Allendale Columbia won the Terra School Award at Terra Science and Education’s Rochester Finger Lakes Regional Science and Engineering Fair (TRFSEF) hosted by Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC). Thirteen AC students also received recognitions at the event, including the right to advance to higher-level competitions.
Sixteen AC Middle and Upper School students submitted 11 projects, the most of any participating school, which resulted in the award that comes with a check for $2,000 for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiatives. The students packed up their AC Innovation Day Science Fair projects and took the displays the next morning to RMSC. After setting up their projects and passing a Display and Safety check (science can be “messy”, after all), the students went to a lunch keynote address by Maria G. Korsnick, President/CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute.
“Science Fair is inspiring and invigorating, because all these students are excited about science, every student, from fifth graders who are doing behavior projects with their cats and a dog to senior research projects that have to do with cancer diagnosis and research and machine learning, really high-end stuff,” said Maya Crosby, Director of the AC Invent Center for STEM and Innovation, and Director-in-Training for TRFSEF. “But everybody who is here is excited about their project and can’t wait to talk about it with the judges who are coming around. That curiosity all packaged in one room is really inspiring; that’s the great part.” (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
Do you believe in empowering students to think like explorers? In building geographic competence across disciplines? In inspiring students to be global thinkers who can change the world? If so, you are a perfect candidate to become a National Geographic Certified Educator.
Join a professional development program for formal and informal Pre-K through 12th-grade educators working to inspire the next generation of explorers, conservationists, and global citizens. Enjoy professional recognition and development; join a community of like-minded educators and build relationships at National Geographic, and access exclusive National Geography resources and perks.
Take the first step in becoming a National Geographic Certified Educator by attending a workshop on Wednesday, March 27th, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m., for Phase 1 of the certification process, led by Allendale Columbia School teacher and Nat Geo Certified Facilitator Beth Guzzetta. There is no charge for participation in this wonderful program or to become a Nat Geo Certified Educator with access to the many free resources.
To register, email Tony Tepedino.
Allendale Columbia Global Engagement Scholars participated in the 9th Annual Global Citizenship Conference: The Next Generation Living in a Pluralistic World held at Nazareth College on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019.
This conference for high school students is designed to give the future leaders of our world the tools to respond to intolerance, improve religious literacy, and show the etiquette required to work in a pluralistic world. Participants become more aware of cultural and religious diversity, gain understanding and dispel stereotypes about various religions, and learn effective skills of discourse based on respect, plurality, and conflict resolution.
The AC Global Scholars developed and led two workshops. One, titled “Putting Yourself in Their Shoes: What is empathy? What is compassion? How do they connect and why do they matter?”, was led by Ellie Stathopoulos ’21 and her team of Chris Smoker ’23, Piper Wilson ’22, Erin Kim ’21, Brynn Peters ’21, Gabby Barelli ’23, Eliza Nicosia ’22, Chinara Dorancy ’21, with Ms. Ty Lougher as faculty advisor.
In their session, they used short videos, had participants create skits, and discussed the similarities and differences between empathy and compassion. “Empathy matters because it helps us make connections with others,” the group posited in their introduction. “It helps us understand the emotions of others that may differ from your own and helps us to be able to have connections with people with different emotions and feelings and not dissociate with them just because you may disagree.” Their position was also that “compassion matters because it is also how we connect with others and show we care. It is important because it is underlying in kindness and consolation and the ability to understand what one may be feeling or going through so others understand people care about them.”
Another group of Global Scholars that led a workshop on “The Holiday Table: How to respectfully disagree with friends or family members when controversial topics arise.” Sarah Ash ’21, Mara Goodyear ’21, Mary Cotter ’22, Autumn Flowers ’21, Mikayla Gross ’19, Ella Hocker ’19, Alicia Strader ’21, and Raheema Muhammad ’19 led discussions and role-play simulations around how to:
- positively exchange interactions between someone you may disagree with
- be open-minded when it comes to a heated topic
- effectively agree to disagree with family members in order to prevent separation or huge confrontations
- determine when debates are futile and off-topic so that you can redirect conversations
- state your opinions without making other opinions feel invalid
The leadership, creativity, and strong communication skills that the scholars demonstrated during the conference speak to their level of preparedness for the world they will inherit.
The AC Center for Global Engagement at Allendale Columbia is committed to growing and fostering partnerships around the world, exposing students to global opportunities and multicultural perspectives in preparation for college and the global workforce, and creating a culture of global responsibility that allows students to make a positive and lasting impact on the world they will inherit.
Katherine WesternKate comes to AC from Fairport High School where she taught for 11 years. She served as Fairport's Coordinator of the Academic and Cultural Explorations Program for two years and the Coordinator of the Irish Exchange Program for four years. Kate taught in Onondaga Central Schools and Rochester City Schools in addition to teaching Spanish to students aged 3-7 at the Webster Montessori School. Additionally, she served as the Academic Director of the American Language Institute at Nazareth College for four years and was also an English as a Second Language Instructor in that program for six years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Adolescent Education and a Master of Science in Inclusive Education from Nazareth College, as well as experience studying at the Instituto de Estudios Espanoles in Valencia, Spain.
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
With the importance of connections being central to the mission of Allendale Columbia School, we treasure opportunities for collaboration across members of our community. On Friday, March 1st, students, teachers, staff, administrators, and family members came together in a special after-school event to build connections through music-making as a band. This side-by-side concert was coordinated by instrumental music teachers Lynn Grossman and Gabe Costanzo.
What is a side-by-side concert?
Side-by-side concerts are opportunities for musicians of various ages and ability levels to get together to perform together as a group and learn from each other while celebrating learning and growth in a fun, low-stress environment. In this event, parents, older siblings, grandparents, extended family, and family friends were all invited. School faculty, staff, and administrators were also welcome to join in the fun. (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Eighth Grade, Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade
Allendale Columbia’s Middle School students aren’t just building community and an understanding of theatrical productions in this weekend’s Peter Pan JR. They have been engaged in an interesting dialogue about cultural representation.
In the original stage productions of Peter Pan, written by J.M. Barrie in the early 20th century, the people of Neverland were often depicted as caricatures of Native American stereotypes. This was a common trope in the literature and entertainment of the era, though these types of depictions would be decried as offensive today.
Since its initial stage performances, the show has been adapted several times for both stage and film, most famously with the animated Disney film from 1953. Even in this depiction, the people of Neverland are exaggerated and culturally insensitive versions of Native Americans in their appearance, customs, and language. For Disney’s Peter Pan JR. adaptation for the stage, there were notable efforts to reduce the misinformed and insensitive representations of Native Americans, but as a school, we felt even these efforts fell short.
While some of the more distasteful language had been cut for the junior edition, and the song “What Makes the Red Man Red” altered to “What Makes the Brave Ones Brave”, the people of Neverland are still referred to as “Indians”, which harkens back to the story’s history of misrepresentation of culture. Rather than allowing these issues to prevent us from performing an otherwise excellent show, the production team chose to rework the depiction of these characters. We opened up a dialogue with Middle School students about why it is important to properly represent cultures and the reasoning behind the decision to make the changes we did.
The process began when we realized that, if AC is a school that truly values other cultures, it was our job to present a telling of this story that reflected these values. The word “Indians” was still in the script we received, but we felt that this was not an accurate description of the people of Neverland nor the role we wanted to present. In the program, we chose to call them “Neverlanders”.
We discussed with the cast how we could develop Neverlanders’ culture in a way that did not draw from existing cultures, but rather was unique to life in Neverland. As the Neverlanders’ main song has a recurring message of “what makes the brave girl brave?”, we cast all our Neverlanders as girls. We highlighted the idea of strong female role models while developing their characters. This worked with the material in the script and reflected a positive message, replacing the image that was previously intended to poke fun at stereotypes.
The discussions that took place within the cast and in the Middle School as a whole will hopefully continue and build a more educated and culturally engaged environment.
You can see Peter Pan JR. at Allendale Columbia School this Friday and Saturday, March 15th and 16th, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at http://acs.booktix.com and at the door. Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids (PACK) will sell refreshments during intermission.
PACK invites AC parents to sign up to support our AC students at this year’s Middle School musical by baking, selling, and assisting with bake sale set up and clean up. Sign up to volunteer today!
Cassidy DraperCassidy Draper '19 is the Middle School musical's Student Director. Between her Science Research and Writing Project, participation in the regional TEAMS competition, and work for the Global Engagement Diploma, she has performed in 10 AC theater productions between Middle and Upper School and has now decided to bring her theater experience to the next generation of AC's performers. She has enjoyed taking on the Student Director role and the opportunity to build connections between the Middle and Upper School that she hopes will last far beyond her graduation this June.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, PACK, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade
For the third year in a row, an Allendale Columbia School team of fifth-graders earned an invitation to the VEX IQ Robotics World Championships.
On Saturday, March 9th, three fifth-grade teams from AC went to the Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse to compete in the VEX IQ Northern New York State Robotics Competition. A total of 24 teams of students in 5th to 8th grade won awards at local qualifiers to get there.
The MAGMAS, (composed of Morgan Wilson, Achanti Thongjang, Gia Pellegrino, Marc Voloshin, Amora Thongjang, and Sammy Davis) won the Excellence Award, which earned them the invitation to Worlds April 28th-30th, 2019. They will be one of 400 Middle School teams collaborating and competing from such countries as the U.S., China, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Colombia, South Korea, Egypt, Mexico, United Kingdom, Philippines, Finland, Myanmar, Estonia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and India. (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School
AC’s ongoing pursuit of civil discourse in society was challenged during this year’s Sophomore Forum. Following its counterparts for the Junior Class, Should Celebrities Speak Out?, and the Senior Class, Standing Up for Civil Discourse, this year’s Sophomore Forum tackled the topic of “Toxic Masculinity”, prompted by the recent Gillette commercial, “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be”. The ad has stimulated a lot of discussion on social media about what toxic masculinity is, if it’s a bad thing, and what we should be doing (if anything) to address it. (more…)
Innovation Day on March 15th is dedicated to all the new and unconventional ways students, teachers, and the AC community teach and learn, shaking things up from how it’s always been done. Anchored by a pitch competition for prospective young entrepreneurs and a science fair, the event will include interactive workshops, speakers, a gallery walk, and performances. (more…)
Posted in: Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Invent