Author Archives: The Quill Editors

15 Years of House Competition

It may only be December, but our house competition is already well underway, and more competitive than ever. The spirit of house competitions at SIA is its own beast–vivcacious, lively, and at times, cutthroat. Kicking off the year with a bang, was our fall SAC day: a day in which we celebrated our different cultures by decorating booths, with each house representing a different country. Each house united to celebrate one common goal, being number one. Willard Mundorf house emerged victorious, followed by Methfessel, Merrick, Partington, and Stettinius houses respectively. As last year’s champions, this was a confidence boost for Willard Mundorf, however once all of the points were tallied, including those awarded to Methfessel for creating the best booth embodiment of their country, and those given to Merrick for crafting the most dazzlingly decorated pumpkin, Methfessel rose five points above Willard Mundorf, with Merrick merely 15 points below.

SAC Day 2018

The results from SAC day only fueled the fervor as we moved into our House volleyball competition. We all piled into the gym, and joined together in a competitive, but friendly game of volleyball, and after the haze of the cheering and posters and face paint all faded, Merrick house appeared the winner, Methfessel finishing second, Partington third, Willard Mundorf fourth, and Stettinius in fifth. Neck and neck, we went into the food drive, an event where we not only come together in our house families, but in our school family as a whole, and do something to help others. Methfessel house was the first to reach 100% participation, and all of the houses followed suit, although not reaching complete participation, they were still able to contribute to a worthy cause.

With March Madness just around the corner, our current standings have Merrick leading with 625 points, and Methfessel not far behind with 589. Willard-Mundorf rounds out the top 3 with 511 points, and is followed by Stettinius with 502, and Partington with 372. We look forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings, and what House will ultimately emerge the winner. Will Willard-Mundorf be able to do it again? Or will a new house reign supreme? I do not know, but what I can tell you is that competitions at SIA truly encapsulate the Tiger spirit, and I am definitely looking forward to the joy and celebration in the events to come.

Madelyn D. ’21

Senior Signature Project

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Everyone must have the childhood memory of being attacked by this cliché question during family gatherings. My answer was always “a scientist!”. Please refrain from accusing me of being corny or uncreative. Since I was first introduced to the world, I could not think of another profession that provides so much meaning and happiness in my life. Scientific advancements make concrete, tangible influences by increasing our quality of life and making comfort accessible to the general public. Biology, chemistry, geology, all these natural sciences appeal to me, yet astronomy and physics fascinate me most. I could gaze at the night sky for hours and just wonder about how the stars move and evolve in the grand mechanics of the universe. My curiosity towards the guiding principles of the world we live in compel me to explore the realm of astrophysics.

Research is both the foundation and future of science. Passionate about astrophysical phenomena, I have always dreamed to do research in the area. Yet, as limited in terms of my scientific knowledge and resources, I did not expect to substantiate my studies in high school. SIA challenged me to reevaluate my potentials. This year, as part of the first senior class to participate in the Senior Signature Project, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to invest in my academic interests through the development of a thesis during a year-long research project.

Frankly, the starting phase of the project was difficult for me, as I was overwhelmed with a dazzling array of topics of interest and the prospect of being able to fully develop any of them as a one-person endeavor. . Thanks to the tremendous help of Mr. Crane as the project moderator and Mr. DeCorato as my faculty advisor, I finally found an achievable project of great interests and influences: an interactive educational video series on astronomy and astrophysics, with special focus on stellar evolution. The popularization of science has been my driving purpose as both an aspiring science student and a volunteer teacher. To explain an abstract, challenging concept in accessible language, the videos aim to invoke the general community’s interests towards stars, galaxies, and the beginning and fate of the universe. Some of the topics included are star formation, supernovae, quasar, black hole and Big Bang.

The project has only been made possible with the most supportive faculty here at SIA. So many teachers have generously offered me technical help, professional suggestions, or the sweetest moral support. I am especially grateful for Mr. DeCorato, who volunteers to meet with me multiple times throughout the cycle and always manages to enlighten me with his help and advice. His patience, good energy, and dry humor keep me passionate and confident about my work. The heartfelt realization that he is “passing on the kindness he experienced here as a student” inspires me to continue to pass on this proud tiger tradition.

Luna W. ’19

London Trip 2018

The 2018 London trip was certainly one to remember. For the first time in SIA history, the largest freshman class traveled across the pond. It was certainly a new experience for all of us, and for many, it was the first time away from home. Getting off a 6.5-hour flight and heading straight to our first destination was exhausting. However, the adrenaline of being in another country with all of your classmates overpowered the fatigue. On the first day, we were lucky enough to witness Armistice Day, which is their version of America’s Veterans Day. We were silent for 2-3 minutes, intently watching the guards walk and commemorate the people who served their country.

Class of 2022

After a jam-packed day, getting to the hotel around 9:30 was certainly a relief. As the days went on, we saw places like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon, The Globe, Tower of London, The London Eye and other breathtaking cornerstones of London. Learning about the history and background of all these places was interesting and being able to understand how they still play an important role in London today was even better. . We came into this trip as a group of eager freshmen, hoping to find our “people” for the next four years. We left the trip as a family. The days were long and I can confidently say I will never do that amount of walking ever again in my life, but I would do it all over again with the people I love most.

Hailey V. ’22