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Mu Alpha Theta sponsored the maximum of 8 girls to the first Girls in Math program at Yale University on November 11.   The two teams participated in a particularly challenging math competition which included a team round and individual test.  Students heard about the career pathway of Physics Professor Adriane Steinacker, whose message was that there is no one pathway in STEM fields, not to give up, be comfortable with spending a lot of time working on something, with being wrong, with being right, and confidence.  She was also clear that mathematics is the key to any STEM field, with a secondary background in statistics and computer science.  Over a long lunch hour, students had an opportunity to chat with girls form other schools and female Yale undergrads in different math and STEM fields. Students also met up with DHS alumni Harrison Gill and Andrew Benz – top DHS mathematics students currently attending Yale who are majoring in mathematics. Special thanks to seniors Kerry Blatney and Abigail Cragin who organized the trip.

We have SO many clubs at DHS.  There is something for everyone to enjoy and engage in, and perhaps shift the focus for a moment or two from the classroom to our community.

A new club this year is called “Fashion for a Cause” – they aim to bring together students  interested in fashion who also have a desire to help others on issues related to bullying, poverty, and mental health.  They have debuted with a successful used costume drive for Person to Person, just look at Meghan Dempsey pictured here with boxes and boxes of donations.  Thank you to all the members of FFAC and their Faculty Adviser Jaclyn Sammis.  We look forward to seeing more of your good work!

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Our Community Council organized again this year to build Halloween costumes for wheelchair bound students (one who attends DHS and two from Ox Ridge Elementary).  These students will wear these custom costumes at their school Halloween celebrations.  Special thanks to Community Council President Amanda Blaze and Volunteer Coordinator Charlotte Campbell who organized the event, and to all students who participated.

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Hidden in that race car is a very happy boy!

One of the aspects of this project that is most meaningful for our students is the tangible contribution that they have made to their peers.  The reactions of both the kids who made the costumes and the kids who received them was overwhelming and a reflection of how special an experience this was. We are always so proud of our students and their warm hearts.

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Thanks as well to Faculty Advisers Janet Keeler and Chris Buckley, and to all our Tech Ed shop assistance for this project!

 

Our Fitch Academy students spent this past Friday morning at Sticks and Stones Farm in Newtown, exploring the grounds, hiking Moss Mountain, and communing with the llamas on the farm property.  Each student was paired with a llama –  animals known for their gentle and social behavior – and they loved it. 

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Our Fitch Academy Fridays are a little different than the other days of the week.  Students have tutorial with individual teachers until 10am. Afterwards, the rest of the day is filled by either a guest speaker, wellness and enrichment activities, or field trips. Students have visited Chelsea Piers for a team building exercise, Google Headquarters and the High Line in New York City, and the Darien Police Station. Our students are doing well, and we look forward to learning more about them during this pilot year of our alternative program.

 

Look at the crowd assembled for the Community Council monthly lunchtime meeting in the Chill Zone on Friday!

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Once a month the Community Council has a full meeting during the lunch waves so that students can pop in and listen.  All Community Council meetings are open to anyone in the building, but the usual 7:10 gavel is an ante meridiem roadblock for many of our students.

The proposal percolated last school year and began in September. Community Council members are excused from class (the schedule was established with a class rotation to minimize disruption), and so far, so good.  Faculty Advisers Chris Buckley (History) and Janet Keeler (Science) are happy with the turnout and the energy of our students, who have already tackled Hurricane Relief, Homecoming, and a redesign of the Chill Zone.  All are welcome to attend – the next meeting is scheduled for November 8.

 

The cast of Theatre 308’s fall drama, Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play had the opportunity to deepen their exploration of the play through a video conference with two Simpsons writers and producers who are also Darien High School alumni.

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Brian Kelley, DHS Class of 1990, and Tom Gammill, DHS Class of 1975, responded to the student questions about the process of writing Simpsons episodes, The Simpsons enduring popularity over the show’s 29-year run, and the references to The Simpsons embedded in Anne Washburn’s play.  Kelley also gave the cast a virtual tour of the FOX studio, including the writers’ room where episode ideas are generated and developed, and shared the production copy of the script for this season’s premiere episode, which he penned.

Organized by drama director Andrew Rejan and a parent volunteer, the video conference was conducted using new technology introduced at DHS this year, Facetime-equipped iPads that sync seamlessly with classroom projectors through Apple TV.  Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, which will be performed at DHS on November 16, 17, and 18, is set in a world without electricity, where the survivors of an apocalyptic event entertain themselves by trying to remember a Simpsons episode. Seven years later, the memories of this episode evolve into a live theater troupe’s performance, and, seventy-five years after that, are transformed into a musical production that blends The Simpsons, fragments of popular music, and the history of the “post-electric” world.  Tickets will go on sale in early November.