicz: "We spent the week singing now classic folk songs and learned about their relevance in their respective political contexts. It was nice to see that Symposium has since continued and grown to encompass so many topics!"
Upper School French and Spanish Teacher Dio Hernendez, who led the "Culinary Expeditions" course said that, "[Viviane] was terrific, and of course, our kids were excited to see Packer family".
As part of Symposium, our 10th Grade students participate in an international travel program. Beginning this year, they had the option to visit Peru and Greece. While visiting these countries, our students deepen their global understanding through first-hand experience. Take a moment to review their Travel Blog.