Summits are two-week multifaceted explorations in which students and faculty engage in deep studies that are rooted in our school's values, history, and mission. Intentionally cross-graded and cross-curricular, Summits are designed to offer new avenues for more in-depth, creative, and meaningful learning experiences.

For a full course catalog, click here.

Our Programs Summits 5

The Duwamish: The Lifeblood of Seattle

In this in-depth study of Washington’s Duwamish River and the Duwamish people, students observe, experience, and take action while exploring a river instrumental to the indigenous peoples of the Seattle area. Students learn how to take water samples to measure pollution of the river as they traverse from the headwaters in the Cascade foothills to the mouth in South Seattle. The Summit encourages students to observe and respond to the Duwamish waterway through multiple lenses as activists, scientists, artists, and humans, and to ask the question, what is the meaning of this river for everyone who interacts with its water?

Our Programs Summits 1

Food Justice: Unearthing Connections between Land Use History, Race, Class, and Environmental Science

Through the lens of food justice, students examine and come to understand the connections between race, class, land use history, soil contamination, food systems, environmental justice, and social justice. Students learn about local food-oriented organizations in Seattle and conduct neighborhood case studies, gathering and analyzing data to see if people in Seattle have equal access to food as a resource of personal and community health.

The teachers would introduce topics in Food Justice, and we had the time to explore what we found interesting more deeply. I really liked having the entire day to focus on what was most intriguing to me.

Nicole Z. '20

Member of Food Justice Summit

Our Programs Summits 2

The Internet of Things

In addition to basic coding, students learn how to use the Circuit Playground and Adafruit Feather to make sensors, data feeds, and interactive machines to gather information from all around us. This Summit examines the interconnected world we live in and how data can make life easier through self-driving cars or automated repetitive tasks. It also tackles ethics and the code of conduct that comes with data collection. The course culminates with a challenge to design solutions to real problems as defined by the United Nations Sustainability Goals.

Our Programs Summits 3


Inspired by the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura (a Paraguayan group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage) the LandFillharmonic tasks students with designing, building, and performing on unique instruments created from discarded materials. Students study the physics of music and learn how instruments work, under the backdrop of environmental sustainability, equity in music education, and self-expression through performing art.

It was nice having the entire day to focus on building our instruments. As I started practicing, I realized I had so much to change, and having the entire day to focus made it possible to finish the design.

Macenna H. '19

Member of the LandFillharmonic

Our Programs Summits 4

The Nuclear Age

This Summit is a fusion class in which students learn about the science behind nuclear reactions, both for energy and weapons, and explore the history of the atomic age. Students track the timeline of nuclear power, from the Manhattan Project to the Cold War and modern nuclear weapons proliferation. Students experience a first-hand view of nuclear power, traveling to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and visiting the Site B Reactor, the first large-scale nuclear reactor ever built.