Winter Experience

True to the vision of our founders, the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, Nardin Academy continuously looks for ways to live our mission by encouraging life-long learning, helping our students ignite their curiosity, finding their inner passion, and inspiring their potential. One of the unique ways Nardin supports this is through Winter Experience (formerly known as WinterMission). When students return from Christmas Break, they come back to a week of experiential learning in our Western New York community and beyond. This is a time for our students to participate in internships, academic intensives, cultural experiences, and service. Winter Experience at Nardin Academy is a part of all students’ graduation requirements.

Winter Experience Courses
2024 - 2025 Academic Year

A Culinary & Hospitality Experience
Students will explore career opportunities in the culinary and hospitality fields through hands-on learning. They will learn at area restaurants and hotels by partnering with local programs and restaurateurs. In addition, students will participate in hands-on cooking lessons guided by professionals in the field. They will end with a day of service at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy.

The Great Nardin Bake-off
Three days of baking tutorials, recipe building, experimentation and learning the science of baking. Local patissiers will speak to the students about owning and operating a small business in Buffalo. Students will present their best baked-good from the week on Day Four to a panel of judges made up of faculty, staff, and students. Students will write a short reflection and build their own recipe based on what they have learned throughout the week.

 Join us for the sixth edition of our annual Hack-a-thon, taking place during Winter Experience! This year, our theme is all about harnessing innovation to enhance women’s lives. Get ready to team up in pairs, explore your creativity, build prototypes and craft compelling pitches for your groundbreaking ideas. No prior experience required – it is strongly suggested to sign up in pairs.

Local, State & Federal Government (w/Homeland Security)
With a Special Agent from Homeland Security serving as our contact we will experience all that our wonderful local, state, and federal government has to offer. This session is ideal for students who are interested in pursuing careers in civics, political science, law, or law enforcement. Students will have the opportunity to watch live court proceedings, observe tactical SWAT team training, meet and greet a variety of K-9 units, operate TSA checkpoints at the Buffalo Airport, get a behind the scenes look at the local Border Patrol office, and view live fire training from a tactical anti-terrorism squad. This is only open to juniors and seniors.

Meet the Heart of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Experience different career fields within a world-class comprehensive cancer center which encompasses so much. Spend time with Kara Eaton, a Nardin alum and Executive Director for Patient/Family Experience. Roswell has a lot going on as they transition from a physician-centered culture to a patient-centered culture. Meet with the COO, Director of Radiology, the President and CFO. Learning about managing staff through compassion fatigue, tour their new resource center, explore the research labs, and see their new salon/spa for patients. This is only open tojuniors and seniors.

New Year, New You!
Have you ever set New Year resolutions? Have you fallen short of your goals? This opportunity will give you the tools and motivation needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle. We will immerse ourselves in fitness classes, healthy food choices, and engage with experts and alumni in the health and wellness field. We look forward to connecting with our WNY community and taking the first step in achieving your wellness goals!

“The Perfect Murder”: Agatha Christie, Mystery and Writing Our Own Whodunnits
Students shall author and publish online the “Perfect Murder Mystery” as they examine the impact of Dame Agatha Christie’s world of mystery fiction and the key elements of mystery writing and publishing. This is coupled with an interactive exploration of Agatha Christie’s novels, films, local escape/mystery room, “How to Host a Mystery” interactive games, and opportunities to meet real detectives and mystery authors/novelists.

Robot Rumble - The week will consist of a number of fun activities that will develop a foundation of skills needed in the field of robotics, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and coding. The week will culminate in authentic robotic experiences, among them, building and using your own robot in competitions.

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish “Isn’t it odd. We can only see our outsides, but nearly everything happens on the inside” (The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy).
After a busy first semester, join us for a week of relaxation and mindfulness. This will be a week of nurturing the mind, body and spirit. Experiences include yoga, art, healthy eating, and art and nature appreciation with field trips to the Botanical Gardens and the AKG Art Gallery.

Something Old, Something New
Off-campus, students will work closely with Journey’s End Refugee Services to learn about the resettlement process and what life is like for refugees. Our on and off-campus focus will be to refurbish and repurpose furniture to help create a home for refugees. We hope to organize the Nardin community in a “Home Again” project to set up a household for a family in need.

Student Internships
This experience offers students a meaningful and professional learning opportunity related to a student's field of study or career interest. This experience will give students the opportunity for career exploration and development, and to learn new skills. This is only open to juniors and seniors, and you must provide your own transportation to and from your site.

Students can choose from the following categories and will be paired with a professional in that industry:

  • Computer/Software
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Healthcare
  • Human Services/Social Work
  • Law
  • Marketing

Student Teaching Experience
Experience the world of teaching before you commit to it as a major in college. This program will include an opportunity for students to observe the classroom, work as an aide to the classroom teacher, and create and then implement an activity/lesson.

Studio Life
An intensive art experience. Students will develop a concept, create it in the medium of their choice, take field trips to local art galleries and studios, as well as interact with local artists. Students will also take a trip to a local college so they are able to see what a college fine arts building and it’s studio space look like. At the end we will have a group critique and reflect on our experience.

We’re Talking Proud: Buffalo History
With our rich history in the American Expansion we will explore our beautiful city. Possibilities for trips could include the History Museum, Black Musicians Club, Pierce-Arrow transportation, Darwin Martin House and Graycliff, Underground Railroad Heritage Center, Botanical Gardens, and Our Lady of Victory Basilica.

Experience the Arts - NYC
Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of theater and art with our educational trip to New York City! Join us as we explore the bustling streets of Manhattan and dive into the rich cultural scene the city has to offer. From Broadway shows to renowned art museums, this trip promises an unforgettable experience for students of all ages. Four to five day trip depending on activities. Approximate cost $1400 - Supervised by  Mrs. Jennifer Kiener.