Dive deep and stay a while.

What’s an Intensive?

During Intensives, students take one class all day, every day for three weeks. They happen twice a year — before our winter and summer breaks.

We’ve been teaching Intensives at Hawken for a decade now.  They’ll connect you with teachers and classmates across Hawken’s two high school campuses.

If you’re curious about art, chemistry, physics—or if you’ve ever wondered where forensic science and mystery literature meet—we have an Intensive for you.

The ‘Why’ Behind Intensives

Intensives are transformational. They allow you to concentrate on a single area of focus all day, each day, for three weeks. They spark deep and meaningful learning that’s hard — and sometimes impossible —  to inspire in the rhythm and timeframe of a typical class. And they get you out into the world, as these experiences often take place around Cleveland.

One Area of Focus. Zero Distractions.

The last three weeks of each semester are dedicated to Intensives for students at both the Mastery and the Upper Schools, giving you the opportunity to dive deep and connect with the whole Hawken high school. Since developing actual know-how on a topic takes time, your focus is reserved solely for this immersive learning experience.

We go where the learning takes us, be it a Federal courthouse, a construction site in Little Italy, or the Cleveland Museum of Art. Mastery School students can even take classes that include travel throughout Ohio or the country.

Transformative Experiences

Hear directly from Hawken students about their experiences with Intensives.

A Glimpse Into Intensives.

Here’s a sampling of Intensives that we’ve offered in the past:

Fair Play & War
Should Thanos have been tried before the International Criminal Court for war crimes? What about Darth Vader or Voldemort? We’ll find out! Through the analysis of current and historic conflicts, we will explore how the international community reacts to and attempts to regulate the worst of global or galactic behavior. We will focus on two key aspects of the Law of War: The right to war and the conduct of war. We’ll consider who can “authorize” armed conflict and how and when self-defense might be legally justified. In addition, once an armed conflict is underway, we’ll look at how that war is allowed to be fought. After we establish the “Fair Play Doctrine of War,” we’ll apply it to the characters of Marvel, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and others based upon student interest to make our case.
Physics & Medicine
From an EKG of the heart to an MRI of the brain, the concepts and laws of physics are key to the medical field. By exploring several applications of those concepts and laws, students learn about the ways in which physics is essential to diagnosing and treating disease in the human body.
Solid State Physics: Build a Computer
A computer is just a really fast decision maker. Learn about the underlying principles of physics that guide the behavior of these components and how they interact in an elegant dance of hardware and software to bring what we know as computing to life. Explore the inner workings as we build more and more complex devices, ending up with a rudimentary but fully functioning computer.
With a focus on Cleveland, we explore homelessness—the condition itself, its causes and complications, noteworthy individual and community responses. In addition to studying the scholarship, the class divides into service teams of two or three students and spends each afternoon at a service agency in or near downtown Cleveland working with clients and service providers.
Young Rebels – Youth Identity through Storytelling and Performance
We explore youth culture and adolescence through history, storytelling, and performance. The class examines themes of youth and identity through reading and performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with a Great Lakes actor-teacher in residence; unpacking the emergence of the modern “Teenager” in the 20th century with an emphasis on Rock ‘n’ Roll in Cleveland and youth activism in the local Civil Rights movement; and closing with contemporary developments in youth culture with a particular focus on music subcultures surrounding punk and Hip Hop.
Whodunnit? Forensic Science: Crime Literature & Crime Scene Investigation 101
Piecing together the details of a crime scene is essentially piecing together a narrative. This course will focus on the many stages of investigating evidence to unfold the tale of the crime that took place. Using analytical and deductive reasoning skills, combined with the practical skills of forensic techniques, students will master the preservation of justice through scientific applications.
The Creative Process
What is creativity? What is the intersection between identity and creativity? How do we dismantle traditional and fixed perceptions of creativity? This project-based Intensive teaches students that creativity is a process that can be learned — and that it extends far beyond the traditional spheres of the visual and performing arts. This course helps students to generate, name, and perfect their own creative process while dispelling the myths of talent and predestination.
Music in The City
In this class, we develop and articulate a personal philosophy about the purpose and value of music in Cleveland, Ohio. We explore everything from how people use and respond to music in our city, to how social and political events of history influence and define the Cleveland music scene. Students attend several live musical performances, meet with musicians and artists, and visit performing arts venues throughout the city.
Graffiti + Murals
Graffiti has been found in Ancient Roman ruins, in the remains of the Mayan city of Tikal in Central America, on rocks in Spain dating to the 16th century and in medieval English churches. We will explore the history of this art form, the artists who have made it fashionable and profitable locally, nationally, and internationally. This hands-on class will explore spray paint tagging, multiple stencil markings, silk screen phrases and images to morph graffiti into street art with social commentary.

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