Third graders are happily meeting the challenge to design and build their own miniature race cars in a new interdisciplinary STEAM unit, The Nerdy Derby.
Last week, the boys cycled through various stations to determine the variables that will affect the design and performance of their cars. In one station they selected and tested crafty materials for their cars, in another they tested to see how mass and load affect speed and momentum on an inclined plane.
In the third, they graphed and analyzed the data they collected, discussing and learning how important it is to test and retest a design concept. As one boy put it, "The more data you have, the better."
This week the boys will be given Derby Dollars, which they will use to purchase the components of their race cars. They will see how important proper budgeting is, and how there are constraints involved in the design and engineering process, often due to cost.
The big race is Friday, when the cars will face off on a race track. Awards will go to cars based on their performance as well as to boys for creativity, sportsmanship, and overall design.
What an active, complex and incredibly fun learning experience for our boy engineers!
On Tuesday evening, Lidia Bastianich, award-winning chef, restaurateur, television host and author, visited Saint David's to speak to the Saint David's Alumni Parent community and current Eighth Grade.
Interviewed by Alumni Parent Dr. Joseph Haddad for our Alumni Parent Council Lecture, Lidia recounted her youth in Istria when the once Italian peninsula shifted to communist reign after World War II, her two years spent as a refugee in Trieste, and her experiences after her family immigrated to America when she was eleven years old.
The boys were fascinated with her discussion about her family's escape
from Istria and her life as a refugee and immigrant. She
expressed her everlasting gratitude
to the people who provided assistance to her family in Trieste and when
they first arrived in New York. "I can't talk enough about the goodness
of the people who helped us," she
said. "I am where I am because of them."
Former Navy SEAL and Saint David's Alumnus Bill Berrien '82 fascinated all during his Chapel Talk Tuesday morning to our seventh and eighth graders.
A SEAL for nine years, Bill was a member of two platoons in South America as well as part of a Joint Special Operations unit. He shared his SEAL Trident with the boys, talked about the intensity of training, and noted he remains close to many with whom he served.
Connecting his service to the values that Saint David's espouses, he encouraged the boys to always be students--curious throughout their lives, to find the best in everyone, appreciate setbacks, and to learn from failures. In the video above, he addresses the first.
He closed by planting these "seeds" for our boys to consider: that life is a journey to be embraced broadly with openness to a variety of opportunities; being a service leader is of utmost importance; the unknown should be embraced; and, finally, that the boys be their own best friend, compassi…
Our annual Seventh Grade father and son dinner provides the opportunity for seventh graders and their fathers to share an evening exploring what it means to be a good man, the relationship between parent and son, and other mission-related themes.
The speaker at this year's event was author, journalist and media executive Mark Whitaker, who spoke about his memoir My Long Trip Home,
in which he delves into the story of his family, in particular, his
father. The son of a bi-racial couple who wed in 1956 (a time when interracial marriages were still illegal in some states), Mark spent many years estranged from his father, a
brilliant African Studies scholar who struggled throughout his life with
Later, they would reconcile, but it was only after his father had passed away that Mark realized he wanted to write a book about this man who had had a groundbreaking career despite all his problems, and try to understand him better. Ultimately, the process deepened Mark'…