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.
At a ceremony yesterday, May 24, 21 scholar-athletes from the Class of 2023 announced their plans to play sports at the college level. Students, their families, coaches, and faculty gathered in the Spangler Center for Athletics and Community to celebrate their accomplishments.
The Upper School Robotics team 12H finished as division champions and advanced to the finals at the VEX Robotics World Championships in Dallas – the largest robotics competition in the world. They finished second in the world – a school and Virginia State record. Seniors Ben Bartlett, Claire Coker, Rohan Iyer, and sophomore Elaina Song competed hard. Upon their return to school, the team was greeted by US Head Doug McLane, parents, and students with a surprise party! The IS Robotics teams gleefully welcomed them as well. The event was presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and the REC Foundation, and some sponsors include NASA and Google. Congrats to our robotics program!
The Upper School was privileged to welcome former Potomac history teacher Steve Goldberg back to campus to share the story of his friend, and now-deceased Holocaust survivor, Abe Piasek. Splicing together photographs, historical context, and clips of Abe speaking and being interviewed, Mr. Goldberg shared a captivating tale of resilience amid devastating inhumanity. He followed up his assembly presentation with a lunchtime conversation where a smaller group of students and teachers were able to ask questions about Abe's life and the work Mr. Goldberg is doing to continue telling his story.
Potomac’s Speech and Debate team swept the Virginia NSDA State Qualifying Tournament this past weekend, winning their fifth consecutive state speech championship. Twelve students qualified for the June national tournament in Phoenix, AZ, and 17 of 25 Potomac entries were place winners. State individual championships went to Hannah de Souza ’25 in Program Oral Interpretation, Isabella Sequar ’24 in Original Oratory, Taylor Burris ’25 in International Extemp, and Meredith Vorndran ’25 in U.S. Extemp. This was a repeat championship for Meredith. The team also scored four runner-up placements. View the full results. Congratulations to the entire team and our Speech and Debate program!
Six seniors from Potomac’s Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) program have been selected as regional finalists for the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Lauren Foster will prepare an oral presentation to be considered for Nationals, while the other students will compete in the poster sessions to be ranked at the National level. The presentations will take place at The Catholic University of America on February 25.
The students began their projects during their junior year and worked on them throughout the summer of 2022. Lauren’s work focuses on decellularizing muscles to generate a natural platform to regenerate muscle. Arya Bansal developed a quantitative AI model to extract data from medical images through high-dimensional radiomic features in PET and CT scans. Grace Lee researched potential biomarkers for medically diagnosed depression by correlating the signaling pathways in MDD and calcium deposition in teeth enamel. Mika Dewar developed an app that uses rPPG technology to detect changes in pulse rate and blood flow when the user interacts with deep-fake data. Alex Christ developed drug-loaded micromotors that improve drug delivery in gastric cancers. And Andrew Lay investigated the testing of hand/arm prosthetics to identify the most reliable approach by analyzing quantitative and qualitative evaluations, including the Box and Block Test. Congratulations to our SERC seniors; we are very proud of their accomplishments!
Amanda Marshall, founder of Fair Chance and co-founder of Families4Families, received the award during a school-wide assembly honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.