After studying Greek Mythology in 7th grade Humanities, each girl made a "trading card" for a Greek god, goddess, or monster. Trading cards include basic information about the assigned god/goddess/monster, including families ties, special powers, and personality. Students also sketched simple illustrations and symbols for their trading cards.
Last week we welcomed 70 smart, strong, and wonderful women to share their stories and advice with the Class of 2016 at this year's Creative Connections luncheon. Eighth grade students facilitated roundtable discussions about the journeys our guests had been on to get to where they are today and how they encountered and rejected stereotypes and inequities along the way. The conversations were deep, lively, and very informative. The eighth grade students will be sharing some of what they learned with the rest of the student body next week, including...
- Take risks and never stop.
- Think outside the box! The uncomfortable can be very informative.
- Find ways to overcome obstacles – they aren't walls.
- Look for mentors who are challenging and nurturing.
- Challenges can be formative.
- Always remember: your voice and your ideas are important.
- Marry your passion to STEM.
- Speak out against injustice and challenge the status quo.
- Women are stronger together!
We were so thrilled by the energy, enthusiasm, and kindness our guests showed the eighth grade, and we want you to know that we are taking your advice to heart.
Highlights from the event...
"This piece...was a collaboration among three girls who were inspired by a young poet named Nate Marshall. He was featured in a documentary their class watched about a spoken word competition, or poetry slam, called Louder Than a Bomb. We call that style of poem an ego-trippin’ poem, and we used Nate’s piece as a mentor text, one that taught us how to employ hyperbole and allusion and wordplay. More important, however, was what it taught the girls about honoring and celebrating their authentic selves. They loved the rhyme and the wordplay and the collaboration, but they also loved the swagger of it. It was a license to brag and permission to boast. And in doing so, they also sent out a call to others to embrace what’s real about who they are.
We wanted these girls to perform for you today because it’s not often that you see young women, or any women for that matter, celebrated for being brash and outspoken. We’re not used to it, and girls aren’t typically encouraged to try that on. You should know that every student in their class had the option of writing an ego-trippin poem, but few did. Many resisted. They worried they would sound conceited, stuck-up. It was risky – that kind of self-promotion. And they’re right. It is risky. And here at L-Dub, we want girls to take risks. And in our society, we NEED girls to take risks. We need Beyonce to raise a fist during the Super Bowl’s halftime show and we need Hillary Clinton to demand a seat in the oval office. We need girls to recognize that “self-assured is NOT cocky, that standing tall is NOT shadowing others, that confidence IS marvelous,” and we need all of you to help us celebrate when girls find the will and the courage to speak up."
—Eva McGough, Humanities Chair
"What can schools do to battle the myth of effortless perfectionism? Girls get all these messages from media and society – and maybe from their schools and maybe from their parents – that they should be able to do everything well: do well in school, do well in sports, have a lot of friends…all with pressure to post all this success and happiness on social media. And there’s this other insidious expectation that they should be able to do so much so well without much struggle, without really trying that hard. In other words, “I woke up like this.” If you think back to the words of Corina, Celia, and Zoe who started us off today, you can see that they are aware of – and they are critically analyzing – this element of our culture where people sometimes measure their self-worth via the validation of social media. “You might think I need to get a life,” they said, “but at least if I don’t get a like, it’s alright.”"
—Patti Hearn, Head of School
"Teaching girls how to make film is also a social justice issue for women. You all know the statistics: women make up only 18% of all the directors, writers, and producers in the film industry, and that includes independent films. If we only look at the top 250 domestic grossing films, women directed only 9% of those popular films. And those are the films that saturate the media and damage girls’ self esteem around body image and leave us with so few visible role models for women. When I think about the topics our eighth grader chose this year, I wonder how different the world will be when women get behind the camera. We already know that when men direct films, only 9% of the protagonists are women but in films directed by women, female characters make up 40% of the protagonists. Women making films tell stories about women, and I know that girls have some great stories and a lot to say about privilege, equality, and justice."
—Jenny Zavatsky, Assistant Head of School
You can see all of these photos and more on our Smugmug site!
Behind the Scenes of Poetry Night
— by Vera ‘16
The lights shine brightly in my eyes and my stomach clenches nervously. The adrenaline left over from the nerve wreaking hour and a half of bumper-to-bumper traffic makes my body want to jump up and run around the room. People shift restlessly in their seats. They stare at us expectantly, waiting for us to start. The night of the Festival of Lights has finally arrived. Months of preparation and anticipation have lead up to this night.
But what is this Festival of Lights celebrating? “Every celebration is about the girls. Every celebration is about you,” Ms.Falk said in a interview. She went on to say that at L-Dub we value expressions of mind, body, and voice, and poetry is a “...beautiful burst of voice, an expression of gratitude, a gift to the community.”
The amount of effort that goes into this wonderful night is huge and comes from everyone at L-Dub. Ms. Falk, Ms.Eva, Ms. Jenny, Señorita Jacquie, and the rest of the Humanities Department begins to consider dates, times, the budget, and organizing the students at the beginning of the school year. Then, about a month later, under the direction of Ms. Falk, the Poetry Elective students begin to orchestrate the event. First, they come up with a theme. This year the theme was “Never Alone,” and it came from a poem written by Sophie ‘17. This poem was inspired by Sarah Kay’s If I Should Have a Daughter, which was the last poem performed at Poetry Night.
If I Had a Daughter by Sophie ‘17
If I had a daughter I would tell her,
listen to your heart,
into your soul
you know what is right.
If I had a daughter I would tell her
the earth is your home.
you wouldn't exist!
what you do to the earth
are your brothers
treat them like you would any human.
They have rights,
and they have souls,
they are no different than us on the inside.
If killing or torturing a human is a crime,
why shouldn't it be a crime to kill or torture an animal?
there may be times when you feel covered
but hope and love will always find a way.
Remember help and light will,
be there for you when you need it most.
never give up
if you are the light at the end of the tunnel.
never give up
if the race hasn’t even begun.
The stars are high up,
don’t think you can’t,
build a ladder to reach them.
of the sea may try to pull you down,
to the depths,
but don’t think,
you’ll go down,
without a fight!
Next, the students designed the set and t-shirts. Everyone contributed ideas – some of which were used and others stored for later. The idea eventually selected was “trees with holiday lights wrapped around them in honor of the Festival of Lights.” Next came the t-shirt design. This year Maggie, Addie, Rhys, and I drew the design with others contributing to the design and composition. In a interview Maggie said that it felt “nice to draw it” and that she was “proud of it.” Everyone in Poetry Elective was proud of everything each of them had contributed by the end.
Once the planning and designing was done, the poetry crew built and set everything up. Ms.Lindsey polished up the t-shirts and ordered them. Ms.Chelsea built and perfected all the sets. Ms. Christina sets up the lights and sound. Ms. Blaisdell put the finishing touched on the program and prepared to photograph and shoot the performances. All the students on Poetry Crew assisted whenever they were needed. So many people in our school were involved.
Finally, after months of preparation on the behalf of the Humanities Department, Poetry Elective, Poetry Crew, and all L-Dub students, the night finally arrived. Everything was ready. Everyone’s lines were memorized, the stage was set up beautifully, the new microphones (wow, what a gift!) were tuned and ready, the Poetry Crew was ready to assist people on and off stage, and the Poetry Advice Wall was all set up. The lights went off and the Evening of Words began.
The shadows of L-Dub students twirl and leap on the walls of the Immaculate Conception church hall. These dancing shapes perfectly reflect the strength, energy, and emotion of the poems being presented at the 2015 LWGMS Festival of Lights. Strands of tiny shining lightbulbs illuminate the room, bringing an aura of celebration and contemplation as the eventful night begins.
The night starts off with a powerful poem from the poetry elective, centered around the idea of advice and having one another’s back. It’s heartwarming; a glorious introduction to the rest of the sweet, moving, and intensely captivating Poetry Night. This event solidified the idea that at L-Dub you are never alone, and the poetry elective students did an incredible job of it!
The walls of the Immaculate Conception Church hall reflected the energy produced by the eagerly waiting relatives, friends, parents, and students. The white lights decorating the brown paper trees made by Ms. Chelsea added a feel of emotion and wonder. The girls performing poems either sat tapping their feet nervously or talking with friends. You could tell the night was going to be magnificent.
—Anne Elise '18
Our Fuerza fall sports season wrapped up with a volleyball tournament, a soccer win, and cross country championship. Our L-Dub athletes had fun, learned and improved their skills, and balanced the joy of athleticism and teamwork with the competitiveness of their chosen sport. Thank you to every one who made this season such a success!
We just finished our second season of Fuerza Cross Country. When I first got involved last year I had few hopes or expectations for the team other than to simply have fun – and make sure that by the end of the season the girls enjoyed running a little more than they did at the beginning. Simple enough. It’s fair to say we accomplished this… but through the course of the season – as individuals and as a team – we achieved so much more. One of my favorite sayings about running is: “running never takes more than it gives.” At some point during the season, whether in a race or practice, every girl faced a moment of doubt, concern, or maybe even mild anxiety. And every girl faced that challenge, pushed through, and learned volumes about herself in the process. We also learned that cross country is a true team sport – not just in the scoring of the meets, but also in how we all show up and support one another. And yes, we won the championship meet two years in a row (!!!), but I’m even more proud of how the girls showed up to practice and meets each day and gave it their all…and had a ton of fun too!
I’m super proud to have been one of the founding Fuerza XC coaches, and incredibly thankful to have had Erik and Jeff coach along with me…and also have Colleen, Chika, and all the other parents supporting with car pools and race-day logistics. What an amazing season! With only three graduating eighth graders (shout out to team captains Mena, Tess and Nora!), Erik and Jeff are sure to have another amazing team on their hands next year. I can’t wait to come cheer for the girls. GO FUERZA!
– Coach Adam
Three years ago I began helping out with soccer when my daughter Gemma started LWGMS in sixth grade. Back then it was a team comprising one eighth grader, several seventh graders, and a group of sixth graders of widely varying experience – all of them wearing sneakers. Our first game was against a super organized team of dark-blue uniformed, giant gazelles, but nothing stopped us. We had so much fun fun that season....we even won the last game 1-0, the lone goal coming just before the final whistle. :)
The constant thrill is watching the incoming sixth graders form the core of every team. Each year they arrive ready to make it happen. Soccer at LW is a fantastic opportunity for girls of all levels from beginners to the club select and premier level, yes we have all, to come together and experience forming a team that is focused and together and, most satisfying, having fun.
The thrill would be to keep coaching FUERZA soccer forever.
– Coach Colin
Fuerza volleyball had a season full of fun and competition…with lots of smiles and hard work. We started in the warm afternoons of September, catching water balloons to practice our footwork. The girls endured red forearms from endless bumping and sore hands from setting. Most of all we worked on serving, culminating in our game at Seattle Country Day where our serve rate was close to 100%. This season there was a dash of spiking and we even had a few spikes in some games, much to the excitement of everyone involved. Our teams exemplified the LW value of sisterhood with a lot of spirit and support (for good and bad plays). Additional memories include: bus rides, pizza, a new group cheer for the beginning of games, Dead Fish and Murder (your daughters can explain), human knots and skittles colored by unicorns. Hopefully the girls left with many great memories!
– Coach Shawn
Alice in Wonderland is 150 years old this year, and the LWGMS Drama Department decided to throw her a birthday party – L-Dub style! As we tell the story of a curious girl on an adventure through another land, our inspiration comes from the 1970s (with a little Taylor Swift and Katy Perry thrown in for good measure). Without any real logic to Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole, we embraced any idea that came along and created a show that highlighted the talents of eighth graders’ dance, art, and sewing skills; seventh graders’ singing and acting chops; and sixth graders’ energy and excitement. We added new and old songs throughout the rehearsal process as well as new characters and additional scenes. When anyone questioned how a new idea might fit in the storyline, the answer was always, “It’s Wonderland, so anything can happen!” We hope you will enjoy our wacky tale of Alice, a girl on a quest to find out who she is.
As with any LWGMS production, many people contribute to the success of our shows: the music sounds great because of Ms. Lindsey, the sets and costumes look great because of Ms. Chelsea, the actors are loud and clear because of Ms. Eva and Ms. Hearn, and the volunteers get coordinated because of Ms. Colleen. Ultimately, the entire community contributes to these shows in so many ways. None of this would happen without the help and support of the faculty and staff who give up class time, drive set pieces and kids to the theater, and then come to the shows to cheer on the girls. Thanks to all the parents and family members who I’m sure spent hours listening to songs, running lines, and filling the theater with love.
The FuerzaBots are at it again! LWGMS's Robotics Team – the school's fourth – has been working hard building and programming their robots, creating their trash-themed LEGO® models, and working to complete missions on their specialized TRASH TREK playing fields. They have also been busy finding solutions to real-world problems by delving into trash-use problems right here at L-Dub.
As many of you may know, FIRST LEGO League introduces students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. Our FuerzaBots, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches Ms. Christine, Ms. Cristina, Rob Sim P'16 and Tim Ross P'18, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.
The FuerzaBots get to:
- Design, build, test and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology
- Apply real-world math and science concepts
- Research challenges facing today’s scientists
- Learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills
- Participate in tournaments and celebrations
The FuerzaBots, comprised of sixth grade students Alicia, Ryan, Helen, Elliot, Vivian, Luci, and Edie, seventh grade students Sophie, Emiko, and Audrey, and eighth grade students Maya, Julia, and Isabel, 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 FuerzaBots Robotics Team heads to the North Seattle WA FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Competition this Sunday, December 6.
This year, the 2015 FIRST® LEGO® League TRASH TREKSM Challenge, 290,000 children ages 9 to 16 from over 80 countries will explore the fascinating world of trash. From collection, to sorting, to smart production and reuse, there is certainly more to trash than meets the eye. The FuerzaBots have been working diligently on the Robot Challenge for which, over three months, they designed, built, and programed four robots, one of which will tackle as many obstacles of natural disaster aftermath as possible in 2.5 minutes. The FuerzaBots dove into programing 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 eight of the ten course obstacles. The girls are putting the finishing touches on their TRASH TREK project this week.
They've also been asked to work to solve a real-life problem pertaining to trash in the "project" section of the Qualifying Competition. As LWGMS students do, the FuerzaBots sought to solve a problem right here in our school community.
From the FuerzaBots:
"Through surveys and observation, we found that 68% of L-Dub students use plastic baggies in their lunches. That’s over half the school! We also found that of the plastic baggie users, 34% use them five or more times a week!
On average then, our community uses 323 plastic baggies per week. That’s a lot of plastic baggies going into a landfill each week! This would total to 58,140 plastic baggies in a school year. If you were to stack 58,140 plastic bags on top of each other it would be as tall as Seattle’s Great Wheel. That’s terrible!
We all know this is a problem we needs solving, so the FuerzaBots have produced a video tutorial for making a DIY Reusable Snack Bag. Hopefully, everyone will try to make and use these bags. We suggest if you can't, though, that you buy reusable baggies, or switch to wax paper."
The FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Regional Tournament is this Sunday, December 6, at Ballard High School in Seattle. 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. This, their first year, our FuerzaBots, whose motto is "Code Like a Girl," are excited to be participating in the tournament and will be focusing on getting as far as they can and learning from the mistakes they make along the way.
Join us to cheer on the FuerzaBots Robotics Team as they head to the North Seattle WA FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Competition!
Where: Ballard High School
8:00a – Team Check-in Opens
8:30a – Coach Meeting
9:00a – Judge Sessions Begin
12:30p – Opening Ceremony
12:45p – Robot Game
4:30p – Awards Ceremony
A special blog installment by L-Dub Student Journalists Zoe ‘16, Vera ‘17, Anne Elise ‘18, and Addiemaymae '18
What Is Festival de Otoño?
Everyone loves Festival de Otoño. It is filled with bright colors, fun dancing, and singing with friends and family – it’s all so exciting. From a student’s perspective, performing in front of the whole school can be nerve wracking at first, but with most L-Dub performances, anxiety quickly dissolves into energy, confidence, and laughter. And showing off the work you put into your telenovela – or watching those made by your L-Dub sisters – makes you feel a warm sense of pride. But what is Festival de Otoño? I turned to Señora Charito to find out more.
“Festival de Otoño is a community celebration in which we celebrate Latin/Spanish-speaking culture and our accomplishments.” she told me in an interview the day after the event. “It’s a party.”
This party was originally the autumn/halloween festival until Señora had the idea to have a Latin/Spanish-speaking cultural-themed fête. “It’s really turned into an all-community event,” she said. Over the years, Festival has evolved, and it continues to. Projects have come and gone, locations have moved, and the food served differs from year to year. But it’s still a time to celebrate each other and ourselves. It’s still a time to show our family, L-Dub or otherwise, what we have accomplished. But most of all, it’s just plain fun.
Next, we interviewed Señorita Jacquie:
Zoe: I know that this is your third year of co-leading Festival with Señora. Your first year at L-Dub, you taught the 8th grade class when they were in sixth grade. What was your initial reaction to Festival?
Señorita Jacquie: I was never a performer, and during my first or second week of school at L-Dub I had to teach two grades songs and dances! Ms. Jenny called it a perfect example of “baptism by fire.”
Zoe: What is the teaching content like leading up to Festival?
Señorita Jacquie: Both grades do some learning around Dia de los Muertos and the history of Halloween. There is a history behind each song and there is a specific cultural message.
Zoe: What do you love the most about Festival?
Señorita Jacquie: What is so great about Festival is that it doesn’t feel real until that night! I love seeing the girls being confident and singing and dancing on stage and being able to sing a whole Spanish song. I can see all of their genuine smiles on stage. I also appreciate that there is a special night dedicated to the Spanish department.
Zoe: As a student at L-Dub, I love learning Spanish songs in class but how does it benefit the teachers?
Señorita Jacquie: When the girls learn the songs, I actually see them using new vocab from the song that they then use in class. It is also nice that they are learning something other than just grammar.
Zoe: Thanks, Señorita!
A Sixth Grade Student's First Festival
Walking into school at 6:30p is not something you do every day. The school was buzzing with activity. As I walked in, I saw families receiving name tags and then taking time to admire the elaborate altar that was set up by Ms.Chelsea. After walking through classrooms displaying art created by sixth, seventh, and eighth grade – as well as Ms.Klema’s art elective – and watching the telenovelas filmed and edited by the seventh and eighth grade, students and their parents walked over to the church hall. There we listened to Evy’s Uncle’s mariachi band play two energetic, festive songs, and then the sixth, seventh and eighth grades sang dramatic, sweet, and exciting songs. To end the night, Ms. Heather's dance exploration class performed a dance they had prepared, and the whole school danced to a song the eighth graders picked out and choreographed. After the event, the whole school worked together to clean up. At this time, I took the opportunity to talk to some of the teachers about their feelings about Festival de Otoño.
“I love seeing everyone having such fun. I also enjoy the community feel,” said Head of School, Ms. Hearn.
Ms.Keiko told me, smiling as she spoke, “I love how the whole school works together and how amazed the sixth grade looks performing in front of everyone...for the first time.”
Being a sixth grader myself, I felt amazed standing in front of everyone, but didn't realize how much it showed.
“It's definitely my favorite event,” Ms. Keiko said, “and I get very emotional and teary watching it.” Wow, I thought, these events – and our performances – really do mean something to these amazing teachers. That is what stuck with me the most.
A Festival for All
All of the eighth graders carry a look of anticipation and excitement knowing that their telenovelas will be shown. These are their Spanish soap opera films that they have been working on for two months. Seventh graders smile as they hear Madison and Nyssa introduce their song and they step on stage to sing, “Wavin’ Flag,” with all their hearts. Sixth graders sing as sweetly as birds as they perform the traditional Mexican song, “De Colores.” Families and friends watch as they see the girls showing off their bilingualism and performance skills. Teachers watch their students take everything they have learned and show it to the community. The whole school is drenched in color and enthusiasm as Festival De Otoño is celebrated at L-Dub for the 11th year. It is always an event to be remembered. Festival is the party of the year!
We wanted to see what the audience had to say about being part of Festival, watching the girls sing, dance, act, and speak. We asked them what their favorite parts were and what they learned at Festival this year. There was a wide range of highlights. From Ella’s awesome guitar playing, the whole school poem, to the Mariachi playing. Festival has definitely changed over the years but according to Rich Sohn P’14, ‘18, “Festival never gets old”. Many parents enjoyed seeing their daughters confidence on stage. Frewoini Gugsa P’15, ‘18 told me, “I saw another side of my daughter tonight. I saw her come out of her shell, talking to different people, and opening up on stage.” The poem also hit home with many parents, Laura Rodde P’16: “I liked the poem because it was international and inclusive and stood for everything L-Dub stands for.” Many people also mentioned the eighth grade telenovelas. Sue Wendel P’16 said, “My favorite part was watching the telenovelas because they were produced fabulously and were artfully created.”
– L-Dub Student Journalists, Zoe ‘16, Vera ‘17, Anne Elise ‘18, and Addiemaymae '18
Ms. Lindsey's eighth grade art class is in the middle of an amazing art project – the perfect STEAM project, actually, combining art and STEM – and the pieces are gorgeous. Scientific illustrations! The girls are connecting to the natural world and building skills in drawing and painting detailed ornithological illustrations using a variety of media.
Yesterday, the seventh grade had a powerful full day learning about individuals and/or families in our community seeking support for basic needs, and what services/supports exist for them.
The day began with a visit with Susan from Real Change, an award-winning weekly newspaper that provides immediate employment opportunity and takes action for economic, social, and racial justice. Susan told the girls about Real Change’s vision to create just, caring and inclusive community, where people are no longer marginalized by racism and classism and have the means to live with dignity, and she gave each girl a handmade Compassion Heart. The girls also heard from Rev. Reynolds from Operation Nightwatch, a service helping to place hundred of homeless men in shelters each night; and FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. Since 1992, FareStart has provided opportunities for over 7,500 people to transform their lives, while also serving over 6 million meals to disadvantaged people in our community.
After that, groups hopped on King County Metro busses, and set off in different directions: One went to Lambert House, a safe place for queer youth ages 22 and under. The girls learned that Lambert House packs its calendar with fun activities, support groups, planning meetings, dances, and other events to make life better for GLBTQ youth. Everyday, approximately 25 youth visit Lambert House. The drop-in center has a full kitchen, living room with a pool table, a stereo for tunes, a library with queer books, TV, games, and people to talk with about anything. Other groups went to Compass Housing, providing housing and services for homeless and low-income men, women and families in King County; Treehouse, an organization committed to leveling the playing field for youth in foster care, so that each is included, may prosper in, and contribute to society. The girls also brought our community’s collection of donated items to Tent City 3 and Hope Place, where they served dinner to homeless women and their children.
Finally, the girls made their way to the Columbia City Church of Hope, a place where people can integrate their various experiences of life through ritual, community, and story, where they spent the night in the basement/shelter area. Joe Sherman P’17 spoke to the girls about the church and their mission, and also and Mary's Place’s, empowering homeless women, children and families to reclaim their lives by providing rotation shelter (Monday night at the Columbia City Church of Hope), nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community.
Today is another day! Stay tuned…
@RealChangeNews #RealChange _farestart #FareStart #EpiphanyParishSeattle @kcmetrobus @lamberthouse #LambertHouse @Lambert_House @CompassHousing @TreehouseTweets #HopePlace #TentCity3 #ColumbiaCityChurchofHope @MarysPlaceWA
Congratulations to the Class of 2015!
"I would like to suggest that all of your moments at L-Dub and all of your future moments can be connected to math and the properties of three special numbers: prime numbers, composite numbers, and perfect squares.
First, our prime number moments. A prime number is a number that is only divisible by itself and one. Between the numbers of one and ten, one is prime. So are two, three, five, and seven. There are many prime number moments in our lives. This is when we tackle life solo, on our own. We can compare these moments to the exhilaration we feel when we are diving, the motivation we feel studying the night before an exam, the moments when your only companion is yourself. We sometimes feel the strength of our independence in these moments and other times we feel very alone. But being alone and feeling alone don’t always have to go hand-in-hand. In these moments of fierce independence, be gentle with yourself. Celebrate what feels good, and try to understand what doesn’t. You are in control, and you can use your strength and your wisdom to continue growing as a solid prime number.
The second type of number I want to talk about is a composite number. Composite numbers have multiple factors, many parts. Between the numbers one and ten, we have five composite numbers: four, six, eight, nine, and ten. We similarly have many composite number moments. These occur anytime we share with others – during group projects, around a table at lunch, when you courageously reach out for help, or when others courageously reach out to you. In order to really succeed as composite numbers, we need to understand each of our factors. In math, numbers bring computational power and flexibility. In life, our composite relationships are similar. In these moments, seek to understand one another, celebrate each person's strengths. We are all doing the best we can with the tools that we have been given, we are growing and learning from each other.
And finally, we have perfect square moments. Some of our composite numbers are perfect squares. Four is a perfect square, nine also. Even our prime number one can be called a perfect square. Perfect squares are beautiful. They have simple symmetry, they are accessible, easily inverted, and deeply appreciated. They can be compared to an exquisite performance at poetry night. The room is silent, the lights hit you at just the right angle, your pace is perfect, and your poem is moving – there is not a dry eye in the house. My advice to you in those moments of stardom: step into the spotlight, even when feels hard – especially when it feels hard – and embrace the natural perfection of those rare moments.
Now, as we wrap up these final moments of middle school, please take your numbers with you. As you move on to ninth grade I want you to remember all of the moments you’ve had here at L-Dub – the reflections you’ve made, the compliments given, and the compliments received. While the perfect square moments are the ones secured on your cameras, I would like to ask you today to focus on the prime and the composite numbers as well. If you choose in life to be honest and generous with yourself and others, you will breathe more and worry less. You will make room to experience the small moments of joy available to you everyday. Your happiness will grow – it will grow exponentially!"
Annie Wright Upper School
Shorecrest High School
Ballard High School
Franklin High School
Garfield High School
Nathan Hale High School
Summit Sierra School
Ingraham High School
Raisbeck Aviation High School
Garfield High School
The Northwest School
The Nova Project
Ballard High School
Garfield High School
Garfield High School
Ballard High School
Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences
Garfield High School
The Bush School
The Northwest School
The Nova Project
Seattle Preparatory School
Bishop Blanchet High School
The Northwest School
Ingraham High School
Garfield High School
Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences
The Northwest School
The Bush School
Garfield High School
Garfield High School
Garfield High School
Bainbridge High School
Bishop Blanchet High School
Seattle Preparatory School
Oh The Places We'll Go
Today is our day.
We’re off to Great Places!
We're off and away!
We have brains in your head.
Thanks to all the great teachers
Who’ve definitely shown us
How to be leaders
We’re not on our own. We have our magnificent friends
That we know will stay with us
To the very end.
Maybe we’ve done some things that weren't exactly fun
But in the end when it’s all said and done
We’ve learned so much
We’ve learned a lot
We’d be glum if we forgot.
Whether it was singing on stage
Or doing Karate
We are now more strong in mind, voice, and body.
From the tall red lockers
To the noisy halls
The big glass doors
And the broken bathroom stalls,
We thank L-Dub for all of our knowledge
that we’ll take with us to highschool
and even to college!
Oh the places we’ll go!
Garfield, Prep, or Blanchet
I’m sure we agree that we’ll never forget
The friendships we’ve gained
The things we’ve been through
That made those friendships
Truer than true.
So to my classmates
One last thing:
We're off the Great Places!
Today is our day!
Our mountain is waiting.
Let’s get on your way!
This year's Field Day was by far the loudest yet – our first at full capacity (we've doubled the size of the school over the past three years, if you didn't already know) – and the walls, floors, and windows were shaking! Cheers reached a new level this year. They were inspired: creative, inclusive, and fun! R&R groups took their cheer and costumes (all hand made from, repurposed, and/or recycled materials) very seriously!
- Participation: Every member must be fully involved in the performance
- Enthusiasm: R&R logos, costumes, colors, mascots
- Preparation: All singing/speaking parts are memorized; members know their parts
- Sportsmanship: Cheer has a positive, friendly, and inclusive message
Congratulations to the Royal Red Raccoons for their cheer win, and to all of the groups for their amazing spirit, enthusiasm, and energy!
Check out more photos on Smugmug.
Q: What could be a better theme for the culmination of eighth grade drama at LWGMS than a play about being in a play?
A: Three plays.
The shows performed by the Class of 2015 highlight the girls’ talent for being funny. We knew that this class of comediennes would revel in the world of comedy and satire, and the three plays in this one act festival are showcases for their ability to serve up humor with perfect timing and slapstick physicality. With smaller casts than ever, we got to celebrate the culminating drama production for this class with intimacy and attention to detail. Rehearsals were a delight as we worked out complex blocking, key monologues, and ensemble scenes; we even got to reminisce about those wildly entertaining moments as Oompa-Loompas and the songs and dances from Peter Pan and Mulan. It has been a wonderful few weeks of theatre as the halls of L-Dub were filled with the girls’ and their directors’ laughter.
Eighth graders, thank you for making this production funnier than we thought it could be and for being good sports about whatever we asked you to do, whether it was sing, sing badly, dance, dance badly, speak with an accent, speak with an unintelligible accent, fight, fall, cut lines, add lines, or hit your friends over the head.
You are 35 reasons to direct a play.
The cast was full of talent and full of ideas, and the crew on this show was as well! The dedicated seventh grade team of artists collaborated to design a beautiful show, from props to sets to costumes to lighting to sound.
Thank you to you all,
Ms. Hearn, Ms. Jenny, and Ms. Chelsea
Head on over to Smugmug to see all of the photos!
Last week's all student Arts Festival was one to remember! With our school growth complete this year, and our classrooms at full capacity, this year the art was even more plentiful, diverse, colorful, creative, and amazing than ever. From block printing, puppetry, 3D printing, triptychs, wearable circuitry, to song and dance, the arts are alive at LWGMS. Thank you to all of our students for their hard and dedicated work this year, to our Art Department for their leadership and inspiration, and to our families for supporting our girls' creative endeavors.
Check out all of the photos on Smugmug!
On May 17, 2015 the first annual Startup Weekend GIRLS – for girls in grades 5-10 in the Seattle area – wrapped up its event with its judges announcing how impressed they were by the innovation and quality of the new business formed in one weekend! The weekend was a huge success! More than 100 people gathered over the weekend for pitches, presentations, and speaker Rebecca Lovell!
Startup Weekend GIRLS Teams and Winners:
- FIRST PLACE WareFair (@WareFair): An app with the missions of increasing awareness and bettering the working conditions for workers globally.
- SECOND PLACE Chore Hub: An app/website connecting people through the love (and hatred) of chores.
- THIRD PLACE Monster Cupcakes (@monstercupcak10, @monster_cakes_): Scary good and eerily customizable cupcake designing and ordering app/website.
- MOST AMBITIOUS OpenDoor: Website helping people by connecting them with resources, opportunities, and personal support network to help them get on their feet.
- MOST PASSIONATE Pit Souls (@5pitbulllovers): A website with a mission to change the often negative stereotypes of the Pitbull breed.
Participants made new friends, created fantastic companies – many with a social justice mission – and learned a lot about building a startup from the ground up. In the end we hosted 29 #GIRLprenuers, five Team Leaders (diverting a bit from the Up Global format to best fit our participants needs), 12 coaches, three judges, one speaker, and 96 spectators. Five teams formed from 15 individual pitches given Saturday morning (another slight deviation from the typical Startup Weekend format), and the girls spent the rest of their time working on “team, team, team, market, and product” – as suggested by speaker Rebecca Lovell, Startup Liaison to the City of Seattle – and turning great ideas into viable businesses.
All of this year’s coaches were either serial entrepreneurs, successful founders of businesses, or standouts in their industry. Every team had an opportunity to gain insights and guidance from coaches who’ve had to engage customers, gain market share, and scale their businesses online and off. They came from a variety of industries. We were so impressed by this intrepid group: Our Team Leaders were Founder of rivaliq.com, T.A. McCann (@tamccann); CEO and Founder of PhotoPad for Business Diane Najm (@virtualgestures); CEO and Founder of Shiftboard, Bryan Lhuillier (@shiftboard); and Alexis Mohr, Director of Demand Generation at Azuqua; and Thibaut LaBarre (@asimov4), Lead Software Development Engineer at Amazon. Alexandra Koch, Allie Sterling, Derek Maffett, Joni Barrott, Adam Pearson, Liz Hunt, Wes Ducey, Alex Vollmer, Buzz Bruggeman, Erika Shaffer, Sebastien Motte, and Melissa Scott also joined at various times during the weekend to help with market validation, presentations, and pitching.
As for the judges, they were amazing, and offered each team invaluable feedback. Zach Smith (@zax_myth), VP of Technology at Substantial, Rebecca Lovell (@lovelletters), Startup Advocate for the City of Seattle, and Marion Boituex (@marionbtx), Student Developer Marketing lead @Microsoft were involved because they’re all dedicated to inspiring and helping students – especially girls – build epic stuff with technology.
Want a play-by-play of the weekend? Check out the official @StartupWGirls twitter account, @StartupWGirls. The entire weekend was live tweeted, and many participants hopped on the #SWGirls, #pitchlikeagirl, and #GIRLpreneur hashtags to share photos and memories. More photos and stories can be found at lwgms.org. Stay tuned for videos!
And thank you to our generous sponsors who made this weekend possible!
Lake Washington Girls Middle School teacher Christine Zarker Primomo was surprised in front of all of her students and colleagues moments ago. During the school’s Teacher Appreciation assembly today, CenturyLink representative Jane Nishita presented Primomo with an oversized check, balloons, and the honor of recognition for her innovations in technology and teaching. Primomo is the recipient of The CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation's Teachers and Technology grant in the amount of $4,984!
Primomo’s project Increasing Opportunities for Hands-On STEAM Investigations was selected for its goals of innovatively implementing technology to increase student achievement, and with the grant she will be able to realize her plans: to purchase four complete sets of Vernier computer interfaces and probeware and associated software, and to attend the Vernier Summer Institute so that she will be better prepared to integrate the technology in the school’s STEAM and Science curricula.
Primomo explained in her application, “With the addition of Vernier probeware and software to our STEAM Studio and Science classroom, our students will be better equipped to test and retest their designs and solutions, as well as gain experience collecting data during scientific investigations related to ecology, human biology, physics, chemistry, and more. This technology will allow students the opportunity to collect, analyze, and communicate data on investigations such as the pollution levels in a local stream before and after a school-wide habitat restoration project. This invaluable learning opportunity seamlessly integrates science and technology in our students’ lives, supporting students to discover how to use science and technology to make an impact on their communities. We believe that the hands-on learning opportunities available in the STEAM Studio and Science classroom that are relevant to our students’ daily lives have engaged our students not just engineers, scientists, and mathematicians, but most importantly as active community members.”
At Lake Washington Girls Middle School, the science curriculum is intended to foster a sense of excitement and curiosity about the field of science and the ways in which it permeates every aspect of our daily lives. LWGMS students conduct experiments, explore connections between different scientific phenomena, carry out research, build models, and present their findings. In addition, students take year-long STEAM classes that integrate the arts with science, technology, engineering, and math. The three year scope and sequence begins with shop safety and use of tools and culminates in an individual project that demonstrates students’ ability to solve problems using STEAM skills. The STEAM curriculum is designed to get girls excited about engineering, technology, science, and math while expanding their creative confidence. The work in STEAM classes is regularly integrated with learning in other classes, so that the skills and knowledge are easily applicable and relevant across disciplines.
Please help us congratulate Christine Zarker Primomo for her dedication to girls’ science education, for her innovation in the classroom, and for her infectious enthusiasm for cultivating confidence in her students. Christine is committed – as are all of Lake Washington Girls Middle School’s faculty and staff – to creating a space where girls can grow into young women, strong in mind, body, and voice.
Dear L-Dub Community: I am writing to let you know that we have made a last minute decision to move the venue of our auction out of the Grand Hyatt. The auction will be held a few blocks away, at the Knights of Columbus reception space on Capitol Hill.
This decision is rooted in both ethics and in pragmatism.
I heard from an alumnae family a few days ago that the Hyatt is being boycotted for unfair treatment of its workers. That alumnae family was the first to let me know that, while they wholeheartedly support LWGMS and our mission, they would not attend an event at the Hyatt. Since then, I’ve heard from others who share that view.
In the past few days, the staff and some members of the board have done some research into the issues around the boycott. (More information about the nature of the union's concerns can be found here.) For an explanation of why this decision is mission aligned and why I feel this is the correct ethical decision, please see our press release.
It appears that there may be picketing around the time of our auction. The union had been negotiating with the owner of the Grand Hyatt, but those discussions broke down recently. Pragmatically, we appear to be at risk of lower attendance due to the boycott, which would lead to loss of revenue.
In all decisions related to the school, I begin by asking the question, “What is best for the girls?” It’s clear to me that modeling for our students how to be an ally and to speak up for those who need it is, in fact, what is best for the girls. That’s what those strong voices are for, after all.
LWGMS eighth graders are, serendipitously, learning about the history of labor organizing. This morning, we let them know about our plans to make this change and it melded beautifully into their social studies lesson. I’d like to share with you some of their responses.
It’s incredible what a group of individuals can do when challenged, and it’s incredible that I can be a part of this. To me, this isn’t a dispute of what is right and what is fair; it’s a matter of human rights. –Grey
Everybody deserves a chance to stand up for fair treatment. –Maren
It’s important to support people who are not being heard. –Kenzie
People deserve to have a voice for concerns they have. –Paisley
Our school’s motto is strong in mind, body, and voice. By doing this, we are speaking for the women who don’t have a voice at the Grand Hyatt Seattle. –Olivia
I think L-Dub is a community where equality for everyone is important, and supporting the workers is the right thing to do. –Rosie
I am for what we are doing because they are mostly women employees who probably can’t speak their minds to their employers. –Aggie
I think it’s important to help advocate for those who deserve a stronger voice. –Maddy
If I were in this situation I would want support, and I would feel grateful to L-Dub for boycotting. –Hava
By boycotting the hotel, we can spread awareness. –Shilpa
And so, off we go. The auction committee and staff are working furiously to put this show on and I am completely confident we will have a lovely event. I applaud the extraordinary effort by the team to pull off a successful auction while also living up to the mission and values of the school.
Please be sure to check your email for more detailed information about what this changes means for auction guests.
L-Dub celebrated our favorite irrational number on Monday. We had two Math professors visit us from the University of Washington to talk with the girls about women in Math and the research that they are engaged in.
Dr. Tatiana Toro spoke to us about her personal journey into the world of Mathematics, which began with participation in a Math olympiad during her high school years. Dr. Toro encouraged L-Dub girls to follow their hearts when choosing a career, "If you do what you love, the rest will fall into place."
Dr. Sara Billey introduced some new ideas in Math that have been inspired by Origami. She demonstrated how paper folding can solve a Mathematical proof and challenged us to search for mathematical knowledge everywhere.
For the rest of the morning, the girls rotated between four activities. They made songs and poems about pi, made a life size pi chain that will live in the Math room, they built life-size domes out of tape and newspaper, and they played capture the pi with hula hoops! After our activities wrapped up, our girls ate their lunch – followed by your sweet and savory pies! Thank you to everyone for sending in such a delicious selection for us all to enjoy.
Our pi day celebrations ended with an all-school presentation of pi songs, pi digit recitation, and some pi-ing of the Math department (and Ms. Hearn!). Congratulations to all of the girls on their hard work memorizing the many digits of pi. Many of our girls memorized over 100 digits this year, and our 2015 pi-day winner is Reese '17 with 325 digits memorized.
– Ms. Nisha
To see all of the Pi Day pictures and videos head on over to SmugMug!
Shrek is a well-loved franchise among many in the L-Dub community. And why wouldn't it be? This story shows us that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that what's on the inside is what counts, that being different is okay, and that with the help of your friends, you can do just about anything. For middle schoolers, these themes are front and center to their everyday lives in and out of school, and I've felt honored to get to explore the idea of inner beauty with the girls these past few months. I'm so proud of the bravery, energy, and honesty each actor brought to this production, and I'm so excited for you to see it. The cast’s inner beauty shines in every scene!
Quite a few thanks are in order: to Colleen West for her endless patience and organization, even when I threw curveballs her way; to Karri Meleo for the gracious use of the karate uniforms and the complete instructions on how to properly care for them; to the eighth grade crew for learning on their feet and doing so with a smile; to Lindsey Mutschler for her amazing musical prowess and her commitment to each and every singer onstage; to Steve Pullman for his behind the scenes sound engineering; to Eva McGough and Patti Hearn for teaching the girls the electric slide, the twist, and the swim at the eleventh hour and with an impressive amount of attitude and pizzazz; to Molly Klema for wrangling the majority of the cast every morning and seeing them safely and happily delivered to the theater; to Jan Frederick for once again making the characters come alive with stunning costumes; and to Jenny Zavatsky for being a constant sounding board, thought partner, and excellent mentor. Lastly, thank you to the entire L-Dub community for carpooling, for bagels, for technical assistance, for front of house duties, and for supporting our young actors.
To see all of the Shrek photos, head on over to Smugmug!
On May 15, 16, and 17, entrepreneurs and creative minds will be taking over Lake Washington Girls Middle School – Seattle’s first middle school for girls – for a Startup Weekend like no other: one specifically designed for fifth through tenth grade GIRLS. Organizers and volunteers of Startup Weekend GIRLS have been working to ensure that this event provides not only inspiration, but also the resources required for building and launching a viable, scalable company. There has never been a Startup Weekend designed specifically for girls; it feels only natural that it happens first here in Seattle, and at a school for girls that was a startup in its own right.
Startup Weekends are about learning through the act of creating. Participants don’t just listen to theory; they present their own ideas, build their own products, and put them to test while collaborating with like-minded, passionate individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and points of view. On top of that, Startup Weekenders receive invaluable one-on-one time with the movers and shakers within the community, as local tech and startup leaders take part in Startup Weekends as mentors/coaches and judges. Some of the people we have lined up for this year include Rebecca Lovell (Startup Liaison, City of Seattle), Monica Guzman (GeekWire), Casi Schwisow (Girls Who Code), T.A. McCann (RivalIQ), Stacey Kinked (Rivet & Cuff), Bryan Lhuillier (Shiftboard), and Zach Smith (Substantial).
Startup Weekend GIRLS Edition is specially designed for the next generation’s entrepreneurs-in-the-making, fifth through tenth grade girls. Our team of highly innovative and connected mentors and judges will create an atmosphere of exercises and experiences that will teach girls how to come up with business ideas, conduct market research, prototype, work in teams, and “pitch” their ideas to a room full of people. Our goal is to give girls the confidence to innovate and create they will need to succeed in all aspects of life.
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model – which will massaged a little bit to fit the needs of our aspiring entrepreneurs: participants pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote), and then it’s a frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.
If you’d like to get involved with Startup Weekend GIRLS, let us know here. If you are a girl in fifth through tenth grade and would like to participate, get your tickets soon...we only have 35-40 spots!
We hope to see you there!
About Startup Weekend
Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014. The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.
About Lake Washington Girls Middle School
Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle's first middle school for girls, is located in Central Seattle, is a place where girls explore, experiment, discover, create, and learn about themselves and the world around them. Since 1998, LWGMS has challenged its students with high standards and helped every LWGMS girl find the tools she needs to succeed. Here, girls are empowered to think critically, develop leadership, and enjoy learning through an integrated curriculum that has proven to prepare girls for success in high school honors and college preparation courses.
Our students are learning to use tools that will serve them well: hand tools, power tools, digital tools, and the tools of their own strong voices. They work with computing platforms alongside hammers and saws and sewing machines. They are taking apart computers and building their own. They are making films, which allows them to own and create media in a way that no generation before them could do. They are sewing clothes that light up and they are 3-D printing a robotic hand. More importantly, they are learning that they have the power to solve problems, to innovate, and to invent. And that is really what we are teaching them: to find solutions, to overcome obstacles. We are teaching them that struggle and failure are normal – and that effort is a crucial part of eventual success.
The creative confidence the girls get while they are at Lake Washington Girls Middle School completely translates beyond any classroom.