Hillside campus 5400 Red Bank Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45227 513.271.9027 Doherty campus 2726 Johnstone Place Cincinnatio, Ohio 45206|
The Personal Challenge, a Seven Hills Upper School graduation requirement, is based on the belief that students learn best by doing. Guided by faculty advisors and parents, students design and carry out a project that stretches them, and encourages them to move beyond previous or perceived boundaries or limits.
Personal Challenge Guidelines
|1. Students should complete their own Challenges|
Students should initiate, design, and complete their own Challenges.
- Assembling a dollhouse from design plans and adding personally crafted decorative touches
- Conducting a sports clinic
- Starting a business
- Accessorizing an already assembled dollhouse
- Being a teacher's aide
- Working in an office
|2. Challenges should stretch students|
Challenges should stretch students, encouraging them to move beyond previous or perceived boundaries or limits.
- Constructing a harpsichord and learning to play it
- Performing in a recital after years of training and performance experience at the same level
|3. Challenges may not be dangerous|Acceptable
- Hiking in the Grand Canyon, with supervision
- Supervised extended biking trips
- Outward Bound or similar programs
- Hiking or biking alone, without supervision
- Skydiving, learning to fly
- Taking scuba lessons for the first time
- Extreme skiing
|4. Challenges should take a minimum of 30 hours to complete|
Challenges should take a minimum of 30 hours to complete; students start recording hours after their contracts are approved.
- Tallying a reasonable number of hours for design and execution of the project
- Recording "growing time" for a garden or extended "shopping time" for materials
|5. Students must defend their Challenge |
Students must defend their Challenge projects before a committee comprising their academic advisor, a second advisor of their choice, and a randomly assigned third advisor.
|6. Challenges should be shared|
Challenges should be shared with the community.
Most students share their projects with the community at one of two regularly scheduled Challenge Sharing Days during the school year; they may make a formal oral presentation or take a more informal approach. Some students share their projects with a class or classes.
Students generally bring objects they have made, photographs or other visual aids, and logs, journals and scrapbooks documenting the progress of their Challenge. Other students demonstrate a skill they have learned.
Personal Challenge Examples
|Some examples of personal challenges recently completed by Seven Hills graduates include, but are not limited to: |
- learning the basic positions and techniques of ballet and writing a paper about the history of dance
- writing a novella about the lives and relationships of three friends attending a Connecticut boarding school
- planning and undertaking an intensive conditioning regimen in order to qualify for the Stingray Diving Team
- training to become a certified Spinning instructor in order to teach teen Spin classes
- learning the difficult art of glass blowing through classes at the Cincinnati Art Academy
- designing four web sites
- researching and cultivating from seed a vegetable garden
- learning carpentry, then constructing a 10' x 6' deck with two staircases at the back of his house
- researching the history of the yo-yo, mastering 25 tournament tricks, and teaching a yo-yo workshop to underprivileged children
- studying Tae Kwon Do
- building a 6' x 9' wooden sailboat and sailing it on local lakes
- training for and completing a half-marathon
- building a concert-sized 36-string harp and learning how to play it
- writing a one-act play
- organizing a fund-raising concert of local bands to benefit the homeless
- creating a mosaic tabletop
- tutoring a Russian immigrant in English and U.S. culture
- working as a Summerbridge teacher
- learning the basic techniques of quilting, then constructing a quilt
- researching cartoon and comic drawing styles, then writing and illustrating a 20-page comic book
- taking gourmet cooking classes and preparing ten meals, including a formal luncheon for the Challenge committee
- learning calligraphy and making a book of original poems written in four different calligraphic alphabets
- coaching the Lotspeich third and fourth grade basketball team
- writing a libretto and score for a full-length rock opera
- leading a two-week soccer clinic for children in the Seven Hills summer program
- learning to tap dance and performing a five minute routine
- learning the art and sport of fly fishing, including casting, catching, and tying flies