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Embracing Global Citizenship in Sri Lanka

By Anishka Yerabothu, VI Form

Embracing Global Citizenship in Sri Lanka

Editor’s Note: This article was previously published by Anishka Yerabothu and Educate Lanka in Medium. It is republished here with permission.

This summer, I traveled to Kandy, Sri Lanka for three weeks to volunteer with the Educate Lanka Foundation. I first came across Educate Lanka when I began researching global citizenship opportunities through my high school — St. Mark’s School— last fall. The opportunity with Educate Lanka immediately appealed to me and my parents because my great-grandparents lived in Sri Lanka for 40 years, leaving before the civil war that ravaged the country broke out in 1983. They carried with them their love for the country, the people, and the cuisine, and they shared that love with the entire family. My grandmother still prepares traditional Sri Lankan dishes we enjoy at home.

As part of my research into the opportunity with Educate Lanka, my family and I watched the TEDx Talk of Educate Lanka’s founder — Manjula Dissanayake; his message about creating universal opportunities resonated with my family. After conversations with Dr. Laura Appell-Warren, the Director of Global Citizenship at St. Mark’s, and Mr. Dissanayake about volunteering with Educate Lanka, we finalized the plan for my travel in June. We bought a plane ticket and arrangements for my stay in Sri Lanka were made in coordination with Educate Lanka staff.

On the morning of April 21, 2019, however, we woke to the shocking news of the Easter Sunday terrorist bombings at Sri Lankan churches and hotels.


Ely Prize for Public Speaking

By Sydni Williams, IV Form

Ely Prize for Public Speaking

Editor’s Note: Sydni Williams is the recipient of the 2019 Ely Prize in Public Speaking. Originally given by a member of the Class of 1982 in honor of his mother, the Ely Prize is presented each year to the student who gives the best speech in the Global Seminar Public Speaking Competition.

In 1995, Hillary Clinton said: “Human rights are women’s rights–and women’s rights are human rights.” Two months ago, I had never heard this statement. However, as I did my research paper on violence against women, my viewpoints changed greatly. Now, I appreciate safety and opportunities, and I don’t take the minuscule, yet beautiful, parts of my life for granted.

As I started my research, the horrific and deadly crimes perpetrated against females struck me. I constantly found myself completely shocked and horrified by the information that seemed too terrible to be reality. For example, one in three women across the world is a victim of intimate partner violence. Meaning, ⅓, or 33.33%, of women in the world are assaulted by their partners. Brides in India and China may be killed by their husbands if the dowry their families are forced to pay isn’t valuable enough. All over the world, females are killed or driven to suicide for various acts that are considered shameful. More than 500,000 girls in Latin America are kidnapped, transported, and exploited through sex trafficking. Young girls are killed before they are five years old because they are deemed less valuable than baby boys. These are all facts that I didn’t know before I started doing research.


The LEGO Blue Suitcase Project

By Reina Wang, IV Form

The LEGO Blue Suitcase Project

In late August, I traveled to Pakistan as a part of the robotics Blue Suitcase Project. I brought the suitcase to The Lynx School in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan is a country with a particularly high out-of-school rate for many children, especially girls. The head of school at The Lynx School was especially excited to hear about our project since there are few schools in Pakistan that offer Lego lessons, even among private schools.

During the Lego workshop, I first introduced the school to our robotics team and showed them photos of our new STEM building, the FRC competition we went to, and the robots we built from previous years. They were impressed by what we did and became increasingly interested in STEM. Starting with a basic understanding of all the parts of the Lego suitcase, the children began building the Lego car in small groups. The engineering part is about creativity, and they used their imagination to design the car based on the model given by the instructions. Then we moved on to programming with touch sensors, teaching the students how to go straight, turn, and bounce back once the car hits the wall. After I led them through the techniques, the children were able to create their own paths with a number of obstacles. 

This experience is brand new for the children I met in Pakistan. Lego inspires children with creativity, enhances their logic and problem-solving skills, and cultivates the ability to cooperate, communicate, and lead. The Lynx school is hoping to spread Lego robotics to many other schools in Islamabad, and they hope we can bring more advanced Lego systems back next year.


Vlogging the “LT Foodies” Experience

By Julian Yang, VI Form

Vlogging the “LT Foodies” Experience

My V Form Lion Term group explored the Restaurant and Food Service Industry around New England. We focused on all aspects of the industry, such as management, cooking, and sustainability. Throughout the course of two and a half weeks, we had the amazing opportunity to talk with numerous professionals in the market, including a cooking instructor at the Boston Public Market and managers at Rail Trail Flat Breads in Hudson, MA. While facing some challenges along the way, our group was able to create a final product that allowed our audience to experience what we learned. While the vlogs document the experience I had, the biggest social media presence was our cohort Instagram (@ltfoodies). Our Lion Term experience was one that combined teamwork, perseverance, and fun, allowing us to explore a different method of learning. 

Previously, I had not had the chance to make vlogs and films during my V Form year. Because of this, I wanted to use Lion Term as a chance to push myself and create a daily vlog for my LT experience. I also hoped to use vlogging as a creative way to document our group’s daily experiences in addition to simply taking photos and writing blog posts. This playlist, or series of vlogs, was inspired heavily by YouTuber Casey Neistat.

To view Julian’s full Youtube vlog channel, click here.


The Marble Launch Project

By Jocelyn Cote and Maya Scully, IV Form

The Marble Launch Project

Editor’s Note: The Marble Launch Project was part of Mr. Bauer’s physics final assessment at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Given a shooting angle for the marble launcher and a random location anywhere on school grounds, the students’ task was to predict accurately where the marble would land with a six-inch landing strip. The class was given two weeks to prepare for the challenge. When the students felt confident and ready to shoot the marble, they were given a location and angle. The students had fifteen minutes to finalize their calculations, and they had only one attempt at the challenge. Multi-level locations were used for this challenge, especially those within The Center.


Travel Reflections: Cultural Immersion in Lovely Airbnbs

By Suha Choi, IV Form

Travel Reflections: Cultural Immersion in Lovely Airbnbs

This June, when sunshine and the early hints of summer were slowly surrounding us, I was very lucky to travel to Europe with my family! This trip was the first time my sister and I visited Europe. We traveled in a rental minivan around many cities and sites. The route included Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice, Nancy, Paris, and Lucerne. I am extremely glad that I had a chance to visit countless sites of human history and landmarks! In this reflection, instead of simply listing the places I visited, I am going to recount a few moments that remain the most memorable to me. 

Culture lies everywhere, in the lifestyle and daily bases of people. It is embedded in the restaurants we go to, in the streets we walk, and on the faces and in the words of people we meet. But I believe that there is no place like home to reflect the cultures and lifestyles of people so precisely. What kind of food they eat, how many security locks are set in the door, what kind of books are stored on the shelves, and what time they turn off their lights and go to bed are the small details and factors that define identity and form a culture. During my trip, because our family chose to stay in Airbnbs, which are actual houses rented from the local people, instead of in regular hotels, we were able to directly experience the lifestyles of the people in Europe. Of the dozen of Airbnbs we have been to, two still linger in my heart, and I wish to share them.