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Berwick Innovation Center

Innovation Pursuit Program

An Innovation Pursuit® is a completely student-driven and student-directed endeavor. The subject choice is dependent upon each individual student’s passion.
Student inquiry is personalized, and the outcome is deeper learning and a greater appreciation of the topic. Students who complete an Innovation Pursuit do so in addition to their academic commitments, and the focus of their Innovation Pursuit falls outside of what is offered through the Berwick curriculum.

Innovation Pursuits directly foster and instill the skills required in 21st century education. Students conduct original research and critically think about new ways to problem solve. Each Innovation Pursuit includes creative elements of originality. Students collaborate and make connections with other experts in their fields, and Innovation students strengthen communication skills and share their projects outside of the Berwick community. It all begins with student choice!
  • An Innovation Pursuit is not an independent study.
  • Mentor collaboration is a crucial element of every Innovation Pursuit.
  • Innovation Coordinators will assist in the mentor-pairing process.

Faculty Resources

The Jackson Library has a database of community members and their professional interests in supporting innovative projects. Occasionally, a student may have an interest beyond the scope of current faculty. In that case, the coordinators will try to solicit mentors from the greater community, which may include local universities, industries, or professional groups.

Innovation Celebration

The annual Berwick Innovation Celebration takes place in the spring and is a time for the community to come together to celebrate and showcase our students’ creative and original Innovation Pursuits. The celebration begins with a keynote address from both a guest and student speaker. Recent guest keynote speakers have included Dr. Yet Ming Chiang of MIT and Dr. Saeed Arida of NuVu Studio.

The main purpose of the celebration is for our students to present their Innovation Pursuits to a group of panelists who come from the Berwick community, local schools, businesses, and organizations. Our panelists play a critical role in the evaluation process of all Innovation Pursuits by providing useful feedback that is shared with the student and mentor.

Recent Keynote Speakers

Recent Panelists Have Come From:

Moira McKinnon, Director of College Counseling

Innovation Pursuits allow students to develop the skills and demonstrate the personal characteristics that colleges value highly. IPs have allowed our students to distinguish themselves from thousands of other qualified college applicants.


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Berwick Academy

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 550 students, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 and Post-Graduates. Berwick students are from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and several countries. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.