This article was originally published in the Fall 2011 Harker Quarterly.
Students are not the only ambitious Harker people who search out internships and learning opportunities over the summer. Our faculty kept busy with a variety of summer projects.
Science Teacher Studies Nanotechnology at Stanford
Raji Swaminathan, grade 7 science teacher, spent time at Stanford learning about nanotechnology at their Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers (SIMST). Nanoscience is the study of incredibly small things to the order of a billionth of a meter. Swaminathan was particularly interested in how the immunology field is using nanotech to help combat diseases. She also learned about the workings of STMs and ATMs, Scanning Tunneling Microscopes and Atomic Force Microscopes, which help scientists understand the atoms of different materials. Her students can plan on some excellent new activities when they study rates of reaction and learn about the workings of atoms.
Teacher Invited to Educational Testing Team
Enni Chen, grade 2 science teacher, worked with the Educational Testing Service (ETS), known best by students and parents for their STAR tests, this summer. Chen was asked to work with the ETS team in Sacramento that administers the STAR test due to her “solid background in teaching and research,” said Mary Arcilla, the associate director of the STAR program. Chen was instrumental in recruiting members to ETS committees to share their insights on special populations in California. Chen also helped organize a field test ETS will be conducting in September, recruiting districts and individual schools to participate. Chen was recognized for her initiative and outside-of- the-box thinking, two qualities her students look forward to seeing in her classroom this year.
Music Teacher Completes Doctorate in Music Education
Dave Hart, middle school music teacher, finished his doctorate in music education at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. Hart’s focus was both in music education and performance in jazz trumpet. Hart was brought to Harker after finishing his three years of course work, which included performing, lecturing on the effects of improvisation and musical education, and teaching at undergraduate and after-school programs. The research component of his dissertation focused on the positive impact of improvisation on students’ abilities to understand and learn music. Hart currently leads the middle school orchestra and jazz band in improvisational practices, something that is often overlooked in musical education programs. Be sure to request a spontaneous number or two at the next jazz concert or a duet featuring Hart and his wife, Leslie, a French horn player who also earned her doctorate at Eastman.
English Teacher’s Poetry Introduces Art Display in N.Y.
Alexandra Mattraw Rosenboom, an award-winning poetess and Harker English teacher, had a Harker-inspired poem included in “Black and White,” the summer 2011 exhibition of New York’s Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. The show, which ran July 16-Aug. 21, was in a huge Civil War-era coffee warehouse, and Rosenboom’s poem, “Inside the Construction: The Brain,” was mounted and displayed at the entrance. “The poem was inspired by notes I took during our February faculty retreat,” said Rosenboom. The guest speaker at the retreat was a neuroscientist who discussed the way we develop thoughts. “Because my poem explores how humans think in black and white before our brain processes things in color, it worked quite well with the show’s theme,” she said. In addition, Rosenboom has two poems in the latest American Letters & Commentary, issue 22.