ISSUE

SPRING 2017

Looking for something outside the magazine?

  • Innovating
  • What’s new, what’s “out of the box,” plus trending topics
After several years of developing and championing computer science (CS) curriculum at Rowland Hall and serving as a regional leader in CS education, alumnus, faculty member, and self-proclaimed lifelong learner Ben Smith '89 in March won the Utah Coalition for Education Technology's (UCET) Outstanding Teacher of the Year award.
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In mid-May, Lower School students convened in the McCarthey Campus Field House to engage in hands-on, creative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities with members of Rowland Hall's Technology Department and special guest educators from the Wonderment Bus, a repurposed school bus with maker equipment. Our lower, middle, and upper school students also displayed both high- and low-tech maker projects they worked on throughout the year.
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As a child, senior Marguerite Tate loved watching the science-focused TV series "Nova" and assembling puzzles, Legos, and K'nex. She's since graduated to coding webpages, working with Arduino robots, and assembling a 3D printer. Now, her ever-evolving technological curiosity and proficiency has been recognized on a national level.
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This past spring, the Northwest Association of Independent Schools awarded the 2016-2017 Fellowship for Collaborative Innovation to Rowland Hall Lower School Principal Jij de Jesus and his cohort of four other young leaders.
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The Lower School is again observing Week of Code December 5-11, and this time, coding activities are more intertwined in curriculum so the spirit of the event will live on throughout the school year.
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Rowland Hall has again proven its commitment to environmentalism, this time with the installation of electric car chargers in the parking lot near the Steiner Campus soccer field. Two resourceful Rowland Hall employees, Upper School Head Cross Country Coach Mark Oftedal and Sustainability Coordinator Andrew Hagedorn, worked with local nonprofit Leaders for Clean Air to secure complete funding of equipment and installation.
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The summer of 2016 marked the third successful year of placing rising seniors in career internships through Rowland Hall's internship program. The program places students in real workplaces, involves them in projects and research, and reinforces our mission to help students lead ethical and productive lives. In an essay, senior Alicia Lu reflects on interning in Dr. Michael Kay's Infectious Disease Drug Discovery and Development Lab.
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In Kody Partridge's AP English Language and Composition class, juniors get the chance to create an advertisement selling a product they consume every day—a Rowland Hall education. The students work in teams and pitch their ad to a potentially intimidating panel of school leaders and advertising experts.
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Rowland Hall girls are bucking the trend in STEM by participating in everything Rowland Hall has to offer in this field. Our students are taking their experience and passion to the next level with notable accomplishments as Aspirations in Computing award, a strong showing for the Science Olympiad team, and winning first place in the Shane McConkey EcoChallenge.
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Last spring Fine Print featured an article on the "Frosh Seminar," a year-long class designed to ease the academic, social, and emotional transition from the Middle School to the Upper School. Now a different kind of seminar class is gaining momentum at Rowland Hall. The Upper School Seminar is an optional, once-a-week class held during morning breaks. Since its September 2014 launch, the class has expanded to include topics ranging from medical physiology to ornithology and costume design.
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Junior Sam Hirsch masterminded a free app called EcoGo to encourage public transportation use. Through EcoGo, users earn points for being Utah Transit Authority (UTA) riders and redeem those points for discounts at participating local businesses.
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As 280 Rowland Hall Lower School students crafted beaded bracelets, created patterned designs, or maneuvered through mazes in early December, they also began to master the basics of computer science. Rowland Hall educators led those activities and others for the Hour of Code, a global movement that aims to introduce students to computer science—one of the most in-demand college degrees, according to event founding organization Code.org.
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With the start of this school year, Rowland Hall has adopted a different approach to the grading system, and with it, new lingo. Mr. Thomsen, Upper School principal, remarked, "A little more than a year ago, the school adopted a three-pronged strategic plan, which includes the overarching goal of incorporating current research on education, teaching, and learning into Rowland Hall's teaching model." With that in mind, Mr. Thomsen felt that adopting a growth mindset was a "tangible goal that, if effectively implemented, could have a significant impact" on the school.
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Now in its third year, the mandatory class, affectionately nicknamed Frosh Seminar, helps ease the transition from middle to high school academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. The class integrates structured study time with lessons on study skills and adolescent health, and provides an introduction to the culture and resources of the Upper School.
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When our Sustainability Coordinator Jensen Morgan read "Whatever Happened to the Drive for Campus Sustainability?" by Scott Carlson, in The Chronicle of Higher Education earlier this month, he was compelled to respond, representing not just his views, but also those of Rowland Hall. We present that conversation here.
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The Maker Movement, a new way to think about creation and innovation in the school setting, is taking the country by storm.
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Rowland Hall graduates Jonathan Zubair '13, Ethan Fedor '13, and Chris Fedor '15, have turned a friendship into a business. The three young innovators, who share a passion for skiing and engineering, incorporated Alchemy Ski Company last summer even though they've been making and designing custom skis for the past five years. The company is self-described on Facebook as "three dudes building skis in our garage," but these bros are creating an impressive grade of specialty product. This year Alchemy Ski Company donated a very special "pair of custom sticks" to the Rowland Hall auction laminated with artwork by former Rowland Hall biology teacher Peter Hayes -- a favorite teacher of all three Alchemy founders.
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Last spring, the delightful woman with whom Rowland Hall works when writing and scheduling underwriting spots on KUER called the school and asked who among our faculty might use public radio programs in his or her curriculum. She had recently had a typical "Small Lake City" experience in which she heard from a friend who bumped into a Rowland Hall faculty member at a symphony reception that someone she worked with was using "This American Life" in their classroom. If we could find out who it was, KUER would like to record a spot with that teacher for use during the station's fall 2014 fund drive.


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Building on the kindergarteners' trip to the landfill and their studies about sustainability, TED talker and uncle to one of our students, visited the Beginning School recently to share his passion about recycling!
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Upper School Principal Lee Thomsen and Director of Technology Patrick Godfrey headed an interim specializing in the pursuit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Seven students spent three days at the University of Utah's Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.
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Last summer Christian Waters took on the position of Director Of Technology Integration. Mr. Waters and Director of Technology Patrick Godfrey put their heads together and created a document to clarify the purpose of the use of technology at Rowland Hall.
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