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A New, Future Cure: RNAi

by Lizzy MacDougall, VI Form

St. Mark’s is in its second year of running the STEM fellowship, a class that allows eleven students the ability to pursue a research project in an area that interests them. The projects range from irrigation systems to plant growth hormones to biological studies. This last area of study is what I am researching for the year. My classmate, Hughie Auchincloss, and I are spending the year experimenting on the possibilities of using RNA interference as a cure to many kinds of diseases, such as cancer, in people who are nutrient deficient. Hopefully, our work will be the first step in helping our sister school in Haiti, St. Marguerite’s, have access to effective and affordable medicine. (more…)

Double Inverted Pendulum in 2D and 3D Space

by Ryan Lee, V Form

modelopdobleThis summer, I went to Mathematica Summer Camp. Mathematica is computer software made by Wolfram Research. This tool is commonly used by mathematicians and scientists. In the camp, each student completes a project through Mathematica.

During the first week, we met our mentors and chose what we would create during the camp. At that time, I was particularly interested in Chaos Theory, a field of study in mathematics that focuses on “chaotic” behaviors that are sensitive to initial conditions, one example of which is the butterfly effect. When I was learning about Chaos Theory, the double inverted pendulum and Swinging Atwood’s Machine interested me. There were a few videos on the internet recording this type of (more…)

Drawing the History of Technology

by Lucy Cao, III Form and Rory Colburn, IV Form

photo 3-2In Art Studio II, students read an article in Harvard Magazine called “The Digitization of the Humanities.” They looked critically at a large still life of objects representing the history of technology, including objects we do not readily associate with today’s lightning speed of information gathering and synthesis.  The assignment was to make a drawing from this group of essentially black and white objects using color, line, and surface metaphorically.  Choosing what to emphasize and identifying issues and ideas about the role of technology in their lives was a major part of the assignment, and, at times, it became necessary to depart from observational reality to make visible their personal point of view. (more…)

Mothers’ Love for Animals Leads to Children’s Rage Against Them

by Mikaela Karlsson, VI Form

Loving pets is human nature.  Pets love unconditionally and make someone feel needed, as these domesticated, helpless animals are unable to survive without the care of humans.  However, according to society, animals are not meant to take the place of a child in one’s heart and household.  A mother’s love is supposed to be unequaled and unconditional, and an animal challenging this law of nature often results in psychological repercussions and an emotional response from the child.  Geraldine’s love for her cat in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye is similar toChantal’s mother’s love for her rabbit in Jessica Penzias’ “Death By Oboe,” and animals are abused in both stories (more…)

Working with Working Memory

by Andrew Watson, President of Translate the Brain and Contributor to St. Mark’s Professional Development Through Sponsorship by The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Here’s a quick exercise: think of a phone number you know well and say all ten digits out loud. (Go ahead, say ‘em. No one’s looking.) Now, say those ten digits in the reverse order. (Yes, you can do it.) Okay, say them in the reverse order: AND, add 1 to the first digit, 2 to the second, 3 to the third, and so forth…

Don’t feed bad that you couldn’t get all ten digits; Rain Man could, but practically no one else can. When you tried to do that mental work, you were using your working memory: a specialized cognitive capacity that simultaneously (more…)

The Art of Interviewing

by Anne Behnke, Director of Admission

Perhaps the most crucial element of the interview process is the importance of making our families feel comfortable and safe; our positive and benevolent behavior and our reactions can often dictate theirs. I have been interviewing students and parents since I first began in Admission some 29 years ago; interviewing is so fun and so interesting, but it can also be intimidating for the first time interviewer or interviewee. One really cannot predict how any meeting will precisely unfurl when a student or his or her parent or parents sits in one of our offices. Our students and parents who visit St. Mark’s comprise the public, private, charter, and home-schooled families. Many are fully (more…)