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Potomac Stories

Students Learn About Angklung Instrument 

Lower School students recently participated in an educational program with visiting musicians, arranged by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Washington, DC. The students learned about the angklung, an Indonesian musical instrument made from bamboo, which symbolizes unity and community. Topics included how and where the instruments are made, the significance of using bamboo, and the geographical layout of Indonesia and its more than 17,000 islands.

Professor Diah Ayu Maharani, DDS, PhD, the Educational and Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, attended the program in support of bringing awareness of Indonesian culture to Potomac’s students. Read more

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Seniors Serve Others on Community Action Day

On Tuesday, Potomac seniors engaged in their final Community Action Day, supporting 12 community partners across the DC metro area, including Cameron's Chocolates, the Greater DC Diaper Bank, and Higher Horizons. In the afternoon, the students selected a Changemaker Project, led by peer senior leaders, to continue serving others on campus. Making an impact both within and outside of our Potomac community, the seniors created 120 STEM kits for elementary students served by Arlington Housing Corporation and 30 birthday kits for children served by Second Story. In addition, more than 35 seniors visited Lower School classrooms and Book Fair to read with students in kindergarten through third grade. View photos from the day.

Students View New "Black Panther" Film

Over the weekend, Potomac IS and US students from the IS Black Student Alliance and US Black Student Union had the opportunity to watch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The latest Marvel film pays tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who played the title character in the previous installment. The movie also celebrates Black culture while portraying an ideal picture of a world in which diversity, equity, and a sense of belonging provide a deep foundation for a thriving community. 

We hope that viewing this film will inspire Black and Brown Potomac students to come together and work for growth and change in our community. Now, that's true power! 

Last Friday, five eighth graders represented Potomac’s Intermediate School at the St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School Middle School Diversity Conference. The event was attended by more than 120 students from all over the Mid-Atlantic region. The participants attended workshops about being a change agent and an ally, learned how to make their middle school voices heard, and explored what it means to go from well-meaning to well-doing. In the near future, the students who participated will share what they learned with their peers. 

GPAC Student Research to be Published

The Global Perspectives and Citizenship (GPAC) concentration program is a space for student-driven research. Seniors Arya Kumar and Ali O’Brien, like many of their peers, were eager for an opportunity to investigate a global problem and design a project that reflected the complexities of political systems, economic exchange, and national identity. Ali and Arya thrived in the self-directed process, meeting frequently with faculty to discuss their findings and begin to formulate arguments. Ali’s research is titled, "The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue: The West's Response to China in the Indo-Pacific" and Arya’s research is titled, “Democracy or Autocracy: Singapore’s Increasing Rejection of Democratic Values.” 

Over the course of the writing process, they each amassed incredibly impressive bibliographies that indicated that they had worked with over one-hundred and twenty-five sources each in designing their arguments. It is because of their commitment to the process and their relentless pursuit of a true understanding of their topics, that Ali and Arya were able to craft thoughtful and insightful research papers that will now enter formal academic discussions once they are published in Journal of Student Research. The GPAC program is incredibly proud of their accomplishments. They are well-deserved and serve as models for future GPAC students!

Arya reflects, “It feels good to know that all of the hard work I put in over the summer, and throughout my time in GPAC, was being recognized. It’s inspiring to know that Ali and I – and everyone in GPAC – were able to engage in a college level research process as high schoolers and all produce really interesting papers about complex topics.”

Ali shares, “GPAC has changed my worldview simply by emphasizing how to think critically about the nuance of international issues. All of the research conducted in GPAC underlined the necessity of understanding the historical context of a situation to discuss it accurately in the present."

Learn more about GPAC research from the 2021-22 school year.

YouToo Fall Finish

On Sunday, YouToo Tennis completed their final session hosting youth from the Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) on Potomac's tennis courts. More than 20 US students volunteered this fall to engage with our ASNV guests to provide tennis lessons, spreading the joy of sports to children in our community. Thank you to senior YouToo leader Maia Phillips, and grade 10 team leaders Anaahita Kaashyap, Sonali Sachdeva, and Cooper Schirmeier, for coordinating this meaningful service experience and to all US volunteers for their generosity of spirit this fall. We look forward to another YouToo season in the spring!

Making Pupusas in Spanish Elective Class

Seniors in the Spanish elective course Food, Culture, and Society in Latin America recently finished studying the history of corn in the Americas. From its indigenous roots in the mesoamerican diet, to the role it plays today in the gastronomy of many central and northern Latin American countries, the class focused on the Mexican tortilla, the Colombian and Venezuelan arepa, and the Salvadoran pupusa. Earlier this week students made pupusas by mixing the masa by hand, forming the dough, and cooking them over the fire at the Morton Fire Deck. ¡Estaban deliciosas!