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Potomac Stories

Fourth Graders Explore MS Art Studio

Fourth grade students began the semester by exploring the Middle School Art studio. As the students experienced how the studio functions, they developed greater independence to easily access materials, set goals for themselves, and guide their works through the process of creation. The students experimented with a variety of processes and materials, including a favorite activity - Zentangle. Zentangle is an abstract work of art created from a collection of patterns on a small paper tile. Incorporating the skills of refinement and detail into small abstract paintings, the students converted letters from their names into galaxies of design while playing with color, line, shape, and texture. Continuing our practice of letter design, the students used studio resources to create their Illuminated Initials, pictured above. 

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Un-conventionally Amazing!

There was no shortage of amazing ideas, gadgets, gizmos, and creative solutions to everyday problems at the annual grade 5 Invention Convention. Everyone enjoyed the "Meet the Inventors" event last Friday, as the students described the process of developing their ideas and prototypes and shared their cost analyses and marketing ideas; many even included special holiday promo codes for their products! Congratulations to all of our young inventors. Enjoy the gallery of photos.

students in a club pose for a group photo

The fall session of the The Real Me club for sixth grade girls finished strong. Cate Dannahey ’23, Grace Lee ’23, and Tenley Overdeck ’24 joined counselors Josie Woods and Weezie Parry and former Potomac counselor Jamie Tolson to meet with the participants over lunch. Cate emphasized the ways she takes care of her mental health and led the students in a breathing exercise. Grace and Tenley shared their love of STEM and handed homemade craft bags to each participant so they could make an anti-gravity galaxy in a bottle! Ms. Tolson described how important it is to listen to your gut to guide you as you make decisions. We are grateful to these individuals and the other female role models who spent time with our club members this fall, and we look forward to the spring session! 

An Enjoyable Autumn Assembly

The MS Autumn/Halloween Assembly was the culmination of weeks of preparation - and what a success it was! Every Middle School student contributed in some way: performing songs, playing instrumental pieces, and/or participating in dramatic performances. Several sixth graders were featured, reading a poem, playing the piano, and performing the witches’ scene from Macbeth. Performing in the dark with only a blacklight as their lightsource, Middle School Handbell students rang “The Blood Moon” during their first performance of the year. The MS Band performed an exciting multimedia experience entitled “Mechanical Monsters,” and Grade 6 Strings successfully gave their first public performance of the year with “Deep Sea Fandango.” The Grade 6 Chorus gave great renditions of “Benjy Met the Bear” and “Old Abram Brown.” Bravo to all for their efforts. Enjoy the photo gallery.

The Real Me: Empowering Girls

The Real Me club is a space for grade 6 girls to gather during the MS lunch period to hear from female role models. The program’s goal is to empower girls to embrace who they are, practice showing up for one another, and leave with kernels of wisdom that older females wish they had known at this younger age. (The Real Me club for sixth grade boys will be offered in the winter.)

Our fall 2022 session is underway. Peyton Zarate ’23 joined the students to speak about her adjustment to Potomac as a new ninth grader and how she balances academics and co-curriculars now, as a senior. Then, club leaders from Girls Learn International (GLI) Selma Elrefai ‘24, Sami Krilla ‘25, and Lola Monroe ‘24 spoke about advocating for equality and why having positive female role models in your life matters. And second grade teacher Joy Webster reflected on the shifting terrain of middle school friendships. She acknowledged the inherent challenges and offered these guiding principles for navigating friendships: stay open, stay strong and true to yourself, and stay on your journey. As a culminating activity, the sixth graders painted rocks with inspirational messages and spread them around our beautiful campus to lift spirits. 

Marthas Table

On Wednesday, all fourth grade classes took a virtual tour of The Commons, Martha's Table's headquarters in Anacostia. This initiative is part of the fourth grade service learning curriculum focused on hunger, homelessness, and poverty. 

Fem and Stem

For many years, the Upper School Fem 'n Stem club has brought interesting science experiments to our Middle School club periods, welcoming all but focusing on encouraging girls to maintain an interest and passion for STEM topics. Yesterday, for the first time since 2019, the Fem 'n Stemmers came to the MS in person, to make putty with a group of fifth graders. Our students were delighted to be able to take part in this activity with the Upper School students.