Renovation, Integration and Collaboration

  • Holly Higgins Gilbert IAA '88, NASA Scientist, Skypes in to the Bonisteel Library

  • IAA 3D printing team competed in Detroit, and came home with two prizes!

  • Anna and Gintare paddle down the Platte River to an afternoon on the beach during the annual camping trip held May 6 - 9 at Sleeping Bear Dunes.

  • Happy campers prepare the fixings for 'hobo packets' cooked over an open fire at Sleeping Bear Dunes. The trip was led by Jenna Scheub, residence hall counselor Devon Blumenthal and ME Newport.

Math & Science Faculty
May 11, 2015

Year in review

This year was full of both action and reflection for the Math Science Division. We see almost all students at the Academy, but there is no academic ‘major,’ so we have a different kind of relationship with our students. We know that many students who graduate from IAA pursue study and careers outside of the arts, so we are passionate about providing all students with the background they need to thrive in their chosen fields. Even though they are not our majors, we are just as proud of their achievements and successes.

 We spent a lot of time this year discussing the future direction of our math and science curricula, and the future renovation of the Dow Rotunda. Discussions at every level of the Academy are leaning toward more and more integration of arts and academics, math and science, sciences and humanities. This integration allows cross-fertilization among the disciplines, deepening and connecting student experiences across their studies and experiences. Academic excellence was celebrated in the first annual Comparative Arts Symposium (May 7th), where Kendra Hebenstrait, Enzo Ianello and Madison Douglas presented a trio of talks on climate change.

 As usual, the R.B. Annis Educational Foundation has supported field trips, equipment, technology and speakers that we could only dream of without their ongoing support. We were able to purchase a set of National Genographic DNA test kits as part of a collaboration between Mr. Wescott’s Mythology class and Ms Scheub’s Biology class. Students entered a drawing to have their DNA tested for hints about distant ancestry. Stay tuned for results!

 One of our year-end celebrations in Astronomy was a Skype appearance by the Chief of the Solar Physics Laboratory, Holly (Higgins) Gilbert, IAA ’88. We also enjoyed the return of Professor Brian McNamara who spoke to Physics classes who reviewed “13 billion years in 60 minutes.” Both talks were very well received and we are so grateful to practicing scientists willing to donate their time and energy to speaking with our students.

 Annual rituals include the Math / Science camping trip at Sleeping Bear Dunes, release of baby salmon in to the Platte River and the running of the AP tests (Calculus and Statistics). For the first time Academy students Madison Bucher, Garrett Mosblech, Violette Walker and Adlir Linseman competed in the 3D printer contest at the SAE World Congress in Detroit in April. They won the two prizes/trophies out of four possible! One was first place for the Fast on your Feet Challenge where the prompt was to design and print something that would help their teacher! The other prize they won was first place special recognition for their poster. The poster had to show their universal cell phone holder concept (designed and printed beforehand), school and concept name. Kim LeBlanc, IT Help Desk, took charge and supported the students in this first-time competition. Bravo!

 May is always full of celebration, joy and a touch of bittersweet. We had a great year, and we congratulate the IAA Class of 2015 on their many achievements. We look forward to hearing about their continued growth, artistry and life events! Stay in touch!