January 26, 2023 — Roleplay as a pirate, earn your certificate as a Greek architect, or become an expert in herbal medicine! These are just a few of the many activities that were on display last week at the annual Greek Symposium, where Class II students transported Winsor audiences of parents, faculty, staff, and other students back to the lifestyles, fashions, ideas, surroundings, and customs of Ancient Greece. Gathering in the Wildcat Room, the Greek experts engaged multitudes of visitors on their chosen topics, which included Crime and Punishment, Medicine, Philosophy, Architecture, Olympics and other sporting events, Mythology and Religion, Fashion, and Greek Food and Drink.
At each station, there was an opportunity to engage in dialogue and education. In addition to viewing the informative posters, the product of many weeks of research and preparation, visitors could also find intricate architectural models, sculptures, diagrams, and many interactive games. Guests could try their hands at Jeopardy, view a puppet show, attempt Greek fashion by dressing up an American Girl Doll, or engage in a 1:1 philosophy debate to earn fun prizes, such as certificates, stickers, and keychains. There was something for everyone — those interested in ancient Greek sports could race a partner in a short sprint, while those fascinated with city planning could label a diagram of an ancient Greek city to earn a certificate.
Now an annual tradition at Winsor, the Greek Symposium began in 2009 under the direction of History Faculty Josh Constant as a way for students to practice their research and collaboration skills. Students prepare for the open-house style presentations beginning in mid-December with several weeks of research becoming experts on their chosen topics, utilizing resources from the library such as books, online databases, and websites. Students then formulate a research question and a thesis statement. Following the return from the Winter Break, students have about three weeks to design their displays and communicate their research in a creative and engaging way.
The Greek Symposium is the culminating project for Class II’s semester of work on Greece, and is “certainly always a highlight of their years in the Lower School '' said History Faculty Amy Lieberman, who organized this year’s event together with History Faculty Annie Huntoon. Up next, students will be moving on to the decline of Greece and the rise of the Roman empire which will consume their history studies for the remainder of the year.