Author Archives: polk@hamlin.org

Jan Micha Women in History Program

When you walk a mile in the footsteps of greatness, you too can become great. For many years Grade 4 Hamlin students have taken the stage in front of their peers and parents, giving voice to inspiring women who came before them. Students select a woman from history, do extensive research from multiple sources, then embody that person, presenting in character with substance, poise and eloquence. When Hamlin alumnae come back to visit, they often cite their Women in History presentation as an enduring hallmark of their education.

This year students are representing the following women:

Suffragists, Abolitionists, and Social Activists:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, Angela Davis

Educators, Writers, and Journalists:

Martha Foote Crow, Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller, Mercy Otis Warren, Barbara Walters, Nellie Bly, Ida Tarbell

Scientists:

Margaret E. Knight, Mary Edwards Walker, Laurie Marker, Sylvia Earle, Matilda Moldenhauer Brooks, Rachel Carson, Elizabeth Blackwell, Dian Fossey, Helen Fairchild, Clara Barton

Mathematicians and Computer Scientists:

Grace Hopper, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson

Visual Artists and Performing Artists:

Maya Lin, Harriet Powers, Marian Anderson, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley Temple, Misty Copeland, Isadora Duncan

Athletes:

Wilma Rudolph, Katherine Switzer, Cathy Reese, Bethany Hamilton

Entrepreneurs:

Christina Tosi, Lillian Moller Gilbreth, Juliette Gordon Low, Oprah Winfrey

Leaders:

Deborah Sampson, Sybil Ludington, Belle Boyd, Queen Liliuokalani, Madeleine Albright, Abigail Adams, Michelle Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt

Hamlin 6th Grader Wins “Growing Up Asian in America” Contest

Hamlin 6th grader Abbie C., recently had her awards ceremony for placing first for her poster artwork in the annual Growing Up Asian in America contest. Abbie gave a confident acceptance speech about the theme of food insecurity for children (her poster about the topic appears above).

Abbie has entered this contest every year since second grade. Each year she has placed or received an honorable mention. This is the second time Abbie’s poster has won first place in her age category.

Growing Up Asian in America provides a unique platform for young people to creatively explore and celebrate being both Asian or Pacific Islander and American.

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Hamlin: A Bright Schools National Finalist

Hamlin 7th graders Sofia M. and Jacqueline F. were recently named National Finalists in the Bright Schools Competition.

Their project, How will blue light emitted from iPads affect how you learn and sleep? is one of 50 National Finalists in the Innovative STEM Competition for Students in Grades 6-8.

Sofia M. and Jacqueline F., along with their teacher Melissa Alfred, have been named national finalists in the 2nd annual Bright Schools Competition™. The competition is a collaborative effort of the National Sleep Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association that encourages students in grades 6-8 to explore the correlation between light and sleep and how it influences student health and performance.

“The Bright Schools Competition is a celebration of the talent and ingenuity of our youth, providing students with a unique opportunity to think critically while exploring the connection between light and sleep,” said NSTA Executive Director Dr. David Evans. “Congratulations to all of the national finalists for their hard work, enthusiasm, and imaginative ideas.”

Under the mentorship of an adult coach/teacher, teams of two to four students identify, investigate, and research an issue related to light and sleep as it pertains to their community and/or young adolescents. Using scientific inquiry or engineering design concepts, teams develop a prototype, create an awareness campaign, or write a research proposal for the competition. Each team then submits a written report detailing their project along with a three-minute video showcasing their investigation. Projects are evaluated on the basis of several criteria, including scientific accuracy, innovativeness, and potential impact.

More information about the competition is available at http://brightschoolscompetition.org/.

 

Hamlin Visits Holy Family Day Home

On May 10th, Hamlin 8th graders visited Holy Family Day Home in the Mission, an organization that we have worked with for many years. The visit was led by Hamlin’s middle school Spanish department.

Holy Family Day Home’s goal is to provide affordable, high quality, early childhood education and family support services in a stable and nurturing environment, thereby providing the children of working families skills and hope for lifelong development.  

Hamlin students began the morning by singing songs with the preschoolers and playing Simon Says, all in Spanish. Our students were then paired up with different Holy Family Day Home children to read books. Our girls brought their very own books written in Spanish with beautiful handmade illustrations. After sharing these fantastic stories, everyone went outside to play tag, soccer, and tumble around. The joy and energy between the younger and older students was palpable. One Hamlin student shared, today was just an adorable experience, their spirit is infectious.

Below is an example of book created by a Hamlin student.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After playtime, Hamlin students had the opportunity to learn more about program specifics from members of Holy Family Day Home’s leadership team. They learned about the food bank that provides nourishment for families in need and the emphasis placed on seamlessly integrating homeless and non-homeless students into classrooms.

To learn more about Holy Family Day Home, please visit: https://holyfamilydayhome.org/

 

 

 

 

Hamlin Students Win Technovation Pitch Challenge

On June 5th, Charlotte K. and Elanor M. won the regional Technovation Pitch contest. Girls ages 10 to 18 learn to identify a problem in their community and create a mobile app solution to address that problem, and then learn how to communicate these ideas and translate them into a fully launched business. They pitched their idea to panel of judges that included venture capitalists, technology executives, design consultants, and coders.

Details about their app:

Walk4Water is a mobile app that provides an incentive for young teens to stay fit and healthy using competition and social features while doing good in the world. When a user takes a thousand steps, 12 cents will be donated to charity: water, an organization that gives poverty-stricken communities access to clean, sanitary water closer to their homes. Girls in these communities won’t have to spend their time walking to find water; they can pursue an education. Teens worldwide can improve their daily lives and someone else’s while enjoying the competition and challenging their friends to go the extra mile.

The competition was very intense, Charlotte and Elanor worked many long hours on developing the business idea and coding a working app. They are now semifinalists for the World Pitch. On June 8th the 6 national finalists are announced to go to the World Pitch in August.

Watch their pitch video here:

To learn more about Technovation, please visit: http://technovationchallenge.org/

To learn more about charity: water, please visit: https://www.charitywater.org/

Reflecting on a Hamlin Education

On May 9th, Hamlin welcomed back six members of the class of 2013. These intelligent young women reflected on their Hamlin education in front of an audience of faculty members, staff and trustees. Hamlin’s Head of School, Wanda Holland Greene, led a vibrant and insightful discussion, asking the students about their time at Hamlin related to: feminism, their core values, their academic preparation, and their passions. Below are some of their thoughts.

Feminism:

-I find myself still thinking about lessons learned from 4th grade. My beliefs are secure, I’m not scared to express what I believe.

-Hamlin taught me to cultivate a viewpoint and stand with it. I also know that I have a community of women to fall back on.

-When I think about why I’m a feminist, I think about Hamlin. Today I feel more comfortable bringing up feminism in a classroom discussion.

-Hamlin taught me how to lean in to discomfort and gave me the tools to later comprehend intersectional feminism; the understanding that there are overlapping systems of discrimination in our society.

Core Values:

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Hamlin Students Win NASA’s Optimus Prime Challenge

Students were asked to use their imagination and creativity to identify NASA Spinoff technology in their everyday world. Items such as memory foam, invisible braces, firefighting equipment, artificial limbs, scratch-resistant lenses, aircraft anti-icing systems, shoe insoles, water filters/purification, cochlear implants, satellite television, and long-distance telecommunications were first developed for a NASA mission and then, re-worked to make everyday life easier.

To display their research and ideas, students used a combination of text, images and videos, to create a Glogster Multimedia Poster. This poster was submitted and the student ideas shared with NASA.

The two winning Hamlin 7th graders (Alexa T. and Ellie J.) researched Thermawing technology, which prevents plane wings from freezing. They redesigned it to be put in greenhouses to keep crops from freezing in the winter. They also made a physical model of their spinoff creation.

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Hamlin Alumnae Return for Career Day

On May 5th, Hamlin’s east dining room was filled with the wisdom of women. Twelve dynamic Hamlin alumnae returned to campus to tell stories, speak about their professional journeys, and impart valuable advice to our Class of 2017 students.

The morning opened with Rose Helm interviewing the insightful Alexandra Suich, ’00. Suich is a journalist and serves as The Economist’s U.S. technology editor. She spoke about her love of Hamlin, sharing fond memories of writing fables in Ms. Metcalf’s English class, and contributing pieces to the Blue Stockings literary magazine. “At Hamlin, I felt the power of seeing words in print, I carried that with me through my life and into my current job at The Economist. Hamlin also inculcated my belief in championing women’s rights.” Suich spoke about the intimidation she felt when first assigned by The Economist to cover finance and hedge funds. She stuck with the finance beat and learned, “any subject can be conquered if you are willing to put in the work.” Suich also talked about the importance of not being afraid to ask basic questions to fully understand a topic. In terms of life advice, She stressed the importance of regular exercise, cultivating an inner circle of inspiring people, and knowing when to say no to potential opportunities.

After the opening interview, students had the chance to learn from the alumnae through rotating table conversations. The engagement between students and grads was profound and meaningful.

8th grader Ava L., shares her thoughts about career day in this video:

Deep appreciation to the Hamlin alumnae who joined us:

Monica Brown Andrews, ’84: In-house counsel, Equinix

Malieka Bundy, ’88: Sr. Solution Developer, Avanade

Krista Canellakis, ’96: Deputy Innovation Officer, Office of San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee

Katharine Gin, ’86: Executive Director, Educators for Fair Consideration

Amy Harrington, ’90: Attorney and Sonoma City Councilwoman

Alexis Gerber Howerton, ’99: CEO, Spruce Biosciences

Kate Larsen, ’97: Reporter, ABC7

Kaytea Petro, ’92: Protest Artist & Marketing Director, McRoskey Mattress Co.

Jenny Soong, ’99: Ecologist

Alexandra Suich, ’00: U.S. Technology Editor, The Economist

Giselle Talkoff, ’95: Police Officer, SFPD

Vera Chan Waller, ’88: Owner, Yank Sing Restaurant

 

An Interview with Wanda Holland Greene: Speaking about PLAID

This Interview was conducted and condensed by Hamlin parent, Demi Seguritan
PART I

“I dwell in Possibility” the title of Emily Dickinson’s poem was ingrained in her upbringing, lingers in her leadership and is now woven through the threads of PLAID, a parent-led group within our beloved Hamlin community.

Wanda Holland Greene grew up in Brooklyn, and during her formative years (from ages 5-11), her father stumbled upon the opportunity and insisted that she and her older sister Donna, take the yellow school bus along with 10 other African American students out of their district to integrate into Public School 68 in Queens, led by Head of School, Milton Schwartz.  Schwartz believed, “The world is going to be fair one day. I believe in what is possible.”

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Hamlin Travels the World with Google Expeditions

Today, Hamlin students had the opportunity to travel virtually to places like Chichen Itza, Mount Rushmore, and the village where Nelson Mandela grew up, through the technology of Google Expeditions. The immersive experience served to enhance both Spanish and Social Studies curriculum.

Google Expeditions enable teachers to bring students on virtual trips to places like museums, underwater, and outer space. Expeditions are collections of linked virtual reality (VR) content and supporting materials that can be used alongside existing curriculum. These trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° panoramas and 3D images — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools. There are 600 expeditions to choose from.

Students used virtual reality headsets with Android phones to bring images to life. While the girls explored various places, Hamlin teachers provided narrative information about the locales.

Hamlin faculty member Rachel Davis states, Google Expeditions give students an opportunity to explore an area through immersion, they get to be involved in the whole experience.

Hamlin 5th graders loved Google Expeditions. We liked how we can see structures from both a side view and from above, it was like going on a learning vacation without getting on a plane.

Below is a video of Hamlin 3rd graders exploring Mount Rushmore:

To learn more about Google Expeditions, please visit: https://edu.google.com/expeditions/#about