Community News 65th Annual BB&N Circus Students, parents, and teachers gathered on the Lower School campus on May 7th for one of the School’s favorite traditions, the BB&N Circus. The daylong festival celebrated its 65th anniversary this year and featured rides, bouncy houses, a dunk tank, food, arts and crafts, performances, pony rides, and more. Hundreds of attendees from across BB&N’s three campuses joined the festivities, which raised money for the School’s ﬁnancial aid program.
Abby Ford ’19, Cora Wendlandt ’18, Maddie Ford ’19, Upper School Science Teacher Jennifer Long, Zoe Ting ’18, Upper School Science Teacher Lisa Conway, Anna Soloshenko ’19, Klara Kuemmerle ’19, and Talia Belz ’19 at the GAINS conference
GAINS Conference Provides Career Inspiration for Students With an electroencephalogram (EEG) sensor-laden headband ﬁxed ﬁrmly to her head, and a room of captive students watching her, Klara Kuemmerle ’19 knew she had to concentrate if she was going to ﬂy a drone with her brain. “I thought it would be easy to ﬂy a drone using only the power of concentration, but it’s really a tedious task,” says Kuemmerle. “There was a sort of metal headband sitting on my head with a small sensor touching my forehead. To begin, I counted backwards by twos from 1,000, and then I just kept reciting random numbers in order to keep it aloft.” Kuemmerle managed to keep the drone in ﬂight for about 40 seconds, an impressive feat, and just one of many cool activities that she and six other BB&N students experienced at the GAINS (Girls Advancing in Stem) conference at Duke University and the University of North Carolina in early April. Under the supervision of Upper School science teachers Jennifer Long and Lisa Conway, the students joined 123 other young women from across the country at the conference, where they had the opportunity to hear from women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) ﬁelds, including medicine, molecular biology, solar energy, biomedical engineering, astrophysics, chemistry, neuroscience, chemical engineering, robotics, and more.
“Lots of kids enjoy doing science, but they don’t know what the actual career options are beyond medicine,” says Long, who attended a similar conference at MIT last year with ﬁve BB&N students. “There is a huge difference between taking a science class in school, and seeing what that knowledge can lead you to as a career.” The GAINS Network, which sponsored the conference, was started by Greenwich Academy a few years ago and provides a platform through which young women are partnered with mentors from STEM ﬁelds throughout the school year. The Network maintains an interactive website where students can connect with professionals in the STEM ﬁelds, perhaps set up internships down the road, and learn about conferences and events. “The kids were amazing and the enthusiasm throughout the conference was fantastic,” says Long. “I think it was a very valuable trip for everyone involved.” Long believes that experiences like the GAINS conference and the multiple advanced STEM courses that BB&N has begun integrating into its curriculum are resonating with students. As an example, she cites two students, Alia Rizvi ’18 and Athena Chu ’18, who attended the conference last year, and this year decided to help start a science club.
PICTURED: [1[Students gather for face-painting. [2[Owen Dowden ’23 enjoys one of the many Circus attractions.