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Upper School & IB Info Night Rescheduled to Jan. 11, 2023

Due to expected heavy snow, the Upper School & IB Information Night set for Wednesday, Nov. 30 has been rescheduled to Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

SGS Middle School parents and students are invited to Founders Theater on Jan. 11th from 6:00-7:30pm for a preview of the Upper School experience at Saint George’s.

The first half of the evening will cover what students can expect in their academic classes, in student clubs and activities, and on our athletic teams. After a break to ask questions of Upper School students and faculty, the second half will cover the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. This will include the IB experience in the classroom, “CAS”, and what colleges and our own graduates say about the IB.

Plan to attend with your Middle School student to learn more about the exciting opportunities that await them in the Upper School!

Faculty & Staff Awards Announced at Assembly

An assembly of the entire school on Monday, Nov. 21 celebrated Saint George’s award-winning teachers and staff. Congratulations to the following recipients:

Fred Gilbert Distinguished Teaching Award

  • Happy Avery, Director of College Counseling & US Humanities Teacher

Harvey W. Clarke Award For Excellence In Teaching

  • Erika Mullins, LS K-1 Co-Teacher

The Jim Stecher Staff Excellence Awards

  • Melissa Hernandez, Instructional Technology Specialist
  • Tracy Gonser, Executive Assistant to the Head of School & Registrar

The biggest award, the Hannah Joss Fellowship Award, went to Upper School history teacher David Holte. “Throughout my career in schools, I’ve always drifted toward history, geology, and the outdoors,” says Holte, who graduated from SGS in 2001. With the $6,000 stipend that comes with the Joss Award, Holte plans to design a course curriculum for students to immerse themselves in the history and geology of the western United States. Part would focus on the American Southwest’s geology, the history of that region, and touch on major developments including the collapse of societies and climate change. “I’d also hope to create a similar curriculum for the immediate area using central and eastern Washington as an area of focus,” he says, including both the geology of the scablands area and the history of the 1910 Great Burn in the area between Wallace and Avery, Idaho.

Congratulations to all of the award recipients!

Dragons Capture King’s Klash Chess Title

Seven Saint George’s students participated in the local King’s Klash youth chess tournament on Saturday, Nov. 19. “Two won awards, five of the seven qualified for the Washington State Elementary Chess Championship, and all had fun,” reported SGS chess coach James Stripes. See a Photo Gallery of the competition.

Noah Hochheimer (3.5) finished 2nd in the middle school section, while brother Luca Hochheimer (2.5) won the biggest upset in the elementary section. State elementary qualifier pins were awarded to Roman Zhan (3.5), Melody Ji (3.0), Yanek Zhan (3.0), and Kayaan Puri (3.0). Also participating was Vivaan Puri (1.0). It was the first tournament for Roman, Kayaan, and Vivaan.

Saint George’s team won the Elementary Team trophy. “Our team score (top three players) of 10 beat Hope Lutheran’s 9 and Freeman’s 7,” said Stripes. Although 6th graders played in the middle school section, their scores counted towards the elementary team competition. Well done, Dragons!

Physics Class Tries to Protect Eggs Dropped in Courtyard

The juniors in Ross Miller’s physics class were tasked with building a container out of only cardboard and tape that could protect an egg dropped from over 5 meters high. The teams could earn an optimization stamp by using the least amount of material by mass or by cost based on tape costing five times as much as cardboard.

After testing their designs, the students recorded high-frame-rate (HFR) video of the egg drop from the second level of the Upper School courtyard. Their goal was to analyze and quantify the motion of the egg and the force of impact based on the standard momentum-force model taught in physics. Some of the eggs survived, and some didn’t! View a Photo Gallery to see which designs worked best.

“The students are already testing their assumptions and gaining hands-on experience similar to what is covered in many college-level introductory engineering design courses,” says Miller.

IB Highlights: Name That Tune in One Note

Extended Essay Highlight: Senior Luke Whitman’s research question for his EE is: How can signals in the time domain be converted into specific values in the frequency domain?

Luke chose this topic because when he was younger, he and his dad would play a game where, when a song came on the radio, he had to guess the name of the song. They always listened to the same Classic Rock radio station, so eventually he learned all the songs that could come on. He was able to identify the song based on the first few notes. Then, when he played the piano, he noticed when a note or chord sounded like one of the notes in the songs he had listened to.

Luke wanted to learn the first notes of all the songs that he and his dad listened to. In order to do this, he knew he would need to be able to convert a sound wave in the time domain to the frequency domain. His Extended Essay used the Discrete Fourier Transform to identify the specific frequencies in sound waves.

IB Question of the Week: How does the Genius Hour in the Middle School correlate to the mission and goals of the Extended Essay and CAS components of the IB CORE in junior and senior years?

In 5th grade, students begin their Genius Hour project and it continues throughout Middle School. Each year, the students pick something they are interested in. Teachers are training them to think about something that they care about and are willing to devote time to. The goal of Genius Hour is not the end product but the experience.

Within the full diploma program, students must complete an Extended Essay (EE) and a CAS (Community, Activity, Service) project. Both of these components are driven by what the students are interested in. With the EE, students choose a topic, do research, and produce a 4,000-word research paper. With the CAS project, students pick something that interests them, research it and find ways to develop experiences that include:
• real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes,
• personal challenge,
• thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting,
• reflection on outcomes and personal learning.
The learning from two components of the IB CORE comes from the process. The end result is icing on the cake, just like in Genius Hour.

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for Upper School students recorded this week included: planning for Casino Night, building a table, donating to the food drive, helping with the LS Cross Country race, making shirts for the girls’ soccer team, reffing 10U hockey, playing soccer, designing a costume for a dance, playing volleyball, splitting firewood, making a gingerbread house, participating in a piano competition, catering, yard clean up around the Ronald McDonald House, applying to colleges, participating in Joya trunk or treat, pumpkin carving, climbing, participating in the Esports Club, designing and installing shelves for cats for a pet rescue, participating in a fundraiser for Spokane Democrats, drumming for the Dragon Dance, and hosting a basketball shooting camp.

College Admissions Representatives on Campus

Representatives from three universities will be on campus this week in the Library Study Room during lunch from (12:30 to 1:15pm): Gonzaga University on Tuesday, November 15, Embry Riddle University on Wednesday, Nov. 16, and the University of Idaho on Friday, November 18. Upper School students interested in any of these schools are invited to visit with them during lunch those days.

FTC Robotics Teams Host First Competition of Season

On Saturday, Nov. 5, Saint George’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics teams hosted the first competition for this season. Six teams from eastern Washington competed in Power Play, the game for this year. The day ended with team 7935 placing 2nd and team 6128 placing 3rd. See a Photo Gallery of the teams competing in the Upper School courtyard. The next FTC competition will be Saturday, December 3 at Ridgeline High School in Liberty Lake. Thank you to all the volunteers and spectators who helped make the day exciting and successful!