Be a part of our success
EXPLO is always on the hunt for new people and projects that will light up young minds. These industry partners and collaborators help create unique experiences for EXPLO students in varied ways. Some host tours of their facilities, others visit campus to teach and mentor, and some design entire hands-on projects for students based in their industry.
See what they did, and what the possibilities are for you. If you are interested in collaborating with us, please get in touch.
I think this kind of course really represents the future of education. It’s at the intersection of academia and industry. I want students to understand the real-world challenges of acting on their dreams, their visions, and their creativity.
EXPLO and IKEA New Haven teamed up to create a project for students in EXPLO’s 360° Pre-College Interior Design workshop. For IKEA’s “Back to Campus” launch, student teams were given a design brief to create a dorm room, complete with wall colors, furniture, bedding, and accessories. They maintained a budget, met with IKEA designers, and toured the store so they could interact with and select products for their designs.
Students then started assembling their creations. Teams met with IKEA designers for feedback and coaching on their ideas. At the end of the program, students pitched their designs to IKEA designers and leadership—the top designs were built in the IKEA atrium outside the showroom.
Students in EXPLO’s Pre-College 360° Architecture workshop participated in a land-planning and architecture challenge designed exclusively for EXPLO by Tony Green, builder, developer and partner of the award-winning The Pinehills community in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Students visited The Pinehills and walked the land with Green in order to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of design, building, and development that challenge professionals in their daily work. They also received their assignment: how to develop a 1.9 acre plot of land on the site.
Over the next two weeks, students took on the challenge using illustration and 3D modeling to synthesize their plans, revising along the way based on critiques from their classmates. Finally, they presented their designs to Green and his colleagues, who provided feedback and kudos on the creativity and innovation on display.
Students in EXPLO’s Pre-College 360° Marketing workshop took on a project with PEZ, makers of the iconic candy and dispensers. They were tasked with brainstorming new flavors for the candy and coming up with a marketing campaign tailored to key demographics identified by the company.
Students visited the PEZ Candy North American Headquarters in Orange, Connecticut, and got a behind-the-scenes look at candy-making and product development before meeting with the PEZ marketing team.
After refining their campaigns, students pitched ideas to a panel of PEZ employees. The project developed skills essential to successful marketing, including consumer research, branding, creative concepting, and public speaking.
Students enrolled in the Medicine: Clinical Skills workshop visited the brand new, state-of-the-art simulation lab at Iona University’s Bronxville campus. There, a team of medical professionals led them through a variety of hands-on stations: interactive mannequins with realistic heart and lung sounds, Narcan and CPR administration training, a Stop The Bleed exercise, and using virtual reality to interact with patients. Students also got to experiment with the school’s Anatomage table—an interactive 3D virtual dissection platform, allowing students to explore the anatomy and body systems of real human cadavers.
Students enrolled in the International Law + Diplomacy workshop in the Intermediate Program visited the UN Headquarters in Manhattan, where they took a tour and participated in a briefing with representatives from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. They were able to take these lessons back to the classroom for their simulations in the final week of the workshop.
Students in the Foreign Affairs Focus Program met with members of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, including Gideon Rose, former editor of Foreign Affairs (and an EXPLO alum), Dr. Shannon O’Neill, senior fellow for Latin American studies, and Dr. Michael Levi, senior fellow for energy and the environment.
Intro to Programming students at the Junior Program explore the structure of the Swift programming language with Root robots. In 2023, members of Weston High School’s award-winning robotics team came to visit the workshop. They demonstrated their robot, shared strategies and takeaways from their competitive experience, and provided feedback on EXPLO students’ final robotics presentations.
In the Feeding the Future: Sustainable Food Practices workshop, Junior Program students explored how farming, science, and cooking will affect how we eat in a changing world. Students took a trip to Land’s Sake Farm, a non-profit community farm dedicated to “building meaningful connections between people, the food they eat, and the land.”
During the trip, students toured the farm, learned about its growing practices, visited with animals, and stopped by the farm stand to purchase produce to bring back to the EXPLO kitchen. There, they put on their chef’s aprons, making seasonal recipes using local produce from the farm and practicing sustainable cooking techniques.
Students in the Business of Entertainment workshop spent a day with visual effects artists at Zero VFX, a leading post-production studio. While there, they met with VFX partner and EXPLO advisor Charlie Harrington. A longtime film location scout, Harrington has worked on films including Good Will Hunting, Black Mass, and The Last Samurai.
Harrington sat down with the students for a Q+A session about the film and television industry, the perks and perils of location scouting, and preparing for the future of the business.
Justice Richard Gabriel
Colorado Supreme Court Justice Richard Gabriel has been a visiting scholar at EXPLO since 2018. He has taught and mentored Pre-College students in the 360° and Career Concentration programs through an appellate moot court. Not only does he preside over the EXPLO courtroom, he spends the week leading students through exercises in oral argument, case analysis, and written case briefs. Throughout his experience with students, Justice Gabriel can just as frequently be found sharing his love for jazz trumpet as he can honing student-written arguments.
Westchester Legal Aid + Rachel J. Filasto
Rachel J. Filastro, Senior Associate Counsel at the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County, met with students in the Intermediate 360° Mock Trial workshop to answer questions about her work as a defense attorney, and about fact versus fiction in the trial process. Filastro then returned to campus in the last week of the program to serve as the judge for the mock trial itself.
Kelly Corrigan, New York Times best-selling author and host of the “Kelly Corrigan Wonders” podcast on PRX and “Tell Me More” on PBS, was a writer in residence at EXPLO’s Pre-College 360 program. Corrigan taught several writer’s workshops, working side-by-side with students and attending the evening Coffee House student performance event where she cheered on EXPLO performers.