At the Walworth Barbour American International School, all of our programs, whether academic or extracurricular, are high quality endeavors. At no school will you find a more dedicated faculty or student body who go above and beyond to create the ultimate student experience. In that same spirit there are a few programs that are at the heart of WBAIS. These Hallmark Programs require tremendous commitment and resources from students, faculty, staff, and use both the school and the world at large to facilitate both learning and memories that last a lifetime.
Global Awareness Investigation and Action
Global Awareness Investigation and Action (GAIA) is an environmental research project involving elementary, middle, and high school students as scientific researchers and policy developers. Each school enrolled in the GAIA project focuses on solving a specific problem in its community through scientific research and sustainable program implementation.
GAIA students perform their investigations as if they were professional scientists. They identify an issue in their community, investigate it through scientific methods, share data with each other, and propose and jointly advocate solutions based on their research.
GAIA projects provide multiple avenues of opportunity for students to learn through our unique partnerships with universities, environmental agencies, technology and engineering companies. Research projects prepare students for future studies in scientific fields and careers in high-tech or other environmental science related businesses.
Elementary School and Middle School students participate each spring in the Science Fair. The Science Fair is judged by American and Israeli scientists. The science fair projects are reflective of the important WBAIS places on STEM education and are a culmination of work inside and outside of class.
Week Without Walls
The primary purpose of Week without Walls is to provide a unique learning opportunity otherwise not possible in the daily classroom. It is an opportunity to build friendships, develop team building and leadership skills, travel to some amazing Israeli cultural locations and participate in activity-based programs.
High School WWW and Middle School WWW are typically held in the fall to welcome new students to Israel and integrate new students into the community. The trips are staffed by WBAIS faculty who use the opportunity to get to know their students outside of a strictly academic setting.
Student come back with an appreciation of both the activities, each other, and their teachers.
High School students from all backgrounds travel to Poland to bear witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust and honor the memories of those who have perished and honor the survivors who still live on. The trip, which takes place every other year, is a week long, intensive, and unforgettable experience. Students and teachers spend many hours in preparation for this journey. When they return home, there are also follow-up sessions to process the experience.
Model United Nations
Secretaries General Lea Chocron (2013), Michael Matias (2014), Ty Geri (2015) and Mark Tsoir (2016) welcome US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to address the 2016 TIMEMUN conference.
While MUN is not unique to WBAIS, the scale and scope of student, faculty, and staff involvement makes it an integral part of the school's program. MUN students travel around the world to participate in MUN conferences.
Students experience the intensity and rewards of dealing with global politics, researching and debating issues, drafting policy papers, and interacting with peers from different cultures and countries. In addition to honing their academic and leadership skills, students learn about cultural differences, and to view issues emphatically from multiple viewpoints.
Every year, WBAIS hosts TIMEMUN which brings more than 500 students from MUN clubs in Israel and Europe to represent their "countries" and try to make the world a better place.
For more information about MUN and this year's TIMEMUN conference, please see the MUN website at timemun.net.
Hockey Marathon has been a WBAIS tradition since 1973 and is the most popular athletic event of the year in both the Middle and High Schools. To determine the winner between the blue and the red teams, high school students play over 30 hours of hockey. Hockey Marathon includes an opening ceremony of shows and performances, dozens of hockey games day and night, friendships made, fundraising for the Save a Child's Heart Foundation, and many memories for a lifetime.
Ethical Issues Related to Human Cloning, Mathematical Approaches to Interpreting the Divine, and Post Scarcity Economies are just three recent senior project topics that allow students to, for the first time in their academic career, to both research and complete a project which culminates in a length research paper, portfolio, and 30-minute presentation to their peers, spectators, and families. The student is also expected to take questions from a faculty panel on their project during the presentation.
Senior Project is a rigorous course to prepare students for college and even master's level research. Skills practiced in this course include the selection of a topic, proposal writing, the art of oral defense, research techniques, the writing process, conducting field research, time management, and interpersonal skills.
The Senior Project presentation is a culminating and unforgetable moment in a student's academic career at WBAIS.
Both the Middle School and High School feature robotics teams which complete in competitions against other schools to see who can build the best robot. This endeavor takes hours and hours of the students' and faculty members' time and skill. But in the end, it's up to the robot to perform, or is it?