Should we “de-extinct” the woolly mammoth?

Katrina St. John’s seventh-grade earth science students recently welcomed Dana Waring from the Harvard Medical School genetics lab to class. Dana, who is the the cofounder and education director of the Personal Genetics Education Project, spoke about CRISPR and its potential role in helping prevent climate change. (CRISPR is a gene editing tool that allows scientists to remove or deactivate a gene within an organism’s genome. It is being used for many applications, from eradicating mosquitos to curing sickle cell disease.)

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Patricia Davis Klingenstein ’47 receives inaugural Alumni Leadership Award

Patricia (Pat) Davis Klingenstein, Class of 1947, has been named the first recipient of the school’s Alumni Leadership Award in recognition of her work as an education advocate, devoted community leader, volunteer, and philanthropist. The award, which will henceforth be known as “The Klingenstein Award,” was conceived by Waynflete’s Board of Trustees as a way to celebrate alumni who live as responsible and caring participants in our world (key tenets of the school’s mission).

Pat and her family have long believed that independent schools play an important role in society by instilling in young people a sense of civic responsibility, leadership, and public service. In partnership with her late husband, Pat acted on this belief by helping envision, support, and sustain the transformational establishment of the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College in 1977, which has grown to include five programs serving early and mid-career educators, administrators, and heads of school each year. The Center has been widely credited with contributing to the professionalization of the field.

Pat’s lifetime love of libraries has impacted many institutions, including the New York Public Library (where she serves as a longtime trustee), Waynflete (where she invested generously in the construction of the Lower School’s new Klingenstein Library), and other institutions such as Smith College, the Barnesville School, and the New York Historical Society, whose library is named in her honor and where Pat is a long-serving trustee.

In Maine, Pat’s family foundation was instrumental in championing “From the First Tooth,” a pediatric oral health initiative for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children, and “The Partnership for Children’s Oral Health,” a broad coalition effort that aims to improve the oral health of all Maine children. In 2018, Pat and her husband made the largest gift of its kind to Mercy Hospital, in honor of her father, Dr. Harry Davis, a longtime chief of pediatrics at Mercy.

Congrats to Waynflete’s 2019 Model UN award winners

Congratulations to the seven award winners from this year’s Model UN team:

Lily F: Distinguished Delegate, Czech Republic
Emma Irvine: Honorable Mention, UK
Andrew Johannen: Honorable Mention, Madagascar
Blythe Thompson: Distinguished Delegate, UK
Adriel Barnham: Honorable Mention, UK
Caroline Routh: Distinguished Delegate, UK
Sam Yankee, Distinguished Delegate, Czech Republic

Exploring dog genetics in Upper Schoo bio

Students in Upper School biology recently delved into the practical application of dog genetics. Science teacher Katrina St. John arranged for her classes to collaborate with Debbie Landry, founder of iXplore, an organization that promotes STEM lab activities and curriculum in classrooms.

For this project, students looked at the trait of furnishings (longer facial fur) in dogs. By using DNA extracted from eight dogs and running it on gel electrophoresis, students were able to determine whether a dog was homozygous wild type, homozygous mutant type, or heterozygous (a mix of both).

Students were able to deduce the dominance pattern in this trait. Having furnishings is dominant, which is why we see dogs like golden doodles with long facial fur. Using sophisticated laboratory equipment, biology students were able to put their newfound knowledge of genetics to use and witness the power of genotyping.