EPIC – Senior Year Alternative
EPIC (Experiential, Project-based, Innovative Capstone) is a year-long course that offers BHS seniors a new way of taking charge of their learning by independently pursuing, in a supportive environment, topics they are passionate about. Co-teachers Stephanie McAllister and Ben Berman guide students through the process of reading and researching, engaging with experts in the field, designing, revising, executing and presenting their personal passion projects. This course serves as an alternative to the second semester of senior English and replaces the English Senior Paper.
There are three pathways for students in this course: in-depth academic research, project design and creation, and an experiential, internship path. A student might choreograph a hip-hop ballet, write a book, research fractals in nature, launch a business, or volunteer in the community. One student in EPIC’s first year built his own skis; one started and coached a rugby team; one learned about marketing and advertising; one volunteered at a nursing home; and one studied race relations at BHS. Each project reflected its creator’s unique interests and learning style.
The mindsets required for experiential learning can be difficult to master. Students must push themselves to move beyond their comfort zones, persevere through setbacks, reflect deeply, and hold themselves accountable.
In 2019, Stephanie McAllister and Ben Berman held a special Master Class for parents and community members to experience EPIC. Hear directly from them here and learn about this Innovation Fund 20th Anniversary special event here.
In 2020, with COVD-19 forcing Brookline High School and other schools in Massachusetts to close their buildings from March through June, EPIC students modeled resilience and creativity by completing their projects remotely. Although they were not able to participate in the annual Student Showcase, selected project videos may be viewed here.