Water, music, football & gummy bears: it’s science fair time!
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
Additional photos can be found on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.Read More
Symbolic Mural Graces South Campus
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.
Huge congratulations to middle school student scientists for their outstanding performance at CSEF, the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair, held on the Colorado State University Campus in Ft Collins April 7th and 8th.Read More
Endurance found and 3rd graders celebrate!
The Endurance shipwreck has been discovered off the coast of Antarctica and 3rd grade teacher Caroline Long and her students are beyond excited.Read More
Friends Scientists Take Home Awards
The Denver Metro Science and Engineering Fair (DMSEF) results are in and Friends middle school scientists took home some amazing awards.Read More
It’s science fair season
Friends middle school scientists have spent the last several months researching and working on their science fair projects and will be presenting them soon!Read More
Spotlight on Parent Council Volunteers
Jess Torbin and Annie Youngman are our new Co-Chairs of the Parent Council. Learn more about our parent council and why Jess and Annie are inspired to volunteer at Friends.Read More
Visiting Artists Share Their Inspiration
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
Time Magazine’s Kid of the Year visits Friends School
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
Compassion during trying times
by Honor Taft, Head of School
The violent events at the nation’s capitol on Wednesday evening were a shock to all of us. At Friends School we teach our students the importance of being good community members. Our students learn to think critically, to see things from another’s perspective, and to honor different opinions while treating others with kindness and respect, always. In doing this, we teach our students about the meaning and power of democracy, they learn that they can and should take action and seek to make a difference, and to do so with empathy and compassion.
The last year has been challenging for our country and world with a pandemic as well as environmental uncertainties and social unrest. Our concern is for the health and healing of our country, our democracy, and for the wellbeing of our students. Some of our students may have seen the events unfolding on television. Talking about these events and the feelings that they ignite in age-appropriate ways, is important. We will continue to provide a safe place for our students to ask questions and express their concerns, and we will continue to offer comfort and stability in a world that has been increasingly confusing.
We encourage our parents to respond in ways that feel comfortable to you, with your child’s development in mind. Consider providing space for open discourse with your children if they come to you with questions. As adults, we can help process what is seen and heard, correct misinformation, and fill in the gaps with facts while creating safe spaces for conversation. While we may not be able to answer all of their questions, we can approach these conversations with curiosity, listen, and help them process their ideas and questions.
As we navigate these challenging times, I think once again of the strength of the Friends School community and I am filled with gratitude. That our children have the opportunity to to learn and grow as students and as human beings in this kind, caring environment and thoughtful community fills me with hope for what is possible. #FriendsTogether
Head of School
Navigating Trauma with Resilience
by Friends School mom and local trauma therapist, Lauren Hassan, LCSW
Many thanks to Friends School mom and trauma therapist, Lauren Hassan, LCSW, who met with our staff last week to provide tools and resources to navigate these challenging times. Lauren shares her experience as this week’s guest blogger.
I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with our incredible teachers and staff at Friends School. We addressed what it means to be living in trauma and how to actively and purposefully cultivate resilience. And how to do this while being both present in our bodies and with each other. Our time together was a little bit of everything.
As a trauma therapist, I have been working in a microcosm of this pandemic. Sitting with individuals and feeling the depths of their experience through the unique lens of each life that sits with me on my screen. We dive deep into pain, we connect in vulnerability, we rebound in connecting to resources and resilience, often times we laugh and then we do it again the next week. This work is profound. I am privileged, humbled and honored to be invited into peoples’ worlds in this way.
Yet, there is a part of me that feels connected to something so much bigger as I think of all the shared pain, loss and fear; all who are sacrificing during this time. Each day I take the kids to school and pick them up, I find myself moved by the commitment our community is making. All of us! How can we truly support and show up for this community from within. From our core sense of self, reaching each individual who so passionately commits to our families and our children. I invite you to consider the same. Not just for our Friends School community, but for all communities in your life…family, friends, groups you are a part of, others in need. What could this look like if we all put our whole hearts into loving and showing up for each other?
Resilience. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but when we do this, when we give, even if we feel we have nothing to give, we expand our capacity to cultivate resilience. And with that, I leave this letter here for our incredible teachers and staff.
Dear teachers and all staff… all who work tirelessly to keep our school running,
You continue to show up in ways that you did not choose or necessarily sign up for. What you are enduring now, was likely far from your radar when you chose to engage in this line of work. You are being asked to establish safety for our community and our children and in that, to monitor behavior and circumstances that require hypervigilance every single day. Your roles have been renegotiated. How you connect and work as a team has been redefined. How you adapt is requiring intense flexibility and rigidity all at once. You are not only having to work with your own emotional needs and livelihoods, but you are supporting our children in theirs and identifying how to relate to and work with parents who likely all have a unique reaction to how everything is being handled. All while still teaching…still educating our children in their whole sense of self.
Oh and let’s please not forget, you all were heroes before this pandemic entered our lives. Committing to our children and our families through incredible skill, knowledge, collaboration, and empathic care. I said this when I first invited you to join me – you are warriors. Warriors who will forever be imprinted in the maps of our lives and in the narrative of our stories. We are forever grateful.
With all my love,
Learn more about Lauren and her work at laurenhassan.com.Read More
Friends Preschool adds Full-Day Option
Since 1987, Friends Preschool has offered a warm, loving, and play-based approach to early childhood education for hundreds of Boulder children. We’re excited to announce a new addition to our program for next year.Read More