MIT Science Olympiad

Team Photo
Front Row: Nick Hagler, Dorrie Pinchbeck, Ingrid Ansel-Mullen, Quilla Flanagan-Burt, Callie Banksmith, Shuhao Liu.
Back Row: Thys Geldenhuys, Phoebe Hart, Hannah Babcock, Sara Wasdahl, Tabby Al Musawi, Abby Aleshire, Lily Fanburg, Luna Soley and Molly McNutt.

The fourth annual MIT Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament was held on Saturday, January 20th, 2018 on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Seventy schools from around the country—including many of the top Science Olympiad teams in the nation—competed in 23 science and engineering events. Waynflete’s team of 7 seniors, including captains Nick Hagler and Luna Soley, 6 juniors and 2 sophomores had their best finish yet in this tournament. The highlight of the competition was a very impressive 13th place finish in Mission Possible (a Rube Goldberg machine), designed and constructed by seniors Nick Hagler and Shuhao Liu (see video below). Shuhao and junior Hannah Babcock did very well in the Optics event (laser-mirror shoot and written test), finishing 24th overall. Other notably strong events for Waynflete were Remote Sensing (analysis of satellite images) by seniors Dorrie Pinchbeck and Callie Banksmith, Materials Science by Nick and senior Sara Wasdahl, Game On (design and build a computer game) by juniors Phoebe Hart and Lily Fanburg, Disease Detectives by Sara and junior Tabby Al Musawi, Anatomy & Physiology by Lily and senior Molly McNutt, Hovercraft (design and build a hovercraft plus a written test) by Tabby and Phoebe (note: they named their device “Ralph”), and Fermi Questions (estimating enormously large and small numbers without resources) by Nick and Shuhao. Most importantly, the students had fun, worked hard, and learned a lot of science. Additionally, the tournament was a dry run for the State Science Olympiad tournament held at USM on March 31st. (Two US teams and one MS team will compete at States.) The team was coached by Science Chair Wendy Curtis and teacher Carol Titterton.

Videos: Nick and Shuhao run their Mission Possible; Molly and Sara test the weight of sand that their tower can hold.


Each school at the right time

At fifteen years old, I have to say, I have had a very interesting school life. My parents decided to change the country where they had lived for their entire lives to give me a bigger perspective on different traditions and cultures. When we were in Italy, I attended the Waldorf kindergarten; afterwards, when we moved to America, my parents thought that it was a good idea for me to keep attending the Waldorf school. This was because everything else in my life had changed: my home had changed, my family stayed in Italy, my environment was different, and what I found to be very challenging was that my language had changed, as I did not speak one word of english. Continue reading “Each school at the right time”


This Week in US – 1/22/18

Monday, January 22
11:00-1 – Current Events activity bake sale in the Atrium

Tuesday, January 23

B block will end early – 10:40
10:50 – Special MLK assembly in the theater. Order lunch early!

Wednesday, January 24
8:15-12:10 – 8th grade students visit the Upper School​
Please welcome 8th grade students to your classes today during D, F, and A block
FYI to the freshmen – during break (10:05-10:20​)​ and E block(11:20-12:10) – 8th grade students will be in the student center for a presentation.  

Thursday, January 25
11:25 – Announcement assembly

Green Tip from WEAG: Skip the Straw
Straws are among the top-five most common beach litter items collected. They never biodegrade and take hundreds of years to break down. Next time you are out to eat simply skip the straw to help reduce this unnecessary impact on our environment.


Martin Luther King Jr. Upper School Assembly

On Tuesday, the Upper School will celebrate the spirit and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., at our annual MLK assembly. Our guest is Bay Love, who graduated from Waynflete in 2000. After earning a BA in Latin American Studies from Wesleyan University, an MBA from University of North Carolina, and a Master’s in Public Policy from Duke University, Bay has been consulting with organizations seeking to incorporate principles of racial equity.

Currently Bay is an organizer, trainer, and projects manager with the Racial Equity Institute. More information about the Institute and Bay can be found on the REI website linked here.  Earlier this month, Bay led a powerful workshop with the Upper School team in which he presented compelling data documenting the systemic roots of racial inequity. A sampling of the data is linked here. If you are interested in taking a deep dive into this topic, REI is hosting two workshops in Maine in February and March. Information on those workshops is linked here.

The assembly on Tuesday will take the form of an interview. Seniors Nick Jenkins and Atia Werah will join Bay on stage for what promises to be an important conversation. Atia and Nick will ask Bay about his work and how he came to do it and why he sees racial inequity as a detriment to the quality of life for all members of a society, regardless of identity. After the assembly, students will gather in advising groups for lunch and conversations about what they heard.

Special thanks to Nick and Atia for hosting the conversation as well as Jimmy Manyuru who has organized the event.


Waynflete Asks “Can We?”

During the last round of class meetings, Associate Director for Student Life Jimmy Manyuru and I invited Waynflete juniors and seniors to apply for an opportunity to take on perhaps the most pressing challenge of our time—civic dysfunction.

While our nation faces many urgent challenges right now—including promoting economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and social justice while avoiding nuclear war—none arguably is as urgent as the need to strengthen our democratic institutions so that we can as a society meet those pressing challenges thoughtfully, effectively, and fairly for the benefit of all.

For the past eight months, a planning team that includes Jimmy, Assistant Head of School Lydia Maier, and me has been developing a cross-community response to this challenge. At the root of the dysfunction are the deep divisions among US citizens along lines of identity and viewpoint, paralyzing divisions that have raised an essential question on which our future as a society depends:

Can we harness the wisdom and power inherent in the great diversity of the American people to revitalize our democracy, mend the social fabric, and live out the true meaning of our nation’s promise of liberty and justice for all?

Continue reading “Waynflete Asks “Can We?””