US Blazer Buzz 9 Dec
This week's highlight: The World of European Opera
European Studies students wrapped up their first trimester of hands-on, integrated project work in the humanities by delving into the world of the opera. In groups and over the course of several weeks of intensive study, the juniors and seniors became experts on an essential opera and its composer. They considered classics such as The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini and Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, Carmen by Georges Bizet and Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. Ultimately, each group perfected a multimedia presentation in which the students informed their classmates about the opera's composer, presented scenes and songs, and discussed the historical and cultural context of the opera. They explored the period in which the piece was written, its source material and impact, and highlights of its performance history. Individually, each group member became an expert on a particular song from his or her group's opera, dissecting its musicality and translating its lyrics. In a course whose goal is, in part, to help further integrate the arts into the upper school curriculum, the opera project afforded students a chance to make connections and become experts in a small piece of artistic history.
US Blazer Buzz 25 Nov
This week's highlight: Proteins and Enzymes
Have you ever wondered why a cut on your skin bubbles when you treat it with hydrogen peroxide? The ninth graders answered this very question as they engaged in an inquiry lab experience to wrap up their unit study of proteins and enzymes. They began by observing the fizzing reaction that occurs when hydrogen peroxide is poured on raw chicken liver. From there, they asked questions and reviewed what they knew about enzymes to generate experiments that would shed light on the characteristics of the liver enzyme, catalase, that interacts with the hydrogen peroxide.
Students designed controlled experiments that investigated the effects of temperature, surface area, and pH on liver enzyme activity. They also explored the activity of catalase in various plant tissues. Students were then tasked with writing a lab report in the style of a scientific paper to describe the experiment, its results, and their interpretation of their data.
US Blazer Buzz 18 Nov
This week's highlight: Food For Thought
Basketball. Food. Performance. Is there a better way to spend a crisp fall evening? Following the home openers for both the girls and boys basketball teams on November 15, the class of 2015 hosted Food for Thought, an evening of student creative writing accompanied by a three course pasta dinner prepared and served by the students.
Leading up to the event, kids in grades 8-12 were invited to submit creative works — poetry, essays, short stories, music, films — connected to the theme of eating and the many ways in which food nourishes and enriches our lives. At the same time, the Civic Action students were setting a menu, gathering recipes, and figuring out how to transform the Lodge into a swanky supper club. Armed with two freshly prepared salads, pounds of pasta, made from scratch pesto, and two slow cookers filled to the brim with red gravy (that's what Grandma Esposito would have called it) the students welcomed in over fifty hungry friends, family, and basketball fans for a late evening feast. Students read their funny, touching, and at times creepy works over the course of the evening, and the performances were topped off with an original song offering by Reilly Milburn. In the end, an audience vote awarded Milburn's tearjerking ode to cheesecake the top honors for the evening, giving second place Clare Robinson's memoir about her childhood obsession with eating straight sugar — at any cost.
The proceeds from the evening will go to No Kid Hungry, an organization committed to putting a stop to child hunger in America by connecting families with the resources they need to provide their children with enough nutritious food, every day, to thrive.
US Blazer Buzz 11 Nov
This week's highlight: Intermezzo 2013: Social Entrepreneurship
US Blazer Buzz 4 Nov
This week's highlight: Spirit Week
The entire Woodlawn School community celebrated "The Spirit of Inclusivity" in mid-October during the annual fall spirit week. The celebrations began on Monday when each class donned a chosen "class color" for "Stay True to Your School" Day. In the afternoon, classes paused as all students, faculty, and staff participated in traditional Woodlawn Day activities: Gardening, Civil War-era baseball, hiking, history lessons from Mr. Bowman, and - of course - square dancing in the Barn. The week continued with "Express Yourself" Day, "Put Bullying to Bed" Day, and "Fight for What's Right" Day. Crazy patterns, pajamas, and superheroes of all sorts took over campus for the week as momentum built towards Homecoming. On Friday, everyone counted as the whole school wore the names of Woodlawn proudly in matching 2013 Woodlawn shirts. After a K-12 cookout on the Woods Hall patio, the classes lined up around the quad for the Homecoming parade. The day ended with a campus-wide scavenger hunt, the exclamation point on a week of inclusivity, acceptance, and fun. As day turned into night, the upper school students traded in their spirit gear for semi-formal attire for the annual Homecoming Dance. This year's Dia de los Muertos theme gave "spirit week" a whole new twist!