Exploration Week

One way Gann students learn outside of the classroom is Exploration Week, a week dedicated to seeking out new cultures, new adventures and, in some cases, visiting different parts of the country. Students challenge themselves in new ways by participating in intensive community service projects, developing firsthand skills and knowledge, or simply taking a chance to try something out of their comfort zone.
Learn More about Exploration Week

myIsrael

Gann students spend six weeks in Israel in an intensive travel and learning program that exposes them to historical, biblical, and modern Israel through first-hand experiences and classroom study.
Learn More About myIsrael

Senior Capstone Project

Seniors participate in a capstone experience known as Ma’avar. Ma’avar offers students a framework to transition from high school to their early adult lives by spending time engaged in directed study projects or exploring their fields of professional interest through participation in guided internships.

Previous projects include interning at Akamai Technologies, Boston Children's Hospital, and the New England Aquarium, learning how to play guitar, building a quad-copter and go kart, and writing a novella, just to name a few. 
Learn More About The Ma'avar Capstone Project

Glimpse of Gann

List of 9 news stories.

  • Six Weeks in Israel

    Week one of the sophomores' myIsrael excursion is complete, and oh what a week it was!

    "Being in Israel with my grade has been one of the most challenging but also one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in as long as I can remember," said Shira Hoffer.

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  • CEO of PresenTense Israel Leads Discussion on Social Change Through Entrepreneurship

    For a decade, PresenTense Israel has promoted entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social change and has played a pioneering role in the StartUp Nation. In Israel, they launched the first social venture accelerator, the first accelerator for Arab tech entrepreneurs, and the first accelerator for Haredi women. To date, they have 40 accelerator programs, have launched 450 ventures, and helped create more than 2,000 jobs.

    PresenTense CEO Rachel Shaul, along with three alumni of the accelerator programs, visited Gann Academy for a panel discussion on entrepreneurship, coexistence, Israeli innovation, and helping underserved communities within Israel. The visit was part of the PresenTense Boston and New York Road Show being sponsored by the Israeli consulate.

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  • Cleaning Water and the Flint Fiasco

    Cleaning Water and the Flint Fiasco

    Cleanliness and schoolwork don't always go together, but in the 10th grade chemistry lab, students worked to clean 500 milliliters of filthy water. Students syringed out the oil floating on top. Then they filtered the liquid with sand and charcoal, and used a process called flocculation which caused the suspended pollutant particles to clump together and sink to the bottom.

    "The lab showed me how much time and effort goes into making water clean," said sophomore Halle Sisenwine. "I am lucky to live in a place where I can take for granted that my water is safe to drink."
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  • Righting a Wrong: Waltham’s Forgotten Cemetery

    Righting a Wrong: Waltham’s Forgotten Cemetery

    Hodaya Propp, class of 2017, was recently featured on the front page of the Waltham News Tribune for a project she started at Gann. For her senior capstone, Hodaya used her community organizing skills to work with the local government and national stakeholders to right a wrong committed years ago in Waltham.

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  • Robots Make Physics Come Alive

    Ninth-grade students are gaining an out-of-this-world experience in Steven Cavendar-Wood’s Physics class. Meet Sphero, a ball-like robot bringing to life concepts like motion, force and velocity that students will use to explore a faux extraterrestrial terrain.
     
    The 14 Spheros — think Star Wars’ BB-8, but smaller — are the centerpiece of Cavendar-Wood’s mechanics unit. “We wanted to ramp up the physics curriculum and make it more engaging and accessible to all sorts of learners,” says Cavendar-Wood.  “The students are excited about the robots, and, by extension, they’re getting excited about physics—delving in at a whole new level.”

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  • Students visit Alabama lynching site to offer Jewish prayers at memorial

    Students visit Alabama lynching site to offer Jewish prayers at memorial


    For years, students from a Jewish high school in Massachusetts have been making annual pilgrimages to Alabama to learn about the civil rights movement.

    A group of 25 high school students from Gann Academy of Waltham, Mass., is in Birmingham today. They are touring the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Kelly Ingram Park.  

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  • Seniors Take Charge of Own Learning During Ma’avar

    Seniors Take Charge of Own Learning During Ma’avar

    One senior is building a “happiness app” that leverages the most current psychological research. Another is teaching at a school in Tel Aviv. A couple of boys are driving through the U.S. heartland, interviewing people about the state of the country, then creating a podcast from their research. Students are interning at hospitals, a Tufts medical lab, a state senator’s office, and in the photography department of a local newspaper.

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  • Students Explore Selves and World During Explo Week

    Students Explore Selves and World During Explo Week

    Come the end of May, the halls of Gann are quiet.
     
    Where have the students gone? They are volunteering in a Head Start program, planting vegetables on an organic farm, visiting the Alabama landmarks of the Civil Rights movement and building homes with Habitat for Humanity in North Carolina. And that’s just a sampling of the rich experiences offered during Exploration Week, better known as Explo Week.

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  • Researchers and Soul Searchers

    Head of School, Rabbi Marc Baker
    Around the corner from Gann (or just through the woods, if you take a short-cut) is the site of The Fernald School. Before it was closed just a few years ago, Fernald was a center for adults with developmental disabilities. However, earlier in its history, Fernald was called a “School for the Feebleminded,” and its namesake, Walter E. Fernald, was an advocate of eugenics. Recently, the City of Waltham acquired the property and is in the process of determining what to do with it. This past summer members of our faculty were introduced to the archivist who has been charged by Waltham to consider how best to preserve the memory of the place and its history. This is where the project begins.

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List of 3 items.

  • Students visit Alabama lynching site to offer Jewish prayers at memorial

    May 24, 2017 - Published by Alabama Living.
    For years, students from a Jewish high school in Massachusetts have been making annual pilgrimages to Alabama to learn about the civil rights movement.

    A group of 25 high school students from Gann Academy of Waltham, Mass., is in Birmingham today. They are touring the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Kelly Ingram Park.  

    Read more
  • Broadway’s Hamilton Meets Harvard Business School in Gann History Class Broadway’s Hamilton Meets Harvard Business School in Gann History Class

    Broadway’s Hamilton Meets Harvard Business School in Gann History Class

    February 28, 2017
    What happens when a Gann student obsessed with a certain Broadway musical shares her passion with her AP American history teacher who has recently learned an innovative teaching technique from a top business school?

    The class re-enacts a famous debate between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, using a case study method made famous by Harvard Business School. And it’s one of the most exciting, enlightening classes many students have ever experienced.
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  • Broadway’s Hamilton Meets Harvard Business School in Gann History Class

    Seniors Take Charge of Own Learning During Ma’avar

    May 5, 2017
    One senior is building a “happiness app” that leverages the most current psychological research. Another is teaching at a school in Tel Aviv. A couple of boys are driving through the U.S. heartland, interviewing people about the state of the country, then creating a podcast from their research. Students are interning at hospitals, a Tufts medical lab, a state senator’s office, and in the photography department of a local newspaper.
    Read More
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