Author Archives: polk@hamlin.org

STEMming the Gender Gap 2017

For the 3rd year running, The Hamlin School celebrated STEMming the Gender Gap Day on Friday, December 1. The day was an opportunity to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education/careers for our students, while connecting with female tech leaders in the Bay Area. Hamlin girls had the chance to observe, interact, and learn, as they prepare to be tomorrow’s tech innovators and help #StemGenderGap!

This year Hamlin partnered with a variety of fantastic Bay Area tech companies; we are incredibly thankful for our partnership with these organizations.

We had experiences at:

The Lawrence Hall of Science, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, The Exploratorium, Quizlet, Salesforce, POPSUGAR, Eventbrite, HoneyBook, Smitten, The Tech Museum of Innovation, UCSF, Spring Studio, RobotLAB, Matter of Trust, USS Hornet, SF Cable Car Museum & StoryCorps, and SFMOMA.

The following are some examples of what Hamlin girls engaged in:

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Hour of Code @Hamlin

During the week of December 4-8, 2017, The Hamlin School will be participating in the 5th annual Hour of Code, a global movement introducing computer programming to tens of millions of students in 180+ countries around the world, encouraging them to learn how to code. The initiative aims to demystify coding and show that anybody can learn the basics. Hamlin is both proud and excited to use this week, once again, to highlight our coding and robotics curriculum by having every student and faculty member code for at least one hour.

Hour of Code Events

In the Lower School, every class has been scheduled for at least an hour’s worth of coding instruction with Ms. Windell. Girls will use a variety of coding apps that have been selected to be developmentally appropriate for their age/skill level. These apps include Kodable, LightBot, Blockly Games: Maze, Human Resource Machine, as well as resources from the code.org website.

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Emily Calandrelli: Author and Science TV Host

On November 28, Emily Calandrelli visited Hamlin and spoke with students in grades 1-5.

Emily is an Emmy-nominated science TV host. She’s featured as a correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World and a producer and the host of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space. Her first science children’s book series – the Ada Lace Adventures – is now available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold.

Emily’s educational background is in engineering and policy. At West Virginia University she received a bachelors in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. She received her Masters from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as Technology and Policy.

Emily is wildly passionate about space exploration. Through her show, she wants to prove that the space industry is more exciting today than ever before in history. As the host, Emily works to explain science-related topics in an easily digestible, and entertaining way.

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Hamlin Students Explore Cubism

Cubism was an art movement that revolutionized European painting and sculpture in the early 20th century. The essence of Cubism is that instead of viewing subjects from a single, fixed angle, the artist breaks them up into a variety of areas, so that several different aspects of the subject can be seen simultaneously.

Cubism began in 1906 with two artists, Georges Braque (French) and Pablo Picasso (Spanish) who were living in Paris, France. They were both innovative artists in search of new ways to express space and form in painting. The two worked together closely until World War I broke out in 1914.

Grade 6 students studied the characteristics of Cubism by looking at examples of Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne and Georges Braque.

Students began the project by creating a Cubism inspired drawing from observation. They did this by first drawing lines across the paper to break up the space. Then they drew a ukulele from different vantage points. The drawing was later transferred to canvas. Students incorporated collage with painting, using a limited color palette.

Hamlin’s Book Drive

From November 2nd through 17th, Hamlin students and parents worked diligently to collect 3,346 books that were generously donated by members of our community. The volunteers sorted and stacked books during lunch with dedication and care. The large team of students also organized the event in terms of advertising and getting the word out.

This year books were donated to:

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Visits Hamlin

Over recent summers our highly talented theater teacher, Heidi Abbott, has been taking students to see Shakespeare plays onstage in Ashland, Oregon. For the past three years Hamlin has also been hosting visiting actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival traces its roots back to the Chautauqua movement, which brought culture and entertainment to rural areas of the country in the late 19th century. Ashland’s first Chautauqua building—erected in 1893, mostly by townspeople—saw its first performance on July 5. In 1905, the building was enlarged to accommodate an audience of 1,500. Families traveled from all over Southern Oregon and Northern California to see such performers as John Phillip Sousa and William Jennings Bryan during the Ashland Chautauqua’s 10-day seasons.

The Oregon Shakespearean Festival was officially born on July 2, 1935 with a production of Twelfth Night. The Festival presented The Merchant of Venice on the 3rd and Twelfth Night again on the 4th. Reserved seats cost $1, with general admission of $.50 for adults and $.25 for children.

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Parents Association & PLAID: Creating Community Through Dialogue

On November 15, a thoughtful group of 57 Hamlin parents came together to role play and talk about ways to further enrich our inclusive community. The event included members of our Parents Association and our PLAID parent group.

Parents were given the following scenario:

A kindergarten mom sends out an email to the class parent email group inviting fellow moms to a “Moms’ Mimosa Brunch.” The invitation reads:

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2017

To: Class of 2026 Parents

From: Mom Host

Subject: Moms’ Mimosa Brunch

Hey Moms,

Let’s celebrate surviving the first two months of school with a moms’ mimosa brunch at The New Restaurant on Union Street (in San Francisco). The cost is $100 per person and includes food, beverage, and use of the room for our brunch. Join us Wednesday, October 24, 2017 at 11:00am. Please RSVP to me by Monday the 22nd so we can adjust our reservation as needed.

Hope to see you all there!

Cheers, Mom Host

After reading the invitation, participants responded based on the role that they were given. In some roles parents were offended, while other participants were designated to see nothing wrong with the invitation.

During the role play, parents answered the question: How do you feel and why? 

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Making A Ukulele

Grade 3 students are making ukuleles with their own hands, hearts, and creativity. Like so much in life, this project began as an idea.

Hamlin music teacher Kate Roseman states:

The idea for the ukulele project came from a conversation I had with Mark Picketts last year. During that conversation, Mark mentioned that there was a project like this at another school, and I got really excited about the potential of bringing it to Hamlin. Originally, I was thinking about doing this project with Grade 4, but when I mentioned it to Brandy (Garcia), she immediately became excited and said we had to do it with Grade 3. Brandy’s enthusiasm and passion has really brought this project to life! Making connections to art and poetry was something I wasn’t even thinking about.

With the help of design and maker teacher, Brian Louie, the vision is now under construction.

Mr. Louie had never made a ukulele before, but he was able to watch Instructable videos about the process and was excited to model taking risks for our students. Mr. Louie knows how to play the ukulele, so he already had a feel for the instrument.

Our students are working through the following to construct the ukuleles:

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Grade 1 Students Visit Calvary Presbyterian Church

On November 7, Grade 1 students walked to Calvary Presbyterian Church on Fillmore Street to meet seniors in our nearby San Francisco community. The girls were given a tour of the church and chapel by Alison Faison (Director of Children and Family Ministries), before performing in front of seventy people who were gathered for Calvary’s Tuesday lunch program for adults over the age of 60.

Hamlin students sung “Inch by Inch” and “America the Beautiful,” led by music teacher, Kate Roseman. After singing, the girls distributed handmade cards, connecting with women and men in the audience.

One senior commented:

It was so refreshing to have you here. There is hope for the future. Please come back.

-Special thanks to Marion Stanton, (mother of former Hamlin students, Elizabeth ’98 and Anne ’00), for helping to facilitate this meaningful visit.

Vilma Molina: An Interview

Vilma Molina has been working at The Hamlin School for 19 years, supporting the kitchen that feeds our community.

Tell us something about your childhood?

I’m from Chalchuapa, El Salvador, not far from the border with Guatemala. Much of the area is Mayan, but my family only spoke Spanish. My childhood was very tranquil. I grew up with four sisters and one brother. I loved listening to music and dancing. I danced cumbia, merengue, and salsa. I also liked to go to the movies and watch John Travolta. I really liked the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, and disco music too. I graduated from a public high school in 1979. The Civil War in El Salvador started in 1980, I left that same year with my mother to go to the United States. I had a brother-in-law who was killed in the war, but the rest of my family survived.

What is your favorite part about working at Hamlin?

Being with the girls at lunch. They give me hugs, tell me about their plans for the weekend, sometimes share stories about other people they know from El Salvador. I also like the morning ritual of being the first one here to open the doors, I get here at 5:15 a.m. or 5:30 a.m. every day.

What is one thing most people wouldn’t know about you?

I have two sons, one is 35, the other is 29, they both live in San Francisco. I also have a three-year old granddaughter named Olivia. I’m a grandmother.

Do you have a favorite hobby?

I love to cook. I find recipes and cook Italian food, Chinese food, all sorts of dishes, but I can’t make papusas (a traditional Salvadoran food). I do make pan rellenos (bread covered with tomato and chile sauce) for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also love to make bean, pork, and chicken tamales.

What advice do you have for Hamlin students?

I’m Catholic, so I believe they should count their blessings. Thank God for everything. They have beautiful opportunities that other girls don’t have. Everyday I see how the girls respect and protect each other, that should continue.