A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Here is a recap of the inspiring speakers and presentations:

Erin Hanlon '95, our keynote speaker, spoke about her path into neuroscience research. In particular she talked about the impact that mentors had in helping her navigate her path. She also gave a glimpse into the questions that her lab at the University of Chicago are exploring around the detrimental effects of sleep loss and how sleep benefits health. 

Clare H. '20 spoke about her summer internship at a genetics lab at Northwestern where she worked alongside geneticists who were interested in exploring how the physical location of genes change when they are activated or repressed. She also shared an inside look into the research that she is hoping to do this summer on examining the stem cell component to certain tumors, such as glioblastoma. 

Julia F. '19 spoke about her work in computational genetics where she worked with a researcher on finding matching drugs for segments of RNA implicated in various medical conditions such as HIV. She gained experience working with a specific piece of software to do this and she spoke about the interesting connection between biology and computer science. She also explained how visualizing these molecules inspired her to create art with them. 

Sophie F. '19 spoke about her summer internship at the Field Museum where she was able to sequence DNA belonging to a new species of rodent. She was then able to place that rodent in the appropriate branch on an evolutionary tree. She also spoke about her experience teaching at the Field Museum in her rotations at the DNA discovery center. 

Tobbi M. '22 and Izzi O. '22 represented a group of freshmen students who have competed in the GEMS Global Design Challenge with their methane filtration system. They talked about some of their new ideas around finding ways to repurpose plastic products. 

Learn more about Latin's Women in STEM club and all the great things they are doing!

 

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Upper School Celebrates International Women and Girls in Science Day

International Women and Girls in Science Day was on February 11, but thanks to Latin's Women in STEM club, upper school students celebrated all week long.

Here is a recap of the inspiring speakers and presentations:

Erin Hanlon '95, our keynote speaker, spoke about her path into neuroscience research. In particular she talked about the impact that mentors had in helping her navigate her path. She also gave a glimpse into the questions that her lab at the University of Chicago are exploring around the detrimental effects of sleep loss and how sleep benefits health. 

Clare H. '20 spoke about her summer internship at a genetics lab at Northwestern where she worked alongside geneticists who were interested in exploring how the physical location of genes change when they are activated or repressed. She also shared an inside look into the research that she is hoping to do this summer on examining the stem cell component to certain tumors, such as glioblastoma. 

Julia F. '19 spoke about her work in computational genetics where she worked with a researcher on finding matching drugs for segments of RNA implicated in various medical conditions such as HIV. She gained experience working with a specific piece of software to do this and she spoke about the interesting connection between biology and computer science. She also explained how visualizing these molecules inspired her to create art with them. 

Sophie F. '19 spoke about her summer internship at the Field Museum where she was able to sequence DNA belonging to a new species of rodent. She was then able to place that rodent in the appropriate branch on an evolutionary tree. She also spoke about her experience teaching at the Field Museum in her rotations at the DNA discovery center. 

Tobbi M. '22 and Izzi O. '22 represented a group of freshmen students who have competed in the GEMS Global Design Challenge with their methane filtration system. They talked about some of their new ideas around finding ways to repurpose plastic products. 

Learn more about Latin's Women in STEM club and all the great things they are doing!

 

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Grid method in action

The Grid Method is a way of teaching that has proven successful in many classrooms at Latin across the middle school.

The Grid Method is an instructional framework for standards-based, mastery learning that is used in several science classes, language arts classes and language classes. Working from recognized standards, teachers create a grid of assignments and assessments for students to work through at their own pace. These assignments increase in complexity, from basic vocabulary up to higher-level thinking.

Grid method in action

A middle school science classroom has students working on a variety of activities according to the grid: some students are reading the materials; some students are building models of viruses; while some are researching them; some students are reading text materials; and some are working on the lab portion of the project.

Listen to Clara D. '26 describe her experience with a science project following the Grid Method. Along each step of the way, students need to show competency or mastery before moving up to the next level. This method allows students to work at their own pace and get individualized attention from the teacher when they need it. Students who master concepts quickly are able to forge ahead and do independent advanced work, whereas students who need more time are able to take it, within reason. Perhaps surprisingly, this method allows for a lot of personalized learning and one-on-one time with the teacher during class time, in small bursts right when the student is ready for it. Teachers monitor student progress for interventions and provide real-time feedback. It's an engaging way to meet the needs of all the learners in the classroom.  

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I Am Every Good Thing book

“I Am Every Good Thing” by Derrick Barnes, a book full of nourishing words and illustrations, was chosen as the lower school’s all-school read this year.

Written as a poem, "I Am Every Good Thing" encourages young readers to celebrate everything that makes you, YOU. This book affirms that kids can achieve anything they want to achieve and that it's okay for kids to make mistakes. It concludes with a beautiful message at the end:

"I am worthy of success, of respect, of safety, of kindness, of happiness. And without a shadow of a doubt, I am worthy to be loved." I am worthy of success, of respect, of safety, of kindness, of happiness. And without a shadow of a doubt, I am worthy to be loved.
"I Am Every Good Thing" by Derrick Barnes

On Thursday, October 15, all lower school students were excited to attend a virtual author visit with Barnes. Check out his presentation on the Lower School Library page on RomanNet.

Derrick Barnes author visit

Derrick Barnes, author of "I Am Every Good Thing," joined lower school students for a virtual author visit.

During a workshop over the summer, lower school teachers discussed "I Am Every Good Thing" and what ways the words and images will resonate with their students. They also talked about the concept of windows, mirrors and sliding glass doors in books best described by National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) member Rudine Sims Bishop, "Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author." Their reflection on this concept included a series of questions:

Who in your class will identify with the characters & storyline? (mirrors)

What will other students learn from the characters & storyline? (windows)

How will this create a deeper understanding of the world? (sliding glass doors)

Classroom activities will include deeper dives into the affirmations in "I Am Every Good Thing," relating to our school year's theme, Nourish.

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  • Our Voices
Graphic about intersectionality

According to Psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum, identity is shaped by individual characteristics, family dynamics, historical factors, and social and political contexts. However, the concept of identity can be complex because the answer to “who am I?” largely depends on who the word around me says I am. (For more information on Tatum’s work, please refer to this essay, “The Complexity of Identity: Who Am I?”
Students at Latin begin learning about identity as early as junior kindergarten. In addition to thinking about the question, “who am I?”, young students begin building an understanding of intersectionality, a term used to describe how race, class, gender and other individual characteristics “intersect” with each other.

An exercise that helped prepare Latin’s lower school teachers for working through conversations around identity and intersectionality with students was thinking about this series of questions:

“How do you identify yourself? And͑ what is the most important part of your identity? Is it your sex, your race or ethnicity, your sexual orientation, your class status, your nationality, your religious affiliation, your age, your physical or cognitive abilities, your political beliefs? Is there one part of your identity that stands out from the rest or does your identity change depending on who you’re with, what you’re involved in, where you are in your life?” (SOURCE: Critical Media Project)

In the classroom, students have been working on creating identity maps and writing “I Am” poems and talking about “single stories.” Ask your student about the classroom discussions they are having related to these topics.