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Raising Trout in Lower School Science

Lower school students are learning about the fragile lifecycle of fish through their participation in a program called Trout in the Classroom.

Trout in the Classroom is a community-based program which allows students to experience first hand the delicate balance needed for animals to survive in aquatic ecosystems. Using eggs provided by a hatchery, classes set-up and maintain an aquarium for the purpose of observing the development of fish from the eyed-egg stage until they become young fry. Students engage in a course of study which supports the learning experience across curriculum area. This program is run cooperatively by local schools, fishing clubs and government agencies.


-Provide a positive learning program for classrooms on the value of aquatic ecosystems through the hatching and release of trout.

-Help students learn about their local watershed and how human activities affect the quality of water in local streams, lakes and the bay.

The 50 healthy trout eggs were received (two have died) and will hatch in the coming days. Once hatched, the fish will have their pure spring water changed twice a week, with a carefully monitored feeding schedule. Throughout the process students will see firsthand the various life stages of the trout as they move from embryonic, to hatching, to larval, to becoming juveniles.

On March 27 students are planning to go to Lake Merced in San Francisco to release the trout.

To learn more about this program, please visit:

Grade 2 Hosts A Poetry Cafe

Classmates and family members gathered last week in Grade 2 to enjoy a wonderful poetry reading. Each girl read a poem she had written, then everyone sipped hot chocolate and read more student work.

Below is an example of one poem that was shared by Carine:


The leaves
In the night.
In the morning,
The wind
To them,
The leaves,
Rustle back.
Leaves, Rustle
Wind, Whispers

Hamlin Welcomes Gontse Mgidi

This March, South African teacher Ms. Gontse Mgidi, will be sharing her talents with our Hamlin students and faculty as part of the program Teach With Africa. Ms. Mgidi is partnered with Hamlin teacher, Liana O’Brien. Hamlin has participated with Teach With Africa for several years and always welcomes the cross-cultural exchange of ideas and friendship.

Teach With Africa is a non-profit organization empowering students and teachers in a reciprocal exchange of teaching and learning in Africa and the United States. Teach With Africa seeks to reduce the embedded inequities in our societies by working to provide access to quality education in order to transform children’s lives, schools and communities.

To learn more about Teach With Africa, please visit:

Hamlin Achieves High Mark At San Francisco Science Fair

Katie F. recently won 3rd place at the San Francisco Science Fair. Her work was selected from nearly 3,000 projects completed at schools across the city. Below is an overview of her project in her own words (lightly edited):

My goal is to find an affordable, simple, unlimited resource that can be used to filter contaminated water and give people all over the world access to clean water. After volunteering at Matter of Trust, a non-profit based in San Francisco that tackles the detrimental crisis of oil spills in our oceans using hair mats, I wondered if hair might be able to filter contaminants within dirty drinking water.

Continue reading

Making A Skateboard

Grade 8 students have the opportunity to take a Maker elective class. This class is hands-on, dynamic, and fun. Students are able to use an assortment of materials to design and construct various creations.

Lexie made a skateboard for her project. She has been skating since she was 4 and has gone to skateboarding camps. Lexie has done ramp and street skating, but now mostly uses her boards to cruise around. She loved making the skateboard, but said that the hardest part was screwing in the trucks so that the wheels were perfectly aligned.

To learn more about our Maker Program, please visit


Dissecting Pig Hearts in Grade 4

As a culmination of our Circulatory Unit, Grade 4 had the opportunity to dissect pig hearts. Dr. Brett Sheridan, a heart surgeon, visited the Lower School Science Lab. He answered questions about the circulatory system, as well as heart anatomy and function. Ms. Alfred, (Grade 7 science teacher), brought her class down to assist with the dissections. Ms. Ray, Ms. Gonzalez, and all of the Grade 4 learners are filled with gratitude to have had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Sheridan.

-Guest post by Ms. Irene Gonzalez

Grade 8 Explores Yosemite

The week before February break Grade 8 students went on an adventure exploring Yosemite.

Highlights included:

hiking, doing map work, painting, friendship bonding, reading books, experiencing tech-free time, enjoying nature in the quiet of winter

This trip has become a beloved tradition. It marks the beginning of the end for our girls who will be graduating in June.

NatureBridge plans this thoughtful hands-on learning opportunity with the support of Hamlin faculty.

To learn more about what NatureBridge does with students in Yosemite, please visit:

Celebrating Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, Lower School students attended an assembly last Friday led by ALANA (Asian, Latina, African, Native American) students. The assembly opened by highlighting the contributions of African Americans like Maya Angelou and Ruby Bridges. Girls focused on the theme that “Black History is Our History,” and therefore touches the lives of all Americans.

Later in the assembly Ms. Cardone showcased outstanding books about African Americans, and Ms. Roseman discussed the importance of gospel music in the history of African Americans. Students then concluded the assembly by singing “This Little Light of Mine” written in the 1920s by Harry Dixon Loes, and later sung during the Civil Rights Movement.

Below is the link to our library’s wonderful Black History Books for Grades K-4:

Grade 2 Makes A Newspaper

Students in Grade 2 recently created an original newspaper. The newspaper features eclectic offerings including the following sections: Book Reviews, Opinions, Travel, and Education.

Below is the text of an opinion piece by Sammie entitled, Saving Our Planet and Animals.

Dear My Saver,

Animals around the world have been having their habitats cut down or being destroyed. And to help i think we can not use plastic, stop cutting down trees, and try being less wasteful and compost. Just imagine one of your favorite animals being extinct! And what if many animals at once go extinct! Climate change is making our planet too hot! Our planet has not been treated properly and I think that there is a way that us people can help save our planet. You can help too! Help by using less plastic! Soon there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Now you go out and get a reusable water bottle and use less plastic!!

When asked about writing a newspaper, one student shared:

It feels good and exciting because I get to share my writing with everyone in the world and they get to learn about why I love writing.

Carnaval de Hamlin 2020

Last Wednesday night students, parents, and faculty members gathered to celebrate Latin American and Caribbean heritage. Guests tasted traditional foods while listening to a live musical performance by La Mixta Criolla. There was also a performance by Hamlin’s capoeira students and a student poetry reading.

Our PLAID parent group created Carnaval de Hamlin.

PLAID is a Hamlin Parent Association group focused on educating our community about diversity and promoting an inclusive environment. We seek to broaden perspectives and experiences via cultural events, dialogues and films, and deepen connections at Hamlin by fostering open dialogue and celebrating our commonalities and differences. 

Please join PLAID’s next event, a Middle East & North African Cultural Celebration on March 12.

To learn more about PLAID, please visit: