US Blazer Buzz 7 April

This week's highlight: Varsity Girls Soccer

The girls varsity soccer team heads into spring break with a record of 2-1-3. The team is in mid-season form and playing its best soccer of the year. The Blazers got the season started with a bang, earning a 2-2 tie against Davidson Day and a 3-2 win against Pine Lake Prep in the first two games. The team then traveled to Charlotte Latin and fought valiantly in a 3-0 loss to the No. 2-ranked 4A team in the state. Latin is averaging nine goals per game, and Woodlawn held the group scoreless for the first 60 minutes of the match, riding some superb goaltending from senior Christen Zammit. Woodlawn has since returned to its winning ways, with a convincing 3-0 win against Covenant Day School on Thursday, April 3. Captains Christen Zammit, Maisie Wills, and Clare Robinson have set the tone for the team, exemplifying the three principles of Woodlawn soccer: have fun, work hard, play smart.

Contributed by Tim Helfrich

US Blazer Buzz 31 March

This week's highlight: DNA

This month, the ninth grade biology students were tasked with investigating a crime scene staged by the AP Biology students on the Woodlawn cross country trails. The AP Bio students developed a story line and acted it out, enlisting Woodlawn Admissions Director Callie Donnelly to help with theater make-up for the victim of the crime. The ninth grade students visited the crime scene, collected various types of evidence, and interrogated the suspects who were played by enthusiastic AP Bio students.
After learning how to make DNA fingerprints in class, the ninth graders amplified the DNA samples from the scene and suspects and created DNA fingerprints for each sample. They were able to show that the DNA sample from the crime scene matched one of their prime suspects in the case.

AP Biology and ninth grade biology students collaborated on this biotechnology simulation using equipment purchased with a grant award from North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Contributed by Adah Fitzgerald

US Blazer Buzz 24 March

This week's highlight: March Madness Woodlawn Style

On Friday, March 14, the Woodlawn community gathered in full force for the Red Barn Ruckus, the annual faculty versus student basketball game. It is well known that both sides put a lot of stock in this battle on the hardwood — several teachers had been seen sneaking in some practice sessions in the week prior while the confident students spent time perfecting nicknames for the pregame introductions. Students in lower and middle school arrived wearing their class colors, anxious to turn in their event tickets in hopes of being chosen for one of the contests during the (much-needed) timeouts. The Woodlawn a cappella group wowed the crowd with the national anthem and the Trailblazer cheerleading squad was the highlight of each quarter break. The game lived up to its hype as the faculty squad got a late bucket to tie the score at 22. The students couldn’t come up with the go ahead score as the final seconds ticked of the clock so the Woodlawn faithful will wait another year for a victor to be determined. The night concluded with a potluck dinner on the patio and plenty of chatter about “next year…” You won’t want to miss Red Barn Ruckus 2015!

Contributed by Erica Madden

US Blazer Buzz 17 March

This week's highlight: Intermezzo

Woodlawn's sixth Intermezzo went off without a hitch as students tackled an extensive Olympic-themed puzzlehunt. Framed in the context of Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences and Duckworth's concept of "grit," students solved excruciatingly difficult multi-layer puzzles in teams of four. The puzzles, created by Woodlawn faculty members, required a variety of approaches to generate one-word solutions. Predictably, Mr. Bowman's puzzle incorporated a periodic table-based code, while Dr. Stutzman's four-part puzzle could only be solved by identifying the single error in each part. Mental challenges were punctuated by physical Olympic events, including a synchronized skating competition to "Let it Go" and a four-man bobsled through an obstacle course. The team biathlon of crab-walking and soccer was a riotous hit in the hallways of Woods. In order to win the gold, teams had to use the solutions from each puzzle to solve a meta-puzzle. Genovia went into the finals with a dominant lead, but # ("Hashtag") pulled out a come-from-behind victory after cracking the final clue and racing to the hidden location of the gold medal: Mr. Jones!  By all accounts, this was the most popular Intermezzo yet; the puzzlehunt may become an annual Woodlawn tradition.

Contributed by Beth Helfrich

US Blazer Buzz 10 March

This week's highlight: AP Bio

The AP Biology class finished February with a field trip double header. To begin an in-depth study of the evolutionary relationships between flowering plants at Woodlawn, students visited the McMillan Greenhouse at UNC Charlotte, which is home to nearly 1,000 species of orchids. Students dissected orchid blooms with greenhouse assistant director, Paula Gross, and explored the concept of co-evolution between flowering plants and their pollinators. Students also toured several plant exhibits, one of which demonstrated the evolution of plants from land to water.

The following day, the class ventured to the laboratory of Dr. Julio Ramirez to mark Brain Awareness Week and complement its study of signal transduction in the nervous system. The highlight of the visit was the opportunity to see the effects of a signal transduction experiment testing the ability for neurons to learn by responding strongly to high frequency stimuli. Students were also treated to a technical presentation on signal transduction, a tour of the research facilities, and a look into microscopes to view sections of brain tissue used in Alzheimer's research. Both trips were excellent forays into the world to see science in action.

Contributed by Adah Fitzgerald