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The Holton-Arms Middle School Mini-Mester Student Newspaper Vol. 4 No. 1

March 20, 2013

Middle School Mini-Mester Launches a New Course: The Buoyancy Challenge By Kat Soltany and Eden Yakimov Eleven girls from the Holton-Arms School participated in the Buoyancy Challenge MiniMester in room D-119. According to Lindley Burnam, member of The boats get ready to start the race. Team Geeks, the group drove to boats because they “did activities and Baltimore by bus saw how the boats worked, how old to tour a Civil War and new ships worked, and how they Naval ship called improved.” the USS Constellation. The group also Back on campus, they started to toured a lighthouse boat called the create models for their own boats. The Chesapeake and a materials they submarine called used consisted of the USS Torsk. duct-tape (someBurnam said the times colorful) buoyancy Minicardboard, sharpie Mester “went [to markers, and Baltimore] to pencils. First, each learn about how group designed a submarines/boats model of the boat work in the water they would build Team Sag n’ Swag’s boat starts to sink. and the history and the boat’s and background shape. Most of of the structures.” She also said this the models looked like sideways birdfield trip helped them build their houses. When the models were finished

and approved, the students began building. They were given large pieces of cardboard, which they measured, cut, and shaped to look like their models. When they were finished, they proceeded to the race. There were many awards teams could win, but not every team won an award. The awards presented were Pride of the Regatta, Best Dressed, Titanic, Team Spirit, and first, second, and third places in the actual race received awards. Before the race, the teams had a small chunk of time to finish or touch-up their boats before the racing began. Then it was time to race the boats in the Holton-Arms swimming pool. Buoyancy continued on page 3


The Holton-Arms School 7303 River Road Bethesda, MD 20187 301.365.5300

Editor in Chief Alyce Dillon

Art Director Lee Zampella Photo by Claire Evans

News Bureau Chief Evie Chamberlain

Staff Writers Morgan Johnson and Ashleigh Hale displaying their front page layout

The Ten Categories of News By Claire Evans What makes a story newsworthy? The answer is the ten categories of news, which are life, death, war, peace, love, hate, justice, freedom, firsts, and sacrifice. These topics make a story interesting and worthwhile to read. A Holton-Arms seventh grader Alexis Smith claims that “the most interesting [story] is justice, because it is relieving to see situations come to a close,” whereas another Holton-Arms seventh grader Ashleigh Hale believes that the most worthwhile categories are “war, death, and sacrifice, because it seems to be interesting to read about.” When 15 Holton-Arms students traveled to the Newseum, they participated in an activity which helped them decipher what is newsworthy. In the introduction to the activity, the students learned the three key ideas that help reporters select their stories. The news is on a need to know, want to know, should know basis. Without these major ideas, major events would not be displayed to the public. Life, death, war, peace, love, hate, justice, freedom, firsts, and sacrifice are not only headline news, they show up throughout the news. From the headlines to the small features, the biggest ideas to write about are in the ten categories. The stories can be simple, such as Kate Middleton and Prince William falling in love and when a man catches a rare fish, or as complex as terrorist attacks and a ship sinking. Kat Soltany, a seventh grader at Holton-Arms, believes that love is the most interesting to read about because “it is a sweet subject and a beautiful thing.” The ten categories are the foundation of news, and reporters rely on these as they choose their story.


Kiki Adams Darcy Blaylock Claire Evans Ashleigh Hale Madison Harris Morgan Johnson Becky Levinson Nayana MacMillan Alexis Smith Kat Soltany Sarah Christner Clara Ferrari Charlotte Anne Miller Shea Sion Eden Yakimov

Photography The Scoop staff , of which this is Volume 4, Number 1 is the newspaper of the Holton-Arms Middle School Mini-Mester. It is published once a year. Letters to the editor are welcome and can be emailed to

Behind the Scenes: Jobs of the News By Becky Levinson It takes many different people to get a news show prepared and completed in time for it to air. Producers, researchers, fact checkers, writers, editors, and correspondents all work together to get this job done. Every day the staff at CBS’s Washington D.C. news bureau presents the news to their viewers after receiving a schedule of tasks they must accomplish to get the stories completed. The researchers then call sources to get all the facts they will need for the report. Next, the fact checkers go through everything the researches have done to make sure it is correct, and then it can be scripted. Editors check the script one last time to make sure it is perfect before it goes to the anchors and correspondents who will be telling the story. All of these jobs are extremely important and need to be done quickly in order to have all the correct facts presented at air time. If it is not done precisely, the bureau’s reliability will

suffer and hurt their reputation. All these jobs require people who can work well under pressure. Stephanie Lambidakas, a CBS news Holton-Arms students in the Technology Control room of CBS News’ journalist said, Washington D.C. Bureau. “even though be in potentially dangerous situations there is a lot of stress to get everything to report the news. CBS correspondent done quickly and correctly, I love Bob Orr remarked, “The job can be working under a sense of adrenaline.” very scary and exciting, but it can also This job seems to involve a lot of have its boring streaks. My favorite part stress and pressure, so why do so many of the job is meeting interesting people people love journalism? Jacqueline and knowing that I am experiencing Alemany, executive assistant to Chrishistory first hand every day.” topher Isham at CBS news said, “It has The people who work behind the always been my dream to tell stories; it scenes in the tech booths also work feels good to convey the correct mesvery hard. They must stream footage to sage to the viewers. It can be stressful other news stations and make sure that and scary to know that people get everything being seen on the screen information from you but when you looks right. Working as a journalist write a great piece it is all worth it.” requires many difficult skills, such as Sometimes reporters and their multi-tasking, working well under team must travel to far-away places and stress, and dedication.

Buoyancy continued from page 1

The teams positioned their boats on the left side of the pool. The “captain” sat down in the boat ready to push forward. Ms. Mitchell, one of the Mini-Mester teachers screamed “Go!” and one person from each team pushed their boat into the water. All the teams sunk immediately except for Team Sharks’ boat. Their team’s boat make it ¾ of the way to the end of the pool before starting to sink. After the end of the race, the judges deliberated for a while before coming to a decision.

Team Sharks’ boat still floats during the race

The Sharks won 1st place and Pride of the Regatta, the award for most artfully decorated boat. In second place was the Sea Bunnies who also won the award for team spirit. In 3rd place was team Madness who also took the best dressed award. The last award, the Titanic award, went to the boat with the most epic sink, which was the Neon Dolphins. All of the MiniMester groups came to see the race and the teams learned a lot and enjoyed making their boats.


Meeting Deadlines

photo courtesy of Ikea

By Clara Ferrari Typically, the average recipient of news whether it be via internet, newspaper, television, or radio, doesn’t think about the countless people who contribute into the final article or script delivered to the reader. Many people often don’t even know the names of the writers. The public just isn’t aware of what goes on in the life of a journalist in terms of meeting deadlines and satisfying readers, viewers, and superiors. According to CBS Producer Ward Sloane, before they even arrive at work, reporters are already familiarizing themselves with current news pieces that may have developed in the past day. When they arrive at work, they focus on gathering and researching information, and interviewing witnesses or sources. As their deadline

approaches, journalists find themselves overstressed, having to exert unimaginable effort while attempting to deliver the most reliable information to the public. Television journalists, such as the dutiful people at CBS News, are under extreme pressure to present the evening news at 6:30 p.m., and spend their long day composing stories to interest and inform their viewers. In instances when nothing is prepared, the anchors must improvise, coming up with stories on the spot. White smoke signaled a new pope had been selected, but it was another hour until the name of the new pope was revealed. CBS Correspondent Stephanie Lambidakis explains, “One of our anchors wasn’t an expert on the pope or the Catholic Church, but after talking about the papacy for an hour, being fed information

on the spot, you would think that he was a specialist!” If these deadlines aren’t met, things could be catastrophic for journalists, even if the viewer doesn’t notice anything wrong. In the case of a journalist writing for a newspaper, there is slightly more time to prepare, but this also means that there is more time for developments and changes. After interviewing sources, researching, editing, and revising multiple times, a journalist finally rushes to submit his or her piece before the daily printing begins. They are under extreme pressure to avoid any and all errors. When a journalist heads to work in the morning, they are painfully aware of the challenges they face, and will work hard to produce a good story by their deadline. Meeting deadlines is a difficult, demanding, yet essential aspect of a journalist’s life.

TV vs. Print

and are discussed all over the world. The next level of news is focused on major cities and their surrounding area. Of course, a big international story could be on the front page of a city or state paper, alongside news about something happening in that state. And finally, on a small level, local newspapers, like The Potomac Almanacs are made for a certain town. These usually contain a small article or two on the international news, but mainly focus on important events happening in the region. However, not everything makes it into the daily paper. When breaking

news events happen, they don’t always occur in time for the paper deadline, and they can happen so quickly that the newspaper runs the risk of inaccuracy. That’s where TV comes in. There are many different news channels that record events happening in the now. With the TV news, fast updates and quick changes can be made without having to wait a full day to do so. But this doesn’t mean that nothing from the paper makes it onto the TV and vice versa. Some articles on the newspaper are very important, so the TV news also covers the major stories that make it to the front pages!

By Morgan Johnson There is news reported all over the world, but how does one differentiate what goes in which paper? Well, the news system is not as complex as it may seem, if viewed the right way. There is not just one paper, there are many! There are papers for countries, cities, counties, and more. There are big stories, which go international


Maintaining Professionalism: Containing Your Emotions By Darcy Blaylock To maintain professionalism as a journalist, the reporter must convey the story without showing too much emotion or feeling towards the subject. This requirement mostly applies to the people on camera, but sometimes also to reporters and writers behind the scenes. Emotions can be hard to hold in during difficult circumstances. For example, in the 9/11 attack, because so many people died in the twin towers, reporters in New York City were struck with a feeling of fear, despair, and hatred. However, in order to get footage and state the facts about what happened that day, they needed to remain professional by not allowing their emotions to get the best of them and interfere with their work. It is not professional to allow emotions to take over because if they do on screen, people may judge that reporter for not being mature or objec-

tive enough to calmly talk about the subject. Also, if someone is trying to collect information about a certain topic and their feelings become too deep, it may distract that person from continuing research and prevent him or her from getting all the right facts. Reporters need to be able to do this by taking their duty seriously and giving the public all the correct information as their first priority. “It’s definitely hard to report something that strikes your emotion like that and everyone that works here experiences that sort of feeling at some point in their career,” said Bob Orr at CBS News. “While reporters should try to be impartial and keep their opinions to themselves, sometimes honest emotions do come through. We don’t want reporters to be drama queens, but they don’t need to be detached robots either.” Jacqueline Alemany, an executive assistant at CBS, shared her emotionally challenging experience interviewing a woman about her experience in

Bob Orr, the Justice and Homeland Security correspondent for CBS News, answering a question from Claire Evans ’18

Holton mom Stacey Cohan ’87 of CNN visiting the Holton-Arms Journalism mini-mester

the military. “I felt like I wanted to cry because their story was so powerful, but I had to keep it together and focus on what I was doing,” she said. Stacey Cohan, a reporter for CNN, also talked about experiences she had in tragic incidents, when she had to interview family members of people hurt or killed. “I don’t want to talk to the victims’ families because it is gut wrenching, I’m on the edge of tears, and I feel for them the whole time, but you just have to do it to get the job done.” All the tragic experiences these reporters have, prove that they always remember that delivering the facts to the public is their first priority. They sometimes need to contain their emotions and keep their opinions to themselves; no matter how difficult it is. Showing professionalism as a reporter can be difficult. However, like the people at CBS, after reporters have told people the facts, they can show they care and are human like everyone else.


Different Kinds of Press and Media By Sarah Christner ists may also use anonymous sources to keep someone from losing their job. People on social networking are more like paparazzi than journalists. Sometimes what they post can be true, but don’t believe everything you read, because they do not check their work as thoroughly as journalists. Different kinds of press have different ways of spreading their information throughout the world. Journalists give their information to TV news networks, radio stations, magazines, newspapers, and their websites. When information is shared with a TV network a correspondent appears on the TV to deliver the news. Paparazzi sell their information to tabloids, which aren’t usually credible sources, because they are built off of rumors and pictures. Finally, social networkers send

Image courtesy of Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Bogs

There are many types of press and media. The press are journalists, reporters, paparazzi, and even everyday people. The media can be newspapers or magazines, called print sources, websites, television, radio and social media. Journalists write credible articles by using sources, and they double, sometimes even triple check their work. They also have a fact checker to check their facts! People like paparazzi and social networkers do not have fact checkers. Paparazzi sometimes make assumptions on what they see or hear. They do not check their facts and are prone to using anonymous sources, which aren’t credible. However, sometimes journal-

their information through the world on places such as Facebook, twitter, tumblr, blogs, etc. People can get their news from many different kinds of press and media, but they can’t believe everything they read.

Making Breaking News By Nayana MacMillan There are many factors which determine what makes the front page. Some of these factors include timeliness, human interest and emotion, proximity, fame, impact, and novelty. Timeliness means when the event happened, whereas human interest and emotion refers to how popular the story will be with the readers and whether or not it demands a reaction from the audience. On the other hand, proximity is where the event happened, and fame refers to who is involved. For example, if a member of the public has


a baby, it is no big deal, but if a pop star has a baby, it could make the front page of a newspaper. Impact denotes how many people are affected by the event; the story is more likely to be on the front page if it reaches more people. Finally, novelty is significant because readers enjoy unusual, rare stories as opposed to more common everyday ones. Amber Batra, from the HoltonArms School Class of 2018, said, “I think that a news story has to be something that catches people’s attention and that everybody will want to hear about. Additionally, it should be important to the community that the

newspaper is targeting.” Lauryn Hildreth, another seventh grader, remarked, “It has to be something that is out of the ordinary. If you are watching the news and there is a heads-up about what’s coming up next, chances are you will watch it if it sounds like something you would like. Also, it has to seem interesting enough that you would want to hear the details and it should stand out.” There are many different aspects for editors to consider when choosing the front page news story, but the key factors will remain the same.

Nellie Bly: Pioneering Investigative Reporting By Kiki Adams Nellie Bly was one of the first female investigative journalists in the 1800s. On May 5, 1867, Bly was born in Cochran Mills, Pennsylvania. She went to the Indiana Normal School at the age of 15. After one term, she ran out of money, and she convinced her mother to move to Pittsburgh with her and her two older brothers. Being responsible for her family, she tried to find work, but there were only low-paying jobs for women. In 1885, Bly read an article in the Pittsburgh Dispatch about the appearance of young women in the workforce. Bly sent a letter to the editor, George Madden. Madden was impressed with the letter and gave her a job writing about lives of women. Her writing focused on women working in harsh jobs. However, Madden had to give Bly a job of being a social and cultural because her writing caused controversy.

Bly quit the Dispatch and moved to New York. There, she became a pioneer in journalism and investigative reporting and was one of the first females to go behind the scenes to get a greater coverage on a story. Bly’s first assignment as an investigative journalist was committing herself to the infamous lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island. She went undercover for 10 days to learn how the mentally ill were treated. “Spending 10 horrifying days in a mental hospital, can take a mentally sane person and make him or her actually crazy,” she said of her ordeal. As a result, she wrote about much-needed reforms in mental health care, which the Asylum soon received. When Bly retired from being a journalist in 1895, she married Robert Livingstone Seaman. Robert Seaman was a millionaire who owned the Iron Clad Manufacturing Company and the American Steel Barrel Company. When he died in 1904, she took over the troubled businesses and made a series of reforms. The reforms included

health care measures, gymnasiums for employees, and libraries for the workers. Bly died on January 27, 1922 from pneumonia at St. Marks Hospital in New York. Nellie Bly’s impact to the world was on the life of women in the 1800s. She not only helped improve the lives of working women, but she also showed the world that a woman can also be an investigative journalist.

Don’t Miss The Middle & Lower School Spring Choral Concert! Thursday, May 23 5:00 p.m. Lewis Theater 7

Writing Articles, Finding Pictures and Laying Out a Page By Charlotte Anne Miller There are a lot of different types of news in the front page. The news includes is what people should know, want to know, and need to know. The layout of the front page of a newspaper is crucial because it has to catch the reader’s eye, so that they will be drawn to it and want to read more. Layout for a newspaper is thoughtfully planned out by graphic artists and approved by the layout editor. Newspapers are folded in half and the most important news is located at the top so that it is the first thing people see when they pick up a newspaper. This area is called “above the fold.” The lead story is located on the middle or right side of the paper so the eye is directed there first. The headline

is in big, bold letters to catch the reader’s attention and guide them towards the story. Pictures are also often on the front page. They give the reader visual clues and allow them to Sarah Christner ’17, Shea Sion ’17, and Clara Ferrari ’17 work better understand the news. on a front page layout of a fictional newspaper at the Newseum. Those pictures and headlines are designed to be appealing and Seventh grader Kat Soltany said, “I eye catching. Online, “above the fold” liked how it was interactive and it was is equivalent to the first screen you interesting to choose the layout of the see, or the home page, before scrollnewspaper…It was fun and it taught ing down. It is often called “above the me how people choose which articles scroll.” make the front page.” On Friday, March 15, 2013 the Another seventh grader Darcy Holton-Arms journalism class took a Blaylock said, “The Newseum was a trip to the Newseum where they did an very good experience for me because I activity called “Choose the News.” The learned a lot more about what happens groups were given different news stories behind the scenes in order to get the and had to decide what to place on the news. There is a lot more to it than just front page of their assigned newspaper. giving information out.”

First Amendment By Shea Sion On September 25, 1789 in Philadelphia, the First Amendment, which would guarantee freedom of press and other various freedoms, was submitted to Congress to be ratified for the U.S. Constitution. At the time, there was no guaranteed freedom of the press. A person could be arrested for writing something King George disagreed with. That meant people


couldn’t freely publish things such as newspapers, pamphlets, or even posters. Americans take the First Amendment for granted, but it is a crucial part of our lives. Freedom of the press, also called freedom of the media, is the freedom of communication and expression through mediums including various electronic media, like Facebook, and published materials, such as newspapers. Lots of countries all around the world still don’t have freedom of press.

According to DP News, most of Asia, such as Russia, falls under that category. It is something journalists in the U.S. have become accustomed to and sometimes even sue the government if they feel they have been deprived of this freedom. American’s lives revolve around freedom of the press. It is so significant that people do not even think about it. Freedom of the press allows citizens to freely publish whatever they want.

Following the President By Alexis Smith

photo courtesy of

Every day, the press follows the president to be at the ready if a news story were to break. There is a set rotation for which news network will follow the president each day: Fox, CNN, NBC, CBS, and ABC. There are five major news networks, thus, there is a new rotation every five days. The president has to get comfortable with having the press follow him. There have been a couple incidents where the president has left the White House without the press knowing. One day Barack Obama left the White House to watch one of his daughters’ soccer games. The press pool was going wild because no one knew where he had gone. It was a coincidence when a member from the CBS press, Jeff Goldman, ran into the president. Both President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, were surprised to see him. Some people think that the president should have his space with his family and not be followed around. Claire Evans, a seventh grader in the

President Obama leaving the Press Pool for a Soccer Game

Journalism Mini-Mester, said, “If I was the president, I would feel that the press would be invading my privacy, but in order to be the president, you need to let the public know about news.” If an unexpected event happened in the US, the president would need to instruct the nation somehow. Jacqueline Alemany, journalist at CBS News commented, “Part of our job requires us always being with the President…I do not think that the president needs more space from the press because

when he signed up for the job, he signed up to work for the American people…by having CBS News cover him, we allow for him to do his job better…I think that the press does a good job of respecting those boundaries though.” To some extent, the president should have private time to spend with his family, but at the end of the day, the public needs someone to look up to in a time of need. And the press will be ready to capture it.

Middle School Beach Trip! Monday, June 3 Rehobeth Beach, Delaware 9

Who Cares What the Reporter Thinks? Bias and the Trouble it Causes By Eden Yakimov an eighth grade Holton-Arms student said that bias “ruins credibility because the reader doesn’t want to hear opinions, they want to hear facts.” Ms. Stacey Cohan, a reporter with CNN news, gave an example when she came to talk to the Journalism Mini-Mester. Poppy Harlow, a CNN reporter had recently said something biased on the air about boys that were a part of a crime. According to The Raw Story website, Poppy Harlow said “as these two young men — who had such promising futures, star football players, very good students — literally watched as they believed their life fell apart.” When this report aired, there was an outcry from the public criticizing Harlow for being biased towards the boys and Poppy Harlow lost some credibility.

Courtesy of bing images

Imagine Anderson Cooper of CNN news verbally attacking a Senator on the air, just because the senator didn’t agree with him. Cooper would be criticized for being biased. But what is bias? Bias is when a journalist states their own views instead of simply the facts. This could be supporting a conservative senator and attacking a liberal one, or vice versa. Reporters and anchors get in trouble for bias frequently, just because sometimes it’s hard to avoid stating one’s own opinion. Why does bias destroy a reporters credibility? When the Journalism MiniMester traveled to the Newseum, they watched a video on bias. Clara Ferrari,

Anderson Cooper of CNN news

How can we avoid bias? Just report the facts. The reader doesn’t want to hear what the journalist thinks; they want a completely neutral story.

Getting it Right By Katerina Soltany Every time a newspaper or article is published, the threat of not getting it right comes into play. Reporters have a chance of not getting all of the correct facts. Journalists have the problem of sometimes not having all of the information. When journalists interview sources, they should make sure they have all the information and both sides


of the story. Hopefully, the writer also has an excellent editor who can fish out the mistakes. Getting it right is when all of the information, including names, dates, details of a story, and other information, is all 100 percent correct without mistakes. When a significant piece of information is incorrect, the credibility of the source becomes more unreliable. For example, in an article said

that someone was dead when they were clearly alive. When news anchors and script writers don’t have one part of the story, they sometimes have to improvise. This can often lead to mistakes. Getting it right is very important because the public want a reliable source to get all their information. Mistakes in reporting can lead to violence, losing trust, and lack of credibility.

What does a journalist do all day? By Madison Harris moment then something will come up in the next. On March 18, Lambidakis was about to go out for lunch when she got a call saying she had to cover a security breach at NASA. On March 19, she went to an FBI hearing about the budget. To find information, Lambidakis has to ask people questions working at the Justice Department, State Department, in public affairs, and sometimes the FBI. When there are not many details on a story, the piece will become a mystery until more information is gathered. Lambidakis feels that the hardest part of writing is the first sentence because it can determine whether a reader will read the piece or not. Though a journalist’s day can be unpredictable, Lambidakis loves her

By Ashleigh Hale Deception in media, when a journalist deliberately betrays the reader with false information, with the purpose of furthering their own career, it is considered a disgrace in journalism. It threatens to destroy the credibility of their news organization and all those associated when the integrity is compromised. In 2004, Jack Kelley (a former USA Today correspondent) was forced to resign after deceiving his readers. An investigation examined all of his articles from 1995-2001. Kelley had made up the stories to become a finalist

for the Pulitzer Prize and to become recognized around the world. Kelley deceived the readers by producing false sources. The first accusation of Kelley’s false work occurred in 1999. Later that same, in December, Kelley did confess to deceiving the readers. There was then no further investigation, but as USA Today Executive Editor Brian Gallagher put it, “given Jack’s actions, obviously it is hard to have confidence in his work.” For a little while Kelley was cleared of the accusations, but more allegations were made and USA Today had to intervene by investigating further. Kelley told the editors about his sources

Stephanie Lambidakis demonstrating using count down cards

job because of the adrenaline rush she gets and being able to learn something new every day.

photo courtesy of USA Today

Deception in Media

Photo courtesy of Lee Zampella

At the Washington Bureau of CBS News, journalists and staff are busy all day, beginning with gathering information to write stories to put online and on the CBS Evening News. Some days will be longer than others because important news worthy events occur. Stephanie Lambidakis is a reporter, writer, and producer at CBS News in Washington, DC covering the Justice Department and other federal law agencies. She has had to report on events ranging from terrorist attacks in Oklahoma City to a tobacco farm in Brazil. She stated that her schedule is not exact because it may be calm one

and all the phone calls he made, but he was eventually caught and Jack Kelley of formerly of USA Today forced to resign in 2004. When journalists deceive their readers they risk the likelihood of being caught and ruining their image. Jack Kelley is only one example of journalists who have been questioned on their accountability. It is a serious offense and is not taken lightly. When a journalist deceives their readers they are not only ruining their reputation, but the reputation of their news organization.


Middle School An Adventure in African American Art By Kiki Adams and Morgan Johnson

photo by Morgan Johnson The incomplete final project of all the quilts, except one, put together.

this Mini-Mester, but he has done similar collaborations with Upper School seniors. He also shared, “Besides the end project of the quilt, each one of the girls will be doing a voice thread on their square, and it will be posted on

photo by Morgan Johnson

Starting on Friday, March 15, a group of girls from Holton-Arms school met in the art room to learn about African art and art history and to work on a community quilt. The teachers that made this Mini-Mester happen are the drama department’s Mark Robinson, Middle School art teacher Barbara Mandel, and cross-divisional history teacher Christopher Wilson. To kick off this group quilting project, on Friday the group went to the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, in Washington D.C. to observe African American masterpieces. Each individual chose a different piece of art that spoke to them, which would be used as inspiration for their quilt squares. “I chose this piece because the entire thing was made out of tinfoil,” says Breyer Banfield, another Holton eight grader who chose the piece The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nation, by James Hampton. This Mini-Mester gave the girls a great learning experience, as Christopher Wilson explained, “The purpose of this Mini-Mester was to give girls an opportunity to explore African Art, considering there are very few pieces of black art. What I mean by that is African American art has not received the attention it deserves, and Smithsonian’s’ American Art Museum especially highlights pieces by black artists.” This was Wilson’s first time working with

Soleine Fechter ’17 with her Café quilt square.


the Smithsonian website.” Victoria Powell, a Holton-Arms eighth grader, says “I’m not sure [why I chose this mini-mester,] but I really like art and art history.” She also did the piece Portrait of Mnonja, made entirely of rhinestones, displaying a women lying on a chair. “I really liked that it was unique and made of rhinestones, and that it showed an independent black woman,” Powell explained. “I would definitely recommend this Mini-Mester for anyone else.” Mark Robinson supplied the class with sewing machines. Robinson explained, “I have never made a quilt, but it is cool to work on this kind of project.” He also shared that if he could’ve chosen a piece of art work to base a quilt, he would’ve chosen Quilts continued on page 17

Mini-Mester Educational Videos Made Fun with Media Mavens Hunter reflected on the experience, “My Mini-Mester is really fun because we get a chance to make videos, and we get a new appreciation for the time it takes and the thought process it takes to create a video.” Abdala-Arata also said that she found this Mini-Mester interesting and has always been intrigued in filming and editing. On Monday, March 18, the entire class visited the News 4 studio in downtown Washington D.C. The class was able to visit the set, went into the news room, watched the live taping of NBC 4, and went into the control

Paige Lighthammer ’18 and Meghan Hunter ’17 editing their skills video on the Cup Song.

room. They also met Chuck Bell, a meteorologist, Barbara Harrison, an anchor, and Eun Yang, the morning anchor. Emily Shiroma said her favorite part of the Mini-Mester was, “Going to NBC. I learned a lot about the news and we were featured! It was really awesome.”

Photo by Alexis Smith

Seventh and eighth grade students in Media Mavens were taught by Ms. Julia Walthall and Mr. Tucker Sowers in creating educational videos. The whole point of creating the videos is to present different kinds of information to the public. Nikki Abdala-Arata, a seventh grader, said that to make the video, the students started with a story board to collect and organize their information. Sejal Makheja, eighth grader, says, “I am teaching future eighth graders how to mark oxidation numbers. I want to help future eighth graders to better understand my topic.” This year, the Mini-Mester added a new teacher, Ms. Julia Walthall. It is her first year teaching the topic. Mr. Sowers commented, “I taught this Mini-Mester last year, but it lacked structure. With Ms. Walthall’s support, I knew we could provide an extraordinary program that allows the girls to explore multi-media and its educational advantages.” During their Mini-Mester, each group made three videos: a promotion video for the Holton-Arms School, one video to just play around with the computer programs, and the last one on an academic skill. To make the videos, the girls used flip cameras, iPads, Windows Movie Maker, and Screen Cast-o-Matic. Eighth grader Meghan

Photo by Alexis Smith

By Alexis Smith and Sarah Christner

Ariana Soltany ’17 and Maya Das ’17 working on their painting nails skill video .


Decoding Messages By Charlotte Anne Miller

Photo by Charlotte Anne Miller


Photo by Charlotte Anne Miller

During Holton’s mini-mester program this spring a group of middle school students participated in Cryptography, led by Tiffany Reddinger and Diego Bautista-Melero in which they learned about codes and secret messages, and took field trips to the NSA and the Spy Museum. On Friday, they learned different types of codes, mostly mathrelated. Eighth grader Olivia Daneker said, “[on Friday] we learned lots of different codes, we did numerical and alphabetical…we also did visionary squares which were really cool.” On Monday, they took a field trip to the National Security Agency in Anne Arundel County. There they acted like real spies and deciphered different messages. The students had a scavenger hunt and unlocked a suitcase using different codes. On Tuesday, the students took a trip to a popular museum in Washington, the Spy Museum in downtown DC. Seventh grader, Katie Waller said,

Aishia Marston ’18 and Katie Waller 18’ work on posters about secret codes.

“I liked the Spy Museum because it was fun and we got to crawl through tunnels.” The students went on a mission, crawled through different areas and pretended to be spies. They also visited the James Bond exhibit. Seventh grader Sofia Soraci said “it was really fun because we had to use spy gadget stuff and there was a lot of interactive stuff. There was some spy stuff from his movie. It was so much fun.” The last day of mini-mester, Wednesday, the students went on a scavenger hunt at Holton. They decrypted messages as one of the activities. They also made posters and watched a Sherlock Holmes movie to see the different codes. Diego Bautista-Melero poses for the camera having fun.

One participant, eighth grader Anjali Berdia said, “This mini-mester… had an impact on me because I am now thinking about becoming a spy when I grow up.” She claimed that the mini-mester was fun mostly due to the energetic teachers, Tiffany Reddinger and Diego Bautista-Melero. BautistaMelero said, “[I love teaching this] because I love secrets and I love to decipher messages and decode messages. Even when I was a kid I used to make my own codes with classmates to send messages so no one knew what we were talking about.” Mrs. Reddinger has been running this mini-mester for 4 years after former Holton math teacher Joy Esterlitz came up with the cryptography idea. Mrs. Reddinger said, “I love this mini-mester because kids still come down from high school and remember it…it is a lot of fun [and]… a worthwhile endeavor.”

A Cultural Experience Through the Lens of Tea By Claire Evans and Ashleigh Hale Teachers Amy Liao and Karen Philipps taught The Cup of Humanity: The Japan-China Connection Mini-Mester to 16 Holton-Arms students, exploring the diverse kinds of tea, the sacred tea ceremonies, and the decorative tea houses of China and Japan. Starting on Friday, March 15, the students got straight to work, receiving an introduction about the history of the Japanese and Chinese tea. After this experience, they quickly switched to making tea bowls in the ceramics studio, creating origami cranes, and discussing the final project: building and designing the ultimate Japanese tea house. One seventh grade student, Taya Lowery-Williams states that “I chose [Cup of Humanity] because I really like tea and I like to do ceramics and decorate things.” On Monday, the students learned the precise art of the tea ceremony, and the differences between the Chinese and the Japanese ceremonies. A Holton-Arms eighth grader, Samantha Noland explained that as she was reading about the Japanese tea ceremony, she “realized how deliberate each move is. They specify every detail.” The students experienced decorating tea canisters, continued to work on their tea houses, and watched a movie on the importance of tea around the world. They returned to their tea bowls on Tuesday, glazing and getting them ready for the kiln, using precision

Nicolette Ferris ’18, Kennedi Riggins ’18, and Taya Lowery-Williams ’18 working on their tea bowls with Upper School ceramics teacher Nandini Giridharadas.

and multiple layers to guarantee the production and safety of their bowls. At about 12:15 p.m., the students jetted off on a school bus to watch a special presentation of a Japanese tea ceremony. “We’ve learned the difference between Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies. Chinese is relaxed whereas Japanese is not,” said Caleigh Mason, Holton-Arms seventh grader. Cup of Humanity instructor and English teacher, Karen Philipps said that “My favorite activity is the tea ceremony because it’s so different than anything they’ve experienced.” When the students arrived at the ceremony, they had to bow to the room, including the flowers and calligraphy. Then, they split into two different groups; one

group watched the ceremony while the other received the tea, and then vice versa. The last and final day of all Mini-Mesters was on Wednesday, March 20th. The students finished and presented their tea houses to their peers, and went to a Chinese teahouse named Ching-Ching Cha, which, in English, means Ching-Ching’s tea. Before returning to school, the students were given the opportunity to shop for their own tea and accessories at the restaurant store. When asked about the overall Mini-Mester, seventh grader Taya Lowery-Williams said “it was fun because we did different things, we took cool field trips, we weren’t just sitting around in class.”


How much do you know about your mind? By Madison Harris and Becky Levinson

Students Charlotte Galbreath ’18 and Jayme Slotkin ’18 making salad

Mind Find, a mini-mester at the Holton-Arms School taught by Gail Whitley Kristen Edma, and Jennie Huttler is a course that explores the five senses, brain anatomy, and the best ways to use your brain. The students participated in sensory labs where they could only use one sense to complete a task. This heightened that sense and made the students realize how valuable their senses are. In one sensory lab, students were blindfolded while playing an instrument and then had to find another person playing that same instrument. In another lab, they sniffed contact cases with different scents to find a person with the same smell. Serena Brown, a seventh grader stated, “the scent lab was one of my favorites. It was fun to try to remember your scent, and look for the person with the same scent as you. We were like mother animals trying to find our kids.”


To explore their sense of taste, one person fed a partner different flavors of baby food and they had to guess the flavor based only on taste, not sight. While Takara McLaughlin exclaimed, “bananas were my favorite!” other students did not enjoy the baby food. The Mind Find students participated in an activity in which they had to watch Huttler make marshmallow treats then recreate the recipe themselves It may seem simple, but Huttler did not give verbal instructions and the girls were not allowed to talk or ask questions. This forced them to use their sense of sight. The girls had to use their observing skills to recreate the treats “it was easy to follow,” said Serena Brown, “I can tell you the recipe by heart!” The final sense the girls explored was touch. They were blindfolded and had a bag with ten different items in it. Natalie Bock ’18 explained “We had to

find out what each object was just by feeling it.” The students in Mind Find watched Miracle Worker, a movie about the early life and learning process of Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf. In the movie, young Keller had to learn through the sense of touch. In response to the movie, seventh grader Julie Vadhan said, “I found it surprising how she could communicate through touch. She seemed to see the world through touch because she could not hear or see. It was cool that she could still learn without seeing or hearing.” The students learned that exercise is important to brain development. Caroline Ferrante came to give a zumba lesson to the girls in the dance studio. “We did different types of dance. We did some merengue, salsa, belly dancing and hip-hop,” stated Vadhan. The students learned how the food they eat makes a big difference in how well their body and brain functions. To learn more about this, students looked at the nutrients in various breakfast bars, comparing fats, sugars and fibers. Eighth grader Victoria Thede said, “I liked the breakfast bar nutrition. The breakfast bars were really good and it was interesting to analyses [their] nutrients.” Part of Mind Find was brain anatomy. One way of learning the parts of the brain was to make cauliflower drawings. They dipped cauliflower in different paints and stamped it onto paper to make a drawing of the brain. Mind continued on next page ?

Mind continued from previous page pictures and you had to name what was wrong with it in each one. In each picture a person had something in their teeth but that wasn’t what was wrong. The people had extra fingers.” At the end of the Mini-Mester, the girls could buy baked goods and other trinkets with their brain bucks. Taylor Simpson, an eighth grader, talked about why she wanted to join Mind Find saying, “I wanted to know how the mind works and I like zumba”. The students in Mind-Find did many different labs to learn about the senses and the way their brains work. They were involved in games and created posters about the rules of the brain. Looking back on her experience Jayme Slotkin ’18 said, “I would defiantly recommend it. It was really fun to learn about the brain, do a cooking show, do zumba, and participate in fun labs.

The Mind Find students having fun taking a ZumbaR dance class

photo by Kiki Adams

The students also participated in a meditation activity. Mrs. Edma put on quiet music featuring sounds of birds and guitars. The students were told to picture a vacation spot and take in the sights, smells, tastes, and feel of the area. All of the students in the room closed their eyes and took deep breathes to try to become more relaxed. Seventh grader Leah Broome stated, “I liked the meditation. I wanted to fall asleep because all the stress went away.” Similarly seventh grader Natalie Bock said, “Meditation was my favorite because all we had to do was relax.” Throughout the course, there were opportunities to earn “brain bucks”. Students were rewarded when they complete a word puzzle or other challenge. Brown describes a picture puzzle, “There was one where there were three

Quilt continued from page 12

Victoria Powell ’17 with her quilt square based off the painting Portrait of Mnonja.

the paintings Red Abstraction, or Le Fétiches. Red Abstraction is done by an African American woman named Alma Thomas. Le Fétiches was done by an African American woman named Mailou Jones in 1938 who was born in Washington D.C. Her art was inspired by African American masks. Soleine Fechter, Holton-Arms eighth grader talked about the museum trips she went on with the group saying, “Going to the American Art Museum was fun. Mr. Wilson knew a lot about the history of art. We went to G-Street Fabrics on Monday where we got to choose a quarter of a yard and more!” Fechter did her quilt square on Café, which is a man and a woman eating at a café. “I chose this because it had a lot of color and I thought I could create a story with it.” On Monday, March 18, the group went to G-Street Fabrics in Rockville, Maryland to purchase cloth. They used the fabrics along with paints, sequins, beads, and colored thread to create their masterpieces. On Wednesday, March 20, the quilt squares were completed, and all their hard work finally paid off!


Seventh Graders: Temporary Impressionist Artists By Nayana MacMillan and Darcy Blaylock In room D-115 as well as the Upper School art room, eight seventh-grade students along with three teachers, engaged in a four-day course about the exploration of Impressionism to learn all about the techniques and history of this art movement. This artistic Mini-Mester, lasting from March 15 to March 20, 2013, allowed students to visit Washington D.C.’s local art museums, spend time studying specific Impressionist paintings, and even experience French cuisine firsthand. On the girls’ first day, they each selected a painting that appealed to them without having any background on Impressionism or the painting itself. They researched the paintings in order to give a small presentation to the class. Throughout the rest of the course, the girls continued to explore Impressionists’ lives in the 19th century by exploring the connection between past and present-day art.

Lauryn Hildreth, one of the students in the Mini-Mester, said, “It’s not what I expected, it’s better. It’s a lot harder than it looks though, because when you Lauryn Hildreth ’18 reading a book called Impressionism first look at a painting, you don’t see as much as you do when you sionists made a lasting influence on look closely. I find that really interestart and tried to capture a moment in ing.” Tyce Christian, also taking the time,” she commented. “The artists of course, stated, “I enjoyed the activities the time period attempted to paint in a that were more free form with no inmore abstract way and see the underlystructions, as opposed to the structured ing meaning of the piece, such as how ones because those made my art style light alters things, instead of simply more limited.” painting what they saw.” Christian was looking forward One of the three teachers of the to participating in the course because curriculum, Lee Newman, the Upper of her previous passion for art. She School painting, drawing, and print disclosed, “I chose this Mini-Mester making teacher, also had thoughtful because after my schedule got really input on teaching Impressionism. “I busy, I didn’t have much time to obdidn’t really have a choice!” he admitserve and make art, which was disapted with a playful smile. “I have been pointing. And after today, when I was doing it for many years now because at the museum observing the artwork, Mademoiselle Selim kept tugging I was very happy that I chose this as on my arm to lead the Mini-Mester my course, and I will with her. It’s a good experience for me definitely be coming though. I don’t get to art museums at back to the museum any other time and I also like getting with my mom someto work with the Middle School once time soon.” in a while, since I only teach Upper Anna Haskin, School.” another member of Overall, the majority of the stuthe class, described dents had an enjoyable experience as how she loved mixing temporary Impressionists and acquired the paint colors and an ample amount of knowledge in watching the educathe course, such as finding the hidden tional movie titled details in a painting and understanding Impressionism. “I the criticism that the Impressionist artists faced in France at the time. Impressionism Tyce and Talia – Tyce Christian ’18 and Talia Bartley ’18 explored how Impresworking laboriously on a pretend letter about to be sent to an American friend, to try and convince them to buy an impressionist painting


Dazzling D.C. Depictions By Shea Sion In this year’s Marble and Bronze, Honor and Whimsey, Sculpture in Washington D.C. Mini-Mester, nine students learned about statues and sculptures in the Washington area. Sculpture in D.C. is led by teachers Mr. Cutts, Ms. Green, and Mrs. Grant. Colleen Cooper, a seventh grader, said that she signed up because she “wanted to be outside and walking around.” This was one of the main reasons why most the students signed up. From exploring statues on Holton’s campus, such as the Persephone in the garden, to meeting sculptors in Washington D.C., the Sculpture in D.C. MiniMester went on a field trip almost every day. In addition to visiting various sites around D.C., the Mini-Mester group also went to downtown Bethesda to see statues such as the Lyrical Lady.

Photo courtesy of Beverly Grant

In D.C., the group went to see some famous statues like the Lincoln Memorial, the Albert Einstein Memorial, and the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. After seeing all the statues, each student had to match a statue of their choice to a song they thought would fit best. This helped them have a better understanding of the statues, as teacher Mrs. Green also showed how to connect sculptures with poetry. The group also went to the National Gallery of Art’s SculpMaddy Croke ’17, Taylor Lawrence ’18, Colleen Cooper ’18, and Anna von Pechmann ’18 study sculpture at ture Garden, where they met a Strathmore’s Sculpture Garden. sculptor who talked about his statues. Beforehand, the students had their own statues using wire. Jayla to research a particular statue in the Frith, an eighth grader, liked making garden and tell the others about it as the wire statues the most and said it they arrived at their statue’s location. was “relatively easy to work with wire Taylor Lawrence, who is in the seventh since it was malleable.” Jayla enjoyed grade, picked the her Mini-Mester, calling it “spectacustatue “The Red lar”. She chose Sculpture in D.C. beHorse” because she cause her Mini-Mester last year didn’t thought it was very go on any field trips. innovative. Taylor Along with admiring sculptures, said that going to another aspect of the Mini-Mester was the sculpture garden photography. Eighth grader Parker was her favorite part Gilbert enjoyed “taking pictures at of the Mini-Mester. certain angles and figuring out how Sculpture in D.C. the lighting worked.” To help with was one of her top their photography, the Mini-Mester choices because she group took a class from Mrs. Maclean, finds sculptures Holton’s photography teacher. One interesting, so she’s their last day, the group put all of their very happy to be pictures together on a bulletin board. placed in this MiniOverall, the Sculpture in D.C. Mester. Mini-Mester has been very busy with Another thing many activities, and all the students got they learned about to do what they wanted, which was to was how to make walk around and explore.

Taylor Lawrence takes a picture of a tree sculpture in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden..


Poetry & Plants By Clara Ferrari During middle school Mini-Mester, students participating in the Ecosystems and Art course explored the combination of poetry and nature. Teacher Sarah Hansen described it saying, “students learn a variety of ecology and poetic devises… and how to make better observations with all of their senses.” Ms. Hansen also hopes the students learned about all the wonders of nature in this Mini-Mester. On Friday, the students visited Booze Creek on Holton’s campus, where they learned how to make descriptive scientific observations, and then wrote poems based on observations using poetic devices such as personification and metaphors. According to seventh grader Caroline Albright, “going to the creek was good for inspiration for our poetry,” and eighth grader Margaret Ball agreed that going to the creek was one of the most exciting activities in this Mini-Mester. On Monday the students learned about invasive species, more poetic devices, wrote more poems, and visited the creek again. In the creek eighth grader Christina Hogg happened upon a lost wallet, and plans on returning it to the owner with information on his driver’s license. On Tuesday the girls learned about how creatures use mimicry, and decep-


Caroline Albright ’18 (left), Margaret Ball ’17, and Christina Hogg ’17 (right) work on their poetry and field journals.

tive and aposematic coloring (warning coloring) to hide from predators. They then went on a field trip to the Brookside Gardens where the students made more observations and saw flowers, plants, fish, birds, and ducks. While there, they also wrote poems, took pictures, and drew sketches. Finally on Wednesday the students finished the field journals in which they collected their own poetic works, three poems from other authors that they could relate to, and sketches and

photos of the nature they had witnessed throughout the Mini-Mester. Students personalized their journals by designing the covers with decorations such as glitter, seashells, pictures, and much more. Tony Shawe, middle school director and a teacher for this activity noted that he enjoys teaching this course because, “we don’t take advantage of the beautiful nature on this campus enough… I enjoy seeing the students explore nature and then capture its essence in poetry.”

MS Scoop Vol 4  

The Holton-Arms Middle School Mini-Mester Student Newspaper

MS Scoop Vol 4  

The Holton-Arms Middle School Mini-Mester Student Newspaper