New Co-curriculars Support Diverse Interests

This school year, the co-curricular program has broadened to include four new options for students: Robotics, Ceramics, Community Service, and Dance. Students interested in these areas can now dedicate time to them outside of the academic day.


Jiahua Chen ’20
Kelly Zuo ’20 designs parts for her robot with a design software.

In the Robotics program, Mr. Samuel Golini and Mr. Tovi Spero, instructors in physics, guide student work in the Engineering Fabrication Exploration (EFX) lab. The activity has two goals: the first, to collectively design a model for the Trinity College Fire Fighting Robot Contest at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, and the second, to create their own projects. Kush Banker ’21 said, “I want to use all of the facilities available at Hotchkiss, and I was interested in Robotics and engineering already. I liked how we all made a robot together for the competition, and there was also unstructured time for us to work on [our own ideas].”


Jiahua Chen ’20
Elexis Diaz ’20 adds detailing to her current project.

Appealing to students interested in the arts, the ceramics program takes advantage of the state-of-the-art facility in the newly renovated Cullman Art Wing. This co-curricular is designed for students who are interested in ceramics, but cannot take it as a course. Ms. Christine Owen, instructor in ceramics, helps students explore different techniques to make basic pottery. Angela Choi ’21 said: “I’ve always been interested in visual art, but because of my musical commitments, I couldn’t explore it. Ceramics is perfect, because it is not too much commitment, and I enjoy learning this new skill.”

Community Service

As a Round Square school, service is an important value at Hotchkiss; the community service program was created to better fulfill that value by allowing students to focus on volunteer work for a whole season. The group supports and contributes to the local region by working in after-school programs with immigrant children, spending time and sharing the stories of the elderly at Noble Horizons, volunteering at soup kitchens, and connecting with alumni who have received the community service award. Mr. Thompson, director of international programs, the course leader, said, “Now students have dedicated time if they are interested in service to get out and do it. It’s always been a challenge at Hotchkiss that people want to do service, but there wasn’t a time free to do it.”  


This season, the dance co-curricular is working on a spring show. Ms. Allesandra Rinaldo, instructor in dance, teaches ballet class on Mondays and Fridays, and on Wednesdays, Ms. Lynn Peterson, instructor in dance, teaches modern dance. In class, dancers practice basic skills, do short combination moves to warm up, combine them into a longer dance, and eventually produce a final piece. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, modern and ballet work together to review covered material, and formulate new projects.