Eagle Rock Students Soar at South x Southwest EDU: A Journey of Experiential Learning
Education is not confined to textbooks and classrooms alone. It is an experience that allows students to explore and grow in diverse ways. Experiential learning is at the heart of Eagle Rock’s curriculum, and last year, our approach caught the attention of the South x Southwest EDU (SXSW EDU) festival, where the documentary, "All Who Dare," received recognition. The film showcases the incredible journeys of Eagle Rock students on their inaugural 24-day wilderness backpacking hike.
SXSW EDU is an annual event that brings together educators, thought leaders and innovators to explore new possibilities in education. This platform allowed Eagle Rock School to share the success stories of our students and educational framework with a broader audience who are passionate about transforming education. In attendance at the film festival were two of our Student Ambassadors from Eagle Rock: Ben Kin and Taileigh Hull. Taileigh and Ben participated in a panel discussion at the festival, fielding questions from audience members about the experience and Eagle Rock’s approach to education.
"All Who Dare," directed by acclaimed filmmaker Kiera Faye of Faye and Voelker Films, offers an intimate portrayal of our mission and impact. It takes viewers on a captivating journey, showcasing how students are empowered to overcome challenges, discover their passions, and build meaningful connections beyond the classroom.
The hour-long film documents nine Eagle Rock students’ journeys and demonstrates how pivotal the wilderness trek is for these students who have chosen Eagle Rock as their path to high school graduation and a better future. The film beautifully captures their physical and emotional challenges, highlighting that completing the trip is just the beginning of their remarkable journey of personal growth and transformation.
At Eagle Rock School, the wilderness expedition is a prerequisite for all students before they begin coursework. This immersive experience in the Lost Creek Wilderness of Colorado serves as a catalyst for personal and academic growth. It challenges students to step outside their comfort zones, leaving behind familiar surroundings and support networks, and embark on a journey that pushes their limits.
The documentary explores how Eagle Rock students' transformation is facilitated by our experienced wilderness educators who serve as mentors and guides. These dedicated professionals offer support, encouragement, and lessons in resilience, teamwork, and self-reflection. By providing a nurturing environment and instilling a sense of trust and accountability, they help the students navigate their personal challenges and grow into empowered individuals.
Eagle Rock School's journey from the picturesque mountains of Colorado to the vibrant atmosphere of SXSW EDU exemplifies the power of and interest in experiential learning. Our Student Ambassadors, Taileigh and Ben, gracefully represented our school while sharing about their own Eagle Rock journeys. Let us all embrace the lessons students learn from the wilderness backpacking trip and work towards a future where education is not confined to the four walls of a classroom, but an immersive experience for all.