A Parent Review of Ross School Senior Projects

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Editor’s note: Violet Wade, mother to Ross School senior Fei Wade, reached out to Ross School with the letter below (edited by Fei), and asked that we share it with our extended community. We are greatly appreciative of her warm words, and thrilled to pass them on to our readers.

I am a parent of a senior who is graduating this year, and I have had the pleasure of being at Ross School during the Senior Project Exhibition Week. I attended all four days last week of film, readings, exhibition, and performance nights. During Exhibition Night, as I walked around and witnessed the students proudly unveiling their works, the Senior Building and Ross Gallery came alive with imagination and innovation.

After picking at many of the young minds, I can tell you parents that I am very confident in our students’ future and the path they choose to lead the world. I also attended several individual students’ presentations of their projects. Wow! Through their eyes, I see they have gathered a wealth of information and skill sets required to guide and steer them as they continue pursuing passions and bettering themselves and the world.

I am confident in their future and our future, because a common theme shared among all their projects was the desire to contribute and achieve an improved quality of living. I am not afraid of the future because they are not. I am confident in the future, because they are.

Congratulations, Ross School, for creating an environment that allows our children to achieve academic excellence, discover their genuine passions, and develop their intellectual vitality. The Senior Project has allowed students to apply the knowledge they have gained from their education and unique life experiences, combine it with their genuine passions, and demonstrate to all what they can do improve and innovate.

—Violet Wade

Jodie Paffrath Lights Up the World

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Senior Jodie Paffrath was raised around the family art business, so it was only natural that her background would come into play when deciding upon a Senior Project. However, she was less interested in the business side of things and more curious about creative process. She spent the summer researching Greek sculpture and visiting museums with her father as she laid the foundation for a sculpture project, but in the back of her mind lingered a particular piece of furniture she had seen three years prior: a wooden table with glow-in-the-dark elements. Raised in the German countryside, Jodie finds fascination in gazing at the sky for hours, losing herself in the vast complexity of the universe. So, for her Senior Project, Jodie decided to design and construct a wooden coffee table of her own with a personal, illuminated twist. Continue reading

Lower School Students Visit Upper School to Learn About Senior Projects

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This past week, students from the Lower School have been visiting the Upper School to learn about Senior Projects. With Chris Engel, director of Community Programs, they’ve explored the exhibits on display in both the Senior Building and Ross Gallery. They also met up with a few seniors along the way who explained their projects and provided their perspectives on the process of developing their impressive work. Continue reading

Sixth Graders Prepare for Rise to Seventh Grade

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On January 26, Ross School sixth graders got a glimpse into the routine of Upper School students, experiencing “a day in the life” of a seventh grader. This tradition is a favorite with both grades as it sparks excitement for the transition to a new campus and offers the older students a chance to share what they have learned. With sixth graders expressing a mix of enthusiasm and apprehension, seventh grader Parker Firestone assured them, “Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help, because they’ll always be happy to help you.” Continue reading

Ross Seniors Display Passions, Talents

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From exploring Mongolia to analyzing dreams, from researching the history of shoes to building prosthetic prototypes for the future, from the depths of the ocean to the streets of Buenos Aires—Ross School seniors have spent the school year immersing themselves in their passions, and the products of their efforts are, as usual, enriching, enlightening, and extremely impressive. Continue reading

Senior Project: Katie Morgan Explores Feminism and Gender Inequality

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Feminism as a movement, at this time in history, has reached a point where many question its necessity, and there is a common belief that the goal of gender equality has already been achieved. Katie Morgan believes this is a dangerous assumption, so for her Senior Project she created several visualizations representing issues of inequality between men and women to communicate to the general public the work that still needs to be done. Continue reading

Egyptian Museum Explores Ancient Civilization

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Fifth grade students concluded their eight-week study of Ancient Egypt last week by creating an Egyptian Museum at Ross Lower School. During their unit they touched on the geography, mythology, architecture, and various other aspects of Egyptian life and culture. Each student chose a subject that they were passionate about for a research project, and then spent several weeks creating a museum installation to present to parents, faculty, and schoolmates. The projects included both an essay and an exhibit, and the students dressed in costume for the exhibition, representing a chosen god or goddess. Continue reading

Parents Learn About Mandarin Curriculum at Lower School

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Ross Lower School parents are getting a peek into the Mandarin studies that their children engage in on a regular basis. Interactive information sessions involving their students and Mandarin teacher Kera Shen are helping parents become more comfortable with a language that most have had little exposure to. The sessions kicked off on January 13 with kindergarten students and families. Continue reading