Academic Programs

Freshmen learn to "think like a scientist"

A little before 10 a.m. yesterday morning, Sophie Limongelli '25 prepared herself to be hit by a water balloon lobbed by her classmates, while her physics teacher Billy Abdallah supervised the attack. Megan Lee '25 started the countdown: "Ready...set...THROW!" Then the sounds of popping splashes and peals of laughter echoed down the driveway.
Mr. Abdallah explained the point of this smile-inducing exercise, "We haven't really started talking about physics yet. We've been introducing how to think like a scientist...and organizing data on a table."

Although the entire class was enjoying their lab in the sunshine, data was clearly being collected as well. Tape measures were out, laptops were open, digital stopwatches were ticking along.

"The water balloon is so much more than just throwing it and catching it," says Mr. Abdallah. "There's distance and time and velocity and momentum and mass that you can measure easily. And I thought maybe they could collect that data without knowing what these terms mean...especially if you're not super confident with numbers and equations yet, it's really helpful to see a pictorial image of those numbers and how they are related...enhancing the executive functions skills is what I'm really trying to work for at the beginning of the year."

Yesterday's equation? A dash of creativity + A boost of confidence = Some good old fashioned STEM fun!
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Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 28 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.