Documentary filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky, who co-directed Defying the Nazis: The Sharps War, recently spoke to Catholic Memorial School juniors in West Roxbury about filmmaking and living a moral life.
Mr. Joukowsky worked for more than 15 years to research the story of his grandparents, Unitarian Minister Waitstill Sharp and his wife, Martha Sharp. As Nazi Germany conquered Czechoslovakia and France, the Sharps left their family in Wellesley, Mass., and went to Europe to rescue Jewish refugees and bring them to the United States.
Mr. Joukowsky collaborated with noted documentary filmmaker Ken Burns on the project. Tom Hanks provided the voice for Waitstill Sharp.
All juniors watched the film in their US History classes as part of a unit on World War II and the Holocaust.
“We were blessed with the presence and insights of a tremendous filmmaker and very deep and substantial person,” said Vin Bradley, chair of the History and Social Studies Department. “We strive to bring thought leaders like Artemis Joukowsky to campus in order to bring the past to life, and help students recognize the heroic choices made in our nation’s history.”
In his appearance, Mr. Joukowsky shared his thoughts on courage and morality in relation to the story of his grandparents. In place of a typical speech, Mr. Joukowsky engaged in a conversation with students.
“I thought it was really interesting to talk with Mr. Joukowsky about his film,” said junior John Dashe. “I especially liked how he made it so engaging having an open-ended conversation about the messages and themes of his film.”
"I thought Mr. Joukowsky had great insight not only on his grandparents’ story or the filmmaking process, but also on how our moral education provides us with a foundation from which we can make the world a better place,” said junior Jack Manning.
“It was fascinating to be in the presence of someone related to the Sharps, who were true American heroes,” said junior Michael Maloney.
Mr. Joukowsky has screened his film at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and at the White House for scholars and Holocaust survivors.
Article reprinted with permission from Catholic Memorial.
About Catholic Memorial
Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, is an all-boys college-preparatory school that transforms lives and prepares them for college and the world. The school is in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.catholicmemorial.org.
Archbishop Williams High School senior Margaret “Maggie” Slein of Scituate will be the first-ever student in the school’s nearly 70-year history to compete in an international science fair, the Intel ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair), which will be held May 14-19, in Los Angeles.
Slein’s selection for the fair followed her high scoring at the 59th Annual South Shore Regional Science Fair held May 11 at Bridgewater State University, where she earned a 1st Place award, a $100 cash prize, and the prestigious and highly competitive Wilma M. Shields ISEF award.
The 1st Place award allows Slein to advance to the Mass. State Science and Engineering Fair May 5-6, at the Mass. Institute of Technology; the Shields award allows her to advance directly to the Intel ISEF competition.
“I am really excited and shocked that I was chosen to move forward to the international fair,” Slein said. “There were a lot of environmental science projects, and the research I did was complex, but I think my presentation and my presentation skills gave me an overall advantage.”
The regional fair included 143 students from 24 high schools in southeastern Massachusetts and from Boston private and Catholic schools, who presented 127 individual and team research projects. The top 40 of those students advance to the Mass. state fair. Meanwhile, the regional fair committee sends two students to Intel ISEF where they will compete against approximately 1800 students from 75 countries.
Slein’s winning project, The Study of Hemigrapsus Sanguineous: Population Density and Genetic Variation, is a year-long study of Asian shore crabs - an invasive species - and their impact on native species. She collected samples from the shoreline in Scituate and Quincy, and analyzed their DNA variations with the assistance of Annie Evankow, Collections Associate of the Ocean Genome Legacy Center of New England, Northeastern University Marine Center, Nahant.
“We don't usually work with high school students, but most high school students aren't like Maggie,” Evankow said. “Maggie was willing to give up her vacation to work on an independent project she feels is important. She knew it would be challenging to complete this project before the science fair, but instead of giving up, she worked harder. Although many of the procedures were new to her, she did her best to learn as much as she could and complete as much as possible on her own. It is a pleasure to work with someone who cares so much about her project. I believe she could accomplish anything at this point, given enough time.”
Slein especially enjoys the real-life, practical application of the research. “It’s so satisfying to get first-hand experience with this level of research for the first time,” Slein said. “The crab project involves a lot of data collection because you have to document everything, their population, and even their DNA.”
The project was made possible when Slein won a highly competitive $6,000 grant from the Marjot Foundation, Woods Hole, Falmouth, Mass. The grant helps to pay for DNA testing and supplies, and is partially shared by her mentor, Archbishop Williams High School Science Department Chair Raymond Whitehouse, who works closely with Slein on all facets of the project and who made the connection to the Northeastern lab for her.
“She wrote a really good grant,” said Whitehouse. “Her project is highly relevant to today’s problems. It’s real science in real time with data that is meaningful and important to the community.”
Slein’s grant was one of only two awarded to Massachusetts students, and five awarded to students in New England. According to Dr. Ann Craig, DVM, president of the Falmouth-based foundation, the highly competitive grants are for “students engaged in independent field and or laboratory research projects focused on environmental issues” - right up Slein’s alley.
“We like kids like Maggie,” Craig said. “You can really tell it’s her passion.”
“Maggie personifies the ideal science student - full of questions, persistent, and open-minded,” Whitehouse said. “I can’t tell you how difficult this is to do, to succeed at this level.”
Slein’s environmental passion, talent and work ethic have also been recognized by the Henry David Thoreau Foundation, which announced on March 18 that because of her “academic strength, demonstrated environmental interest, and capacity as a future environmental leader,” she will be awarded a scholarship which will total up to $20,000 for four years of college. On March 24, Slein’s excellence was again recognized when her project took 3rd Place among 29 poster presentations at the prestigious Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) at Boston University. The JSHS program promotes, “original experimentation and research in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics at the high school level.”
For Slein, her science class work, especially Honors Biology, Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, and AP Environmental Science, coupled with her internships and volunteer experiences at the New England Aquarium, laid the foundation for the grant proposal.
“The idea wouldn't have existed without the Aquarium and the proposal wouldn't have been possible without the knowledge from all the classes I've taken,” Slein said. “My internships have shaped the direction I have chosen to take my life in a major way.”
Ironically, environmental science wasn’t always a major goal for Slein. “The first summer I interned at the Aquarium, I was convinced that my passion for the environment was only going to be a hobby.”
But once there, Slein knew she had found her calling, earning three separate competitive internships where she made presentations about ocean and conservation issues to audiences with as many as 300 people. She also assisted with the Aquarium’s greater Boston mobile community outreach program. In recognition of her skills, the Aquarium went beyond her internships, asking her to serve in its “live blue™” Ambassador Program, where Slein taught students to restore and preserve natural habitats at various Boston sites, including the Boston Harbor Islands.
“Through that experience, I was inspired to learn more about exactly how Asian Shore Crabs influence an ecosystem,” Slein said.
Slein was also selected to serve in the Aquarium’s competitive ClimaTeens Program, which seeks students who can engage public, and especially peer audiences, in learning about environmental issues. Topping it off, she even represented the Aquarium at the Mid-Atlantic Youth Alive Summit at Yale University.
“What a wonderful girl, a self-starter who is committed to the environment,” Whitehouse said.
"Maggie is an incredibly passionate, dedicated student,” said Archbishop Williams High School Principal Michael Volonnino. “We are so proud of her and our faculty for their pursuit of excellence in an area that will make a meaningful contribution to society. She is doing truly important work and we can't wait to show it off on the international stage."
According to its website, Intel ISEF is sponsored by the Society for Science & the Public, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, which provides the opportunity for millions of students worldwide to compete at the local, state, and at the international level. The organization “unites these top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral level scientists review and judge their work.” The Society and Intel, joined by dozens of corporate, academic, government and science-focused sponsors, provide support and up to $4 million in awards at Intel ISEF.
For more information:
Walter Lucier, Publicity Assistant, AWHS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raymond Whitehouse, AWHS Science Dept. Chair: email@example.com
Last week 118 schools across the Archdiocese of Boston celebrated Catholic Schools Week 2017. The national theme for this year was "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service." As you'll see in the slideshow below, which highlights some students across the Archdiocese, school communities celebrated with Mass, by giving generously to others, learning about Catholic history, and connecting with their local communities. (If you would like to submit a photo from your school for this slideshow, please send one photo and short caption to Meghan Stellman.)
BRAINTREE - Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of Boston celebrated Catholic Schools Week January 29-February 4. The section opened with a column from Superintendent Kathy Mears:
Catholic Schools: Developing Saints and Scholars!
The national theme of Catholic Schools Week 2017 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” The Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston are blessed with an abundance of those qualities.
The Catholic Schools Office and Catholic schools in the Archdiocese work to ensure that our faith is embedded into every aspect of the school. Teaching students to live and learn by Catholic principles will provide a foundation that supports them their entire lives. Students at Catholic schools in the Archdiocese attend Mass on a regular basis, and prayer is a part of their daily lives. The values students learn include the intellectual curiosity of Saint Ignatius, the unwavering faith of Saint Julie Billiart, and compassion for others demonstrated by Saint Francis of Assisi. They are taught to trust in God as Saint Joseph exemplified and they are given multiple opportunities to serve, as taught by Saint Teresa of Calcutta. In the face of celebrity idolization Catholic school students are shown true role models.
Schools in the Archdiocese of Boston are equipped with language labs and science & innovation centers. Students are learning about coding, robotics, 3-D printing, and more. We are using technology to enhance the teaching and learning process, but we understand that true learning happens when the student, parent and teacher work together to provide the best possible atmosphere for student learning.
A few years ago, Pope Francis told a group of young people to, “Have courage. Go forward. Make noise.” We are doing that in the Archdiocese of Boston. We are taking that advice to heart. We are looking for additional ways to meet the needs of our students and their families. We continue to monitor our students’ learning and making adjustments to make sure that each child is reaching his/her potential. We are sharing our story, the good news of how our schools are helping our students to develop into “Saints and Scholars”.
In this special section of The Pilot, you’ll read more about wonderful schools in the Archdiocese of Boston. If you’re a parent, I hope that you’ll consider sending your child to a Catholic school. If you’re an engaging, forward-thinking educator who is looking for a teaching position, I encourage you to apply to teach in one of our schools. And, if you are someone who has spare time and a desire to share your talents, I encourage you to become a volunteer! Together, we will help our students to develop their relationship with God, while learning to apply faith and reason to their lives.
Catholic education is alive and well in the Archdiocese of Boston! Please pray for us as we work to support this important mission of the Catholic Church.
TO READ THE FULL SPECIAL SECTION, INCLUDING 40 PAGES OF ARTICLES FROM SCHOOLS, VISIT THIS LINK.
BRAINTREE (August 18, 2016) -- Last week marked the beginning of the Kindergarten Robotics initiative, a formal partnership between Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers, professor and director of the DevTech Research Group at Tufts University, and the Catholic Schools Office at the Archdiocese of Boston. Eleven elementary schools were selected as part of a competitive application process to thoughtfully integrate STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and mathematics) concepts into the curriculum and to introduce coding to young children. As part of this unique initiative, more than 80 KIBO robots will be used by kindergarteners throughout the academic year.
The two-day workshop centered on the engineering design process, coding concepts, and strategies for learning coding through play. Teachers completed a series of design challenges and experienced the learning process first-hand: experimenting with coding blocks, navigating KIBO to complete a set of tasks, and problem solving with their peers. The teachers also designed curricula for use in the classroom and utilized classroom teaching tools. As teachers integrate the developed unit into their curriculum, Dr. Bers will provide support and assist in educating parents and the larger school communities about the initiative.
Dr. Amy Ryan, associate superintendent of academics and digital learning, spearheaded the efforts to bring this initiative to the Archdiocese. She noted, “Through this innovative partnership we can provide young children with opportunities to better understand the digital world that they inhabit and cultivate the habits and mindset to become future engineers.”
As Dr. Bers further reflected, “Learning how to code is learning a new literacy. It’s a new way of thinking, a new way of expression. We start literacy when kids are young, when they’re curious and open to the world. It’s the same thing with coding.”
Often people consider themselves “arts” or “science” people. In response to that classification, Dr. Bers offered, “By 4th grade, stereotypes about who is good at STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – are already formed. So if we’re going to start programs that are geared to toward helping children engage with technology and programming, we want to start before the stereotypes kicked in. And there’s a lot of research that shows that the earlier you start, the better learning outcomes you’ll have, so we really want to start early.”
The goal of the Kindergarten Robotics Initiative is not just to teach robotics and programming, but to show how coding is part of our world. Said Dr. Bers, “With the KIBO robots the teachers can teach new concepts and new skills coming from computer science and engineering – but they can also use them to integrate with already existing curriculum of math, literacy, social science, religion, music, and art to teach something they’re already teaching, but in a new way.”
Kristina Favaloro, a K2 teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Mission Grammar) in Roxbury, agrees. “The robots that we will build in the classroom will help students connect their environment with how something works. For example, learning about robotics will make the students question how the paper towel machine makes paper towels come out. It won’t be seen as magic, they’ll question ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ and know there is a sensor, and a motor.”
The schools participating in the Kindergarten Robotics Initiative are:
Blessed Sacrament School – Walpole
Holy Family School - Rockland
Immaculate Conception School - Newburyport
Our Lady’s Academy - Waltham
Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Mission Grammar) - Roxbury
Sacred Heart School - Kingston
Sacred Heart School - Lynn
Sacred Hearts School - Haverhill
Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy - Mattapan Campus
Saint Patrick School - Roxbury
Saint Paul School - Hingham
About Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Boston
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston educate 38,000 students in 116 schools. The schools offer a high-quality, rigorous education that is rooted in Catholic faith and values for students age 2.9 through grade 12. www.catholicschoolsboston.org
January 19, 2017, Braintree, MA – Highlighting a history of accomplishment anchored by a track record of academic excellence in an enriching faith filled environment, Cardinal Seán O’Malley and Kathy Mears, superintendent of Catholic Schools, announced a grass roots campaign to promote Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Boston. The “We believe in Catholic Schools” campaign will be launched this month in advance of the 2017 Catholic Schools Week, which runs from January 29 to February 4.
As part of a broad initiative to highlight the importance of Catholic education, the Archdiocese is leading a social media campaign, utilizing the Cardinal’s blog (www.cardinalseansblog.org), and distributing 40,000 car decals to Catholic school families and staff.
Partially funded by a private donor to the Campaign for Catholic Schools, the car decals read “We believe in Catholic Schools” with a blue plaid cross. “We chose this saying as it is reminiscent of our Creed, which is the basic expression of who we are and what we believe as Catholics,” said Mrs. Mears. She continued, “The saying also shows faith in our school system that educates close to 40,000 students each year.” The stickers will be distributed to 118 Catholic schools along with a letter from Cardinal Seán, thanking families for their commitment to Catholic education and encouraging them to display the decals on their vehicles.
Catholic Education Track Record
Catholic schools are the largest private educator of children in this country. Research shows that Catholic school students test higher than their public school peers. The graduation rate for Catholic high schools is 97%, with 96% of students going on to post-secondary education, 92% to four-year colleges. 60% of Catholic schools are in urban settings, and the schools are open to all families who are interested in quality Catholic education. Thirty percent of students in the Archdiocese who attend Catholic schools are not Catholic.
In recent years, Cardinal Seán has led an effort to rebuild struggling urban schools through the Campaign for Catholic Schools, which has built new regional elementary school academies in Dorchester, Mattapan and Brockton.
Catholic Schools Office/Archdiocese of Boston
617.779.3614 (direct dial)