Independent Learning at Durham Academy

Students who want to develop their own learning experiences can receive school support through two programs: they can conduct a semester-long, credit-bearing Independent Study, or they can pursue a physical or intellectual adventure with a Jack Linger Explorer Grant. The two programs can also be combined, since Linger Grants can be used to finance costs associated with an Independent Study.

Independent StudyJack Linger Explorer Grant
One semester (can be extended)Any length
During school yearSummer or school year
Academic creditN/A*
Approved by Upper School Academic CommitteeApproved by Linger Grant Selection Committee
Proposals due May 1 or Dec 1Proposals due mid-April
*A grant doesn’t carry academic credit but can be used to support a credit-earning Independent Study.

Scenes from the Independent Learning Assembly, April 1, 2022

Role of blogging

All students in Independent Learning Program keep blogs to reflect on their learning, collect resources, and share their experience with others. Peers, relatives, friends, and other supporters are invited to subscribe by email to get notified of new posts on a student’s blog. The comment icon on any post allows viewers to respond. Support these students journeys by posing questions, suggesting resources, or sharing an alternative perspective! (Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately, but the process doesn’t take long).

Recent & Current Independent Studies

Spring 2022Fall 2022
Humanure Toilet Design (Mirella Kades ‘22)Robotics Masterclass (Chris Morris ’23)
Gender Roles in Corporate Finance (Elizabeth Wong ‘23)Writing and performing comedy (Madison Smithwick ’23)
Japanese Language (Jet Tanaka ‘22)Business & computer science (Nikolas Larson ’23)
American Sign Language (Will Lindsey ‘24)Queer-coding in books and film (Tatum Eppinger ’23)
Conducting (Avery Davidson ‘22)Jazz Composition (Zebee Jewell-Alibhai ‘23)
Biomedical Engineering–Neta (Neta Ariely ‘24 & Ela Savas ’24)Machine Learning and Cloud Infrastructure (Emilano Garcia-Lopez ’23)
Influence of Music (Gavin Levinson ‘22)Filmmaking (Amani Diallo ’23)
Healthcare Discrimination (Rinal Dahhan ‘23)Learning Korean (Margaret Hulka ‘24)
Linear Alegebra (Taylor Winstead ‘24)Authoritarian Leaders (London Burnham ’23)
Language and Voice (Olivia Theodore ‘23)Information Security (Everett Wilber ‘24)
Early Pottery (Kathryn Linney ’23)
Linguistics (Lauren Lindberg ’23)
Asian Business Owners in Our Community (Kaia Chen ’23)
Norwegian Independence (Alex McClintock ’23)
Music Theory (Alden May ‘23)
Socioeconomic Barriers and Arts Inequality (Anji Sipkins-Chenn ‘23)
Data Management for Machine Learning (Charith Fernando ‘23)
Quantum Mathematics (Ella Simmons ‘23)
Entrepreneurship Through Social Media (Spencer Jennings ‘23)
Architecture (Santiago Hernandez-Cortes ‘23)
Foreign Influence in African Development (Collin Thornburg ’23)

Jack Linger Explorer Grants 2022-23

Filmmaking (Amani Diallo ‘23)

Solar Energy in Nigeria (CJ Nwafor ‘23)

Air Quality at DA Lower School (Miller Roessler ‘24)

Illustration of synapses

Alex Hogue ’21 Medical Illustration

For a deeper dive, see this recording of an Independent Learning Program exhibition: