Children’s literature author, Sally Hobart Alexander, visited grade 3 students at Ellis to supplement their literature and history studies on Helen Keller and Laura Bridgman. Prior to her visit, students read Child of the Silent Night by Edith Fisher Hunter and Helen Keller by Lorena Hickok to learn about the inspirational women and the struggles visual and hearing impaired people face.
On Wednesday, April 19, The Ellis School was proud to present a second Pow(h)er Hour: Reimagining the Independent School Library. Hosted by Ellis parent and Dean of Libraries at Carnegie Mellon University, Keith Webster, the one-hour talk focused on 21st-century libraries, new-age learning spaces and how they impact learning.
New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Auxier visited The Ellis School to host a writing workshop for Middle School students as part of a collaboration between the Ellis English department and the Children’s Literature program at the University of Pittsburgh. A self-described “author of strange stories for strange children,” Auxier is best known for his children’s books Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes and The Night Gardener.
Grade 11 students at The Ellis School are required to take the Integrated Studies course, Global Leadership by Design, to enhance their global knowledge and cultural awareness. Through a combination of theory and experiential learning, the course deepens students’ understanding of globalization and international relations through lectures, case studies, and collaborative work that focuses on leadership development. Students apply critical communication, team building, activism, conflict resolution, and leadership skills as they identify and study past and present global challenges.
There was a new and unexpected addition to the afternoon car line at The Ellis School as a Self-Driving Uber pulled in and parked itself in the front visitor space. But the Uber wasn’t here to return students from a field trip or to pick them up for an away game, it was here to drop off three female Uber employees for a roundtable discussion at Ellis on Uber’s rapidly-evolving transportation services.
Students from The Ellis School took second place in the latest Fairchild Challenge at Phipps Conservatory, “Environmental News.” The writing challenge prompted students to select a current environmental event and write an opinion piece on it. Grade 6 students, Emma Gardner, Rowan Cain, Parisha Wilojanapa and T’Ana Moore wrote their entry on “The Decline of Bees and the Issues Corresponding to their Deaths” based on the NPR piece “U.S. Puts Bumblebee On The Endangered Species List For 1st Time.”
On Thursday, March 16, The Ellis School was proud to present the first Pow(h)er Hour: An Introduction to Maker Education at Ellis. The inaugural one-hour talk was hosted by Director of Educational Technology, Tim Howard, and focused on maker education and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) programming across divisions at Ellis.
In honor of Women’s History Month, the students in grade 2 performed their 2017 class play on influential women throughout history. The Journey of Empowerment followed the triumphs and trials of historic females who paved the way for women’s rights and acceptance over the last century. Students sang songs about standing tall, being determined, and standing up for what you believe in, as they took on the roles of 20+ inspirational women—from Emily Dickinson, to Katherine Johnson, to Eleanor Roosevelt.
Middle School students tested their literacy skills as they competed in the first ever Battle of the Books competition at The Ellis School. The Battle of the Books is a voluntary team trivia contest centered around three books each student reads outside of class in advance of the competition. Students are then quizzed on details big and small to test their comprehension and retention from each of the three selections.
The Ellis School welcomed Sofia Alejandra Roldan Centron, an exchange student from Paraguay, to the Upper School while she visited Pittsburgh on her summer vacation. A niece of a Middle School Ellis parent, Sofia had been to Pittsburgh once before, but had no educational experience in America prior to her time at Ellis.
Ellis students visited the Oculus Research Office based in Pittsburgh to learn more about the rapidly evolving state of virtual reality. The Oakland office serves as an innovation and research hub for the company which manufactures and specializes in virtual reality hardware and software products.
Engineering Design students in grades 11 and 12 won first place for their “Hair Up!” entry in the regional Student Design Competition sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Human Engineering Research Lab (HERL) as an extension of their Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. Competing against a dozen local high schools, students applied their engineering design skills to research and create a prototype that solved a real-world problem.
The Ellis School welcomed eight international female STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professionals in partnership with the Global Pittsburgh International Leaders Program. Global Pittsburgh contacted Ellis to host the cohort due to our robust reputation in the Pittsburgh area and excellent STEM programs across grade levels.
During the month of February, The Ellis School celebrated Black History Month by promoting inclusion, embracing diversity, and applauding the achievements of African Americans. Ellis faculty worked with Ciera Young, Coordinator of Equity and Inclusion, to provide learning and engagement opportunities for Ellis students across all three divisions throughout the month.
Science, technology, medicine, and music? Seniors, Katie Brandegee and Pallavi Muluk are fusing together their creative passions and intellectual pursuits into their final senior project. Katie and Pallavi are partnering with the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System at their H.J. Heinz Campus in Aspinwall to organize a variety show for veterans, employees, family, and friends.
Ellis student Stephanie Somlo, Class of 2022, placed tenth overall out of more than one hundred students at the MATHCOUNTS competition at the A.W. Beattie Career Center on Saturday, February 11. Stephanie and the Ellis team went head-to-head against local schools to test their mathematical, probability, and problem-solving skills.
Ellis students in grade 1 went above and beyond expectations as they raised $1,800 for the Kids Campaign to End Hunger benefiting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, totaling 9,000 meals for those in need. Students completed extra chores, knocked on neighbor’s doors, donated from their piggy banks, solicited family and friends, and even challenged grandma to a round of cards to raise each and every dollar to help local families battle hunger.
Leila Adelstein, Class of 2024, has been chosen as a top ten winner in the Fall 2016 Creative Communication Essay Contest. Leila's essay Waterfall was selected from thousands of student-written essay entries from across the United States and Canada.
Ellis students flexed their creative, intellectual, and physical muscles on Wednesday as they took part in the annual Ellis Middle School Olympiad. The Olympiad brings together grades 5 through 8 for an event-packed day full of fun, friendly competition and teamwork. For a full day, students participate in a rotation of challenges and tests that vary from trivia to design as they strive to take home the gold medal and bragging rights as Olympiad champions.
Twelve Ellis students were awarded either first or second place at the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Regional Competition held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at Duquesne University. Several students won additional special awards of merit as well. Students in grades 7 to 12 have worked tirelessly on their presentations since the fall, spending time outside of the classroom to develop, research, and analyze their original ideas prior to the competition.
There was magic in the Ellis auditorium last weekend as Upper School students hit the stage for the winter musical, Pippin. The colorful and comedic performance packed the auditorium Friday and Saturday and ended to a roaring applause from students, parents, friends, and the Ellis community.
She is about 3 feet tall. She wears glasses. She is wearing green from head to toe. No, she is not a kindergarten student, she is a robot. The new Ellis Choitek Mark II Robot to be exact!
Director of Educational Technology, Tim Howard, introduced the new Ellis robot to Upper School computer science classes last week with the help of creator and founder, John Choi. Choi is a Computer Science and Arts student from Carnegie Mellon University who founded Choitek in 2016 to support education and to advance mobile robotics in classrooms around the country.
The Middle School computer lab was transformed into an arcade last week as grade 6 students debuted and tested their very own computer games and controllers. Since November, students have been using Scratch, a visual programming language developed by MIT Media Lab, to design and code original arcade games.
The Ellis Data Jam Team visited UPMC Enterprises in Bakery Square and IBM in Squirrel Hill on Wednesday, January 24 to learn about the careers of data analytics professionals. Students heard how data fuels strategies and programs, and how UPMC and IBM integrates technology and innovation into their long-term vision.
Taylor Robinson, Class of 2017, has been interested in science for as long as she can remember. From playing with rocks to competing in local science fairs since the sixth grade, Taylor has always had a passion for science, an interest in public health, and a fascination in the correlation between the two.
A class of anatomy students from The Ellis School watched live as surgeons performed an open-heart surgery on Wednesday, January 18 at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH). The class of juniors and seniors 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 an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assistive Device) procedure.
The Ellis School continues to have strong success at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winning a total of 98 awards among 68 different students! Girls in grades 7-12 are encouraged to submit their artwork to the awards which is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious arts recognition program.
Congratulations to the STEAM Powered Girls for an amazing 2016–2017 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) season! The girls headed to the Western PA FLL Grand Championships at La Roche College this past weekend where they competed against local middle school teams in the final event of the year.
Hand-picked from thousands of applicants, Lauren Jasper, Class of 2019 has been accepted into the 10th annual Disney Dreamers Academy. The Disney Dreamers Academy is a four-day event in March at Walt Disney World in Orlando that gives high school students the chance to get a jump-start on making their dreams come true.