Beyond the Classroom


K-Term is a week-long experiential project-based period at the end of spring trimester. Students and faculty leave the classroom behind and venture out, both near and far, to put into practice the fundamental skills that they have been developing all year. The faculty has designed projects that are collaborative, require critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and that ask students to communicate their new understanding.
All Off-Campus Projects travel to locations further afield here in the US or overseas. Some of these projects return to campus by the end of K-Term. Longer trips may extend into a vacation by some amount of time. Scheduled return dates are listed in the descriptions.

All project trip fees include the price of transportation, accommodations, food, and activities. Students may want some ‘walking around money’ for personal items or souvenirs. We have worked to create reasonable budgets for these experiences; however, all prices are subject to change based on the number of students and final booking prices. Some financial aid funds may be available. Some of these projects count for the Global Scholars Program. The GSP points are listed with each trip.

Past On-Campus Projects

List of 10 items.

  • The Ninth Grade Experience

    Strong Fences, Good Neighbors: People, Place, and Passion
    Project Leaders:  Mr. Beaupre, Mr. Dewdney, Mr. Harris, Mr. Hudak, Ms. Jabareen, Ms. Lord, Mr. Lord, Ms. McKim, Mr. Underhill, Dr. Webb
    The freshman class will discover the creative spirit and unique energies that set our place apart from all others. Students will explore four expressions of the local area (agriculture, local history, environment, recreation) that capture the innovative and collaborative qualities that make our place on the map meaningful, inspirational and, ultimately, a source of aspirational lifelong pursuits and passions.  Students will work in small groups, getting off campus frequently, to explore and discover not only the Upper Valley, but also about their own talents.  The project will culminate in the creation of an outdoor classroom space based on their sense of this place.
  • Gravesites, Witches, and Shakers: Digging up the Roots of New England

    Mossy granite and dark hills hide the roots of our past.
    Project Leaders: Ms.Kelly & Mr. Kluge
    This K-Term seeks to exhume the practices that constituted early New England. Visiting gravesites far and near -- including a day trip to Salem, site of the seventeenth-century witch trials -- students will seek an understanding of the past and insights into the present. Investigating both popular and remote historical graveyards in New England, students will develop and ask deep questions about life and death, gathering evidence and interpreting it in written and oral formats.
  • Coaching 101

    Do you have a favorite coach? What makes for a great practice? Is talent overrated?
    Project Leaders: Ms. Almstrom & Mr. Doherty
    This project will look at the fundamental skills of becoming a coach. Students will learn how to develop practice plans, overcome obstacles, and think about ethical situations that arise. Students will also gain insight into leadership qualities for proper game management, working with assistant coaches, and collaborating with team captains. Throughout the week, this group will observe practices, games, and team workouts. Students will hear firsthand from local college and club coaches about their struggles and triumphs. At the conclusion of the week, each project member will present a portfolio of practice plans and discuss an ethical dilemma related to competition.
  • Yoga K-Term

    Yoga K-Term will be a week’s exploration into various forms of mindfulness
    Project Leaders: Ms. McCabe & Ms. Peterson
    Rooted in the physical practice of asana, students will experiment with various forms of yoga, including Ashtanga, Bikram, yin, and partner yoga. We will learn about yogic philosophies as well as take time to enjoy being present and alive in the beautiful Upper Valley. During the week, we will both visit various local studios and bring expert teachers to campus. Journaling and self reflection will be an integral part of the process. The K-Term will culminate in the creation of a shared practice led by the students.
  • Introduction to Fly Fishing

    Come spend a week enjoying one of the finest pastimes in New England
    Project Leaders: Mr. McMahon & Mr. Olson
    Fly-fishing is a hobby to many, but an art form to many others. This K-Term project will focus on the mechanics of fly-fishing  and the finer points of flies, locations, and luck. To remove the ‘Luck’ component, some time will be spent looking into fish populations and insect hatching in lakes and rivers around the Connecticut River watershed. A local fishing guide will serve as our host  during the week. Each student will build on their fly casting skills both on land and water during the week. On the last day of the term, each participant will show their stuff in a local skills competition.
  • Dough in Doe

    Baking Bread--Acquiring a Life Skill, Serving the Community, Creating Good Nutrition
    Project Leaders: Ms. Howe & Dr. Winslow

    Have you ever tasted a real French baguette?  Do you know the aroma that fills a home when fresh bread comes out of the oven? For each of us, bread and its memories can fill very special places.  You can be the creator of those memories!

    By attending two classes at nearby King Arthur Flour Bakery and School, the group will learn the basics of baking breads of various styles for the enjoyment of the larger KUA community and to donate to local soup kitchens.  Students will acquire the skills necessary to work independently back on the KUA campus, and to create their own bread recipe as a culmination to the program. This will be a fun-filled and educational week where students will not only get to taste lots of delicious bread, but will gain insight into the traditions of bread baking around the world, what chemical processes need to happen to make bread rise, and how good ingredients matter to the outcome of the final product.
    Cost: $150 (for coursework at King Arthur Flour Bakery and School)

  • Anything is Pawsible: KUA K-Term Canine Training

    Learn dog training and see how dogs help us every day
    Project Leaders: Ms. Burroughs & Ms. Halliday

    Do you love dogs? Are you curious about how to train a dog? See and learn from the experts at work including experienced Susquehanna Service dogs, partners of local K-Nine units, and the Monks of New Skete. Your mission in this K-Term Project is to work in collaboration with a partner to develop and implement a training program for your assigned canine friend.

    Participants must be willing to work hands on with dogs.
  • Pump YOU Up!

    The art and science behind a comprehensive training regimen designed to meet the specified goals of an individual
    Project Leaders: Mr. Cloutman, Mr. Hyjek, & Mr. Nichols
    This group will be examining the art and science behind planning and implementing a comprehensive training regimen designed to meet the specified goals of an individual. Participants will experience hands-on learning about nutrition, endurance, and strength training. We will prepare our own meals, and design our own programs while learning from professionals in the field.  Participants will complete pre-program testing, set program goals, and design a fitness plan to meet those goals that may be implemented beyond the K-Term experience.

  • Fundamentals of Grilling and BBQ®

    “One of the the secrets of great bar-b-que is staying committed to tradition, but finding your own stamp and signature.” --John Stage
    Project Leaders: Mr. Bourne, Mr. Diamond, & Mr. Rogers
    As legendary BBQ pitmaster John Stage of Dinosaur BBQ describes, “one of the the secrets of great bar-b-que is staying committed to tradition, but finding your own stamp and signature.” Participants will immerse themselves in the life of a BBQ chef.  From flaming hot gas grills to savory charcoal kettles, our student cooks will learn and practice traditional and creative techniques in the preparation of a flavorful and diversified menu.  While the majority of our cooking will be on campus, the chefs-in-training will have the opportunity to visit local smokehouses and BBQ joints before our culminating culinary showcase, served to the community. Our experience will entertain all palates, from carnivores to vegetarian, smoked, seasoned, and sauced--if you want to cook with fire, this K-Term is for you.
  • Service...Beyond the Lens of Self

    Get involved!  
    Project Leaders: Ms. Hudak & Mr. Porrazzo
    Get involved!  Most of us in the KUA community are fortunate enough to have our educational, housing, clothing, food, and health care needs met on both a daily basis and from year to year.  For better or worse, we are mostly insulated from the challenges many in our society, even those living locally, regularly face.  During our week together, students will have the opportunity to meet and work with a number of nonprofit organizations in the Upper Valley and learn about the underlying social and economic factors creating the demand for these social services.  Through daily service, education, and reflection, students will realize how they can use their skills and energy to make a positive impact in the lives of those most vulnerable in our society.

Past Off-Campus Projects

List of 5 items.

  • The Tenth Grade Excursion

    The Hilltop Goes to Capitol Hill!
    Project Leaders: Ms. Barcomb, Ms. Blue, Ms. Clisura, Mr. Custer, Ms. Haskell, Mr. Hastings, Mr. Hunnewell, Mr. Scrivani, Ms. Springhorn, Mr. Tagge, Mr. Weintraub & Ms. Whittemore
    The KUA sophomore class will travel to Washington D.C. for K-Term 2017. While there the students will break into small groups and explore some of DC’s treasures, completing one of two projects. All students, regardless of project choice, will visit a variety of the city’s museums and memorials.  In the evenings, there will be an opportunity to sample some of the great dining available in DC, as well as explore neighborhoods such as Georgetown and Adams-Morgan.
    The Memorial Project:
    Have you ever thought about why we memorialize war? Or what it would be like to conceive and design an epic memorial?  During the sophomore trip to DC you will experience war memorials from a variety of perspectives, as you visit the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the National World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. You will grapple with questions relating to war and the lasting impressions it makes on the global community.  Ultimately, you, along with three other students, will design your own memorial to recognize the major military conflict occurring during your lifetime.
    The Museum Project:
    What does it mean to be an American, and how does this identity change over time? How might historians in the future interpret an exhibit that illustrates current American values and identity? During the sophomore trip to D.C., you will experience several museums, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Newseum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Some of the museums will follow a narrative, some will be interactive, and some will be traditional. Ultimately, you, along with three other students, will curate your own museum exhibition to portray your collective vision of contemporary American culture.
  • Farm-to-Table Quebec

    Escape the farmlands of Meriden and transport yourself to Quebec!
    Project Leaders: Mr. Fauver & Ms. Perales

    Escape the farmlands of Meriden and transport yourself to Quebec, where culture, food, and the environment are intrinsically intertwined. Taste the eclectic mélange of eateries of Montreal. Latch on to innovative food trends and learn first hand how to research, plan, prepare, and cook a three-course meal with locally sourced foods. Students will embrace a fusion of bistro culture, cafe life and fine dining. Collaborate in the kitchen with classmates, immerse yourself into the direction of world-renowned chefs and ponder what “the good life” means when it comes to sustenance.

    Speaking French is not a requirement for participation in this K-Term trip.

    Trip Cost: $800-1000

    Trip Return Date: By the end of K-Term Week

    Isn’t it time you earned a SCUBA certification and started discovering more of the world?
    Project Leaders: Dr. Kopp, Mr. Roemer, & Ms. Smith
    Earth is a water planet.  Seas cover over 70% of Earth’s surface, and the oceans represent 99% of the planet’s living space. Isn’t it time you earned a SCUBA certification and started discovering more of that world? 
    Ocean exploration was made a whole lot easier by the invention of SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) in 1942 during the German occupation of France. Thanks to ocean explorer and documentarian Jacques-Yves Cousteau and engineer Émile Gagnan, there are today over six million active SCUBA divers worldwide, with about half of them in the US.  
    Join the ranks of the initiated by participating in a K-Term that will take you through the training required to obtain an open water SCUBA certification. This will be a regional K-Term, taking advantage of the wealth of resources available right here along the New Hampshire seacoast. In addition to training for a PADI open water certification, we will visit marine research labs, an aquarium, and ocean-research and engineering facilities. 
    This K-Term is lead by Dr. Kopp, Mr. Roemer, and Ms. Smith – each bringing a wealth of experience and resources to the project. For most of his professional career prior to teaching at KUA, Dr. Kopp was a marine scientist and AAUS research diver. Mr. Roemer has professional relationships with the ocean engineering and technology centers at UNH and has opened those doors to our project. Ms. Smith has been a certified diver since the age of 10, and has dived on some of the most exotic and colorful coral reefs of the Atlantic. Join us and start discovering the underwater world of our water planet.
    Cost: $900-$1200

    Return date: By the end of K-Term Week
  • Wildcats in the Wild

    “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown. For going out I really found was going in.” -John Muir
    Project Leaders: Ms. Mellow & Mr. Van Dolah
    Go out, or is it “go in,” with us on a four-day, three-night backpacking trip on the world famous Appalachian Trail that will surely change the way you see nature, see others and see yourself! You will learn how to survive in the wilderness; cook and eat outdoors and poop in the woods. We will explore land conservation in the United States, leadership skills, and outdoor skills.  This may be a rare experience where you are not reliant on your cell phone and technology to move through your day; instead, you will work with your classmates to accomplish goals of peaking mountains, setting up camp and cooking over open fire.  The trip will culminate with a Solo of self-reflection and self-reliance.
    Cost: Low or no cost

    Return date: By the end of K-Term Week

  • Exploring Wildlife Conservation in Costa Rica

    A coastal journey to the most important biological corridor in North America
    Leaders: Ms. Al-Darraji & Mr. Russman
    KUA students will have the opportunity this K-Term to visit and explore the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica, considered by none other than National Geographic to be “one of the world’s most biologically intense places on earth”.  During this 10-day journey, the group will fly, bus, boat, kayak and hike into one of Central America’s most remote and one of the world’s most well-known wildlife protection areas, Corcovado National Park, located along the peninsula’s western shore.  The region’s natural beauty is only paralleled by its equally unique and diverse cultural history. In an area slightly larger than New York City, gold miners, ranchers, farmers, naturalists, scientists, adrenaline seekers, real estate developers, sport fishermen, and vacation goers all live side by side in an ever evolving arrangement of cultural norms, land use, and development priorities. KUA students will journey through some of the peninsula’s most remarkable coastal and inland rainforest. They will experience first-hand the region’s world renowned wildlife and spend time with many of the people whose livelihood depends on its protection and perpetuity. Ultimately, they will be able to define WHY it is important to protect critical areas such as the Osa Peninsula and explain HOW local people make this endeavor possible.

    Spanish language ability is NOT required.

    Cost: $2500-$3000 (This price does not include the cost of passports, visas, and return transportation home from Boston Logan Airport.)

    Return Date: June 6, 2016 (after the end of the offical school calendar)

    Global Scholars: 10 days credit


Kimball Union Academy

603-469-2000  · 603-469-2040 (fax)  ·
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the country's oldest private boarding high schools. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse and global group of day and boarding students. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire, in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.