Kindergarteners Present MLK, Oceans at Performance and Art Show

Posted on January 25th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School
Kindergarten students put on a small Ocean Performance and Art Show on Thursday, Januaary 25th. In the Curtis Performance Center, the children sang some ocean songs they were taught in music class with Lynn Grossman. They also sang a few songs inspired by their study of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that they were taught by their Kindergarten teachers Amy Mealey and Barbie King, including a recitation of a portion of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the song “We Shall Overcome” with sign language (see the video below). Then the children took their parents on an ocean scavenger hunt to find all their wonderful ocean creature art projects from their Ocean Adventure Project Based Learning unit.
Kindergarten MLK/Oceans Collage
Additional photos and videos are available in this Google Photos Album.
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Posted in: Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches

Physics of Sledding

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Teresa Parsons

We’ve seen many Lower School students sledding on AC’s slopes during recess, but 8th grade classes? With snow still covering the campus, my 8th grade science class took learning outside the classroom by studying the physics of sledding this past week.  Going outdoors and studying real-life scenarios can make Newton’s laws of physics come alive much more solidly than studying them in a textbook.

As the class transitioned between a unit on forces and their next unit on energy, this activity was a perfect fit to reflect on the forces present, see the relationship between potential and kinetic energy, and learn how to use a new app that will be utilized for future labs.

Students took videos of their sledding in the Playground Physics app developed by the New York Hall of Science. Back in the classroom, students used the app to trace their path of motion. By inputting the mass of the sledder and a known distance, the app calculates the potential energy, kinetic energy, and speed as they sled down the hill. Do these values make sense? How do they compare to the problems we solve as homework? How does the speed of two people on one sled compare to the speed of just one person? Ask an 8th grader to find out!

Kristin Cocquyt

Teresa Parsons

Teresa joined the Allendale Columbia team as a Middle School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) teacher after spending 15 years in the engineering industry. She was a product engineer, then she transitioned into marketing and business development. As a business development manager, she created and provided product training, and it was in that role that she discovered her passion for teaching. Teresa earned a Master of Science Degree in Education from Nazareth College, and also holds two bachelor's degrees in Interdisciplinary Engineering/Management from Clarkson University and in Physics from the State University of New York College at Geneseo.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Invent, Middle School, MS Birches, The Birches

AC Aces Make Finals at Excelsior Championships

Posted on January 18th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Matt Duver ’20

The Upper School Robotics team’s season came to a very successful finish this past weekend with the Excelsior Region FIRST Tech Challenge Championships at SUNY Polytechnic in Utica. There were 24 teams from all over Western, Southwestern, and Central New York, and our team, the AC Aces, earned the right to compete by being the alliance winners from the Finger Lakes Regional FIRST Tech Challenge competition at St. John Fisher this past December.

In Utica, the AC Aces exceeded expectations and made it to the final match in an alliance with two other schools. Even though we did not win, we received two recognitions – the Finalist Team Alliance trophy, and a finalist for the Promote Video Award, where we made a 60-minute PSA to share with the world what we wanted people to know about FIRST Robotics Competitions. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”, and this is the second year that Allendale Columbia has had an FTC Team. After this past championship performance, the AC Aces ranked 368th out of 4,600 team performances on This is quite an accomplishment for a second year team, and we are all proud and grateful to our coaches (Dr. Jeff Lawlis, Mr. Andrew Perry, Mr. James Cotter, Ms. Maya Crosby, and Mr. Artie Cruz), sponsors (Sikorsky – A Lockheed Martin CompanyArconic, and ASP & Associates, Inc.), and Allendale Columbia School

for helping us along the way.

This year’s AC Aces are 11 Upper School students (Matt Duver ’20, Aditi Seshadri ’18, Anjana Seshadri’18, Inho Lee ’19, Kasi Natarajan ’20, Lulu Gao ’19, Alvin Shen ’19, Liza Cotter ’20, Caden Kacprzynski ’20, Luke DioGuardi ’20, and Cameron Perry ’20) who work after school and on weekends in order to prepare an engineering notebook, do educational outreach about robotics, and build a robot for competition. We have only six weeks from the time the competition challenge is announced to competition. In that time, we build and program, work on teamwork, and create an engineering notebook to share with the judges during competition. We are always looking for new members, so we encourage any students that are interested in joining to reach out to Ms. Crosby.

Kristin Cocquyt

Matthew Duver

Matt is a sophomore at AC who has been involved in FIRST Robotics since Lower School. He enjoys robotics, computer science, building computers, and photography.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

Students Experience Intersection Between Art and Science at Corning Museum

Posted on January 11th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School
Students experienced the intersections between science and art as the 6th grade class with science teacher Teresa Parsons and Ceramics classes with teachers Amy Oliveri and Lori Wun visited the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY, on Monday, January 8th. Students could see first-hand how properties of matter change with temperature. They learned how artist use natural forces (force of gravity, centripetal force) to create art, and how different elements and compounds can change the physical properties of matter, in this case, glass. (Photos by Teresa Parsons)
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

AC Fourth Grade Studies Biodiversity in STEM PBL

Posted on October 26th, 2017 by Allendale Columbia School

Fourth graders at Allendale Columbia School spent a couple of days in Allens Creek as part of their study of ecological biodiversity, their latest Project-Based Learning (PBL) unit in the Lower School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program.

While some students scoop, Ms. Russell brings a rock to shore that is harboring several small stream creatures.

While some students scoop, Ms. Russell brings a rock to shore that is harboring several small stream creatures.

Working with visiting expert Maureen Dunphy Russell, a STEM/AG Educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County, students learned how to stir up the creek bottom and harvest the biological samples with downstream nets. They then separated the critters for identification, with crayfish attracting their enthusiasm the most. The students also found snails, mayflies, aquatic flies, scuds, minnows and an aquatic worm. “I love working outside and learning all about the nature that is around our campus,” declared student Jordyn Ahl.

“Students crave outdoor education,” STEM teacher Donna Chaback says. “While ecological biodiversity is usually an older student topic, our fourth graders have been doing a great job on it.” The creek study complemented walking studies of the AC campus’s forest, grassland, and freshwater ecosystems, during which they collected and preserved leaves and took photos of trees, plants, leaves, and signs of animal life. “So far, they have done an initial tree survey, performed soil tests, and worked in the creek,” Mrs. Chaback added. “Next, they will begin researching their findings and interviewing some key personnel.”

These hands-on studies helped reinforce the importance of biodiversity, and how each species, no matter how big or small, plays a role in the overall health and sustainability of the local and broader ecosystem.

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, Partnerships

AC Students Presenting at Science Writing and Research Symposium April 28th

Posted on April 28th, 2017 by Allendale Columbia School
AC students are presenting their research at the Science Writing and Research class’s research symposium on Friday, April 28th, 2017, and the event is open to the public. This is the culminating event for 3+ quarters of work. This class is a “post-AP” class that is all about students conducting their own independent, original research. They have:
  • formulated their own research questions
  • identified and recruited an expert advisor from AC or the community at large
  • researched current understanding and background on their topics
  • written a research proposal in which they designed their own experiments to test their hypotheses
  • conducted their research
  • performed their own statistical analyses to draw conclusions on their hypotheses.
  • written up their findings in the style of a peer-reviewed scientific journal (still in progress!)
  • created, revised, and refined the presentations
If you have the time Friday, the students would love to see you. Presentations will be taking place in rooms 101 and 105 of the Wegmans School of Nursing at SJFC. The schedule and a map are below.
Room Time Presenter Title
Nursing 101 800-825 Germaine Gu The Mathematical Model Behind Storable Votes and Quadratic Votes
Nursing 101 830-855 Nate Morse Frequency Conversion Crystal Designs for Improved Ultraviolet Power Balance on the 60-Beam OMEGA Laser
Nursing 101 855-905 Break
Nursing 101 905-930 Alivia Martin Spinal Deformities of the Equine Population in Relation to Weight
Nursing 101 935-1000 Nadia Linton Observations of Skeletal Traumas Made from Medieval Bladed Weapons
Nursing 101 10-1010 Break
Nursing 101 1010-1035 Luke Nicosia The Effects of Food Cues on Students’ Overall Performance and Attentiveness on Exams
Nursing 101 1040-1105 Dylan Dailor Does the Mind In the Eyes Test Work as a Predictor for Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Nursing 101 1105-1115 Break
Nursing 101 1115-1140 Leeore Intrator Pilot Study to Understand Focus and Creativity in the Brain Using EEG
Nursing 101 1145-1205 Cecilia Esterman Mixed Solvent Studies of Squaraines for Use in Organic Photovoltaics
Nursing 101 1215-100 Lunch
100-130 Attend opening of SJFC Event
Nursing 105 130-155 Mason Grimes Using an Evolutionary Program to Model Organic Population Evolution
Nursing 105 200-225 Jeremy Abbott Injection-based Electromagnetic Railgun: Theoretical Versus Actual Results

St. John Fisher College Map

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School