This week, 7th grade Life Science students honed their logic and argument skills as they learned to identify the three elements of CER (Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning). We also looked at some wonderful examples of faulty logic: the Duck Test, My Dad is a Space Alien, and the classic Witch Trial from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. We took advantage of the lovely day on Thursday to sit in silence outside and conduct an observational study of the indicators of life (see photos) as we get ready to consider what science means by "life" in the weeks ahead.
8th grade Physical Science students completed a paper helicopter experiment, as we tested the relationship between blade length and flight time. Students were then introduced to the steps of the Engineering Design Process, and challenged to develop and test modifications that would extend the helicopters' flight time for as long as possible (see photos and videos). Next week we will reflect on the ways experimental design and engineering design are related, but different. Here is the template for our 'copters, if your family would like to conduct further experiments at home!
My 5th grade science class did a lab to explore the importance of having a detailed procedure. They all wrote their own procedures for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, then swapped procedures with a classmate. They were told to follow the procedures they were given exactly and the results were varying! Check out some photos of their lab.
While 9th-11th graders headed off campus for three days of outdoor and experiential education and bonding, our Class of 2024 worked all week on Senior Week activities led by the College Counseling Office and English teacher Tucker Winter. Goals for the week were to complete their Common Applications, launch their senior projects including completing their formal proposals, and living into their unique roles as senior leaders at Tandem. They spent time at the Charlottesville Friends Meetinghouse thinking about their experience as Friends School student leaders, had a meetup with several college admissions folks, they spent a day working like professionals in ballroom space at the Quirk Hotel, they enjoyed de-stressing with counselors Chloe and Monica, grounding with yoga practice guided by parent Bridget Baylin, trading advice and playing games with Tandem 5th graders, and enjoying a special campus campout including s'mores and a zany open mic. Friday morning found them watching their 'Senior Sunrise' together (they will have a Senior Sunset at year's end). What fun to find them eating breakfast by the campfire as we arrived. While seniors did lots of hard work to meet their application and project goals, they also had plenty of fun. See details on their fun with the 5th grade in another article. Check out lots of Senior Week photos here.
7th grade science has completed two labs so far. The first was a heart rate lab comparing bpm when resting, strolling, and running in place (see photos). We learned how to design an experiment, record accurate data, and create a graph on Google Sheets. We used some cool tools, including pulse oximeters and timers that beeped loudly (sorry to the math class next door!). Our second lab involved the Stroop Effect, where your brain struggles to ignore the written word and say the ink color instead: REDBLUEGREEN Click here for one of the word lists we used, and try the test at home!
8th grade science has been considering how to distinguish pseudoscience, such as astrology, from real science. We have also completed a measurement lab using a variety of metric tools, and reviewed the metric prefixes and bases. We used the prefixes to rename money amounts: deka-dollars ($10), deci-dollars (10 cents), etc. Our second lab involves standing on counters and dropping paper helicopters, and is still ongoing. Pictures next week!
Tandem's Upper School drama group will present the amazing, classic drama Twelve Angry Jurors, by Reginald Rose, as this fall's production. Director and Upper School drama teacher Ronda Hewitt held auditions last week and announced the cast on Tuesday. Rehearsals began on September 6 for this production, which will be presented on November 3, 4, and 5. Ronda is excited about the phenomenal cast and crew she has assembled for this actor-driven drama. The cast and crew features students from all Upper School grades, including seven seniors. Mark your calendars now for a great production! Congratulations to the following cast and crew members:
Understudies & Production: Henry A - Assistant Director, Understudy for Juror # 1, 2, 3; Cait D - Dramaturg, Understudy for Jurors # 4, 5, 6; Edwin L - Judge, Assistant Director, Understudy for Jurors # 7, 8, 9; Bailey W - Dramaturg, Understudy for Jurors # 10, 11, 12
Production: Emi M - Production Stage Manager; Alex E - Assistant Stage Manager; Alex G - Lighting & Sound Booth Operator; Elena P - Costumes & Props Assistant; Tyler B - Set Design & Lights Assistant; Alex S - Production Assistant; Katya T - Acting Coach
This week, 5th and 6th graders performed some fun teamwork/bonding activities together in Advisory. In one, they worked in teams of three to 'rescue' Sam the gummy worm from a capsized 'boat.' They had to get him out of the water, put a life preserver (gummy ring) on him, and get him back in his boat using only paper clips. The task encouraged valuable creative thinking and teamwork skills and...Sam survived. In another task, advisory teams tackled a maze. Students had to follow a specific pattern through a checkerboard. Advisories had to work together to remember the pattern and successfully navigate through the maze.
Bubba Beasley, geologist and owner of HydroGeo Environmental (and band mate of music teacher Mark Goldstein!), was on campus this week performing something called infiltration testing on the drainage pool they installed behind the Pavilion when it was built. He offered to be available to Upper School students and teachers to demonstrate and talk about this interesting real-world scientific application. (Bubba also visited Tandem a few years ago as a Speaker Series guest.) Infiltration testing is a requirement to make sure Pavilion storm water release is being contained and filtered properly. In addition to talking about the testing, Bubba also discussed the orientation of geologic ridges in the local area, different types of bedrock and soil, how they look at maps to discover rock fractures for well placement, and more.
Middle School PE teacher and 7th/8th Dean Avis Fields shared some photos of 5th grade PE this week. During a long-block class, new Middle School science teacher Kayla Coverston came to join in the fun with the 5th graders, Avis, and PE teacher Sam Dale (once a Middle Schooler here himself). Kayla was a great sport! The 5th graders are looking sharp in their numbered pinnies! Check out the photos from the gym.
We're so excited to welcome our new faculty and staff members to Tandem Friends! (Some of them may look familiar as they started after our 2022-2023 opening days.) It's been wonderful getting to know them and to discover the many gifts they bring to our community. Please join us in welcoming them to Tandem.
L to R in the photo: Paul Cronin (Middle School Director); Kayla Coverston (5th/6th Grade); Sarah Donelson (5th/6th Grade); Ned Fischer (7th/8th History); Lisa Wallace (Upper School Spanish); Jessica Turner (Front Desk and Health Office Coordinator); Ronda Hewitt (Upper School Drama); Jeffery Timmerman (Upper School Science); Tim Jenson (Upper School Math); Emily Kinser (5th/6th/7th Math)
Our last two days on campus were full ones indeed, overflowing with grade-based activities and community togetherness.
In the Middle School, students enjoyed their final Clubs activity of the year on Tuesday, and the 7th and 8th grade had a Meeting for Worship while 5th and 6th enjoyed outdoor games. After lunch, the entire Middle School headed to the ACAC water park for some pool ful, despite the cooler temps. On Wednesday, yearbooks were distributed, then everyone picked from an array of fun activities before our final all-school Meeting for Worship on the front lawn.
In the Upper School on Tuesday, 9th graders went to Triple C for the day to take on a leadership and communication challenge (high and low ropes). 10th graderswent to Picasso Swig to create art masterpieces, eating lunch on the Downtown Mall. 11th graders went to The Escape Room to challenge themselves, eating lunch on the Downtown Mall. All three grades spent the afternoon swimming at Fry's Spring. On Wednesday morning, we held the Upper School Awards presentation, followed by yearbook distribution and the final All-School Meeting for Worship.
Seniors enjoyed two special days of celebration - they spent Tuesday together at King's Dominion. Later that evening, seniors and faculty shared their Senior/Faculty Dinner, a lovely potluck shared by faculty and seniors alone, during which they share memories and stories. The Class of 2023 then began a new tradition with the inaugural Senior Sunset event. Held the evening of their last FULL day of school at Tandem, Senior Sunset was the brainchild of Upper School Director Russell Combs, brought with him from his previous school. After their special dinner together, seniors and faculty gathered outside, played games, and watched the sunset on the hillside near the fields. Fire pits and s'mores played a part in the evening, as did a senior class photo taken during the sunset. It offered seniors the opportunity to both literally watch the sunset as they watch the sun set on their time at Tandem. When school begins in the fall, the Class of 2024 will add another new tradition - Senior Sunrise, and these Sunrise and Sunset events will bookend their senior years on campus. Check out photos from the inaugural Senior Sunset and other grade activities and final farewells this week.
On Wednesday, May 31, we presented this year's Upper School awards. Click here for a description of the awards presented; see the list below for this year's honorees. Congratulations to these students:
Rookie of the Year Award - Alan H Amy Strand Award - Luxi P Community Service Award - Anna W Community Consciousness Award - Eli L William & Mary Leadership Award - Jenl L UVA Leadership Award - Katya T Duncan Alling Scholar Athlete Award - Charlie K Sportsperson of the Year Award - Mia P & Jacob C Aslan Mozelle Award - Ellie S Science Award - French Award - Caroline K Latin Award - Phia S-J Spanish Award - Kaia C English Award - Solomon H History Award - Jenk L Math Award - Edwin L Art Award - Caroline K Music Award - Ellie S Drama Award - Emi M Head of School's Award - Mattea G Alumni Award - Laurel Henneman
6th grade students of science teacher Christina Davis finished up the quarter by designing a model watershed and then 'testing' their colorful creation out on the quad. Once they completed their project they posed for a couple of silly photos, indicative of their end-of-the-school year cheery mood.
6th grade students of Cindy Cartwright completed their World Religions study unit with a visit this week to the Islamic Society of Central Virginia mosque. This annual visit is always a highlight for students.
10th grade Integrated Science students of Casey Reed and Nate Adkins, working in teams of two to three members, designed rockets made out of 2-liter plastic drink bottles. They added nosecones and fins made out of foam or plastic, some added designs, and each rocket had to hold 200-300ml of water for the testing. Rockets were placed on a launch device that allowed the bottle contents to be pressurized with air (to about 40 psi) using a hand air pump. Once pressurized, the rockets were launched by releasing a pin, and students measured trajectory as well as distance traveled. The top-performing rocket went almost 40 feet up into the air. Check out some testing photos.
As part of their final class projects and testing, Upper School science students this week completed two major design projects. Alex Siragy's Engineering students spent the final quarter designing and building wooden trebuchets. Working in pairs, the class designed four large trebuchets, each with a midsection that could hold a bag of sand and a pouch to hold their 'ammunition' - water balloons. During their building and testing process, they launched balls of all sizes, made adjustments to pouch/sling, payload and counterweights to improve aim and accuracy and increase distance of each launch. Finally, this week the class held a trebuchet launch demonstration and competition. Teams (there were four devices built by teams of students) launched water balloons at willing human targets. Check out some testing photos.
Our students love these hands-on design and testing projects.
Check out the photos of the testing of both projects.
Engineering students of Alex Siragy spent this quarter building boats within a given set of dimensions that maximized displacement, speed, maneuverability, and effectiveness. Boat hulls needed to be no more than 60 cm long, 20 cm wide, 5 cm "tall" (measured from the top of their hull to their waterline), and 7 mm thick and also needed to have the capacity to carry 2.5 kg of additional load. Boats were constructed using a variety of materials, including wood, aluminum, plastic film, and duct tape, powered by electric motors, and controlled using an 8-channel 2.4 GHz remote control system.
This week, their boats got tested in a makeshift test pool behind the Art building. Boats were assessed for each of the four criteria identified above and received points based on their ranking. Displacement was measured by an electronic balance and ranged from 1.8 kg to 3.5 kg. Speed was measured by how much time a boat needed to travel a 10-foot straightway section of the 8'x16' test pool and ranged from under 20 seconds to over 2 minutes. Maneuverability was assessed by timing how long boats needed to complete a 6-turn slalom-style round-trip in the test tank and ranged from under 3 minutes to over 5 minutes. Effectiveness was determined by pitting boats against each other three at a time in a contest to see which boats could most effectively damage/sink other boats while maintaining their ability to float and maneuver. Effectiveness points were awarded based on scored hits, durability, and ability to disable or sink opponents. The testing was a fun event that attracted many onlookers. The total points earned by a boat determined its final score. The highest score was earned by the SS Tortuga, the boat with the wooden swing arm that is attached to a blue gear on the bow, which was built and piloted by seniors Jacob and Theo. Congratulations to our Engineering boat builders and to the winning design. What a fun project!
This year's Mother's Day Music Festival hit a home run and people are still talking about how great it was. This student-run event was well organized and featured great Tandem and local bands. The local bands included several alumni performers, including Elie Bashkow (TFS '18), Noah Tinsley (TFS '18), and Suz Slezak (TFS '99), part of MDMF's musical headliner act The David Wax Museum. There were about 200 guests, even on a rainy day. The Pavilion proved to be a great venue for this annual event. There were baby goats and beautiful t-shirts and posters with senior Talia Smith's design on them. There were games and craft vendors selling gifts for moms. The Arepas food truck sold delicious food, and parent volunteers helped grill goodies for hungry guests. After expenses, the event raised over $3000 for The Kindness Cafe, the MDMF's designated non-profit recipient. A big congratulations to music teacher Mark Goldstein and his terrific student MDMF committee on a fabulous event. Next year's leaders are already making plans.
Congratulations to our spring varsity athletes who have been selected as recipients of GPAC All-Conference Honors. In Varsity Girls Soccer: Mia P and Emma P received First Team honors; Tessa D received Second Team honors; Anna W received Honorable Mention. In Varsity Boys Lacrosse: Jacob C, Matt M, and Alden S received Second Team honors. Way to go, Badgers!
In a roundup of this year's sports, Athletic Director Sarana Hyatt shared some interesting conference stats. Did you know? 21 of our varsity athletes received All-GPAC honors this year. Three of our players made All-State teams. One player was named GPAC Player of the Year and received an All Central Virginia Team Honorable Mention. One player was a top point scorer for the Charlottesville area. Three seniors received VISAA Merritt Awards for playing in all three seasons this year. Two of our teams were both regular season and post season GPAC conference champions and both went undefeated in regular season conference play. Eleven track and field athletes qualified for State competition in eight events.
And some fun facts about our coaching staff this year...Three of our coaches were Tandem alums. Fourteen are current Tandem faculty/staff. Eleven were or are college athletes. Seven were former collegiate coaches. One is part of the East Region Olympic Development Program for Soccer. For the fall season, our coaches won Conference Coach of the Year in three of the four fall sports played in GPAC.
It was College Signing Day at Tandem on May 16. Three of our seniors will be playing varsity sports in college - Mia P will play soccer at Haverford College, Michael O will run for St. Mary's College of Maryland, and Max F will run for Vassar College. We couldn't be prouder of these Badgers! Tandem teams that won conference season or tournament championships were presented with banners that will hang in the gym. All of our senior athletes were honored that day as well - over 90% of them played a sport and three of them - Jacob C, Devin M and Zephan D - were honored by VISAA for playing a sport in all three seasons this year. Athletic Director Sarana Hyatt presented each senior athlete with a framed box containing a Tandem towel, a small piece of the gym floor that was removed this year in order to install the new one, and photos of them with their fellow seniors on each team's Senior Night. Finally, this year's Sportspersons of the Year were announced - seniors Jacob C and Mia P, both committed, multi-sport athletes throughout their many years at Tandem. Well done, Badgers! It was a great day celebrating Tandem Athletics!
The University of Virginia’s Committee on Sustainability honored members of both UVA and Charlottesville communities with Sustainability Leadership Awards for 'leadership in protecting the environment.' We're proud to share that former Tandem science teacher Christine Hirsh-Putnam received one of the two community awards given. They described Christine as "a retired teacher and “super citizen” who focuses on education to help others recycle more effectively, and to develop sustainable habits." Congratulations, Christine! We're glad to know she is still inspiring stewardship in the greater community after leading Tandem's efforts for so many years.
9th graders working with Melissa Winder and Robert Schuster just completed and presented their TED Talks on 'what is the meaning of life?' Each student pondered the question and wrote about what they considered the meaning of life to be, then they took their scripts and turned them into well-produced videos. Along the way they got to visit local filmmaking hub Light House Studio, where they really put the finishing touches on their professional-looking talks. They presented their finished videos to classmates and teachers and every video left the audience cheering. What do 9th graders think the meaning of life is? Some of their thoughts included: love, human connection, music, helping others, growth after failure, enjoying your time on this Earth, building a legacy, living life to its fullest, searching out new experiences, holding yourself with confidence, finding happiness, being around good people, accomplishment, bringing happiness to other, personal happiness, cooking and eating, exercising, building a road to success, the friendships you have along the way, stewardship of the Earth, trying to find happiness, meeting new people, daydreaming, roller derby - and more. There's some great advice in there!
Seniors in Tucker Winter's AP Literature class spent a short, sunny class period (now that their AP exam has been completed) celebrating the written word with chalk. Students wrote favorite quotes from books they read in AP Lit class on the sidewalks out back. It makes for some great reading as you stroll about campus. Check out more photos of the quotes here.
Huge congratulations to our 8th grade track team members who competed at the Ragged Mountain Middle School Meet! Hayes B came in second in the 1600 running 5:02 and also second in the 800 in 2:12. Miles G was 8th in the 1600 (5:12) and 4th in the 800 (2:21). Roland was 12th in the 1600 (5:27). Strong work! Lucy finished 12th in the girls 1600 (6:32). Van was 14th in the 100m in 13.35 and Nina ran a gutsy 800, too. These kids have worked so hard this year training with the Varsity team so it was great seeing them compete so well among other middle schoolers. Big thanks to Ragged Mountain for hosting this annual meet!
French 4 students participated in a live question and answer session via Zoom with our exchange students in Troyes, France. Some of the things we learned included the fact that French students do not bring their own lunches to school. They either eat in the school cafeteria, or go home for lunch. Also, visiting Paris for them is around a two-hour train ride, similar to visiting Washington, DC for our students.
Finally, the French students (juniors) are anticipating a more difficult senior year before taking the standardized test, the baccalaureate, at the end of their high school career, while our juniors generally feel as though they are through their most difficult year. The Zoom was a satisfying conclusion to our year-long exchanges.
Perry Medlin's Upper School Public Speaking class has been working hard on creating resumes and cover letters for a 'job' as a counselor at a Quaker Summer Camp. With resumes and cover letters complete, this week they were 'interviewed' in mock interviews. Perry helped them prepare and other faculty members stepped in to serve as interviewers who asked a standard set of questions, then gave each interviewee a score. The top two scoring candidates "get the job."
We're proud to announce that Tandem Friends PE teacher and Middle School Dean (7/8) Avis Fields has been awarded a grant from the Black Teacher Project. The grant is one of twenty Wellness and Leadership Grants that BTP is awarding nationwide for Black classroom teachers and paraprofessionals pursuing wellness and leadership/professional development opportunities. Congratulations, Avis!
When 5th grader Evangeline asked a question about what kind of food worms prefer, the class designed an experiment to find out the answer. The choices were mashed banana, grapes, or Cindy’s lunch with two very, very different dressings. After the first trial, the worms preferred banana and kale! More worm experiments have been underway in these final weeks of school. We're impressed with these young scientists and their ability to experiment on the fly. Check out some photos of their experiments.
As they continue their study of World Religions with teacher Cindy Cartwright, 6th graders recently visited St. Paul's Memorial Church near UVA, an Episcopal church, to learn about Christianity. Already this year they have visited a mosque and a synagogue, as well as learning about Buddhism and Hinduism. Rector Will Peyton led a discussion on basic components of Christianity and then the students led a midday service. Nico served as officiant, Rey gave a reading and all sang a hymn together as part of the service.
Meg's 8th grade Latin students wrapped up their Roman election project. Students chose political figures from the Roman Republic to emulate, research and prepare to run for consul (the highest position in the republic, similar to our president). Julius Caesar, Cicero, Catiline and Pompey the Great ran against each other. After sharing their filmed advertisements and speeches, the 8th grade voted Catiline as consul!
The entire Tandem community enjoyed celebrating the Class of 1973 (our first official graduating class) for their 50th reunion weekend May 5-6. On Friday, they joined the Upper School for Community Time, sharing stories of their times at Tandem and what they've been doing since graduation. They also spent some time talking to students afterwards. Tandem co-founder John Howard and his wife Elizabeth were on hand to visit with their first grads as well. Later that afternoon, the Class of 1973 welcomed the Classes of 1974 and 1975 to join them in a reception in the Blue Room. They even recreated their graduation photo. After that, they headed into town to enjoy dinner together at The Mill Room at Boar's Head.
Check out a few more photos of their time on campus here. We always look forward to having our alums back on campus! Congratulations, Class of 1973!
Tandem sophomores presented their research projects to their classmates over a recent two weeks, then completed the final stage of their Sophomore Seminar academic rite of passage with an evening Sophomore Seminar Capstone event this week. The community was invited to come and hear about their research, and each sophomore set up an information station complete with display, then answered questions from anyone who stopped by to chat. Students spent second semester researching and writing a 15+ page academic paper on a subject of their choosing. Completed papers include detailed footnotes and bibliographies; topics/papers are argumentative, so students had to make some sort of defensible argument about their topic. They provided some really interesting insights into their topics and displayed their academic maturity over the course of the semester. Well done, sophomores! Check out a list of their impressive and interesting topics here as well as some photos from their presentations and Capstone Night.
We’re so proud of Tandem Friends senior Mia Peifer, this year's Tandem Friends School finalist for The Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship Award, who was awarded an $18,000 scholarship from The Emily Couric Leadership Forum. The eleven local leadership award finalists (one from each local high school) were honored in person on April 24 at the annual awards luncheon. Tandem teachers Peter Gaines, Nate Adkins, and Carolyn Warhaftig attended the luncheon along with Mia and her parents.
Mia joined Tandem in 6th grade and has been a constant leader who is passionate about helping people find their confidence. Mia has served as Student Senate Vice President, presented a powerful Speaker Series about body image to the Upper School, founded the Post It Positive Club (posting positive notes of encouragement around the camps), and was winner of the Amy Strand Award at Tandem, given to a junior who embodies kindness and caring in all they do. Mia has been a powerful athletic force and natural leader on the soccer team and the cross country team. For her Senior Project, she trained her dog to be a Therapy Animal. She will be attending Haverford College and will play on their soccer team. Congratulations, Mia!
Check out a video shared by The Emily Couric Leadership Forum featuring Mia here. Learn more about each nominee here.
The Emily Couric Leadership Forum "established the Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship to be awarded annually to a senior girl attending any high school in Charlottesville or Albemarle. The goal is to acknowledge and encourage young women in leadership roles in government and the community. Each school is asked to nominate a senior girl who demonstrates leadership in her school and the community. A selection committee comprised of community leaders interviews the nominees and makes the final selection."
The Emily Couric Leadership Forum itself honors the memory of State Senator Emily Couric, who modeled a strong commitment to learning and service. Her many contributions to the community encouraged all women to "adopt an active role in government, public issues, and policy debates affecting their communities, and to inspire young women to pursue activities which will enable them to become effective leaders." The group has awarded over $1.5M to young women since the scholarships began in 2001, and awarded $250,000 for this 2023 year.
Several 9th and 10th grade history students accepted the annual extra credit creative challenge by teacher Melissa Winder to create a diorama depicting a famous historical event using marshmallow Peeps, an Easter candy favorite. Some students even work the name Peeps into the titles of their creative works. This is the seventh annual 'Peeping into History' project - we always look forward to these colorful and fun history tableaux. Check out this year's projects!
The 9th grade World Literature I classes, with Robert Schuster as their teacher, performed staged readings of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1, i.e., the assassination of Julius Caesar by the conspiring Senators. Students had a short amount of time to plan out their scenes and then perform them for their classmates on the steps of the Main Building. Students were asked to consider the blocking, tone, and pacing of the scene and how these things provide characterization that isn't explicitly explained in the text. According to Robert, their favorite part of this performance activity is getting to wield swords! Check out photos of their scenes.
French 1 and French 4 students with teacher Claire Buisseret each took advantage of the beautiful weather this week to go on separate field trips to the Downtown Mall. As part of a unit on Art, French 4 students visited the studio of local artist Giselle Gautreau to learn about her training, process, and art. French 1 students went on a photographic 'chasse au trésor'/scavenger hunt on the Downtown Mall, using place vocabulary such as 'église'/church and adjectives such as 'belle'/beautiful and 'verte'/green. Both groups ended up at Petite Marie Bette for a delicious lunch.
The Varsity Track team participated in a meet at St. Christopher's School in Richmond this week. Led by coaches Jason Farr, Ned Fischer and Sarana Hyatt, the team came away with more state qualifiers (our 4x400 relay team had already qualified in an earlier meet). Now we have teams in every relay going to States as the 4x100 team ran a 48.5 race and the 4x800 team came in second place with a time of 9:13. Theo finished second in the 3200; he qualified as an individual, as did 8th grader Hayes. Lilly B qualified in the 200 and Max and Michael broke 5 minutes in the mile for the first time as well. It was a great day! Go Badgers! And check out some great photos taken by Tandem parent David Deal.
April is National Poetry Month, and it rarely goes unnoticed on Tandem's campus. Morning Meetings in April usually include someone sharing a poem, followed by snaps for approval. This week, Librarian Kelly Kroese organized a TFS poetry reading and bake sale (organized by Library Intern Katya T) for a Speaker Series to bring attention to the issue of rising censorship in our country. Proceeds will benefit the National Coalition against Censorship's and the Kids' Right to Read Project. Kroese brought in local poet, filmmaker and scientist James Cole to host the reading and share some of his own work. James is active in the Virginia arts community, founder of the Charlottesville Poetry Critique Circle and member of the Live Poets Society, and has taught poetry composition in the area and at local Virginia schools. The poetry reading was attended by Upper Schoolers and Upper School faculty, many of whom shared a poem, with intermittent checkins by Kroese to share facts and information about the dramatic rise in book censorship in the US. For example, last year there were 2,171 attempts to ban books, with 90% of those titles included on lists being shared by groups and not individuals, a huge change from previous years. The American Library Association has just designated April 24, the Monday of National Library Week, asRight to Read Day. Right to Read Day marks the first anniversary of the ALA-founded Unite Against Book Banscampaign, a public-facing advocacy initiative to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship. The poetry reading was uplifting and eye opening - check out some photos.
One final Poetry Month item of note - Upper School Dean of Students Jocelyn Camarata does a wonderful job keeping community bulletin boards engaging and updated and created a poetry one in the Community Hall. Jocelyn asked faculty and staff members to share favorite poems, and has posted the poems, along with the names of those who shared them, on the board. It's been great to read outside the cafe and then connect the poem with the person who recommended it. Check out more National Poetry Month info here.
Tandem's Model UN students (16 of them) spent last weekend in Washington, DC at the George Washington University hosted Washington Area Model UN Conference. With teachers Alex Siragy and Melissa Winder mentoring, Tandem's participants successfully endured a busy schedule of committee sessions on a very spread out campus. They had a little free time on Friday and were able to visit the Museum of Natural History. Students did great jobs with their presentations and committee work. Jack Nachbar, representing Czechoslovakia in the 1959 Antarctic Treaty committee and participating in his first Model UN conference, won a Verbal Commendation for his performance in that committee. These awards recognize a delegate for great work and skills in debate and it typically means that they were within the top ten delegates in a given committee (many committees had over 50 members). One accomplishment Jack achieved was that he was able to negotiate for territorial rights for a territory three times the size of his country. Well done, Tandem Model UN ambassadors on your final event of the year!
Tandem Friends Upper School Latin students of teacher Tim Brannelly earned some great results on the 2023 National Latin Exam. Two AP students earned high ratings: Phia S-J was a gold medal winner who also received a Summa cum laude ("with highest praise") certificate and Adam K received a silver medal and a Maxima cum laude ("with very great praise") certificate. In Latin 4, Emma P was a silver medal winner who also received a Maxima cum laude certificate. Latin 2 students had great success with John B and Owen S earning gold medals as well as Summa cum laude certificates and Eli M earning a Magna cum laude ("with great praise") certificate. Congratulations, Latin scholars!
Young Middle School scientists with teacher Cindy Crawford performed some experiments as they looked through different horizons of soil as they built a habitat (see photos). For the next two weeks they will be experimenting with soil's best friend - worms (focused and no dissection work). One job - working to determine the anterior of a worm. They also worked to plant the area next to the MacDonald classroom.
Tandem's Upper School Model United Nations group of sixteen students left on Thursday, April 13 for George Washington University in DC for their second Model UN event (the Washington Area Model UN Conference). Teachers Alex Siragy and Melissa Winder are the chaperones. Students participated in their first committee session Thursday night, then have two sessions Friday night, three sessions on Saturday, and one on Sunday. It's a busty schedule - read more about the event here.
Following is the list of TFS students and their committee assignments and the countries/persons they will represent at the event - committees listed with acronyms below are Disarmament & International Security (DISEC), UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), UN High Committee for Refugees (UNHCR), World Health Organization (WHO), and UN Security Council (UNSC).
Musa S - DISEC (Lesotho)
Devin M - DISEC (Lesotho)
Max F - DISEC (Monaco)
Theo A - DISEC (Monaco)
Bailey W - UNEP (Netherlands)
Eleanor S - UNEP (Morocco)
Zoe J - UNHCR (Kyrgyzstan)
Larissa F - WHO (Belgium)
Julian P - UNSC (People's Republic of China)
Emi M - G20 (India)
Charlie K - Gulf Coop Council (Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber)
Jack N - 1959 Antarctic Treaty (Czechoslovakia)
Eli L - South Korea Reconstruction (Park Okkyu)
Sawyer R - NFL/AFL Merger (James T Aubrey)
Emory G - Peace of Westphalia (John George I)
Sam T - Franco-Prussian War (Patrice de MacMahon)
We wish all of our Model UN delegates the best of luck in their event.
The Student Senate hosted a 'funraising' volleyball tournament after school on Thursday. Seven teams of five players took each other on tournament style, then the top two of those teams took on the varsity volleyball team. The varsity team took the big win this year and all of the players and fans had a great time.
6th graders in Carolena Saunders' English class recently created some cool black-out poetry. Using a black Sharpie, they took written passages and either blacked out what they didn't want their poem to say, or highlighted certain words and added artwork to leave a poem behind. Check out the photos of their work.
Tandem 6th graders are busily enjoying rehearsals for their late-April production of the beloved musical The Lion King, Jr. With director Edwina Herring at the helm, and some great Upper School mentors helping out, they are tackling lines, songs and choreography fearlessly. Check out this photo of Mason and Elodie (as Mufasa and Young Simba) rehearsing a sweet scene and song. Performances for the community will be held on April 28 and 29 at 7pm. Watch for details!
6th graders continued their study of world religions today with a visit to and tour of local synagogue Congregation Beth Israel with Rabbi Tom. They learned about the building's history (the city actually took over their original space for a post office and made them move the building back in 1904). Rabbi Tom talked about many Jewish traditions and special days, and taught the students important Hebrew words. Students were allowed to look at the Torah and Tandem students who attend CBI got to answer some questions. 6th graders were enthusiastic learners about Judaism, and really enjoyed their visit to CBI and Rabbi Tom.
8th grade PE students spent a recent class period performing service to the Tandem community by cleaning out the Tandem busses before spring break. It was a nice service to the school AND they had fun doing it. Check out the photos shared by PE teacher Avis Fields.
Yearbook students and their teacher Julia Sapir opened a Family Portrait studio this week as the students began learning how to take photo portraits. They opened their studio up to any family groupings who spend their days on the Tandem campus together - siblings, faculty/staff members and their kids who attend here, etc. They will have one more session after Spring Break. Not only are the Yearbook students learning portrait skills, they are adding a new Family Portraits layout to the yearbook.
Fifteen Tandem Upper Schoolers, led by teacher Alex Siragy, worked together and individually to compete in the State Science Olympiad Tournament held at UVA on March 25. They qualified for states with great regional results back in February that required both in-person lab and engineering events and a day of virtually administered tests. Overall state results at UVA put Tandem in 21st place. Seniors Jacob and Devin placed 5th in WiFi Lab, building an antenna for a WiFi router and answering questions about how antennas work. Their device beat four of the top five overall schools! Other students had strong results (placing 8th-15th out of 24) in Codebusters, Detector Building, Disease Detectives, Environmental Chemistry, Fermi Questions, Flight, Forensics, Forestry, Green Generation, and Trajectory events. Great job, Tandem scientists!
Tandem Science Olympiad Teams head to UVA tomorrow, March 25, for the state-level competition they qualified for with their excellent regionals performance. Led by teacher Alex Siragy, Tandem's teams will be competing against teams from all over the state. The team's homebase location will be in CHEM 402 (the lecture hall in the Chemistry Building), and anyone from the community is welcome to drop in and say hi to team members who are not in the middle of participating in their events. Actual competition sites are located around campus. Please note that events are mostly closed-door. Open-door events include all events in the Slaughter Recreation Center. Exact room locations, times, and participating TFS students are noted below. Please note that TFS spectators are expected to not talk/cheer on TFS participants once they begin the event (failure to do this can result in a penalty for the team) and are only permitted to photograph or record video of TFS participants.
Tournament Schedule: Click here for full details - Tandem is team C10. Tandem events in the Slaughter Rec Center that are open to the public include:
Scrambler, 9:15 am - 10:10 am, Main Gym, Devin M, Ty B
Bridge, 10:25 am - 11:20 am, Multipurpose Room 1, Max F, Jack N
Flight, 2:10 pm - 3:05 pm, Main Gym, Will M, Owen S
WiFi Lab, 3:20 pm - 4:15 pm, Main Gym, Jacob C, Devin M
Trajectory, 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm, Main Gym, Jacob C, Will M
The awards ceremony will be held at 7:30 pm in CHEM 402.
Team Roster & Event Assignments:
1. Jacob C (WiFi Lab, Trajectory) 2. Max F (Rocks & Minerals, Bridge, Environmental Chemistry, Forestry) 3. Mekhi H (Remote Sensing, Detector Building, Chemistry Lab, Codebusters) 4. Devin M (Scrambler, Detector Building, WiFi Lab) 5. Mattea G (Forensics, Write It Do It, Cell Biology) 6. Charlie K (Rocks & Minerals, Environmental Chemistry, Disease Detectives, Forestry) 7. Emi M (Forensics, Write It Do It, Green Generation, Codebusters) 8. Emory G (Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry Lab, Astronomy) 9. Jack N (Bridge, Dynamic Planet, Astronomy) 10. Emma P (Anatomy & Physiology, Cell Biology, Disease Detectives) 11. Ty B (Scrambler, Experimental Design) 12. Eli C (Fermi Questions, Experimental Design, Dynamic Planet) 13. Kavi M (Remote Sensing, Experimental Design) 14. Will M (Fermi Questions, Green Generation, Flight, Trajectory) 15. Owen S (Flight, Codebusters)
Parking & Transportation:See this map for details. Parking on UVA Grounds tomorrow will be heavily impacted by the Cville 10-Miler.
Tandem is proud to announce that Upper School Spanish teacher Sarah Gillespie has been named our 2023 recipient of a Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching. Sarah began teaching at Tandem in 2019 and brings compassion, patience, excellence and humor to her work with her Spanish students. "She values every person’s contribution and works with individuals to improve our learning," read a nomination. Also, "She has a calm and kind presence which helps makes the class both fun and productive."
Golden Apple Awards are presented each year by sponsor Richard L. Nunley (Better Living Building Supply and Cabinetry) to honor outstanding teachers in our community's schools. The awards are presented to teachers from both public and private schools (VAIS members) in Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville. One winner is selected from each school, based upon parent and student nominations, which were solicited via form all winter. In addition to receiving a Golden Apple, each recipient also earns a grant of $500, which can be used for classroom materials or to support professional development. Golden Apple Award recipients will be honored in a ceremony in May. Congratulations, Sarah!
Six Tandem Upper Schoolers head to Richmond this afternoon to participate in the first Model United Nations event of the academic year. This first simulation takes place at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School and Tandem's delegates include: Emma P, Mary R, Bailey W, Larissa F, Emi M, and Mekhi H. For this round, Tandem students have been placed on the following committees and have been working hard to come up with the information they will need:
Disarmament & International Security (Japan)
United Nations Environmental Programme (Italy)
US Fashion Industry Commission (Richard Saghian)
Haitian Revolution (Henri Cristophe)
The Roaring 20s (Al Capone)
Tandem teacher Alex Siragy will be accompanying the students - we wish them good luck in Richmond.
6th grade Latin teacher Meg Davis and her students have taken a deep dive into the world of Roman deities. Today some of them shared their deity projects in a variety of ways. Neptune! (God of the sea) came to school with his trident, Juno (Queen of the gods) shared her cereal brand, and Jupiter (King of the gods) shared his product line! Check out the photos.
Sixth grade Tandem scientists are excited to be participating in a student science project called Tomatosphere. Classes have received two packages of tomato seeds for their blind study. One package contains "control" (natural, untreated earth bound seeds), while the other contains seeds that were transported by SpaceX CRS-23 Dragon to the International Space Station in 2021. The seeds spent five weeks in space aboard the ISS before returning to earth and being distributed to science classrooms across the United States and Canada. Without knowing which set is which, sixth grade classes will grow the seedlings and record information about the tomato plants. This information includes germination numbers, growth patterns, and vigor of the seeds. Students across the U.S. and Canada will report their data in a collaborative effort to help scientists "investigate the effects of the space environment on the growth of food that will inevitably support long-term human space travel." Check out more info here: https://youtu.be/HU5kpIQ09Iw.
Alex Siragy's senior Engineering students just performed final testing of their self-created airplane designs (no kits used). Each had to house an egg and keep that egg intact while flying and landing. Design testing was based on length of time in the air (minimum of two seconds) and maximum weight. Propulsion methods varied from gliders to rubber band propulsion, and even one with a rocket engine. Final tests were performed on the quad and in front of the Main Building on a cold, windy day. Each plane was allowed up to three runs (if the design survived and the team could make adjustments quickly). The winning design was the one propelled by a rubber band and designed by seniors Aidan S and Theo A. It stayed aloft for over five seconds. The rocket-propelled plane had a couple of exciting trials but the plane did not get much air time. Check out some additional photos.
8th grade Spanish students of teacher Victoria Bryant enjoyed a delicious AND educational outing recently. They went out off campus for lunch and dessert at Guadalajara and La Flor Michoacana. They ate great food and got to practice using their Spanish-language skills to order and converse together. Win win!
Upper School students in Perry Medlin's Public Speaking class took on a recent project that was close to home. Using basic facts about Tandem Friends, and their own insights and thoughts, students created ads for Tandem that would appeal to a specific demographic, focusing on the school, alumni success and more. They then presented them to the class. Check out this recorded radio ad created by sophomore Marley B.
Julia Sapir's Yearbook students were inspired by guest Tengku Bahar (1st name Bahar) this week, who visited and spoke to their class. Originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Bahar is a UVA graduate who currently works as a photo editor for the Asian Pacific bureau of Agence France Presse in Hong Kong. He spoke about his work as an international photo journalist and what it means to tell a narrative through pictures.
In 5th grade English/Geo-History, we are weaving our study of Black history and Women's History Month together in a celebration of the accomplishments and contributions of Black activists, inventors, doctors, scientists, mathematicians, teachers, women, men, and youth. Students' mini-research projects focus on those, past and present, who have helped to advance the fight for equity and justice. Students have prepared for this history project with a 'lit-book speed dating' activity as they explored our classroom collection of Black history books.
Students are always invited to share their knowledge, experience, and interests related to our studies, and Zuri has done this so well over the last few weeks! She shared a video this week of a dance performance similar to the dance that she performed on the first National Juneteenth Day in 2021. Zuri was very generous, sharing her choreographed part, dancing to the music, Stand Up, written by Cynthia Erivo. Click here to watch the video. Thank you, Zuri!
6th grade science students with teacher Christina Davis have been exploring structural and behavioral adaptations in the animal world. It's a great tie-in to their preparations for March Mammal Madness. Students have been making their way through several class stations that let them learn about:
9th graders in Robert Schuster's World Literature I class are working on Poetry Translation Projects. Each has to find a poem written in a language other than English (one they hadn't read in class) and then attempt to translate it into English without looking at, listening to, or reading any already existing English translations. (Students were encouraged to choose a poem written in whatever world language they are studying). Their goal is to created a translated poem that is faithful to the original work's content and style, understandable to readers, and lovely to hear out loud—what a task! They are allowed to seek help from friends, teachers, parents, or anyone else who can help them with understanding and translation.
Tucker Winter's AP Literature students just finished a creative assignment based on the first part of Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, a novel that depicts pre-colonial life in the southeastern part of Nigeria and the invasion by Europeans during the late 19th century. AP Lit students had to design a one-pager about the book so far that shared:
The book's title and author.
Images, symbols and words that capture the character of Okonkwo and his values, strengths and flaws.
Three (or more) proverbs that reveal specific beliefs or values of the Igbo people and include visuals that go with them, including why you chose them and what you think they mean.
A decorated page border that reflects an understanding of the society.
A visual timeline of the year’s events in Umuofia - including all festivals and celebrations and encompassing the whole year.
A list of the things (physical as well as values) the Igbo value in their society and drawings to support those.
Two to three quotes from the first section of the novel that are significant to the work as a whole.
Tandem senior Tvo G is no ordinary student. Tvo has made a name for himself as an entrepreneur, launching his own personal clothing brand, GLORY DAYS. He designs, handles manufacturing overseas, and markets his own creations. The marketing piece has been the focus of his Senior Project at Tandem, and tomorrow, TVO is holding a pop-up shop event from 1 to 3:30pm at 112 Crofton Place in Palmyra (across from Ace Hardware). He will be selling new and old designs alike, and accepts cash, Cash App and Apple Pay. About a month ago, Tvo brought in a large box of merchandise to give away at school - the box was empty almost before it hit the floor. Check out his pop-up shop tomorrow!
Tvo is also a social media phenomenon as a TikTok influencer with close to 800,000 followers. He has racked up terrific basketball stats during his high school athletic career, and hopes to play college basketball and study fashion merchandising and marketing.
Check out the in-depth December 21st Daily Progress profile article about Tvo and his successes on and off the basketball court. As he is quoted saying in the article, “It’s only going to get better from here. I don’t do if for the money, I do it for the passion of it. The money will come if you love doing it. I just want to see everyone in my clothing and happy about it. I just want to make my parents proud of me and show them how much of a well-raised kid they have created.
6th graders in Christina Davis' English class are listening to interviews honoring Black voices on StoryCorps. These stories embody the essence of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. This is a precursor activity to students conducting their own interviews with friends and family. Check out some of the StoryCorps interviews they have been listening to here.
Christina's 6th grade scientists are revving up for March Mammal Madness, a fun and educational competition a la the NCAA's March Madness; it's an annual tournament of "simulated" combat competition between animals. The 2023 brackets came out this week so students are researching animals in order to make informed decisions when filling out their brackets! The competition runs for three weeks beginning mid-March. You can use the link above to learn more about the competition, the animals, and even download your own bracket.
Before our mid-winter break, 7th graders taking Latin with Meg Davis were asked to "decorate" their classroom to represent different regions of the Underworld, which they have been studying diligently. The results are shared; some of them turned out really cool and all were creative! Here's what got depicted (see pictures):
A representation of the ENTRANCE to the Underworld, including a sign dedicated to the god (Pluto) and goddess (Proserpina) of the Underworld who wouldn't have been named specifically. Also a little "gold coin" holder (to the left of the door); the coins were used to secure passage across the River Styx.
The "palace" of the Underworld, where Pluto and Proserpina lived.
A representation of 5 rivers of the Underworld, including labels and descriptions (Styx, the river by which oaths were sworn, and Phlegethon, the river of fire, for example).
A representation of some of the famous punishments in the Underworld, including the fiery wheel of Ixion (who made inappropriate advances to Juno, queen of the gods!) and a branch with an apple to represent Tantalus (who fed his son to the gods and was punished with eternal hunger and thirst).
At long last, the results of the Charlottesville Regional Science Olympiad Tournament are available. The tournament was organized in a hybrid format, which involved a day of in-person lab and engineering events (January 28) and a day of virtually administered tests (February 11). Tandem's two Division C (high school) teams competed against 28 other teams representing 15 other schools. This represented a continued increase in the number of high schools attending the Charlottesville Regional Tournament and the competition was fierce once again.
To determine whether a school earned a qualifying spot in the state tournament, the best team score earned by the school was compared to the best team score earned by each other school to create a ranked list out of 16. The top 50% of schools (8 schools) qualify for the state competition.
Tandem teams had an awesome showing and their efforts were rewarded with medals in several events (details below). Their efforts also resulted in Tandem earning 6th place in the ranking of the best team scores for each of the 16 participating schools. In fact, Tandem was only 1 point away from earning a team trophy (5th place rank). Incredible! This means that Tandem has earned an invitation to the state tournament and will be participating in it at UVA on Saturday, March 25. Yay!
- Bridge: 6th place medal (Kavi M & Owen S)
- Detector Building: 2nd place medal (Devin M & Mekhi H)
- Environmental Chemistry: 5th place medal (Charlie K & Max F)
- Forensics: 1st place medal (Emi M & Mattea G)
- Green Generation: 2nd place medal (Emi M & Will M) - Trajectory: 2nd place medal (Jacob C & Will M)
Important, non-medal shout-outs:
- Codebusters: 7th place (Emi M & Mekhi H)
- Forestry: 7th place (Charlie K & Max F)
- Rocks & Minerals: 7th place (Mattea G & Max F)
- Scrambler: 7th place (Devin M & Musa S)
- Fermi Questions: 9th place (Eli C & Will M)
- Bridge: 10th place (Jack N & Max F)
I am very proud of the overall effort and achievement our teams. Our work is not done! We have a lot of to do over this next month to prepare for the state tournament. Lots more fun and excitement ahead!
Check out an earlier article and some photos here.
Next up for Engineering & Design 2 students? Airplane design and testing! Alex Siragy's senior Engineering students have begun testing their self-created airplane designs (no kits used). Each must house an egg and keep that egg intact while flying and landing. Design testing is based on length of time in the air and maximum weight. Propulsion methods vary from gliders to rubber band propulsion, and even one with a rocket engine. Some early testing began this week using the upstairs window in the Main Building as a launch site (that window doubles as the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene location as well) and the Quad as the landing site.
This week, the 6th graders and some of their teachers worked together to support the Charlottesville Friends Meeting's (CFM) housing of the PACEM homeless program. PACEM works with local congregations and community groups/volunteers to provide a rotating shelter and food to the local homeless community. CFM is providing shelter and food to PACEM this week. For the past few weeks, our 6th graders collected snack items to provide to CFM, so that they could share them with their guests this week. 6th graders also took the time to write some beautiful cards and messages to share with the residents. On Wednesday night, teachers Cindy Cartwright, Janet Webster, Cam Pampus, Heidi Passino and CFM member Linda Goldstein cooked, delivered and served dinner to the 35 men staying there (they were anticipating 25 and had to quickly cook for ten more). The menu included twice-baked potatoes, mini meatloafs, beet salad and green beans. Tandem has a long and meaningful history of supporting PACEM, and we're so glad our 6th graders and teachers were able to help CFM this week.
6th graders in Cindy Cartwright's Civics class have been learning about the judiciary branch of government, juries and copyright infringement. They read a transcript of the MGM vs Honda trial to learn about the issue (it has to do with James Bond films - pretty exciting stuff), then spent time in small groups deliberating together as juries.
8th grade English students of Carolyn Warhaftig just completed a great Job Fair project. Students were asked to select a job that interested them from a list of professional positions and then found an adult in that job to interview via a teacher-initiated Google Meet. Students conducted their interviews, then they conducted their own additional research on the profession to fill out their understanding of ideas like salary, educational requirements, etc. With the information uncovered in their job interviews, 8th graders then set up and ran a job fair for 7th graders. Each 8th grader set up a desk with an informative flyer they created to depict the position they researched. Atop each desk were informative flyers that gave details about what the job entailed. Jobs featured included a wide range, such as: college coach, corporate recruiter, civil engineer, physical therapist, firefighter, and so many more. 7th graders came through to visit each 'booth' and ask questions as if they were seeking employment. What a fun and informative project! Check out some of the photos.
Seven Upper Schoolers are representing Tandem at this year's 2023 Quaker Youth Leadership Conference (held February 2-4), an annual gathering/summit which connects students from Quaker schools all over the world through talks, activities and workshops. This year's in-person conference is being held at Sandy Springs Friends School in Maryland. Tandem's student delegation includes seniors Anna W, Talia S and Lilly C, junior Julian P and sophomores Riley B, Emma P and Maggie W; teachers Jason Farr and Casey Reed will attend as faculty sponsors.
This year's theme is "Our Past, Our Progress: Promoting Peace through Activism," and all activities, workshops and speakers will focus on that. Participants will start with a first day of introductions, tours, a speaker and games. Day two is all about community engagement and participants will join in activities and workshops in Baltimore, and end at Sandy Springs with dinner, a talent show, speakers, a Meeting for Worship and more. Day three will be at Sandy Springs and will include student-led workshops, affinity groups, and a final Meeting for Worship. Speakers include Dyresha Harris (diversity educator, community organizer and Quaker camp director), Amela Kegan (leader and legislative director at Friends Committee on National Legislation) and a keynote speaker who has not yet been announced.
Tandem students always return from QYLC fueled with ideas and information that will help inspire and guide our community. Check out some photos of our seven students at QYLC. Tandem hosted QYLC in 2007 and 2015 (photos from both years of Tandem's hosting are also included).
Twenty four of our Tandem Friends 6th graders spent the day in Richmond for Conservation Lobby Day at the State Capitol, learning about civic process and how bills become law and talking to their local representatives about important legislation. They first met with Virginia Conservation Network, learning about current bills in committee. They then visited with Delegate Sally Hudson's staff (57th District), Delegate Chris Runion (25th District), and Senator Creigh Deeds (25th District) to learn about lobbying. They ended their day by listening to speakers and getting a tour of the Virginia Supreme Court. While participating, our students also ran into two former Tandem community members who were there to lobby - former Middle School Science teacher Christine Hirsh-Putnam (who used to be the person taking students to Conservation Lobby Day) and former parent Peggy Gilges. What an amazing experience for these civic-minded young people and future world citizens.
Last Sunday, six Upper School students visited the Charlottesville Friends Meeting at their Meeting House on Forest Street. The students met with a group of Meeting House members and spoke openly about the way being in a Friends School has shaped their values and individual spiritual development. They also asked members in the meeting about Quaker practices. After their focused time together, students joined the larger regular Meeting for Worship as well. The students who attended were seniors Talia S, Anna W, Lilly C, junior Julian P, and sophomores Emma P and Emory G. Teacher and Friends Council advisor Jason Farr was in charge of the outing. We so value our relationship with the Charlottesville Friends Meeting and appreciate the time their members so generously share with us.
The Virginia Science Olympiad hosted its annual Central Virginia regional competition on Saturday, January 28 at Charlottesville High School. Tandem had several Upper School teams there to compete in the Engineering challenges, facing off against students from other local schools as well as those from Virginia Beach, Blacksburg, Fairfax County and Loudoun County. This first 'Hands-On' competition is the first part of the challenge. Students will face a 'Written Test Day' on Saturday, February 11. Their scores from both events will determine whether they compete in the state-level competition on March 25 at UVA. Tandem's teams performed well in this 'Hands-On' regional tournament and are eagerly awaiting their results. Check out some photos and this video of an engineering project in action.
Spanish 3 students have been reading El arte es una mentira, a story about Picasso's blue period and the Spanish Civil War. They were then asked to work in small groups to create and perform a presentation retelling the story from a first person perspective. Check out some photos from their retellings.
While Shannon McCullough's Math 7 and Algebra students continue with their standard math curriculum (exponential functions for Algebra and a new geometry unit for Math 7), they are also puzzling themselves in other ways. They have been working on some extra challenges by tackling Math Olympiad problems in both classes. Check out a couple of photos of some 8th graders working on those problems - looks like they are both thought provoking and fun.
Congratulations to Tandem senior Anna W who was named to the 2022 All Central Virginia Volleyball Team, Honorable Mention for the second year straight. Anna has received this honor twice in a largely public school dominated field of players. Anna's great play this season helped lead the Badgers to an undefeated GPAC conference record and both the conference regular season and tournament championships. Anna was also named GPAC Player of the Year. Check out the full All Central Virginia team here.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch, our energetic 5th graders have recently been enjoying their "5th grade only" gym time on the new gym floor. They play games and have lots of fun - click on the headline to see more photos. Note to parents: Just a reminder to send students who like to be active during their breaks to school with a pair of backup shoes that are gym floor/physical activity appropriate. It's sad when they can't participate because they don't have on appropriate gym shoes.
We're very sad to report that former Tandem social studies teacher Barbara McCallum, who taught at Tandem from 1987-1991, has passed away. Here is a link to Barbara's obituary, which was thoughtfully shared by her daughter Ashley. Barbara loved teaching and being part of the Tandem family. Please join us in holding Barbara's family in the Light.
We were grateful for the generosity of Tandem alumni willing to share their time and wisdom with our current juniors and seniors on January 6. The College Panel is an annual event of almost 20 years that brings current alumni college students in to share wisdom and answer questions about their college experience with Upper Schoolers. Sometimes they share what it's like to go to college far from home. Some talk about college-level sports. Some chose small schools and some are attending large universities. From what it's like to live in a dorm to how they made the leap from high school classes to college lectures, they have stories to tell about life after Tandem and plenty of great advice to give. Thanks to our wonderful alumni panel members: Sophie F (TFS '21, Vassar), Charlie K (TFS '19, U of Colorado Boulder), Anna K (TFS '21, Bryn Mawr), Ben L (TFS '19, UVA) and Jeremy O (TFS '19, UVA) for sharing their insight and wisdom. We love having them return to campus to tell their stories.
Tenth graders spent a day this week at UVA launching into their Sophomore Seminar research. They spent time in Clemons library (Alderman is still under renovation) learning about the UVA library system, touring both the databases and the physical spaces, and gathering sources for their upcoming research. They were chaperoned by teachers on the 9/10 team who will support them throughout their research process. For the next three months, they will each dive into deep learning about their chosen topics, developing their skills as researchers, writers, and presenters.
Before the end of first semester and our holiday break, Shannon McCullough's Math 7 students created a business plan using their knowledge of rates. Student businesses were all subscription-based services and included gyms, a goat petting zoo, an internet provider, a newspaper, and a few coffee shops. Students were invited to present their business plans to the class - check out some photos of their work.
Tandem senior point guard Tvo Gardner recently received the Player of the Week award given by The Daily Progress. On the court, he's helped lead the Badger varsity boys basketball team this season by averaging 25.2 points, 4.1 assists and 2.7 steals a game. He scored a career best of 37 points in a December game win against Quantico. Off the court, Tvo is also a success in the business world, managing his own clothing brand, Glory Days. He also maintains a huge social media presence on TikTok with almost 800,000 followers. He's also a great student and a kind and compassionate community member. This week, he brought in a bin of his merchandise to give away - once word got out, it was gone in munutes!