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SERC Students Welcome Potomac Science Fellow

Last week, the SERC-11 Independent Research class welcomed Jason Lu, Potomac’s new science fellow, who shares his time between Lower School science classes and Upper School anatomy and physiology class. As a recent graduate in neuroscience from Pomona College, CA, Mr. Lu answered a variety of questions that the juniors in the SERC program had prepared, including “What advice would you give your high school self?” “What does a career in neuroscience look like?” and “What career paths will you follow using your neuroscience degree?” 

Using anecdotes from his college experience, Mr. Lu took the students on an exploration of the brain sensory reaction to bicultural norms and discussed preliminary evidence indicating that social media could trigger brain stimuli similar to addictive drugs. He also stressed that a major in a STEM field opens up a variety of job opportunities beyond science. He emphasized the importance of a holistic college experience to become “more than your major” and the influence that history, philosophy, and arts classes have had on him. Thank you, Mr. Lu, for such an amazing conversation!

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Civil War Elective Travels to Gettysburg Battlefield

The students in Robert von Glahn's Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Lost Cause elective took a day away from Potomac to explore the Gettysburg Battlefield last week. The focus of the trip was a 2.5-hour tour of the battlefield, where students explored the grounds and listened to engaging stories and explanations of the battle from their official guide. Reflecting on the trip, students appreciated how the battle impacted the residents of Gettysburg and how the destruction from the battle shaped the region. Several students questioned why slavery was not more central to the tour. The class will investigate this  question in their final unit on memory and the Lost Cause.

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Community Members Earn Stream Certification

This month, 10 members of the Potomac School community were certified as Virginia Save Our Streams (VA SOS) stream monitors. The extensive certification process taught the volunteers how to properly collect and identify a variety of benthic macroinvertebrates. The Pimmit Run stream on Potomac's campus is a rich teaching tool for all grades. Our certified stream monitors will track Pimmit Run's water quality, report their data to VA SOS, and help provide remediation as needed. In Virginia, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) relies on VA SOS volunteers to provide an accurate picture of stream health. In fact, VA SOS volunteers supply 12% of the data for DEQ’s water quality reports to Congress. 

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