Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Boys Present Original Space Shows at the Hayden Planetarium

"We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."
Carl Sagan

Just prior to spring break, our sixth graders took an audience of parents, faculty and staff on a breathtaking tour of the universe, via their Digital Universe Field Study presentations at the Hayden Planetarium.

The boys narrated their presentations from the control room at the Planetarium. The shows were impressive visually and reflected the depth of their research.

Working in teams, the boys had chosen their own area in astronomy to research, and developed their story based on their personal interest. The diverse topics presented included How does Jupiter affect its moons? What can we learn about global warming from other planets? What is the future of our sun? and What does light teach us about the universe?

Over a series of weeks they explored the museum, conducted experiments in the classroom, researched, wrote, story boarded, and rehearsed their space shows. Throughout this interdisciplinary unit, conducted through Saint David's unique collaboration with the astrovisualization team at the American Museum of Natural History, our boys had private access to the Planetarium and its cutting-edge UniView software. 

This unit is an amazing opportunity for our boys to indulge their intellectual curiosity about the awe-inspiring universe, while availing of the expertise of world renowned astrophysicists and their wonderful science, technology and English teachers at Saint David's.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Nerdy Derby Race Day

After two weeks exploring the effects of mass, friction, and aerodynamics as they designed and built their race cars, Nerdy Derby Race Day arrived for our third graders on Friday. Boy were they ready to face off in the big event!

Working in teams of two or three, the boys had designed and engineered cars to compete in one of three races: Slowest Car, King of the Hill (the car was charged with stopping as close as possible to the top of the hill at mid-track), and Fastest Car. Throughout this project, the boys thought creatively, applied the science that they learned, and engaged in several trials before finalizing their cars for the derby.

At the countdown, the room reverberated with excitement as the second graders and a number of faculty and staff cheered on the friendly competitors.

Following the race the boys had a celebratory pizza party lunch and then attended a ceremony in the Chapel, where awards were given to the individual race winners as well as to teams for creativity, teamwork, and sportsmanship.

Congratulations to all of the boys! They worked well together and dedicated themselves to the cyclic iterative design process--prototyping, testing, analyzing and refining their cars, while having tremendous fun along the way.

Congratulations also to Ali Aoyama, Nora Sundar, Brian Donnelly, Gary Kessler, Charlotte Serpe, Maura Carr, Allison Conover, Claire Lescop, Jenn Horton, Bridget Gallagher, Anna Liebowitz, and Katherine Hunter for teaching and tailoring this exciting STEAM project for Saint David's third grade boys.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Alum Leads A Cappella Session in Chapel

Alumnus Thomas Harvey '14 and two of his singing buddies, Jed Levinson and Max Horne, visited Chamber Singers' early morning rehearsal last Friday. Also along, was their faculty advisor, Mr. Rhodebeck. The trio is part of the TESTOSTERTONES, a Riverdale a cappella group led by Thomas.  The boys amazed the group with just three voices performing one of Thomas' arrangements.

Due to inclement weather and other commitments, the entire membership of the TESTOSTERTONES was unable to be with us. They regularly perform at school functions and charity events. As Choral Director Phyllis Clark noted, "It was so good to hear Thomas' mature baritone singing lead, and see the confidence and enthusiasm that we remember from his time as a music maker and actor at Saint David's."  He will be entering Dartmouth in the fall.