One of the newest Upper School clubs this year is Space Club. They have gotten off to a great start this year; they recently welcomed Dr. George Nield to speak about the future of commercial space flight, and had the opportunity to attend the International Astronautical Conference (IAC) at the Washington Convention Center.

To wrap up our current unit, How the World Works, where we explored how everyday materials have properties that can help us distinguish one from another, Grade 1 students were challenged with the task of collecting materials and using them to build a bridge! They were guided step-by-step through the design cycle to ensure they maximized learning while developing their structures. 

Grade 2 students and parent volunteers certainly warmed up the Primary School’s Design Lab recently! Students were given a STEAM Challenge to solve a mystery: “What causes weather?” With their small clue books, groups of five students rotated to five different stations (Temperature, Humidity, Air Pressure, Wind, and Humidity) to complete at least one hands-on science investigation.

Grade 3 students participated in an interactive provocation to begin their unit studying ecosystems: the Predator/Prey Survival Tag Game. Two classes of students were grouped together (3A & 3D, 3B & 3C) and each student was assigned a specific role in a food web (see sample below). They wore different colored shirts to indicate their roles. 

On October 10, 2019, the entire Grade 8 class at WIS went to see School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play at the Round House Theatre. The play focused on the effects of colorism by following the students of an all-girls school in Ghana. The play demonstrated how Eurocentric features are glorified more than others, specifically looser curls, longer hair, and lighter skin. Since most of the Ghanaian girls had similar skin tones and hair, it was rarely brought up amongst themselves, but when a new American girl, Erika, came to the school, it all changed.

When Primary School students and teachers returned to campus for the 2019-2020 school year, they were excited to see that the Design Lab had been expanded over the summer. The wall between the conference room and the Design Lab has been removed, effectively doubling the size of the space and allowing for more storage, work areas, and creativity!