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Earlier this month, 10 students at The Episcopal School of Dallas entered the Chopped kitchen – aka the ESD Food Science lab. Students were tasked with creating a dish using the three mystery ingredients in the basket: oranges, mint, and bacon. Their final dish must include a total of seven ingredients, including the three mystery ones.

Like in the Chopped kitchen, students had access to all the tools in the Food Science lab and a budget of $30 to purchase any ingredients in addition to the required three. They prepared three plates of their dish: one to share with their partner, one to share with the class, and one to share with the judges. Students were judged on overall appearance, taste, smell, and creativity.

Food Science students Jay Browne '19, Jake Carrell '20, Mackenzie Fain-Parish '19, Andrew Griffin '19, Truman Litle '19, Emma Name '19, Hannah Nwakibu '19, Bella Scott '19, Caroline Singleton '20, and Karenna Traylor '19 were organized into teams of two, where they researched and wrote a recipe denoting all of the requirements and ingredients to create their dish. They then had 45 minutes to create their dish before the judging.

Some of the dishes created were:

  • Bacon-Panko encrusted air fried chicken breasts in a homemade orange alfredo sauce with mint garnish 
  • Orange mint glazed & broiled salmon with loaded bacon baked potato salad 
  • Bacon-laced waffle with orange mint syrup 
  • Orange beef and bacon stir fry with mint rice
  • **The winner: Bacon wrapped asparagus with fried halloumi cheese with a balsamic orange mint dressing and homemade candied pecans

Not only did students practice the knife cuts they've learned throughout this semester, but also practiced meal planning and budgeting to create their individual dishes. Keep up the great work, Chefs!

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After studying Thomas Edison and various inventions, fourth-grade classes at The Episcopal School of Dallas brainstormed different problems that needed solving and worked together to develop potential solutions. They also pondered how inventions could emerge from combining two existing items. 

Students were then paired with a peer and were responsible for coming up with an original idea which they sketched and explained when filling out a "Student Patent Application."  Once approved, they designed a tri-fold board advertising their product.  Many also created company logos, t-shirts, and even slogans and jingles.  

Fourth-grade parents and Lower School classes attended Invention Convention where they got to hear the student inventors pitch their ideas.  Fourth graders were thoroughly engaged throughout this student-driven project. It allowed them to demonstrate creativity, independence, and ownership, and they thrived!

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Students at The Episcopal School of Dallas are already busy in AP Psychology learning about the nervous system. They made neurons (presynaptic and postsynaptic) out of candy yesterday to better understand the parts of a neuron. They were to use the following parts and label them with their partner:

  • Axon: Twizzler Pull Aparts
  • Dendrites: Sour Gummy Worms
  • Soma (Cell Body and Nucleus): Gummy Peachy Ring (Cell Body) and Lemonhead (Nucleus) 
  • Terminal Buttons: Skittles or M&Ms 
  • Myelin Sheath: Marshmallows
  • Vesicles: JujyFruits
  • Neurotransmitters: Nerds
  • Synaptic Cleft or Gap: Sour Punch Bites

Great work, Eagles!

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The ESD World Affairs Club is an umbrella organization for students interested in global news, events, and issues. Affiliated with the DFW World Affairs Council, WAC supports student participation in Model UN competitions, in the World Affairs Council’s annual WorldQuest competition, and in spirited weekly debates and discussions of current events on a global scale.

For its philanthropic/service commitment, the club supports a number of entrepreneurial clients around the world via the Kiva microlending program. Kiva is a non-profit organization that allows people to lend money to low-income entrepreneurs and students in over 80 countries. Their mission is to “connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.” 

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, the club at ESD has recently made the following loans:

  • $25 to Minh in Vietnam, to help him get equipment for his toilet (to be repaid in 20 months) 
  • $25 to Mao in Cambodia for a water filter (to be repaid in 8 months) 
  • $50 to Nozanin in Tajikistan, to help her with Med school tuition (to be repaid in 50 months or less) 
  • $50 to Luisa, a farmer in Perú, to help her buy cows so she can sell milk (to be repaid in 20 months) 
  • $100 to Zaynab, a Palestinian refugee and mother of five living in Lebanon, to provide raw materials for her business (to be repaid in 14 months) 

Approximately 20+ students are involved in World Affairs Club. 2018-19 Club Officers include:

  • Sameer Bhasin ’20, President
  • Daniel Kaplan ’20, Vice President
  • Kerrm Ahsan ’20, Secretary
  • Mary Cowser ’21 and Meera Gangasani ’20, Microlending Coordinators
  • Zander Knight ’21, Stall Street Journal Committee Head

Keep up the good work, Eagles!

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Ceramics students at The Episcopal School of Dallas created bowls for a community service project during our Admissions Preview earlier this month. These thrown and glazed bowls will be donated to the Empty Bowls fundraiser in the spring. All proceeds from the Empty Bowls Project will benefit the North Texas Food Bank.

Ceramics Students from L to R: Stephanie Pfister '22, Avery Vafa '22, Cleo Neuhoff '21, Maddie Tong '19, Hadley
Smith '20, Caleb Ainsworth '21, William Turner '19, Ryan Ainsworth '22.

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Over the Thanksgiving break this year, seven ESD students traveled to Costa Rica to build Homes of Hope alongside Middle School science teacher Ellen Neill. Homes for Hope is an international organization dedicated to "bringing hope to thousands of impoverished families." This is the third year that ESD has participated in this service project.

These Eagles helped build a home - and furnish it - in just two days. Arriving on Friday, the group worked all day Saturday and Sunday to complete the project before returning to Dallas on Monday. They also took families to a grocery store, a place many of them have never visited before, to purchase groceries and other household items to accompany the furniture they are also given to complete the build. The entire project is funded completely on donations.

"This is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life," said Ellen Neill. "These families go from living on a dirt floor to having an actual home in the span of a weekend. It makes you think about how blessed we are." 

We are so proud of these Eagles for all their hard work and service both in our community and abroad!

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What if students could apply what they're learning in the classroom to something in the real world? Third graders are doing just that! In this study, students are using their math and map reading skills to calculate the space of their future fourth-grade classrooms.

Using blueprints of the new building, students are figuring out the square feet of the new rooms. This involves calculating and converting the scale of the blueprints to the actual dimensions. Students will later use this skill to figure the square feet of their current room. They will also consider the FFE, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, of the new Lower School.

"Students will think not just about the desks and chairs that they will need, but also consider how their choices could impact others," said Lab Coordinator Mike Cogliandro. "Should the Pre-K chairs and desks be the same size as fourth grade? Why or why not?"

After a successful introduction in 2017-18, the What if Lab opened full time this year. Cogliandro partners with all Lower School students and teachers and meets with each of the elementary class at least twice a month, depending on the unit of study.

Some examples of previous projects:

  • Second-grade students created working compasses out of cork, sewing needles, and magnets during their study of explorers.
  • Fourth graders made working, pumping hearts out of plastic bottles, straws, and balloons during their study of the heart.
  • Students learned basic robotic programming using Dash robots with a block-based programming app on an iPad.

Students also enjoy the opportunity to create using the 3D printer and, coming soon (with the help of Mr. Cogliandro!), the laser cutter.

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Earlier this month, ESD film and acting students and their advisers, Lauren Redmond '01 and Bobby Weiss, attended the All American High School Film Festival in New York. Film students Grace Boyd '19, Josh Chabria '21, Sam Curtis '21, Sabrina Gies '20, and Preston Moderi '21 and acting students Alexandra Everbach '19, William Hargrave '19, and Gracie Thomas '20 presented their collaborative film, "The Art of the Perfect Brew," a dark comedy about brewing tea. Given a prompt by the Film Festival guidelines in September, these students planned their shoot over the past month but only had a 72-hour timeframe to complete the film - all actual shooting, editing, and finishing touches were completed within that short window while in New York.

The All-American High School Film Festival is the premier destination for talented high school filmmakers and media arts enthusiasts from around the world. Their mission is to provide immersive education with a profound impact, connecting the filmmakers of the future with the rewards, respect, and recognition they deserve. To learn more about AAHSFF, visit their website here.

This is the third year that ESD's film program has been invited to participate in the All American High School Film Festival. Because the time is limited, students often split into several groups to film and edit. This year, the group took three actors from the theater department to better accomplish the quick turnaround for the film. "It is a fun and exciting opportunity, although it can be stressful at times," Bobby Weiss, Film and Fine Arts teacher, said. "It is always great to see a group of students working hard on this collaborative effort to create an amazing product."

At the conclusion of the festival, "The Art of the Perfect Brew" was streamed at the AMC Theater in Times Square. The film will also be screened in Dallas at the ESD Film Festival on January 18, 2019. Congratulations to these Eagles on their hard work and dedication!

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This week, students celebrated Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Día de los Muertos is a holiday that celebrates and remembers loved ones who have passed away. This holiday is celebrated November 1-2 and marks the one time a year that loved ones can cross over to the land of the living. Families create ofrendas, or altars, containing pictures, food offerings, and flowers (usually marigolds) to remember their loved ones.

Students across divisions celebrated the holiday by creating their own ofrendas throughout the school. Middle School students created an ofrenda in remembrance of notable Latino figures as part of a lesson on Spanish history. Seventh-grade Spanish, Sculpture, 2D Art, and Theatre classes worked hard on a collaboration of Mexican ghost stories presented in the Black Box theater. These students were joined by friends from the West Dallas Senior Center.

Upper School Spanish also created an ofrenda and decorated with traditional calaveras (sugar skulls), food offerings, and pictures. Students read articles, watched videos, and discussed the celebration in classes.

Lower School friends learned about the holiday in several different classes. Students were visited by a Mariachi band, sampled some Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead), created their own calaveras in art, and learned some of the history behind the holiday.

ESD is proud to create an environment where students can explore other cultures through real-world learning experiences and activities. See more of our celebration here.

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Early last month, ESD's Associate Head of School Ruth Burke answered a question many have been wondering about: “What is that circle in the foundation of the new Lower School?” Although there have been many questions throughout the construction process, she told us this question has been the most persistent. Ruth also mentioned the design behind such a structure comes from one of ESD’s own Upper School faculty: Visual Arts Sculpture and Design teacher Dane Larsen.

This unique tree is designed to “anchor the early childhood neighborhood,” Ruth said. “The tree will not only provide quiet spaces for learning and conversation, but also active possibilities for young children to strengthen their gross motor skills as they play, climb, and explore.”

The idea for a tree sculpture originally came from the architects involved in building the Lower School. Early drafts featured more abstract versions of the tree, with formal benches as places to sit and unstructured “branches” as decoration. After looking at the designs, however, Dane Larsen realized that a real tree provided the perfect structure in its natural form: branches for hanging and developing core strength, low branches and roots for clambering and sitting, and even hollows for crawling.

“One of the great things about art, perhaps the greatest thing, is that it can take the most salient aspects of a specific thing in the real world, and re-present them in a way that is is both more meaningful and more useful within the context of the artwork,” Dane Larsen, Visual Arts teacher, said. “I can think of few things more useful than a mature, living tree, but not in the context of a pre-school learning community on the ground floor of a three-story building. But the sculptural form of a tree in that place is exceptionally useful. It is a place to climb, to clamber, to crawl, to hang, to rest, to read, to cuddle, to hide. It’s not a substitute for actual nature, but hopefully, it will do at least some of the things a real tree might.”

The tree sculpture will be composed of cedar 4x4s that will be cross-laminated, which means that each layer will be laid perpendicular to its adjacent layers. The tree will be approximately nine feet tall and will be topped with leaves attached by rare-earth magnets. These detachable leaves will give the students the opportunity to decorate them either as the seasons change or in other fun patterns. The leaves, plus the tree’s open structure that features crawl spaces and clambering spaces, will continually encourage creativity and gross motor skills development in our Lower School students.

Larsen has completed an initial sketch of the sculpture and plans to begin installation on May 15, beginning what he knows will be a “huge project.” He also plans to involve his AP Sculpture students after they have submitted their final portfolios. With their help, the sculpture will be finished by the time the Lower School opens and promises to be a key feature in our students’ learning experience.

Check out ESD's social media for more construction updates and insights!