Congratulations to all of Friends School’s middle school scientists who showcased their science fair projects to our community on Tuesday afternoon. Thank you to all of our students for their hard work, dedication and research on some incredible topics, to science teacher Kevin Nugent for his inspirational leadership, and to the middle school staff whose help had a big impact. Please join us in congratulating all of our student scientists who presented the following topics. Those marked with (*) will go on to compete at the Denver Metro Regional Science and Engineering Fair in Denver on February 24 and 25 with the chance to compete at the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF) in March on the CSU campus in Ft. Collins.
- Water/H2O: Designing a Device for Drinking Water While S.C.U.B.A. Diving – Josie (*)
- “Swish n’ Swab”: The relationship between time and bacteria growth – Ilanah & Jasmine (*)
- “The Heart of Music” The Relationship Between BPM and Music Heart Rate – Rowan & Madden (*)
- “How to Find a Doodyful Dog” The Relationship Between Tone of Voice and Dog Reaction – Mason
- “I Can’t Recall” The Relationship Between Memory and How Students Take in Content – Sofia & Fiona (*)
- “Don’t Brand Me” The Relationship Between Brand and Perceived Quality – Ella & Teya (*)
- “Catnip or Cat-nap” The Relationship Between Form of Catnip and Feline Heart Rate – Danny & Evan (*)
- “The Dungeon of Creativity” The Relationship Between What Role is Played in Dungeons and Dragons and Creativity – Judah (*)
- “Smokey Mamba” The Relationship Between different types of sugar and size of the snake – Asher & Charlie (*)
- “I Forgot” The Relationship Between Fidgit and Memory- Gwyneth & Zailey (*)
- “Eggs go weeee” the relationship between state of a chicken egg and how far the egg will fly-Evan & Matthew (*)
- “Meat me in the middle.” The relationship between taste and smell- Addison (*)
- “Weight A minute”. The relationship between weight and speed- Brandon & Lucas
- “Give me a break.” The relationship between break pad material and stopping distance- Charlie & AJ (*)
- “Run Faster”: The Difference Between Types of Encouragement and Running Speed- Pearce (*)
- “Buff Plants!”: The relationship between type of liquid and the amount the plant grew- Campbell
- “The Smiley Project”: The relationship between the participants mouth and the amount of bacterial growth- Willow
- “Imagine That”: The relationship between the use of mental imagery and brain waves- Gryffin (*)
- “Enchanted Sand”: Engineering a device to change sand into a liquid- Benjamin & Dominic (*)
- “Taste of Color”: The Relationship Between Color and Perceived Taste- Soraya & Quincy (*)
- “Sweet or Sour??” : How Does the Power of Suggestion Affect the Tate of Sweet and Sour- Amit
- “Inflategate”: The Relationship Between PSI and How Far a Football Travels-Lazlo
- “Your Killin’ Me Smalls” The Relationship Between Material of Bat and Distance Ball Travels”-Shane
- “Gotta Grow!” : The Relationship Between Shared Surfaces and Bacterial Growth-Beckett (*)
- “Can’t Bear It!”: The Relationship Between Gummi Bear Taste and Bias- Esme & Clare (*)
- “Ice, Ice, Baby!” The Relationship Between Type of Liquid and Melt Time- Lennon
by Meg Hansen, Director of Marketing and Communications
A beautiful, symbolic mural now graces the east side of our elementary school building, receiving praise from our internal community and those who pass by on 55th Street each day. Not only is it a stunning piece of public art to be enjoyed by all, it’s filled with symbolism from the birth of our school in 1987 to now. This years-long project became a reality thanks to the founders of Friends School and many others.
Under the guidance of Head of School Honor Taft and then Board Chair Jenny Donovan, the search began for a local mural artist who would not only create a beautiful visual for all to enjoy, but who would capture a design that reflects the values, vision and priorities of Friends School, including our commitment to protecting the environment and to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. After reviewing the work of several local and national artists, and with the help of Street Wise Arts, Friends selected artists Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios from The Worst Crew to create this meaningful piece.
At the end of April 2022, parents, teachers and staff joined Streetwise Arts and artists Jaime and Pedro to explore our shared values and themes for this special mural. Subsequently, the artists spent time at the school meeting with all the elementary school students and teachers and surveyed all community members to capture multiple voices to use for their initial concept for the mural. And then they went to work. Several weeks later, they presented their design which was received with unanimous approval.
On September 1, 2022 Jaime and Pedro arrived with scaffolding equipment and began drawing the mural in real size on the side of the building. Students, staff and families were intrigued and often visited the wall over the next couple weeks to check on the progress and celebrate in the excitement of what was to come. Every day it progressed, the excitement built.
Work was completed on September 16, 2022 and unveiled to our community and all who pass by.
Each mural element tells the story of Friends School, all of which was captured from the history of our school and from the thoughts and dreams of our community members.
- Rain Cloud and Seeding– Represents the process of teaching and learning
- Head, Hand, Heart– Evolution from knowing to caring to loving to doing
- Cottonwood Branch– Story of the stars inside of the cottonwood branch. Reminder about the importance of wonder, respect for nature and the endless possibilities in creating your own world
- Bridge Shapes– Representative of the actual bridge in the preschool play area, and part of the beloved preschool silver and gold transition ceremony. Also a metaphor for compromise and using creativity to meet challenges and solve problems of all sorts
- Door– Represents the plethora of possibilities in learning when young people are encouraged to be active in their education and to open doors for themselves and for others in their community
- Puzzle Piece– Represents the process of students taking all of the experiences and knowledge that they have acquired and thinking critically to pull those pieces together
- Blank Page– Represents the eventual graduation of our students. Like all of our Friends School alumni, their futures and stories are unwritten and super exciting
- Flower heart – if regular love is symbolized by a heart with two humps, then this three humped version illustrates the extra love that you have that you wish to put out in the world. The symbol also represents the head, hand, heart that is central to the Friends School mission.
- Constellations – Illustrating the idea that the stars are out there for everyone to create their own constellations. You don’t have to accept the old fables that have been handed down. You can use your imagination and create your own.
Many thanks to everyone who was involved in this incredible project:
- Larry Gold and Hope Morrisett for their financial gift and initial vision for the project
- Jenny Donovan and Honor Taft, who spearheaded this project and pulled everything together from gathering proposals, to organizing our community, to managing the entire project.
- Friends art teacher Anna Ura and the Friends School students, teachers, staff, and parents who gave their input and shared stories of the things they love about our school to make sure that this artwork reflects our values and who we are as a community.
- Jamie Molina and Pedro Barrios of The Worst Crew for their incredible design and installation of this very meaningful piece of art.
- Leah Brenner Clack at Street Wise Arts who graciously and patiently guided us through this process.
Last week was full of extraordinary opportunities for Friends School’s young artists, with three visiting artists and organizations coming in to share their work and processes with us.Read More
Gitanjali Rao is Time Magazine’s Kid of the Year and last week, our 5th-8th grade students had an exciting opportunity to meet with her and learn that she shares many of the same ideals we hold for our graduates.Read More
We love hearing stories about the ways our students are spending their time away from the remote classroom. This week, guest blogger and Friends School mom Chelsea Flagg, describes some of the amazing performances her three daughters have been putting on the last couple months from home. We’re excited to attend one of their Sunday afternoon plays.Read More
Springtime means flowers, but what is “Petal Practice” and how can we use it to soothe ourselves during our time apart? Third grade teacher, Krysten Fort-Catanese shares this practice as well as the art of Haiku as part of third grade social and emotional literacy.Read More
Are Shakespeare’s words really relatable in today’s world and can 4th graders actually learn something about themselves when studying his centuries-old prose? Farren Wyner answers these questions as she shares her renewed love of Shakespeare with her students.Read More
Now more than ever, our teachers are collaborating and making connections for kids so that this time of remote learning continues to be project based with lots of creativity, challenge and discussion. See what first graders created when math teacher Erika Norman combined geometry with art.Read More
One thing Director of Admissions Melanie Leggett draws on each day to get through these uncertain times is the deep well of Friends School’s SEL practices that are interwoven into our students’ daily lives. Things like gratitude and resiliency and that all feelings are welcome.Read More
Creative problem-solving skills prepare our students to tackle small and large challenges both inside out outside our school walls.Friends School uses Design Thinking to teach our students how to deconstruct problems and design innovative solutions, and what parents can do to support this at home.Read More
Growing up in the Bay Area, Friends art teacher Bryn Pennington was exposed to a rich tapestry of cultural traditions. She felt humbled to experience the traditions of her closest friends, and today shares them with her students in Art Studio.Read More
There are so many amazing things happening all around Friends School. Our 4 division directors recently shared the highlights in preschool, elementary, middle school and the Teacher Preparation Program.Read More