The Upper School musical, Chicago, razzle-dazzled audiences on February 9 and 10, with sold-out crowds in attendance on Friday and Saturday night. A satire on corruption, sensationalism, and celebrity, Chicago tells the story of two rival vaudevillian murderesses, Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, who won’t let a little thing like an impending murder charge get in the way of their showbiz dreams.
Seventeen Ellis students were recognized at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards this year, winning nineteen different awards in the critical essay, photography, digital art, ceramics & glass, and design categories. Each year, students in grades 7 to 12 are encouraged to submit their work to the awards which is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious arts and writing recognition program.
Affinity groups at The Ellis School recognize, support, and celebrate diversity by bringing together students who share something important in common, e.g., race, gender, religion, or special interests. An inclusive space for students who share a specific identity, affinity groups build community, promote positive self-awareness, and influence positive change and conversation within the community. In affinity group meetings, students regularly use their voices to identify issues important to them, promote ideas for action, and have honest dialogue about their lived experiences in a safe, non-judgemental environment.
The Ellis Future City team won first place at the 2017 Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition at Carnegie Music Hall on January 20 with their their future city, Idunn Eirr. Out of 29 teams, the Ellis team took first place overall and won two special awards: Best Essay and Best Power Supply System. Their first place finish also earned the team a spot at the National Competition in Washington, D.C. from February 17–20.
Seven Ellis students have their artwork featured in Art as Survival: Creations of Black Youth, a gallery exhibition at the Chatham University Art Gallery from February 1 to February 17, 2018. Sponsored by Chatham’s Multicultural Affairs Office, the purpose of the exhibition is to highlight black youth artists and the way art can be used to express oneself, respond to political and social justice issues, and amplify one’s voice.
Seventeen Ellis students were awarded either first or second place at the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Regional Competition held on Saturday, February 3, 2018, at Duquesne University. Several students were also awarded perfect scores and additional special awards of merit including the American Society of Civil Engineers Special Award, the Excellence in Scientific Pursuit Special Award, the High School Behavioral Director's Award, and the Duquesne Provost Merit Award.
A group of seniors representing The Ellis School placed in the top 7 percent of global competitors in the twentieth annual High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM). Over a 36-hour period in early November, students selected, researched, and crafted a 31-page solution paper to a complex mathematical modeling problem that placed them in the top 65 of 938 teams worldwide.
Upper School students viewed an open-heart surgery at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) as part of their anatomy class on January 17. The class sat in a viewing area above the operating room and peered through a glass window to watch the AGH team in action as they performed a pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, an operation that removes blood clots from the pulmonary arteries, which supply blood to the lungs.
Grade 4 students will get a glimpse of Wall Street as they try their hand (and their luck) in a stock market simulator game this month. Designed to introduce students to strategic thinking and financial literacy, the game, which students will play over the next three months, has shown to improve academic performance, financial knowledge, and students’ understanding of saving and investing habits.
Grade 7 students envisioned themselves as architects, city planners, and business owners as they partnered with Christian Hughes of Drafting Dreams on an urban redevelopment project centered around his neighborhood of Homewood. Challenged to design a to-scale dwelling that would positively impact the Homewood business corridor, students learned not only the basic principles and elements of architecture and urban design—like reading a scale, rendering floor plans, and showing proportion—but about Homewood, its history, and its revitalization.
What does it mean to be a good digital citizen? Grade 9 students are exploring that question in Integrated Studies: Foundations of Digital Studio, a new course addition in the Upper School this year. Designed to build students’ understanding of digital citizenship, the course teaches students how to use technology responsibly, effectively, and intelligently as they navigate and create their digital footprint on the web.
The Ellis School was delighted to host two Australian exchange students, Lily Sutcliffe and Teya Hardy, from St. Hilda’s School in Queensland as part of the International Exchange Program. Throughout their stay, Lily and Teya were paired with sophomores Annie Trimbur and Kay Fleischner. The visitors lived at their host's homes and shadowed them in classes to understand what it’s really like to go to Ellis and live in Pittsburgh.
Grade 6 students visited Uber Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) in the Strip District for a behind-the-scenes look at the tech giant’s Pittsburgh headquarters. Students toured the Uber offices, met with female engineers and program managers, and learned about Uber’s self-driving cars as a precursor to their robotics unit in the Creative Programming II and Robotics course.
Two Ellis soccer players earned postseason honors in recognition of their excellence on the field this season. Juniors Kat Ference and Becca Rust were awarded spots on the 2017 WPIAL All-Section team in honor of their hard work, commitment, leadership, and athleticism. In celebration of these accolades, Head Varsity Soccer Coach Tim Howard shared his perspective on this year’s All-Section athletes.
Ellis’ Middle School robotics team, the STEAM Powered Girls, competed in the FIRST LEGO League Grand Championship at La Roche College this past weekend where they impressed the judges with their strong coding and communicative skills. The STEAM Powered Girls earned a special recognition in programming and for their project presentation, with the recognition for their project placing them in the top 10 in their division.
Upper School students from the Introduction to Computer Science course recently visited Allegheny Health Network Forbes Hospital in Monroeville to see the da Vinci Surgical System as a precursor to their upcoming robotics unit. Used by surgeons for minimally invasive surgeries, the da Vinci Surgical System enables doctors to perform general laparoscopic surgical procedures with enhanced dexterity and improved accuracy.