Category Archives: Awesome Academic Projects

Jan Micha Women in History Presentations

When you walk in the footsteps of greatness, you too can become great. For 30 years Grade 4 Hamlin students have taken the stage in front of their peers and parents, giving voice to inspiring women who came before them.

For this project students select a woman from history, do extensive research from multiple sources, then embody that person, presenting in character with substance, poise and eloquence. When Hamlin alumnae come back to visit they often cite their Women in History presentation as an enduring hallmark of their education. Our students presented to their peers yesterday, and will be in front of their parents tonight at the Century Club.

This year girls are representing the following women:

Suffragists & Abolitionists

Elizabeth Key Grinstead (1630)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815)
Victoria Woodhull (1838)

Educators, Writers, & Journalists

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860)
Nellie Bly (1864)
Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867)
Julia Child (1912)
Dr. Temple Grandin (1947)

Women of Flight

Hazel Ying Lee (1912)
Maggie Gee (1923)
Dr. Sally Ride (1951)

Scientists & Mathematicians

Rachel Carson (1907)
Dian Fossey (1932)
Sylvia Earle (1935)
Grace Hopper (1906)
Katherine Johnson (1918)

Visual & Performing Artists

Julia Morgan (1872)
Lucille Ball (1911)
Audrey Hepburn (1929)
Maria Tallchief (1925)
Misty Copeland (1982)
Michaela DePrince (1995)

Athletes

Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1911)
Althea Gibson (1927)
Wilma Rudolph (1940)
Kit Deslauriers (1969)
Kristi Yamaguchi (1971)
Mia Hamm (1972)
Dominique Dawes (1976)
Michelle Kwan (1980)
Natalie Coughlin (1982)
Alex Morgan (1989)
Michelle Sung Wie (1989)
Bethany Hamilton (1990)
Aly Raisman (1994)

Entrepreneurs

Charlotte Parkhurst (1812)
Oprah Winfrey (1954)
Elizabeth Skidmore (1965)

Leaders

Deborah Sampson (1760)
Mary Bowser (1839)
Betty Reid Soskin (1921)
Diane Nash (1938)
Abigail Adams (1744)
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884)
Michelle Obama (1964)

Below is a video clip of Elizabeth Cady Stanton:

 

San Francisco Storytellers Visit With Grade 2

Monday morning seven vibrant San Francisco natives gathered to speak with Grade 2 students. Our girls are learning about the history of San Francisco as part of their social studies curriculum. Speakers shared fond memories, describing how various neighborhoods have both changed and stayed the same.

Madeline Hancock, West Portal:

Ms. Hancock spoke about her parents buying their house for $26,000 in 1958, riding streetcars for 10 cents, and Shaw’s Ice Cream and Candy Shop (which is still there!).

Natalie Holland ’98, Bayview, Excelsior, Mt. Davidson, Outer Sunset, Lakeview, Inner Mission:

Ms. Holland spoke about taking ballet at the Bayview Opera House, gardening in the Sunset, and the murals in the Mission.

Helen Ortiz ’03, The Castro:

Ms. Ortiz spoke about how her neighbors were like family, going to the Castro Theatre for sing-alongs, and riding on the Seward Street Slides.

Judy Ching, Chinatown, The Richmond:

Ms. Ching spoke about the construction of the Broadway Tunnel, the Chinatown telephone company with switchboard operators (where her mother worked), and how Chinese people weren’t always welcome to purchase homes outside of the Chinatown area.

Charlee Underwood, Hayes Valley:

Ms. Underwood spoke about playing outside with all of her friends in the neighborhood, and how there are fewer families now in Hayes Valley.

Ann Kung, The Richmond:

Ms. Kung spoke about getting bread from the Boudin Bakery and playing softball with neighborhood kids in front of the library, she also mentioned that the Richmond has more Asian restaurants now.

Lisa Aquino, The Sunset:

Ms. Aquino spoke about how San Francisco has a small town feeling and that natives are often interconnected, she also mentioned that many people have moved out because of the high cost of living.

After each native spoke, Grade 2 students asked several thoughtful questions about San Francisco history, favorite landmarks, and neighborhood celebrations.

 

 

Designing an Earthquake Proof Home

San Francisco is situated in earthquake country with two historic quakes that took place in 1906 and 1989. Innovative science and engineering bring more protections to our urban structures.

Grade 6 students have been studying the science of earthquakes and are getting ready to design earthquake proof houses.

Below is their assignment:

Congratulations! You have just been selected to design a new house or building in San Francisco. You have only $500 to spend on your new house or building. It must be at least 30 cm tall, be two stories and have weight (6 washers) at every level (2nd story, roof). Each story needs to be at least 15 cm tall. 

You will have the following materials to build from:

Brick (sugar cubes) $5

Metal Ties (pipe cleaners) $15.00

Wood (sticks or straws) $2.00

Marbles: $25

No cost: Glue-you will be given a specific amount.

Please include all of the following in this lab!

Identify Problem:

Brainstorm:

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Tea With Inspiring Women

On May 10, Grade 4 students brought the lives of inspiring women to Hamlin, showcasing in-depth knowledge, accents, and costumes.  Students selected a woman from history, did extensive research from multiple sources, and then embodied that person at a table with tea and treats.

The conversation was guided by a series of thoughtful questions addressing everything from education to important life events, and even embarrassing moments. Girls sat in groups of four at tables. Guidelines for the discussion included: Have fun, See what you have in common with the other inspiring women, stay on topic, stay in the personality of your inspiring woman, react to what each other is saying.

Women from various eras were represented including (among others): Abigail Adams, Oprah Winfrey, Sylvia Earle, and Michelle Kwan.

Next week these students will have the opportunity to formally present as their women for our Jan Micha Women In History Program.

The video below shares a slice of the tea and conversation:

 

Trout in the Classroom at Hamlin

During the month of March, Grade 3 students learned 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.

Objectives:

-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 trout eggs were received at the beginning of March and hatched near the end of the month. Two of the fish were born with spinal defects, but the rest did well. The fish had their pure spring water changed twice a week, and had a carefully monitored feeding schedule. Throughout the process students were able to see firsthand the various life stages of the trout as they moved from embryonic, to hatching, to larval, to becoming juveniles.

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Exploring the United States with 5th Grade Forum

On March 29, Hamlin held an incredible interdisciplinary learning extravaganza known as 5th Grade Forum. The event was well attended by Hamlin parents who were eager to learn from their daughters. 5th Grade Forum is the first of the Intensives for Middle School. Intensives are a concentrated period of study where an entire grade is working on a project or projects, with profound research and preparation, followed by a public event. Grade 6 students will participate in a Symposium, Grade 7 in Rise to the Challenge, while Grade 8 students will put on an entire musical (Legally Blonde this year).

For the Forum, Grade 5 students were divided into 3 groups based on geographic regions of the United States: Northeast, Midwest, and West. Once in their groups, students set out to become regional experts through a project based learning approach. The Forum incorporated various facets of the following disciplines: Humanities, Math, Science, Art, and Music. During the month-long exploration, students had the opportunity to create collages, math problems, poems, spoken word, and detailed magazines with comprehensive articles.

The magazines had articles covering the following topics: History, Current Events, Travel, Animals, Sports, Environment, Food, Art, Economy, and Cities.

Below is an excerpt from one of the history articles.

Inspiration for the Fortune Cookie:

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Kindergarten Visits Jane the Bakery

A Hamlin Kindergarten class (Ortiz/Burnett) has been focusing their emergent class study on baking. This study is based on student interest through questions, observations, and curiosity. When possible, baking is integrated into various aspects of class, including math, science, and writing. The class has been baking bread all year long with a bread-making machine, but visiting Jane the Bakery (on Geary Street), provided students with an engaging firsthand experience.

Born from a deep-seated love of all things culinary, Amanda Michael founded JANE to satisfy her passion and deliver memorable experiences to the many loyal and transient guests who have come to love the institution. Amanda’ s career in food and hospitality spans decades and she has spent many years cooking and baking in a myriad of restaurants.

Amanda opened Jane on Fillmore in February 2011 with the mission of serving top quality coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch. We serve healthy food with an emphasis on flavor and quality of ingredients. Everything is made fresh daily from scratch.

Jane on Larkin opened in 2013 and our expanded space allowed us to introduce our own line of breads in addition to our house-made pastries. We also introduced our full catering department.

In late 2016, Jane the Bakery opened, allowing us to expand our bakery program even more. We bake several dozen breads daily as well as a full line of laminated items and pastries. Our breads and pastries have quickly gained recognition as some of the best you can find.

As part of their Jane experience students:

-Watched the baking of baguettes

-Watched the baking of cookies

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Building Ballet Barres in Kindergarten

Earlier this week, Ms. O’Brien’s Kindergarten class followed a blueprint, took measurements, and built two ballet barres with the help of Mr. Louie.

Ms. O’Brien shares:

Our class chose dance as their focus for the class emergent study. This study is based on the girl’s questions, observations, and interests. When possible, dance is integrated into all units of study (math, reading, writing, investigations/social studies, and social and emotional learning). In a ‘persuasive writing’ activity, the girls wrote a letter to Mr. Louie requesting his assistance in engineering a ballet barre for our classroom so the girls had a proper space to “warm up.” Mr. Louie accepted and guided the girls throughout the design thinking project.

Below is a photo of the written request from the students to Mr. Louie:

More about our Maker Program:

The Hamlin School Maker Program is designed to deliver moments of impact where girls engage in real world problem solving through Human Centered Design Thinking. Students become problem seekers, focusing on community empathy and collaboration, using ongoing client feedback to drive the direction of their projects. Through their Maker work, our girls work diligently with tools, while developing a new lens by which to see possibility, adaptation, and innovation.

 

 

 

 

Building Community in Grade 1

Grade 1 students have spent much of their school year exploring San Francisco and the people who live in our city. Students began by asking: How can we demonstrate good citizenship in our local community? Girls took walks around the Hamlin neighborhood in order to: make observations, think about the needs of a community, and speak with people who live and work nearby. 1st graders looked at different kinds of maps, made their own maps, and followed maps on the neighborhood walks. The girls also had an opportunity to explore their own home neighborhoods and teach their peers about what they discovered through creating poster boards with photos.

As part of this work, students conducted interviews with community members taking on various roles such as: interviewer, microphone expert, and photographer. Core to this project-based learning endeavor was the integration of technology for conducting interviews and sharing findings. Students utilized GarageBand, QR codes, and the Cardboard Camera app (among others). Hamlin’s tech team has been working with 1st grade teachers for multiple years to support and strengthen this far-reaching pedagogy.

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Hamlin Celebrates International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, Grade 6 students raised money through a bake sale for the nonprofit OneProsper, an organization that supports the education of girls in rural India.

Money raised from the bake sale will go toward funding girls’ education in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India. Girls in that region must walk several hours a day to get water for their families.  Bake sale funds will provide the resources necessary for these girls to attend school  instead of walking for water. OneProsper will use the money to buy water filter systems for these girls’ families as well as giving each girl school tuition, supplies, and a bike for transportation.

Today was the first in a series of bake sales to support OneProsper’s efforts. Recently, Salesforce visited with students and introduced them to their Trailhead technology to create an app to improve bake sale results. This partnership emerged after Hamlin students visited Salesforce as part of our #STEMGenderGap day in December. The app allows costumers to buy goods even if they don’t have any money. The technology also enables Grade 6 girls to pre-order goodies, track inventory, and get the names of customers in order to follow up for future payment. Grade 6 students used the app on their iPads to collect data. Finally results for the early morning sale showed that dessert bars and cakes outperformed cookies. The data also showed $248 worth of sales in less than 30 minutes.

This screen section recorded Bake Sale Items Sold ($) by Type and Size:

Hamlin girls have four more bake sales to go, but their app will certainly help them continue to have sales success.

To learn more about OneProsper, please visit: https://www.oneprosper.org

Ella speaks about the project in this video: