AC School, Students Win Awards at Terra Regional Science Fair

Posted on March 21st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

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…)

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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

Side-by-Side Concert Builds Connections Through Music

Posted on March 21st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia 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…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Eighth Grade, Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade

AC’s Peter Pan Jr. Opens Dialogue on Cultural Representation

Posted on March 13th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

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.

AC’s Middle School production of “Peter Pan JR.” takes flight at 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 15th, and Saturday, March 16th. Tickets are available at http://acs.booktix.com or at the door.

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.

 

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Cassidy Draper

Cassidy 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.
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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, PACK, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade

AC’s Younger Students Becoming Global Citizens, Too

Posted on March 1st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Students throughout Allendale Columbia School don’t just learn about other parts of the world, they become global citizens, learning alongside their peers in other parts of the world. That’s just as true in Lower School.

Last year, AC first-graders explored the Amazon rainforest and ran a successful fundraising campaign to become stewards of a section of the rainforest equal to the size of AC’s campus. Building on that experience, AC’s Head of Lower School, Michelle Feiss, brought in Paul Hurteau, Executive Director of OneWorld Classrooms and a former Upstate New York teacher, who thrilled current first- and second-graders with stories of his experiences teaching students in Ecuador, complete with photos of the people and wildlife, poems, and artifacts from that rainforest community.

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Trying Conquers Transition Fears

Posted on February 8th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Kids do think ahead sometimes, especially when it comes to big transitions. Fifth-graders moving up to Middle School worry about the schedule, changing classrooms and teachers, lockers, and mixing with older kids. Eighth-graders moving to Upper School often cite preparing for college, tougher courses, more choices, and whether they can balance everything. Parents worry about these things, too, as they try to anticipate their child’s path forward. Imaginings of what might be often distracts them from the excitement of what’s to come.

The cure: trying it! Once students, with support, experience a day in the life at the next level and see what actually happens, the fears fade away. That’s why Allendale Columbia does a Next Steps program every February for fifth-graders and eighth-graders. (more…)

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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Upper School

Ukuleles Build Connection, Creativity, and Resilience

Posted on February 1st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

By Rachael Sanguinetti

Happy National Ukulele Day!

If you’ve visited the AC chorus room in the last two years, you probably noticed a huge addition to the decor of the room: 22 concert-size ukuleles on the back walls. They are a point of conversation on many tours of the music building and have become an important part of the AC Middle School music offerings.

We use these instruments in 6th Grade Foundational Music and in Ukulele Electives offered each semester. They are also used in Lower School General Music classes and for Upper School clubs. Over the past few years they have been used by many students across divisions for composition, performance, and group music making. (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School

SCIENCE FAIR: Movie Screening Feb. 7th

Posted on January 30th, 2019 by cnickels

Join us for a special viewing of SCIENCE FAIR by National Geographic
Hailed by critics as “infectious and exuberant” and “the funniest movie of the year,” National Geographic Documentary Films’ SCIENCE FAIR follows nine high school students from around the globe as they navigate rivalries, setbacks and, of course, hormones, on their journey to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair. As 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries face off, only one will be named Best in Fair. SCIENCE FAIR won the audience award at Sundance and SXSW.

This event has already occurred. To watch the documentary on your own, please check Amazon or Netflix.

Watch the trailer and see for yourself why science is so cool.

 

Allendale Columbia School presents this event as part of our commitment to exposing students and the Rochester community to STEM and entrepreneurship opportunities. Learn more about the AC Invent Center for STEM and Innovation and the AC Center for Entrepreneurship.

 

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Posted in: Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School

How’s Your Knowledge of Current Events?

Posted on January 29th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

How’s your knowledge of current events? Take the 2019 Allendale Columbia School Current Events Test to see how you compare with AC Middle and Upper School students, who took the test on January 29th. Henry Nicosia ’20 topped all students with 92 points. You’re on your honor — even though you may be viewing the test on a connected device, you may not consult any sources other than your own memory while you take the test.

2019 Current Events
Test Questions (PDF)
(open this for the questions)
2019 Current Events Test Cover
2019 Current Events
Answer Sheet (PDF)
(mark your answers)
2019 Current Events
Answer Key (PDF)
(check your results)

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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School