• Berwick

Innovation Pursuits BEYOND BERWICK

The Innovation Pursuit Program BEYOND BERWICK offers non-Berwick students who are motivated to pursue a passion or interest outside of their academic offerings an opportunity to take advantage of this nationally recognized program from afar. The program is open to non-Berwick students and can be completed anywhere. 

An Innovation Pursuit (IP) is a completely student-driven and student-directed endeavor that is completed with assistance from an experienced mentor. 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 participate in an IP do so outside of the academic day, the pursuit is an additional endeavor above and beyond their normal class schedule and athletic commitments.

Students who complete an IP have had incredible success in the college application process. In the last two years, we have seen students accepted to a variety of prestigious colleges and universities, with their IP as a major contributor to their acceptance to those schools:
  • Baking the Perfect Cupcake - Culinary Institute of America
  • Dance Photography - Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • Gregorian Chants - Swarthmore College
  • Nuclear Fusion Reactor - WPI
  • 3D Printer Design - MIT
  • Education and Social Justice - Tulane University; Community Service Fellowship Recipient
  • Game Design - Stanford University
Under the parameters of the program, our Innovation Director and College Counseling Director will assist the student with the following:

Innovation Pursuit Parameters

- Ideating aka brainstorming with the student to formulate their pursuit, feedback, and advice.
- Completing the IP application.
- Connecting the student with a their IP mentor 
- Making connections with industry experts.
- Follow student through their pursuit to ensure benchmarks are being met and the student is staying on track
- Preparing for the presentation in May.

College Counseling Parameters

Innovation Pursuits provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the exact qualities colleges seek in successful applicants:  creativity, independent critical thinking, intellectual risk-taking, and an interdisciplinary perspective.  We know from the experiences of our recent alumni that IPs can dramatically improve their chances for admission at selective colleges.  Our experienced College Counselor will work with each student to craft a personal statement detailing their Innovation Pursuit and the lessons and skills gained through the process for submission to their colleges of interest. 

Established in 2009, the Berwick Innovation Program is a nationally recognized and awarded program offered within the framework of a Berwick education. Since its inception, over 150 students have completed an Innovation Pursuit (IP), covering topics ranging from video game design to building a 3D printer to the study of aquaponics.

I can tell you from experience that having an Innovation Pursuit (IP) on their college applications has made a significant difference for some of our students.  They gain valuable skills, have great stories to tell in interviews, and are able to make better use of research opportunities in college.  Completing an IP has tipped the scales for some of our kids, getting them admitted to colleges where they might otherwise not be.” - Moira McKinnon, Director of College Counseling

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Past Innovation Pursuits

List of 4 items.

Contact Us!

List of 2 members.

  • Darcy Coffta 

    Director of Innovation & Upper School Librarian Gr 10-12
    207-384-2164 x2702
  • Moira McKinnon 

    Director of College Counseling, GSA Advisor
    207-384-2164 Ext 2512

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. 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.  Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.