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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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11 Academic All-Americans Named

Congratulations to 11 of our students for being named Academic All-Americans by the National Speech and Debate Association – a new school record. These students were recognized by the large crowd at the annual debate banquet two weeks ago.  This year's winners are Mika Dewar '23, Taylor Burris '24, Abigail Woldgebriel '24, Graeme Evans '24, Elizabeth Forster '24, and Adrian Atwater '24.

Five seniors won the award as second-semester juniors last year. Those students are Ben Joel, Pippa Westland, Shelby Willcox, Olivia Eads, and Natalie Roots-Nowakowski.

Potomac School Greek Olympics

The Greek Olympics is just one of the interactive end-of-year events that distinguish Potomac’s Middle School history curriculum. While each of the division’s three grades undertakes a different culminating activity, all of the projects involve creative applications of knowledge gained throughout the year.

Last week the ASIA Club hosted an assembly to recognize AANHPI Heritage Month. In the cozy setting of the lower Crossroads, students gathered to view a short PBS film, A People's History of Asian America. The film was followed by a panel of students and faculty, Mr. Lu, Kate Choi '25, Bella Kim '25, Emma Chun '23, and Sahil Sardar '25, moderated by Michelle Ahn '23 and Christian Lam '25. The panelists shared their experiences growing up as Asian Americans, their relationships to their families and cultures, and how they hope to share their identity and culture with others. They also spoke about their Asian American role models and favorite Asian dishes. Thank you to the panelists for sharing stories and personal memories. 

Grade 7 Goes on Monumental Trip to DC

Seventh graders recently visited the National Mall as part of their “What are Monuments (Memorials) For?” video project. Students have been researching monuments and memorials throughout May for their analytical documentary. While in DC, students captured photos and videos to supplement existing research. In some cases, groups had the opportunity to interview National Park Rangers. The memorials students analyzed included the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and the District of Columbia War Memorial. Additionally, all students had the opportunity to explore and analyze the architectural design of the Lincoln Memorial and learn about the many symbols that were incorporated, including why there are 87 steps and 36 columns. The weather was beautiful, students were engaged, and it was a terrific day of joyful learning! 

Potomac’s Return to the Darkroom

A few years ago, COVID safety concerns prompted photography teacher Lise Metzger to close access to the darkroom, which led to a curricular shift that focused on digital photography. Once Ms. Metzger assessed the safety of returning students to a small, enclosed space, she decided to reopen the Upper School darkroom for the 2022-23 academic year, adding airflow machines for added measure. Currently, the Upper School photography curriculum consists of four classes that progress through the concentration. Taught by Ms. Metzger, courses are part art, part tech, part chemistry, and part patience. Learn more about the darkroom experience on our website, and be sure to visit the US Art Show, which runs through May 16.

Chinese Class Learns About Yunnan

On May 8, the Chinese Culture Club had the privilege of experiencing the vibrant culture of Yunnan, China. A group of talented artists came to showcase the region's rich heritage, including a workshop that featured mesmerizing traditional dance performances, live music, and ancient scripts. Professional dancers performed the symbolic Peacock dance, teaching the basic steps to the students through interactive games, while a musician delighted the audience with beautiful melodies of traditional Yunnan music.

Overall, the workshop provided a unique cultural experience that allowed students to expand their horizons and learn about the fascinating culture of Yunnan. The Chinese Culture Club is committed to hosting more educational and entertaining events that showcase the diverse cultures of China to our school community in the future.