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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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Senior Projects Showcases Range of Knowledge and Capabilities

This week, the Class of 2024 completed and presented their senior projects. The students worked on these during the month of May, sharing their progress in small groups once a week. At the conclusion of their projects, all of our graduates shared their work with their peers and faculty, effectively communicating what they learned, the challenges they overcame, and their hopes for future endeavors in presentations earlier this week. Lola Monroe, Laith Weimer, Nat Estes, Rachel Robbins, Mackenzie Fulgham, and Cole Griswold were selected to present at this year's Senior Project Showcase. Their projects included teaching in the Lower School, internships on Capitol Hill, research for a synagogue, and music production.

The Class of 2024 is an accomplished, creative, and hard-working group. Their diversity of skills and interests was reflected in their projects and included interning at a real estate development firm, creating unique works of art, supporting repairs and improvements to our campus, filming a documentary on the spring musical – Hairspray, coaching various teams on and off campus, training as a guide at Manassas Battlefield, shadowing health care providers, contributing to the work of a number of community partners, and running and writing about an experiment documenting the switch from a smart to a flip phone. Great job, class of 2024! You have so much to offer. 

Living History Showcase Takes Us Back in Time

Sixth graders brought the Middle Ages to Potomac with the annual Living History Showcase. The students researched the medieval era before deciding on roles they wanted to represent. The showcase featured bakers, merchants, knights, craftspeople, and even plague victims! The students worked collaboratively to develop skits and presentations demonstrating all they had learned about this fascinating period. Great job, sixth grade! Enjoy a photo gallery from the event.

East to West Day Was All About Exploration

In May, grade 3 celebrated the end of their Corps of Discovery unit in Social Studies, with their East to West. Day. For weeks, the third grade studied the history of our country's exploration of the western states, as led by the Corps of Discovery. On East to West Day, the third graders used their knowledge to bring the Corp's adventures to life. Using the natural resources of the Potomac campus, the third graders traveled to Pimmit Run to reflect on the local water sources. They practiced the importance of teamwork on the ropes course, where they had to travel successfully from one side to another without touching the ground. They hiked around the campus perimeter, carrying bricks representing food and supplies necessary for survival. And their outdoor experience was only complete with the important task of carrying canoes as a group, just as the members of the Corps would have done. East to West Day was a wonderful culmination of the third graders' hard work in Social Studies by bringing their learning to life. 

SERC 10 students recently presented their research proposals. Students spent the past few months reading peer-reviewed journal articles, learning about their topics, and developing a research question to address a scientific issue that has yet to be answered. Proposals covered topics such as dietary changes to prevent colorectal cancer; the creation of apps and devices to enrich the lives of people with such ailments as lung disease, heart arrhythmia or apraxia of speech; the use of AI to study topics such as autoimmune diseases, upper limb prosthetics and antibiotic resistance; and designing enzymes, hydrogels or nanoparticles that can treat such issues as diabetes, degradation of plastics and the prevention of skin cancer. 

Grade 8 Capstone Projects Completed

Congratulations to the grade 8 students for completing and presenting their Capstone Projects on Wednesday, May 29. Each student produced a short documentary that captured a story of their own to share self-exploration. Through these stories, the students learned how to document a story via video and the power of moving past a “single story” to uncover connections, awareness, and empathy. Students' documentaries are available to watch via the Capstone website. Check out photos from their presentations.

YouToo Tennis hosted its last session on Sunday, culminating a month-long spring program in partnership with the Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV). The reciprocity between participating youth from ASNV and Upper School student volunteers was visible in each session, with all students benefiting from the meaningful experience together. A special thanks to YouToo leaders junios Anaahita Kaashyap, Sonali Sachdeva, and Cooper Schirmeier for their dedication throughout the year to help this 12-year service program continue to thrive. Thank you also to the US volunteers and the faculty chaperones, for their commitment, dedication, and engagement with our participants, making it a positive and meaningful experience for all.