ISSUE

SPRING 2017

Looking for something outside the magazine?

  • Exploring
  • Sharing discoveries, from the humanities to hard science
Some people think of science as memorizing facts and esoteric terminology, but a peek inside a Beginning School 4PreK classroom this spring found children using their five senses to observe, explore, and discover the world around them.
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As an eighth grader back in 1985, Tyler Fonarow calculated his way to second place in his California home county's Mathcounts Competition Series. Now, Middle School Principal Fonarow is ushering in the new era of the mathlete here at Rowland Hall.
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When Upper School history teachers Dr. Fiona Halloran and Dr. Nate Kogan '00 learned the American Historical Association's (AHA) January 2017 annual meeting would be held in nearby Denver, they recognized a unique opportunity beyond traditional professional development.
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Fourth graders venture out on more field studies than students in any other grade—these young explorers leave the classroom 14 times each school year for in-state experiential learning. Middle and upper schoolers may travel farther, but no other grade goes on as many excursions.
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Rowland Hall's annual ninth-grade student trip strengthens class unity while instilling a sense of place and an appreciation for the rich wilderness resources in Utah. Each Fall, the Uinta Mountains become the classroom as freshmen travel to YMCA's Camp Roger in the Soapstone Basin and develop skills such as hiking, map and compass reading (orienteering), fly fishing, and watercolor painting, and study the biology, geology, and hydrology of this unique high mountain range. During the four-day trip, students sleep in cabins, rotate through three-hour learning modules, learn from Utah Division of Wildlife staff, and get to know one another in an inspiring, natural learning environment.
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Color Day is the annual event that, for over 30 years, has signaled the close of the academic year for Beginning School and Lower School students. Students rotate through activities, including the beloved sponge throw and the parachute lift. Founded by PE teacher Pat Ammon, PE teacher Anna "Banana" Ernst arrived in 1996, and brought even more ideas.
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SummerWorks is one of Salt Lake City's best summer experiences for kids, and it has gained an outstanding reputation as a "leadership laboratory," where young campers transition through guided levels of training to become skilled counselors. Rowland Hall grad Liza Badenhausen '15 and others keep coming back each year.
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What child does not want to start every day with an adventure? Find out how one Rowland Hall mother did just that! Presenting Christina Lau Billings '98 and her brainchild, Adventures with Theo.
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In an August 2015 study on short-term particle pollution, the American Lung Association ranked Salt Lake City as the seventh most polluted city in the nation. Concerned Rowland Hall sixth graders have decided to do something about it.
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Rowland Hall third-graders are testing the limits of design and engineering by building elaborate machines to accomplish simple tasks. Using the knowledge base they acquired in the Force and Motion Science unit in the fall, students utilize a simplified five-step engineering process to imagine, plan, create, test, and improve a design. Next, they construct a chain-reaction contraption commonly known as a Rube Goldberg machine.
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We asked seventh grade math teacher, Garrett Stern, to write an article about the annual seventh grade trip to The Teton Science School in Jackson Hole, Wyoming from the perspective of a student. In addition to learning important lessons about nature and outdoor exploration, the middle schoolers learned about friendship, resilience, and what it means to trust the process.
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Following up on the 2012 construction of soap box cars and the 2013 and 2014 navigation of the waters of the Great Salt Lake in cardboard boats, 2015's experiment found Project 10 inside the Lincoln Street gym with materials to build a Rube Goldberg machine. And over 2,500 colored dominoes.
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There is strong evidence to support the benefit of block play in helping young children understand and practice concepts in math, engineering, motor skills and social skills. To expand learning outside the classroom, Rowland Hall Beginning School acquired a set of heavy-duty blocks for playground use.
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On March 11, for the thirtieth-plus time, a team of BYU civil engineers set up their "crusher" in the Larimer Center and, one by one, tested the balsa wood bridges designed and built by our sixth and seventh graders. Each year the assignment is to craft a bridge out of thin (1/10" x 1/10") sticks of balsa wood to support a load in the form of five pistons pushing on the top of the structure. Each bridge's load is then divided by its mass to determine a ratio representing the efficiency of the design and construction. This is an annual competition intended for high schools, but because of our Middle School's commitment to and high achievement in this event, we are invited to participate each year.
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Shubaira Aminzada participated in the highly selective Girls on Ice program to explore and learn about mountain glaciers and alpine landscapes through scientific field studies.
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In the fourth grade, our students embark on a yearlong, interdisciplinary exploration of place: Utah's unique history, environment, and culture. One component of this rich experience involves the investigation of our local watershed and the issues that affect it and relate to it. Considering that Utah is the second driest state in the country with one of the highest per capita consumption rates, we need our students to understand the importance of this resource.
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Sixth grade students headed to the Red Butte foothills in September and October with measuring tapes, string, and their iPads as part of a collaborative project between the math and science classes. Their goal was to enclose a square meter of land with string, and then subdivide it into smaller sections. The number of subsections had to be a multiple of 2, but more than 4. Confused yet? No problem for the sixth graders!
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Each year the fourth grade is fortunate to have Mr. Herm Bauer visit our science lab. Mr. Bauer is a retired geologist. He has worked in the mining industry and has developed a life-long love for rocks and minerals. He has an extensive collection of rocks and minerals that can be found in our state and in the intermountain region.
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