Tips for reducing stress and increasing focus

Middle School Seminar teacher Kate Ziminsky uses restorative yoga poses and yin postures to help students reduce stress, calm nervous systems, and promote a peaceful sleep cycle.

Kate uses a stress relief and calming yoga video at times during Seminar, sometimes accompanied by gentle musical sounds from nature (ocean waves or babbling brooks) and a stretching sequence where students are supported with comfortable pillows and warmth. Parents can try using this sequence with their children at home before sleep.

Kate chooses movements during Seminar that are based on the energetic need for the curriculum of the week.  Certain poses increase focus and get kids energized while other poses and movements promote calm and restoration of previously charged/agitated nervous systems.  The class also uses the one-word workout library from Nalini Kids.

Furry friend DNA analysis in Upper School science

Students in Katrina St. John’s biology class are collecting  DNA from their own dogs (or a friend’s or teacher’s dog) to see which variants of the RSP02 gene the dog carries.

The RSPo2 gene controls the hair length cycle in most mammals. Dogs that have the wild type gene have short fur, while those that have the “mt” variant produce more RSPo2 protein and have longer fur above their eyes and on their snout (facial furnishings).

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Puffling rescue!

The entire Lower School has recently become immersed in a study of Iceland, this year’s Global Focus country. In preparation for their original play called The Great Volcano Rescue, Early Childhood students have been learning about puffins.

Part of the research included watching  a video about a tradition in Iceland called Puffin Patrol (click here to see the video).  After the students became very excited about the idea of rescuing lost pufflings, teachers transformed an area of the classroom into a Puffin Patrol Research Center. Here, students could search for missing pufflings, record data, band the birds, and release them back into the ocean. Students have even gone on Puffin Patrols throughout the Lower School to locate these adorable birds.

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Chinese New Year

The tradition continues! After completing in-depth studies about the Chinese Spring Festival, traditional customs, food, greetings, and the zodiac calendar, middle schoolers presented their findings in Assembly—including a dragon dance in celebration of Chinese New Year.

Upper Schoolers compete at Harvard University Science Olympiad Invitational

On Saturday, February 1, fifteen Upper School students traveled to Cambridge to compete in the Harvard University Science Olympiad Invitational. The seniors lead the team to another outstanding finish in what is always a competitive invitational tournament that includes laboratory, engineering, and field events along with traditional events in biology, chemistry, physics, and earth sciences.  The team placed 19th out of 60 teams from around New England and well ahead of the other teams from Maine! The guest speaker at the awards ceremony, 2019 Nobel winner William Kaelin, spoke about his experiences as a student, medical doctor, and research scientist. His advice to the future scientists and scholars: work with people who are smarter than you, have fun doing your work (or find something else), and be a good and ethical person.

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