Imagine a school wholeheartedly dedicated to creating a learning experience around the unique needs and passions of each student. That’s Greenhills. In intensely smart classes, our teachers push students to know the depth of what they’re truly capable of — from Jazz and 2D Design to Conceptual Physics.
The Greenhills’ Lawnmowers had a successful run at our season opening district event in Belleville this past week. The theme this year for the FIRST Robotics Competition is ‘Destination Deep Space’ in honor of the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon. Teams compete in two and a half minute matches by filling rockets and cargo ships with simulated hatches and cargo, before returning to a raised launch base for ‘lift off’. Larry the robot is designed for ‘quick fast’ hatch and cargo drops, sensor guided autonomous hatch placement, and awe inspiring climbs to the highest platform aided by the team’s ‘downavator.’ The lawnmowers experienced some spectacular ups and downs at this event! We finished the qualification matches in ninth place out of 40 teams and we earned the top ranking score for our team’s ability to place ‘cargo’ into cargo bays and rockets.
On March 9, 2019, more than 400 students competed in the Michigan Speech Coaches, Inc. Spring Fling Invitational at Novi High School. Greenhills students did exceptionally well, and and our team ranked 4th, overall. Congratulations to all of the students who worked so hard to compete at this level! This tournament was the final invitational of the year, but because of our students' hard work, they will continue to compete at regionals and states.
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor even a false fire alarm, could dampen the enthusiasm of Greenhills students and faculty for the 2019 Annual Diversity Symposium on Feb. 7. Organized by Nadine Hall and Kelly Williams, co-directors of the Greenhills Office of Diversity, the symposium kicked off with a keynote address from Matthew Countryman, a Greenhills parent and chair of the University of Michigan’s Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Professor Countryman’s address, “Student Activism for Racial Justice, Past and Present,” highlighted the critical roles young people have played in struggles for change. Drawing on examples from the Montgomery. Bus Boycott to lunch counter sit-ins on State Street in downtown Ann Arbor, Countryman reminded all of us that we have the power to contribute to social change.
“Go big to be transformational.” This was Deborah Parizek’s encouragement to Greenhills’ Applied Engineering Design students as they brainstormed ideas for how to design better ways to help their student-partners’ carry their important items with them throughout the day. Ms. Parizek, executive director at Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI.org), visited campus last month as a guest facilitator of a workshop that introduced Greenhills upper schoolers to the tools and process of Design Thinking. Damian Khan and I invited Ms. Parizek in during the first week of our second semester course to inspire students to embrace the idea that engineers should be curious and that engineering is about creatively solving problems to meet people’s needs. Ms. Parizek brings the mindsets, methods and tools of Design Thinking to a range of learners around the world, including teachers in schools from Virginia to Washington, university faculty who are designing new programs, engineering students in Romania seeking creativity skills, and future leaders in Ford Motor Company’s 30 Under 30 Program.
A recent talk at Greenhills by Prof. Scott E. Page, who studies complex systems, political science, and economics at the University of Michigan, discussed how different colleges prepare students differently for modern, diverse workplaces, and the importance of considering how well they perform that task -- and not just their one-dimensional rankings. See the video here.
And we do our very best to draw it out daily. On average, any two people have 99.9% identical DNA. That means what makes you you is what comes from that remaining 0.1%. At Greenhills, we've crafted our entire 6th- through 12th-grade experience (and our approach to teaching) to unleash the full power of that 0.1%. So you can go out into the world — uniquely and confidently you. A one-of-a-kind work of art with the ability to do anything you set your very distinctive brain to.