Redefining Education

With the foundational concepts of Sustainable Earth, Sustainable Design, and Sustainable Community, South Kent strives to involve students as an integral part in every step of what we do at the CFI. This programming goes beyond individual projects and extends to understanding ethics and values through real-world experiences. See below for Center for Innovation course offerings.

Sustainable Earth

Sustainable Design

Sustainable Community

Current Courses

3rd/4th Forms

The curriculum focuses on essential cooking skill of sauteing, roasting, and baking, food safety and sanitation, knife work, basic prep, and are linked to nutritional value and sustainability in an effort to educate the boys and make them more informed and self reliant. Students will use locally produced, organic ingredients, with a focus on produce and proteins produced on South Kent’s own farm. The hands on curriculum is supported through reading such as Omnivore’s Dilemma, The Third Plate, or Salt, Sugar, Fat and films such as Food Inc. & the Netflix series Rotten.
Food for Thought will be a Sustainable Agriculture CFI course offered on the North Campus to lower and upper classmen. Students will learn how to start from seed the food we harvest and serve in the Dining Hall while learning different ways to care for and raise livestock. Students will seed and care for a large variety of vegetables (legumes, nightshades, mustards, cucurbits, herbs, etc), and learn to manage soil, greenhouses, and the animals that roam our North Campus.
In this course, students create multimedia packages, learning how to produce short documentary films (videos) through hands-on experience in projects related to ongoing activities within the Center For Innovation program. Topics will showcase a variety of activities that students are involved in at SKS. Key skills in the course will include researching background issues, interviewing, storyboard composition, camera work, script/narrative writing, oral presentation, writing and video editing.
Mindful self-inquiry is designed for students to investigate the concept and applications of mindfulness, and to investigate into the nature of their own mind and being. The intention for the course is for students to develop an understanding of mindfulness as a way of reducing stress in their lives as well enhance their educational achievement. The curriculum of this course includes: Focused attention on breath and sensory experiences; awareness of thoughts and emotions; movement practices; caring or kindness practices; and ongoing critique of mindfulness for stress reduction in student life. Students learn the skills over time,and the intention is that, through sustained practice, mindful awareness becomes a positive way for students to enhance social and emotional learning, strengthen attention and concentration for academics and personal relationships, and foster a student’s overall well-being. Students will participate in a progression of classes to explore three primary mindfulness-based stress reduction meditation exercises: Sitting meditation; body-scan; and yoga, which encourage non-judgemental observation and acceptance of bodily sensations, cognitions, emotional states. The exercises will be useful for students in reframing certain approaches to their academic and social life. Furthermore, students’ experience in cultivating their personal practice will be enriched through weekly discussions and critiques with other students in the course.
Students will be challenged to design and build a rocket that will be able to carry an egg aloft and return it to earth unbroken. The challenge will be loosely based on the annual Team America Rocketry Challenge. Design software and supplemental resources are available on the class’ Google Classroom site. Students must consider how to achieve the following in their design: structural soundness and stability, predictable flight trajectory and duration, successful recovery, and payload integrity. Final assessment is based on how effectively the student uses class time, attention to detail and craftsmanship, aesthetics and the rocket's performance. Additional credit will be earned by using the course's Rocket Simulation software to model and virtually test the rocket.
South Kent School is sitting on hundreds of acres of woods, meadows, and wetlands. Most of this land is not easily accessible for those who wish to explore. In Sustainable Trail Building and Design, students will have an opportunity to immerse themselves in Mother Nature and help design and build trails which will allow members of our Hillside community to easily step into the environment.  Students will all get the opportunity to be a “Crew Leader” for one class. Students will create a work plan, present it, implement it, and then receive peer and instructor feedback. In doing so, they will learn valuable skills related to using hand tools, designing and overcoming obstacles, sustainable human and environmental interaction, and developing leadership skills. Most importantly, students will leave the course with the satisfaction of completing a task and doing it well, thus embodying the heart of what it means to be a true South Kent Boy.

5th/6th Forms

In this course, students create multimedia packages, learning how to produce short documentary films (videos) through hands-on experience in projects related to ongoing activities within the Center For Innovation program. Topics will showcase a variety of activities that students are involved in at SKS. Key skills in the course will include researching background issues, interviewing, storyboard composition, camera work, script/narrative writing, oral presentation, writing and video editing. Students have the opportunity to learn to work as part of production teams attached to groups working on any of the CFI classes running concurrently.
The curriculum focuses on essential cooking skill of sauteing, roasting, and baking, food safety and sanitation, knife work, basic prep, and are linked to nutritional value and sustainability in an effort to educate the boys and make them more informed and self reliant. Students will use locally produced, organic ingredients, with a focus on produce and proteins produced on South Kent’s own farm. The hands on curriculum is supported through reading such as Omnivore’s Dilemma, The Third Plate, or Salt, Sugar, Fat and films such as Food Inc. & the Netflix series Rotten.
Named after the Renaissance polymath whose work inspired Leonardo and many others, the South Kent Taccolytes have the opportunity to take part in several advanced engineering and design projects. This year’s projects include building an advanced rocket with data-gathering electronics, developing an application for facial recognition software on the school campus and studying the difference between how humans and machines recognize faces, and building a portable sound system. Past projects have included the following: Construction of a methane bio-digester, launching a weather balloon with data sensors into near space, development of a closed-system hybrid hydroponic/vertical farming unit, creation of a robot which is remotely-controlled by its human driver's muscle activity, the “hacking” of a Fisher-Price “Power Wheel” car to make it remote controlled, and construction of orbiting and linear camera mounts for Hyperlapse photography.
Years from now, our boys will be thumbing through their yearbooks, reminiscing about “the good ol’ days”, and showing their families what life was like on the Hillside. Students will take photos, design and layout yearbook pages, and aid in putting their yearbook together. At the same time, the boys will be learning new computer software, organizational skills, and seeing a product through to the end, all while having fun. What better way to give back to the South Kent community than to give them physical memories that can last a lifetime.
Students in this class will learn the basics of teaching with a focus on outdoor education and hands-on activities. They will participate in and lead educational games, crafts, and lessons using all of their senses in order to attain a deeper appreciation for nature. The program will culminate in students leading a lesson with younger kids and a certificate in an internationally acknowledged Environmental Education Curriculum such as Project Wild, Project WET, or Growing Up Wild.
Craft an entrepreneurial idea and make it happen! Along the way, learn and discuss aspects of business and finance, as well as hear from entrepreneurs in person. You will research your idea, determine costs and resources, estimate revenues and profits and create a timeline. You are then asked to implement your idea. The conclusion of the course is a formal presentation to CFI administration.
Learn how to manipulate images to find oil. This hands-on course will focus on how geophysicists use cutting edge technology to locate oil miles below the surface.  Development of these techniques is very much like a team sport in that researchers align themselves with collaborators and work through challenges together. Students will get hands on experience in understanding challenges, visualizing 3D data sets, and prototyping solutions. This course will also illustrate the links of imaging technology between industries, in this case petroleum and medicine. This course will also include a field trip to visit an MRI imaging lab.
Food for Thought will be a Sustainable Agriculture CFI course offered on the North Campus to lower and upper classmen. Students will learn how to start from seed the food we harvest and serve in the Dining Hall while learning different ways to care for and raise livestock. Students will seed and care for a large variety of vegetables (legumes, nightshades, mustards, cucurbits, herbs, etc), and learn to manage soil, greenhouses, and the animals that roam our North Campus.
Practice your logic and strategy soft skills by playing board games. Explore the unique world of both, math and language thought structures of Mariáš, Codenames and Dominion, three games of Central European origin. Spend some unhurried, enjoyable time with other, real, people and improve your planning, problem solving, decision making, logical thinking, emotional intelligence, effective communication and cooperation in team, dealing with mistakes and deferring gratification.
South Kent has a long and storied tradition in crew. It is one of the oldest and most successful sports at SKS. Before 1980, the team rowed in wooden boats. Composite boats, fiberglass and later carbon fiber boats, took over the market around 1980. We are fortunate that some of the old wooden boats that were rowed in many victories are still with us. The objective of our class is to not only bring these boats back to their old glory, but also to teach our students how to do it through hard work, preparation, education and ingenuity. The boys have to problem solve when things do not go the way they think it will. They have to make a plan and work towards that plan. They have to do the "grunt" work to make the project a success. When working on the project, they do not always see how the boat is progressing, but when they are done, they are astonished by what they have accomplished.
Camp is an opportunity for students to explore the world of theater in a safe space.  Over the course of the Spring term, students will be exposed to different types of theater, encouraged to build relationships with and trust their peers, and even do a little acting. Students in Camp will set individual goals, while working toward the overarching goals of creating greater exposure to the arts, increasing confidence and public speaking ability, and stepping out of their comfort zone.
Known on campus as the “timber framing class”, this was the first CFI courses and it is now in its fifth year. Students investigate sustainable building trends with a particular focus upon reducing energy consumption, using locally available building materials, and mastering building skills that have existed for thousands of years and yet remain the most efficient and enduring methods of construction.  Consistent with the Innovation theme, students use and master tools and technologies that span hundreds of years of use and refinement. The course includes field trips to visit national leaders in the field, and culminates in creation of usable structures or finished pieces of fine furniture. This Spring's project will be the construction of an entrance arbor for the new culinary arts building.  
This course is all about planning and building sustainable communities in the real world.  Students will have a basic understanding of ecological principles and apply these to creative solutions to the built environment.  We will focus on the development of the North Campus and the main South Kent School campus as case studies. How do communities plan for sustainable development while understanding ecological principles and economic realities that include: Basic ecology, populations, air and water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, human health, energy, sustainable food systems, and environmental solutions. As a challenged-based course, we will be doing a lot of field and CAD work, and working with planners/architects, designers, builders and building officials in the area.  

Our regular course descriptions can be found here.