STEAM Fair!

The Eleventh Annual LWGMS STEAM Fair was held on Thursday, April 10, and it was wonderful! Each 8th grade student researched, planned, and implemented her own project with great attention to detail and diligence. This year, the 16 projects were designed to answer scientific questions such as "does studying with music playing increase or decrease your ability to concentrate,"  and two were engineering projects, designed to create a solutions to identified problems. The areas of science of this year's projects are: psychology/sociology, microbiology, food science/chemistry, astronomy/physics, computer science, and environmental science/chemistry. 

To see more photos, head to Smugmug.

Mulan!

For many years, I have listened to L-Dub girls sing (as loudly as possible) the trademark song from Mulan, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.” Its irony has been a source of pride as the girls belt out the chorus while pantomiming martial arts moves. I was excited to finally bring that song to the stage and continue our proud tradition of “fighting like a girl.” While we struggled with Disney’s sexism and racism (again!), the theme of a young woman as a warrior was perfect for our young L-Dub warriors, as they had to attack a difficult musical score and learn some challenging dances, quick costume changes, and complex fight choreography. Like Mulan herself, the entire cast and crew showed strength in mind, body, and voice in every phase of the production from long rehearsals to last minute changes to the script. I was so proud to see the girls rise to the challenge, and I saw no need to make a man out of any of them – they all fight like girls!

As usual, many thanks are in order. The nine eighth graders on the crew brought artistic talent, organization, and energy to the show. It was with confidence that I turned the show over to the eighth graders who designed the lighting, painted the sets, made the costumes, and wrangled the Huns, soldiers, and dressmakers. Daisy Zajonc P'14 brought her inimitable musical direction and even brought her own brilliant percussionist, Joe Zajonc P'14, to add so much more to the music. With the coaching of the talented Jenn Brandon P'15, the girls' voices rose to new heights. The costume design and production is the vision of Jan Frederick P'09, '14 and her endless closet full of fabric, knick-knacks, and notions. The art department loaned us Ms. Lindsey, whose skills added to the magical look of our sets, props, and costumes. Ms. Chelsea stepped in to lead the girls in some crucial character development and some charming choreography. We all know that Ms. Eva P'16 brings her clipboard and her organization system to the 42 girls in this production, but what we didn’t know was that Ms. Eva can get 42 girls to do the hustle!  Finally, I am indebted to the commitment and energy of Ms. Kirsten: she is responsible for the glorious sets as she worked out every detail of the flats, led the artistic team in creating the cherry trees, and gave attention to each blooming flower.

- Ms. Jenny

See all of the Mulan photos here.

FLEx Week Fun!

FLEx Week is one of our favorite parts of the term. While half of our girls are at the theater preparing for the play, the other is at school, hard at work on STEAM projects. This term we decided to focus the girls’ projects around aviation and women in STEAM.

To start us off with a bang, we began the week with an incredible field trip to the Museum of Flight. The girls loved it! During our tour the girls had the opportunity to not only learn about all the skills necessary for flight, but to actually put those skills to work in their very own flight simulators. We spent the rest of the day exploring exhibits, climbing through planes of all shapes and sizes, and watching our own private planetarium show. We are all hoping we get to go back soon. Special thanks to Señorita Jacquie and her family for connecting us with the museum!

The rest of the week was spent hard at work on Design Thinking projects, robotics, and film making. By the end of the week we were all happily exhausted. On Friday, as a special treat, the girls were introduced to Erika Wagner, a true woman in STEAM with a PhD in Bioastronautics. Talk about an inspiration! See Dr. Wagner's amazing bio here.

As their final FLEx Week activity, the girls were asked to showcase their work to the Mulan cast and crew, as well as a few family and community members. The films, prototypes, and robotics courses were presented with huge smiles and lots of applause. After watching all the girls’ grit and gumption throughout the week, we can definitely say that here at L-Dub, we love STEAM! 

Women's History Month/FLEX Week

If you walk down the main hallway of tall, red lockers at Lake Washington Girls Middle School, you may notice that each one has a silver nameplate at its top. These nameplates do not refer to the students whose belongings reside within the lockers. Instead, every locker bears the name of an inspirational woman – such as Ida B. Wells, Rachel Carson, and Elizabeth Blackwell – who reminds our girls of the qualities that reside within each one of them: intelligence, strength, courage, passion, compassion, and the capacity to become anything they dare to dream. As our students grow into young women strong in mind, body, and voice, we make it a point to surround them – quite literally – with strong female role models and change-makers. We lovingly refer to these women as Locker Ladies, a title that is a true badge of honor at LWGMS.

March is Women's History Month, and this year's theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment”. Yesterday, our students kicked off day one of FLEx Week at the Museum of Flight, celebrating Women in Aviation.  

And here's to our Locker Lady, Amelia Earhart...

Amelia Earhart

American aviation pioneer and author

Born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897 Amelia Mary Earhart had no idea that she was going to become the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. “By the time I had gotten two or three hundred feet off the ground I knew I had to fly.” Amelia said this on December 28, 1920 when she was in an airplane for the first time with her dad and pilot Frank Hawks. 

As a child and adult Amelia was daring; her parents did not raise their two children to be "nice little girls," and Amelia and her sister were thought of as tomboys. Not normal for the times, Amelia aspired to a future career; she kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about successful women in male-oriented fields, including film, law, advertising, management, and engineering.

After her first plane ride in 1920, Amelia got to work saving money for flying lessons in California. On May 15,1923 Amelia Earhart was the 16th woman in the world to get her air license. According to the Boston Globe Amelia Earhart was on of the best women pilots in the world. When she was 30 she was asked to fly across the Atlantic accompanying pilot Wilmer Stultz and co-pilot/mechanic Louis Gordon, really as a passenger, but she was allowed to keep the flight log. When she landed she told the reporter, "Stultz did all the flying—had to. I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes." She added, "...maybe someday I'll try it alone." Lo behold a few years later, at the age of 34, on May 20, 1932 Amelia became first woman to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic and for her bravery was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross from Congress, the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French Government and the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society from President Herbert Hoover. 

Between 1930–1935, Earhart had set seven women's speed and distance records, became good friends with Eleanor Roosevelt – the two shared interests and passions, especially women's causes – but her eyes were on a new "prize...one flight which I most wanted to attempt – a circumnavigation of the globe as near its waistline as could be." She attempted this flight two times – the first time was successful because of mechanical failures and though she flew a lot farther the second time – 22,000 of the 29,000 miles – she disappeared without a trace. Amelia was a brave women and a mentor to all girls.

Margaret ’13

"Good things grow from horse manure"

Sam Mitsui brought an uncomfortable, but very important, part of United States history alive when he came to speak to our eighth grade class at Lake Washington Girls Middle School last week. Anytime someone can speak from personal experience, history becomes more meaningful and more relevant. We were lucky that Mr. Mitsui, a second generation Japanese American, a Nisei, who grew up in the Pacific Northwest during World War II, could do that for our class. 

Mr. Mitsui relayed his life experiences as a young boy in Skykomish WA, doing well in school with lots of friends, playing on the school basketball team, and proudly identifying as a citizen of the United States. Those are things we can all relate to, but that is where the similarities stopped. Once the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, his life changed as did the lives of 120,000 Nisei and Issei living on the West Coast. In that instant, they became pariahs in their communities, even though they had done nothing wrong. The war hysteria coupled with racism and fear caused many of their friends to turn their backs on the Japanese Americans. Mr. Mitsui remembers just one person in his community who publicly stood up for him. His basketball coach. 

When President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, the Japanese community’s fate was sealed. All Nisei and Issei were sent to one of ten concentration camps scattered throughout the western United States. Mr. Mitsui was sent with his family to Tule Lake in Northern California. He told us a little of what life was like in the camp: grim, with very intense weather. It was either very cold or very hot, and extremely boring. Some of the families had to go to temporary camps and sleep in horse stalls. He also told a story of a son telling his father that the stalls weren’t clean and smelled of horse manure. His father told him, “Remember, son, a lot of good things grow from horse manure.” Which as it turns out, was eventually true.

The Nisei decided that the only way out of the camps was to prove their loyalty to the United States. So, they offered to serve in the US Army. Finally in 1943 they were permitted to serve. Nearly 5000 Nisei from Hawaii and from the camps volunteered to serve in the 442nd regiment. And they became the most decorated regiment in history. In addition, 6000 Nisei served in the secret Military Intelligence service, and were credited with shortening the length of war by two years! 

Finally in 1988, forty-six years later, the story about the value of horse manure began to ring true when President Reagan signed a letter of apology for putting our American citizens, 120,000 Nisei and Issei into internment camps. In 2000, a National Japanese American Monument was dedicated in Washington D.C., in 2001 the Federal Courthouse was named in honor of a Nisei veteran, and in 2002 the Medical/Dental Center in Fort Lewis was named in honor of another Nisei veteran. Mr. Mitsui talked about how “we had come full circle” when the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association invited the Nisei Veterans Committee to attend their Memorial Service in 2003. He was hesitant to attend, but was amazed and relieved to be welcomed with open arms.  

Because Mr. Mitsui shared his personal experiences with us, we now have an even deeper understanding of what Japanese and Japanese-Americans experienced. The conviction that states the importance of never disrespecting a person for the color of her skin, religion, or sexual orientation was branded even more deeply into our minds and hearts. Like he reminded us, everyone is human and just wants to love and be loved.

Thank you, Mr. Mitsui.

--MengMeng '14

Totally Like Whatever You Know

Taylor Mali's, Totally Like Whatever You Know, is almost an L-Dub student mantra. The piece has been performed at our annual Festival of Lights Poetry Night for ten of 16 years, and this year the girls delivered: three SIXTH grade students performed it, and nailed it. These representatives of the Class of 2016 say it all...they are a group of girls with conviction, strength, and strong voices indeed.

FLEx Week: Bike Works

This year during LWGMS's second of three FLEx Weeks (for more information, see our Curriculum Guide, p. 42.), our girls spent each morning working on Design Thinking projects focused on alternative transportation. As a part of this project, we wanted to get the girls out of school and into our community, giving back and getting some real world experience at the same time. Our friends at Bike Works offered to have the girls come by to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of being a biker in the Seattle area, and to let us offer a helping hand repairing some of the donated bikes.The girls had the opportunity to learn the skills and techniques for fixing a flat tire, and helped the staff repair over 20 flats. We had a wonderful time with the Bike Works crew and we hope to visit them again soon.

Peter Pan!

LWGMS's production of Peter Pan was filled with firsts: the first Fall musical, the first play with only half the school, and the first Disney-based musical. As part of the first Fall musical at LWGMS, the girls jumped right in to the rehearsal process bringing creativity, enthusiasm, and talent. With lots going on at L-Dub during the Fall, the cast and crew of Peter Pan showed resilience with their flexibility and willingness. We all had to adjust to the idea that half the school was not part of the production, but regardless of who was "officially" part of Peter Pan, every student, teacher, staff member, and parent contributed to making this production possible. A special thanks to everyone who helped with sets, costumes, props, load-in, load-out, driving, singing, and dancing. This production was, as always, a true community event. It took a village to get girls to fly.

As we began working with Disney's Peter Pan, we came across some explicit and implicit sexism and racism in the script, something we could not live with in our production. So, we used Design Thinking to answer the question "How might we address the racism and sexism in our script?" The girls readily engaged in the process and came up with some inspired ideas to give our production a new twist on an old story. L-Dub's Peter Pan is not your grandmother's Peter Pan. We hope you enjoyed our punk rock fairies, the introduction of some Greek Gods and Goddesses, and the homage to Seattle's beloved Seahawks. 

Finally, many thanks are in order. The nine eighth grade students on the crew are truly invaluable -- they took charge of Peter Pan, from wrangling the Lost Boys and sewing beautiful costumes to designing the lights and running the entire show. The musical direction from Daisy Zajonc P'14 was brilliant. She could play any song we came up with, and most importantly, she inspired and led our gifted student musicians. Once again, the costume design and production fell under the artistic vision and talent of Jan Frederick P'09, '14, a woman who brings so much more than a serger to the production. We needed some added creativity from the Art and STEAM departments, and they delivered Nana the dog and Hook's dreaded Crocodile with the help of Ms. Chelsea and Ms. Caitlin; Ms. Lindsey's creativity brought our sets to life. While not a job that brings glory and applause, Ms. Eva's organization skills were indispensable as we shuttled, fed, and cared for 41 girls during our week at Broadway Performance Hall. We are indebted to and awed by the work of Señorita Jacquie. Having not yet worked on a theatrical production in her career, she gave the girls her complete attention and energy every week, from helping paint the sets to listening to girls practice lines. In the end, we discovered her true gift for choreography when Señorita took charge of the Fairies, Pirates, Lost Boys, Mermaids, and Greek Gods and made the dancing come alive. And finally, thank you to our fearless leader, Ms. Jenny. She brought out the best of everyone around her and helped make the production - indeed, all of our productions - so special.

Thank you also to Steven Brown P'15 for opening the doors to Eltana for our girls each morning before their walk to Broadway Performance Hall.

See all of the Peter Pan photos here.

Congrats, girls!

Hour of Code 2013

We are about to finish up the second FLEx Week of the school year, a week of "deep dive" STEAM/Design Thinking projects. The girls (not in Peter Pan) have been embracing every opportunity offered to them, busy making short films around the topic of "what makes a girl strong?", formulating ideas and creating prototypes addressing accessibility to alternative transportation, and getting their hands dirty repairing bikes (and learning even more about alternative transportation) at Bike Works. And last but certainly not least, they have spent time coding — creating animated stories using the programming language Scratch — every day, and participated in the Hour of Code during this Computer Science Week. 

The Scratch projects were great: goofy and adorable. Through trial and error and lots of problem-solving, the girls programmed puppies, birds, and monsters to move around the screen. They created animated holiday cards and walking snowmen. One student sent a squirrel over a rainbow. Many added music to their stories. By the middle of the week, the girls were feeling empowered by their creations, and by the fact that they were learning — and writing — a new language.

At LWGMS we believe that programming can teach our girls fundamental skills like problem-solving and abstract thinking. Embedded in all disciplines at LWGMS is an emphasis on Design Education as a way of fostering fluency in creative thinking skills to solve 21st century problems. Problem-solving, risk-taking, and mistake-making are necessary skills to practice, especially at the middle school level and especially for girls.

Students experienced and familiar with Design Thinking (empathize, identify, ideate, prototype, and test) demonstrate resiliency and approach problems collaboratively and creatively — the heart of STEAM education at L-Dub. 

Out of the more than ten million students who have taken part in the Hour of Code as of this writing, 53 percent of them are girls.

“Don’t just buy a new video game — make one,” President Obama urges in a video he recorded on behalf of the campaign. “Don’t just download the latest app — help design it. Don’t just play on your phone — program. No one’s born a computer scientist, but with a little hard work — and some math and science — just about anyone can become one.”

Make sure to join us Friday at 2pm at the FLExing Our Muscles Project Fair to see all of the great work our girls have done during this FLEx Week.

See more images from our coding/Hour of Code session here

Go, FuerzaBots!

This term Lake Washington Girls Middle School has been offering a robotics and programming club – FuerzaBots! Guided by Ms. Rooks, Ms. Cristina, and Rob McCann P'14, the FuerzaBots team has been busy preparing for the FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League (FLL) Robotics Challenge. Each year, FIRST releases a new challenge that engages teams in hands-on robotics design and scientific research. The theme for the challenge is different each year, allowing teams to learn about a variety of subjects. This year, teams will apply research and robotics to explore natural disasters with FLL "Nature's Fury" challenge. To successfully complete the challenge, teams of young people must build and program a Lego Mindstorms robot to complete missions on a thematic playing surface and conduct research to discover what can be done when intense natural events meet the places people live, work, and play. This is Lake Washington Girls Middle School's first year participating in the event.

The FuerzaBots, comprising sixth grade students Eva, Ula, Julia, Maya, and Lucy, seventh grade students Paisley, Hava, Jayla, and Mackenzie, and eighth grade students Rae, Alma, Sadie, Helen, Josephine, and Savita, have been tackling this year's Challenge as a unit. Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values. Teams of up to ten kids (on the competition floor), with one adult coach, participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game) and developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by FLL's Core Values – that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork. 

The theme for this year’s competition is Disaster Relief: Nature's Fury. For the "project" part of the challenge, teams were tasked to develop an innovative solution to help people prepare, stay safe, or rebuild after a natural disaster. The FuerzaBots – using the process of Design Thinking – created an app that will help people find and gather an emergency supply kit closest to them (utilizing geo-location), instruct the user how to operate the kit's contents, and offer information on how to best handle the emergency situation at hand – in their case, a volcanic eruption. The FuerzaBots are preparing a presentation of their app to share with the judges at this weekend's tournament.

The FuerzaBots have also been working diligently on the Robot Challenge for which, over three months, they designed, built, and programmed four robots, one of which will tackle as many obstacles of natural disaster aftermath as possible in 2.5 minutes. The FuerzaBots dove into programming the "brick" – the brains – of the robot, and they quickly learned how the sensors work and in what situations they would be used. They also mastered how the motors work to make the robot go forward, backward, and to turn, as well as how to make the robots pick items up and move levers. As of today the FuerzaBot's robots can complete six of the ten course obstacles.

The FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Regional Tournament is this Sunday, December 8, at Ballard High School. During the tournament, teams have three rounds on the competition tables to get the best score possible. When not competing with their robots, teams give their research presentations, and are interviewed about the technical design of their robots and how they work as teams. Regional qualifiers may advance to the championship event in January. The winners of the Champion's Award, the most prestigious award, may be eligible to participate in a variety of post-season tournament opportunities both domestic and abroad. Our FuerzaBots, whose motto is "Code Like a Girl," are excited to be participating in the tournament for the first time and will be focusing on getting as far as they can and learning from the mistakes they make along the way.

Go, FuerzaBots!

Stop-motion Claymation in STEAM

One of the projects our girls have been working on this term in STEAM is stop-motion claymation films. They began by researching and writing their own "How or Why" stories such as "Why the Trees Lose Their Leaves" or "How the Crane Got Her Blue Eyes." From there, the girls built their own backgrounds, sets, and characters using clay and our STEAM Studio supplies. It has been such a blast seeing the girls work together to create such incredible short films. They have loved this project and so have we! If you'd like to see more of their work, join us for the LWGMS Film Festival February 12th.

Service Learning at St Clouds and Angeline's Center for Homeless Women

Over 45 students from Lake Washington Girls Middle School participated in a two-day service event in partnership with St. Clouds restaurant and Angeline’s Women’s Center. On the first day of this event, students met at St.Cloud’s restaurant, located in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood, with bags of food donations and unbridled enthusiasm. John Platt, an Executive Chef and owner at St. Clouds, appraised the food donations and quickly orchestrated a restaurant quality meal based on what our girls and their families provided. John put our girls to work chopping vegetables, at the deep fryer, on the flat top stove, stuffing peppers, washing dishes, and more! Before we knew it, John and the L-Dub girls and parents had cooked up vats of shrimp gumbo, sweet chili chicken, and a variety of salads! The food was packed up and whisked away to Angeline’s, while parents and students stayed behind to return the restaurant to its original state. 

The next morning, 36 students and several parents arrived at Angeline’s Women’s Center to decorate their dining room and serve the meal for lunch. Students created a festive dining space, waited on tables, and served up their delicious meal. It was a successful and profound experience all around: families and students were moved by the project, and John from St.Clouds had this to say...

...a triumph and, of course, mostly because those girls are truly so amazing – so much positive, relentless, and joyful energy.

— John Platt, Owner of St. Clouds

Thank you all for your incredible enthusiasm and participation in this project! A special shout-out to Susie P’15 and Jenn P’15 for leading the charge!

–Ms. Klema

You can see all of the photos from the cooking event here.

A big THANK YOU to Ms. Klema for organizing this event for the second year running! 

Festival of Fun!

Festival de Otoño was such a wonderful event! Our expanding, fun-loving, boisterous community came together to rub elbows, share tamales, flan, and dulce de leche, sing, dance, laugh, and most importantly, to support our girls and guests as they celebrated all things Latino. Thank you to the girls and faculty who worked so hard to make our Hall shine with celebration (and a little telenovela drama), and to our families who brought amazing desserts (¡qué rico!) and participated in our unique L-Dub brand of fun and learning. Fuerza!

Check out all of the pictures here.

 

FLEx Week: 6th Grade

Two weeks ago, our entire student body participated in our Fuerza Learning Experience (FLEx) Week. Each class headed off-campus – in very different directions – to have curricular and bonding experiences. Our newest class, the Class of 2016, spent the week in Olympia. The primary goal of the sixth grade trip was to build community. Every activity, every meal, every moment was devoted to fulfilling that mission. Over the course of two days, the girls climbed walls, walked runways, bestowed compliments, hiked in the darkness, embellished notebooks, danced in strobe lighting, speed-dated, and celebrated each other. 

FLEx WEEK!

When FLEx Week began and we got to Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, we were friends, but in that awkward ‘I know you, but not really’ way. All of that was about to end.

On the first night at camp, we had ‘dinner dates’ to get to know one other girl that we hadn’t yet spent much time with. The second day was the day that we really got close. In the morning, we completed challenge courses and tackled the climbing wall. We learned more about each others’ strengths and challenges from being on the belay team for the climbing wall. Later that day, we got really close with our cabin mates through putting on a project runway fashion show! Teams could only use the following materials: newspaper, crepe paper, duct tape, and scissors. It was tricky, but when the fashion show was put on, it was epic. Then there was an announcement about a talent show. The teachers drew sticks to put us in performance groups, and it was super fun! My group did a remix of Happy Birthday, another group did an improvised skit, and all the groups were fantastic, and really funny! After that, we got into a compliment circle: Earlier that day, we had received a name of another person in our 6th grade class, and were asked to think up a really meaningful, heartfelt compliment for them. Around the compliment circle, we presented our compliment to our ‘secret complimentee’ in front of everybody. It was really sweet, and our compliments made Ms. Caitlin cry!

We spent our days bonding through all types of activities, and on our own. I feel really close to my fellow 6th graders now, and I now can’t imagine having done anywhere else for middle school. It’s almost as if I have 33 new sisters that will always look out for me! I’m so glad we went on our trip!

-Mara '16

See all of Ms. Chelsea's photos from FLEx Week here.

 On the last day of the sixth grade trip, girls reflected on the time they had together. Some wrote their reflections as letters to themselves. Here are some of the things they wrote:

Most of all, I feel like I belong…When I look around at these people, I see amazing things. It makes me smile. But most of all, they see the beauty in me. I am no longer the girl who eats alone and has no friends. I am happy.

I feel like people got to know me as an outgoing, silly girl, but also the side of me that is kind of stressed out. But now I think that is good. I want them to know the good things about me and some of the not-so-good things.

Over the two days that I lived in camp, I have realized that I don’t just have L-Dub friends, but L-Dub family. 

I feel like I am always smiling or laughing and when I’m not, someone will come up to me and hug me. I am surrounded with people that care about me.

The compliments that you got made it so you could not stop smiling, and they filled you with joy. You knew right after that, that you could trust anybody in that room to be your friend because you saw how everyone’s compliments were from the heart.

I had so much fun, from waking up to music in the morning to falling asleep to Winn Dixie at night.

Now, on the last day of camp, you have a feeling that you have never felt before. You are not embarrassed. The next time you will try to make new friends, you will just be yourself and not afraid that if you say something, someone is going to think that you are weird because they won’t. You are wild, crazy, and funny, and there is nothing to be embarrassed about that. You will treasure the moment at camp when you realized that for your whole life.

I feel like I’ve known everyone in my class my whole life. It’s a great feeling!

This was really fun, and I’m really excited to be with these girls for the next three years.

Now that I’ve gone on this trip, I don’t think I’ll ever forget how easy it was to let go of the shyness that was holding me back from all of the crazy sixth graders I’ll be spending a lot of time with during school.

Every single compliment had so much meaning, and they were all so lovely and thoughtful, they made me want to cry too.

I’m amazed at how much this class feels like a community.

When giving compliments, you felt as if you were on top of the world. Making people feel great about themselves is an amazing quality to have. Remember you are surrounded by friends and people who care about you.

During this trip, I feel like everyone has moved at least a foot closer. I feel like we have known each other forever…I feel like this class does really well with teamwork…Everyone in this class is positive!

I feel so comfortable around all my classmates. I don’t feel like any of them aren’t my friends. 

The awesome thing about being in this class is that I feel like I have 33 sisters who will stand by me even when I’m wrong. That’s an awesome feeling to have.

Now I feel that I can talk to anybody or dance with anybody…and now I really think in 8th grade I could become strong in mind, body, and voice.

Mission accomplished.

STEAM Yo-yos

 As the first month of school winds down, our first set of 3D models are being printed.  Half of the STEAM enrichment class has spent the past two weeks researching and designing their version of a yo-yo.  By taking kinetic and potential energy into account, some designs ended up a bit more traditional, while others had clear indications of student personalities and zest.  Either way, the girls had a blast and were thrilled to see their own creations come to fruition. 

See more photos here

Happy International Day of the Girl!

 Happy Second Ever International Day of the Girl Child! Across the world thousands of girls are letting their voices be heard and demanding the world to respect our rights and freedoms.

Last year, Lake Washington Girls Middle School student body president Rachel ’13 and Head of School Patricia Hearn spearheaded the effort, along with the Seattle Girls’ School chapter of Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE, and other organizations, to have Seattle join with other communities to commemorate the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66/170, which designates October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child. The entire Lake Washington Girl Middle School Class of 2013 went to Seattle City Hall to meet with Councilmember Mike O’Brien to accept the official proclamation. It was a very exciting day!

We're very happy to know that so many wonderful people and organizations are supporting this day and girls around the world!  And while Malala Yousafzai did not win the Nobel Peace Prize today, her nomination raised awareness about the incredible work she's doing for girls education globally. Everyone at LWGMS would like to thank Malala. She's truly an inspiration!