Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Music as a bridge between generations

Sue is a sophomore at Peddie and together with fellow musician Ariel '19 started what they hope will be a long lasting community service program combining music with outreach to a local senior community in Hightstown.

Qihui (Ariel) '19 and I wanted to further diversify the experiences students can gain through community service by giving students, especially musicians, an opportunity to volunteer at Meadow Lakes, a senior community near Peddie.

On our first trip , Anny '18, Sue '18, Ariel  '19, Emma '19, Alex '16, JT '16, Rocco '16, Ziyi (Sara) '19, Alex '18 and Yoyo '18 prepared a performance for the residents.

 We chose a variety of music, ranging from a Prokofiev violin duet (Anny and I) to Sara's traditional chinese instrument to Rocco's "Hey Jude." 

Our audience at Meadow Lakes seemed to absolutely love it, and the best part of the performance was getting to talk with them afterwards about their experiences with music and performing. We definitely plan to do this more regularly starting next fall!

Our hope is that this program will provide its the musicians of Peddie an opportunity to foster a deeper, more meaningful passion for music, and to connect this passion with a greater cause that goes beyond each individual student. By applying their talents outside of the Peddie gates, the group can engage in meaningful activity that enlivens our wider community. We hope our organization will help students at Peddie build stronger relationships with our senior neighbors through the charm of music. 

It is amazing how music can serve as a bridge between ages and views and further facilitate communication between young and old. We can all benefit from these kinds of interactions with the elderly, who can impart valuable knowledge gained from their lives in times different from ours. 

Community service is essential for learning beyond the classroom walls and developing meaningful relationships with people you would not regularly interact with. I hope this program fulfills its potential and lasts over the years, and will pave the way for a long-lasting relationship between Peddie and Meadow Lakes!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Gabriel's Horn: A journey In the pursuit of a solid with finite volume and infinite surface area. How can that be? Can we build such a model?

Dr. Andrew Caglieris - known as "Dr. Cags" on campus -  is a member of the Math Department at Peddie, where he teaches a number of advanced math courses, including AP Calculus AB.

Following our successful venture two years ago in which students in AP Calculus BC ventured to the Digital Fabrication Lab to build models of solids with different known cross-sections (squares, isosceles right triangles, rectangles, and semicircles) using the laser cutter machine, students in AP Calculus AB recently returned to the newly located Digital Fabrication Lab to build models of Gabriel's Horn, a solid formed by revolving an unbounded region about the x-axis using the 3D printer.

Building on their knowledge relating to volumes of solids of revolution using the method of disks, students first explored analytically the concept of revolving an unbounded region about the x-axis leading to the development of the concept of improper integrals.  Through the traditional analytical tools of calculus students were able to establish that the solid generated would have a finite volume, and an infinite surface area.  Along the way students developed the notion of calculating both the arc length of a curve as well as the area of the corresponding surface of revolution.

With the theory under their belts, the students proceeded to the Digital Fabrication Lab to seek to produce models of this solid with the fascinating properties described above.  The images tell the full story and add a new dimension from the perspective of bringing to life the beauty of mathematics from theory to three dimensional model.  Pretty amazing!! 

Looking forward to further mathematical explorations in the Digital Fabrication Lab next year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

From the flux capacitator to passive solar solutions: An engineer in the making

Kyle '19 is finding ways to grow his passion for science and engineering.

Doc Brown and Marty McFly are my two favorite characters from my favorite movie, Back to the Future.  An eccentric scientist and a teenager who team up to save the future. These characters kind of sum up my personality.  You could say that the  "Flux Capacitor” with its use of plutonium and eventually garbage to fuel the Delorean inspired my interest in science and engineering!

I have been fortunate to have real people in my life who inspire me too. Mr. Roche, my middle school biology teacher is one of those people. He is the real life Doc Brown.  Mr. Roche encouraged me to expand a heliothermal design project we completed in class.  He guided me through the process, helping me get the necessary equipment to complete the project and enter my work in the science fair in 7th grade.  He also challenged me to expanded my thinking.  

At Peddie, my Chemistry Honors teacher, Mr. Jason Park, teaches by taking everyday examples and makes connections to science.  He makes science look cool!

Over spring break I participated in a regional science and engineering fair with a project on passive solar solutions.  My work expanded on my thesis of the need for sustainable sources of energy to cut down on our use of fossil fuels. The project was honored in the Senior Engineering Category reviewed by 39 judges, and won three awards!

 My awards included:

  • US Air Force Laboratory Award-Outstanding Engineering Project
  • Arizona State University’s (ASU) Walton Sustainability Solutions Award & ASM International Foundation Award
  • 2nd Place in the Senior Division in the field of Engineering Mechanics
As part of the Arizona State University award, I was nominated to receive the Rob & Melani Walton Sustainability Solution Initiative. The program is part of the ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and encourages, rewards and celebrates inventors, social entrepreneurs, innovative designers and creative thinkers who develop solutions to sustainability challenges.

The winner travels to Arizona for the 2017 Sustainability Solutions Festival!

I am looking for an opportunity this summer to develop my science and engineering interests but have found that it is difficult for a fifteen-year-old to get laboratory experience. I will keep trying!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Chapel Talk: Moments

Senior Caroline shares the story behind her very personal commitment to Relay for Life.

Life is a series of moments. Some moments are happy, exciting, and hopeful while others are terrifying, scary, and sad. Throughout life you are going to have a lot of different moments, and each moment, some more than others will shape the person that you become. And your reactions to these moments will truly show the kind of person that you are.

Now let me tell you about a couple of moments that have shaped my life in ways I never thought moments could. These moments are all about one person, the person that I wish could be here right now, my dad.

February 10, 2010 started off as an exciting moment. It was a snow day, and my 6th grade self could not have been more thrilled. But throughout the day, it became more and more of a nerve-wracking moment until finally it was a sad and scary moment. On that day my dad was brought into the hospital to have lifesaving surgery and was then diagnosed with stage four colon cancer which had spread to the liver. The prognosis was that he had three months to live. But of course on that night I didn’t know all the details. I just knew that I was scared and sad. I was 11 years old when he was diagnosed. That day, that moment is one that I will always remember, because how could you not remember?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Epic PJC: An excerpt

English teacher and Peddie icon Patrick J. Clements has been responsible for leading almost two decades' worth of sophomore students on a cycling and camping journey through Amish country, Gettysburg and on to the nation's capital. This spring Peddie’s own PJC has hit the road on a solo epic journey. Beginning in his birthplace of Pensacola, Florida, Clements is following the Mississippi River up the center of the country. Below is an excerpt from his travel log about an unexpected trip into, of all places, Clementsville!

Solo on a bicycle, riding some back roads of the country, feeling literature and history and music in the land, talking to folks along the way.  — Patrick J. Clements

Heading east from Nashville with a slow disposition toward Berea, Kentucky, but no pressing goal, I passed Clementsville Road in deep rural Middle Tennessee, did the required u-turn, and went to see what I could see. A mile down a twisty road I passed a farmhouse with CLEMENTS welded into the driveway gates, so I knew there was not only a place but people to discover. 

One farm later an old man was riding his mower, and on his next row turn, I met Carrell Clements, and learned that his son is a surgeon, and that his people had been on this land for five or six generations, but if I really wanted to know about this I should talk to his first cousin Ray, in the red brick house down there past...  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Chapel Talk: George Entin '56 shares a first-hand experience as a naval lieutenant during the Cuban Missile Crisis

George Entin '56 entered Peddie in 1948 as a fifth-grader, and went on to serve as a Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) in the U.S. Navy. He recently returned to campus to share his experience during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Now I realize that not too many of you were even born at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, nor were the parents of nearly all you students. But we’re not talking ancient history here. I was a LTJG in the navy, 24 years old at the time, and now I’m a grandfather, so I’m sure your grandparents would remember this time and call it “modern history.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Math culture bus goes to Princeton

Tim Corica, Math department chair, reports on an excursion to Princeton to hear about the upcoming movie, "The Man Who Knew Infinity."

A lovely, interested group of students took the Math Culture Bus to Princeton and saw
quite an interesting panel discussion tonight titled, "The Man Who Knew Infinity – Bringing Mathematics to the Silver Screen." 

Speakers discussed the life and work of Ramanujan and the making of the upcoming film "The Man Who Knew Infinity," which will be released on April 29. The free presentation was made possible through the Louis Clark Vanuxem Foundation.

Fields Medalist and Princeton professor Manjul Bhargava provided background on Ramanujan's life, and several reasonably accessible bits of mathematics for which Ramanujan was responsible.