Wonder makes people look up at the stars and build rocket ships. It turns a fallen apple into a cosmic lesson. It inspired Socrates, Plato and Einstein. And it inspires our students when they travel abroad. Ultimately it is that wonder–achieved through experiences–that fosters a deeper understanding of self and others through global and civic awareness.
Our mission encourages students to think, create, be yourself, aspire to excellence and go beyond through global travel, grade-level class trips, off-campus coursework, community service days and senior internships.
Successful completion of the Senior Internship Program is a requirement of graduation.
Starting in January, seniors are counseled through the process of finding and preparing for local business internships. They must intern for a total of 70 hours (less 10 hours for each AP class being taken), for the final three weeks of the school year. As a way to document their experience and newfound knowledge, seniors blog each week of their internship.
The process of preparing a resume, interviewing for a job and being punctual and responsible in the workplace is invaluable for students as they enter college and, eventually, the workforce.
With so many native Spanish speakers in Tampa, students immerse themselves in an Aprendizaje–an internship with a spanish-speaking business.
Spanish teacher Mary Beth Hill began her “Aprendizaje” project in 2010. With so many native Spanish speakers in Tampa, Mrs. Hill saw an opportunity for her students to immerse themselves in those cultural pockets within the community.
As the culminating project in her Language and Culture class, students must seek out and arrange a half day internship (about 4-5 hours, or longer if they choose) in a Spanish-speaking environment. Students have worked in law offices, restaurants, television stations, construction sites, bakeries and even refereed on soccer fields. The immersion experience forces students outside of their comfort zones and “school Spanish,” and often they realize that they understand and can communicate much more easily than they imagined. Even better, Mrs. Hill says, “This opportunity creates ties to and partnerships with our Spanish-speaking community as well. The hosts have always been welcoming and very supportive of the initiative!”
Upper School Chorus students travel to Nashville to record in famous Studio B.
During this trip, students gained valuable professional experiences and:
- Observed a rehearsal of Dr. Jeffrey Ames, choral director at Belmont University, with his college choir “Chorale,” attended a workshop with him, toured the Belmont campus and received feedback from Dr. Ames for their upcoming recording session.
- Went on a backstage tour to learn historical events for country music at the Grand Ole Opry then performed at the Grand Ole Opry in front of a large crowd.
- Performed in the Ryman Auditorium and toured the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The trip ended with an hour-long recording session in the famed Studio B where the students recorded five songs including our alma mater, which brought sniffles from our seniors. For the recording, Chorus teacher Mr. Hoy played on the same piano on which Elvis played long ago.
At the end of the day, everything we do is about people. It’s about children and the kinds of adults they become and how they will impact their families, their communities and the world. Cultural empathy is one of the best ways to grow. Tampa Prep offers several opportunities for students to travel abroad or host international students to assist in this growth.
Since 2011, Tampa Prep students have been given the opportunity to travel to Cuernavaca México with Sr. Carreño, a Tampa Prep Spanish teacher and native of Mexico. Students immerse themselves in the language, history and culture of Mexico, while living with a host family and attending local language school to improve their Spanish. After classes, students participate in several educational and recreational trips.
In keeping with our school mission to “go beyond…with a higher purpose than self,” this trip combined education, adventure, and service and met the travel requirement for the Global Studies Concentration. Students journeyed across Morocco’s unique and diverse landscape and learned about the people and culture of this beautiful country by volunteering at a village in the high Atlas Mountains, riding across the Sahara Desert on the back of a camel, and visiting the colorful markets of Marrakesh.
Rome and Athens are more than just cities, they are living artifacts to explore from every angle. Students saw Rome’s ancient treasures such as the Pantheon, the Forum, the Colosseum, the Vatican and then spent a day in Pompeii. In Greece, students visited Athens, the Acropolis, the sacred site of Delphi, the Temple of Apollo and the Delphi Museum, which features artifacts from 550 B.C. On a cruise ship, they saw three Greek Islands: Samos, Crete, and Santorini.
Snorkel with penguins and sea lions. Walk on beaches with marine iguanas. Straddle the equator. Enjoy the colorful habitat of the pink flamingo. And contemplate life while in the presence of a giant tortoise–the world’s longest living vertebrate. The Galápagos Islands are most famous for the profound discoveries of Charles Darwin. Carry on that scientific tradition as you learn about the unique species that call the islands home. On mainland Ecuador, experience the local culture in Quito and Otavalo. Independence Plaza, the Intinan Museum and one of the country’s biggest Andean markets provide social context to the biological wonders of this fascinating country.
Collaborating with the English department, Tampa Prep is putting it’s own spin on this already amazing European trip. Students will start their literary-themed tour with London’s Globe theater and Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon in England. We will continue to France where were will focus on French sites and literary greats such as Sartre, Victor Hugo, as well as Fairy tales. We will finish up in Spain, with Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo as well as Hemingway, Llorca, and Cervantes. When you travel south through Europe, every country, city and street offers something new.
GRADE LEVEL TRIPS
Sixth grade students spend three days touring local Florida sites, including a ropes course and a tour of the Kennedy Space Center.
Seventh grade students spend four days exploring and studying wildlife in the Florida Keys. For many students, this is the first time they have spent time away from their families, traveling with peers and trusted chaperones, so it is an opportunity for growth in many ways. The Keys trip is a culmination of the Science 7 curriculum. After studying plant and animal organisms, kingdoms, species and their habitats and characteristics, students interact with these animals in their native environments. Activities include learning about and swimming with dolphins at Dolphins Plus, kayaking through the mangroves at John Pennekamp State Park, visiting the Turtle Hospital on Marathon Key, snorkeling in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and taking an airboat ride through the Florida Everglades.
Eighth grade students spend four days touring New England, tracing the roots of the American Revolution by walking Boston’s historic Freedom Trail. Major stops include Bunker Hill, Old North Church and Paul Revere’s home. Students visit the towns of Lexington and Concord where the first battles were fought, and take time for reflection at Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau wrote his masterpiece, Walden. In the town of Salem, students visit the Salem Witch Museum, the Salem Witch Memorial and the spooky House of the Seven Gables. On the last day of the trip, they are transported to the year 1627 and live the life of a pilgrim at Plymouth Plantation.
The Junior Class trip to the picturesque mountains of Pisgah help develop skills not necessarily formed or tested in the classroom, moving juniors outside of their comfort zones to grow physically, mentally and emotionally. Students work together to cook meals, put up tents, follow trails, build campfires and rock climb. They begin the school year with new friends and a deeper bond from their shared experience. See what students have done in the past on this week-long journey of self discovery.
Hosting a student from another country in a cultural exchange is a wonderful experience. Being a host family creates memories and international friends for a lifetime. There is no model host family or host home. You can live in Tampa or outside of Tampa; in a house, apartment or condo; have one or two students at Tampa Prep; eat out or cook at home and have a busy or relaxed lifestyle. The only requirement is that you want to share your home and culture with another person. These hosting opportunities qualify for the Global Studies Concentration requirement, but are open to any interested Tampa Prep families.