Independent Study on Animation Impress at School Meeting

Last Monday, during the school meeting, George Nguyen ’23 presented his topic on animation for the Independent Study Program. The Independent Study Program, a signature program at Northwood that the Peak Pathways Program will replace in the next school year, is a year-long, honors-level course offered to rising juniors and above. As the name suggests, the Independent Study Program is a student-led learning experience where students design their course, do their study, and present their findings during the final school meetings or at a symposium.

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The process of applying for an Independent Study begins the year before, in which students brainstorm for their topic of interest, then present an outline of what they want to accomplish to the Independent Study Committee. Post-approval, students will use the summer to prepare the plan for the upcoming school year.

Once the school year begins, students are connected to a mentor in their field of research. George and his brother, Tam, were linked with Dave Palmer through Mr. Spear. Palmer, a producer with 25 years of experience in TV animation, is known for his role as creator of Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues and The Backyardigans. Palmer and the brothers held a weekly meeting on Fridays.

Outside of weekly meetings, the twins’ work schedule is flexible during the week. However, they aim for nightly 2-3 hours of animation during the weekdays. During this period, they work on creating backgrounds, characters, and storyboards, as well as studying the animation process. The most considerable portion of work was actually spent revising and iterating after the initial design burst, according to George.

One of the difficult challenges with pursuing a student-led course is time management. “Sometimes, I had to do 100 to 200 frames a night,” said Tam. “Sometimes, I get bored or tired, and I miss a day, which piled up the schedule rather quickly.” He also mentioned what it meant to him. “I learned when to draw the line and know my limit better,” Tam added.

In contrast, one interesting discovery Tam made while designing the storyboard is how it should be approached. “At first, I would draw the frames from start to finish for a scene; then, I learned how he drew a storyboard from my friend. Now, I start by drawing the first, middle, and last frames, and then I would draw the frame in between them and keep repeating that,” Tam explained, “Doing it this way gave the characters more structure, and I made fewer mistakes, which meant less time spent redrawing.”

When asked about their favorite part of the process, George replied, “I enjoyed the drawing aspect of it, especially when I get in the flow of drawing the motion and seeing how everything works out.”

“I enjoyed assembling all the parts together, namely the background and the animation,” Tam remarked.

The end result of their studies will be a 3-to-5-minute-long animation, respectively. The framerates fluctuate from 12 frames to 24 frames per second, depending on the scene.

Humans of Northwood: Tam Nguyen ‘23

“I’m like 2 cm taller than George.

“There are benefits and disadvantages of having a twin. The thing I do is known to more people due to association if I do something and my brother does the same. If I do a good thing, many more people will know it; but if it’s a bad thing, then both he and I will be associated. Whenever I do bad things, he will also take the blame for them and vice versa. As far as benefits go, when I do something that I like, art, for instance, I always have someone to do it with me, and when I want to improve on said thing, I always have competition close to me to push myself to improve.

“My favorite piece of art that I have made might be this one (above). It’s a water drop from the sky. As you can see, I drew the background and a flipped reflection with a five-point perspective of the background on the drop. My inspiration behind it was reading a manga that had a concept about infinite megastructures (BLAME!!, by Tsutomu Nihei).

“My other contender for my favorite piece of art is this one (below). It took me around three days to complete. The work was me putting everything I knew on the canvas.

“I enjoy playing the flute, although mainly for fun. I’ve been playing for like six years, but the first two years, I didn’t play much. I was part of my middle school’s band program, which forced me to play an instrument, so I was just there doing the bare minimum. I got more serious coming into Year 10.

“I liked shrimp sushi, but I can’t eat it anymore. For some reason, I get a terrible stomach ache when I eat raw food. Now, my favorite food is probably pasta or a burger. I forgot about Vietnamese food, which is pretty good. I like all the classics: phở, bún, and bánh cuốn. I like bánh chưng rán as well.

“I have a birthmark on my right bicep—it looks like a bruise. It was bluish, but it has faded now. I can also play the flute better than George. I play Hanzo (from Overwatch). I want to be an animator in the future.”

As told to Hung Nguyen ’25. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge. Art by Tam Nguyen ’23.

Humans of Northwood: Hung (George) Nguyen ‘23

“I’m like 2 cm shorter than Tam.

“Imagine your hands. You’re the right hand and your twin is the left. Suddenly, your left hand starts moving away from your right and becomes better than it. That’s how I feel about being a twin. On a serious note, having a twin means there is always a sense of competition; but at the same time, I always have someone to do things with me. Having a twin also means I always have someone to share my experiences and hardships with.

“My favorite piece of art is one of the more recent ones I made. It’s a digital piece. I think it was the best one in terms of what I wanted to achieve and the style I wanted. It is a scenery background with a lot of buildings with a character, a fishman, in the center. This piece took me about a week.

(Art: George Nguyen)

“I like gaming: Genshin [Impact], Overwatch, Apex [Legends], Elden Ring. I also watch a bunch of anime. My favorite anime is probably Steins; Gate. My favorite manga is probably Fullmetal Alchemist. I heard the animation [of Fullmetal Alchemist] is good as well, but I haven’t watched it yet.

“Generally, I think Asian dishes are better than European dishes. I remember this one time my brother and I ate a rare fish that my aunt bought from the black market. It tasted like pork. It didn’t have the smell of pork, but the skin especially tasted like pork skin.

“In the future, I’d like to be an animator, but graphic designer is fine as well.”

Education in Jeopardy? The Emergence of Open Source Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the technology that has revolutionized how machines work, think, and learn. It is now an essential part of our daily lives, from voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to recommendation systems used by popular websites like Amazon and Netflix. Open source AI, on the other hand, refers to AI software that is freely available for anyone to access, use, and modify. This technology has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing developers to create new AI applications, collaborate with others, and contribute to improving existing systems. With open-source AI, the possibilities are endless, and the potential for innovation and creativity is enormous.

The paragraph above was written by ChatGPT, an open-source artificial intelligence chatbot initially released on November 30th, 2022. The prompt: “Write me an introduction paragraph about open-source artificial intelligence like a 10th grader.”

Across the globe, schools have undergone turmoil as they evaluate the potential, or severity, of open-source AI on education. Many allowed its use; others opted to blacklist it. This contrast can be seen between the New York City public schools, which opted for a 100% ban, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) system, which allows AI on papers as long as AI is cited as a source. Either way, its potency is undeniable. With only a sentence or two, paragraphs of words can magically appear out of thin air. For many students, this is a godsend.

“I think there’s no choice but to acknowledge that it [(AI)] exists and address it in some way. Pretending it’s not there, pretending that we’re not using it here, is definitely not the way forward,” commented Ms. Carmichael, Northwood’s Dean of Academic Affairs. “After all, I think one of the most important things we’re teaching students here is not how to write an essay about Romeo and Juliet: that is a tool that we are using to help them dig into themselves, their feelings, their thoughts, how they interact and make sense of the world, and create meaning.”

Ms. Carmichael then explained what that means for their duties as teachers: “We have to respond to the world that we are in, and if that’s our job, to help students navigate, make sense of, and express themselves in the world, we also have to help them navigate AI. I think we have a duty to help students make ethical and responsible choices and to help students truly understand the pros and cons,” she clarified. “You may use it; you may get away with it. What have you gotten out of that experience? I hope that our students will reflect on that level. I also don’t think it should just be a solely disciplinary issue because it’s a learning opportunity as well.”

It is noteworthy to mention that, in hindsight, this is not the first time the academic world has faced a breakthrough invention. Spin back a few decades, and the Internet was just created. Initially, many schools opposed the idea of the Internet since they believed it debilitated the idea of reading a proper book or searching for information using an encyclopedia. In the present day, the use of the Internet is integral to a modern-day school environment, whether for teaching, studying, or communicating. For instance, the readily available sources of information are a massive boost for students when it comes to information that cannot be found in a traditional library. Artificial intelligence shouldn’t be dismissed as the Internet was.

Predicting the future of technology is always a challenging task. Still, based on current trends and advancements in AI, it’s safe to say that we can expect to see AI integrated into almost every aspect of our lives in the next 30 years.

One of the most significant changes we can expect is the rise of autonomous systems and robotics. AI-powered robots are already being used in manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare, and we can expect to see this trend continue and expand into new areas like agriculture, construction, and even space exploration.

Another area where we can expect to see significant AI advancements is in healthcare. AI can help doctors and researchers to analyze large amounts of data to identify disease patterns, develop new treatments, and improve patient outcomes. In addition, AI-powered medical devices can help to monitor patients in real time, alerting doctors to potential problems before they become critical.

AI can also transform the way we interact with technology. With natural language processing and computer vision technologies, we can expect to see more intuitive and responsive interfaces, making it easier for people to communicate with machines.

However, there are also challenges associated with the widespread adoption of AI, including ethical and legal concerns, such as ensuring transparency and accountability, as well as data privacy and security issues. Overall, the development and implementation of AI will require careful consideration and collaboration between policymakers, technology companies, and the general public to ensure its benefits are maximized while minimizing its risks.

Did you catch it this time, reader? Starting at “Predicting the future…”, the segments describing AI’s role in the future were written by ChatGPT, which may have been a giveaway due to the out-of-place short bursts of paragraphs.

“We might be conducting classes in a very different way and doing assignments that look and feel very different, but five years from now, once we are accustomed to all this [AI], we will know how to use them in the larger world,” Ms. Carmichael expressed.

Ultimately, with artificial intelligence, education may face the dawn of a new age. However, it is still too early to grasp whether AI is malicious or beneficial in many aspects of human life. It is best to approach AI with an open mind and moral conscience for now.

8 Ninth Graders Published in Teen Anthology

Students published in the Adirondack Center for Writing anthology of teen writing Wild Words pose with the book in Saranac Lake (Photo: Mrs. Carmichael).

On Saturday, April 22, the Adirondack Center for Writing launched its Wild Words Anthology, a collection of writings from students in the North Country region, which included eight students from Northwood’s class of ‘26. The book featured works by 70 authors in the North Country region. The works students submitted included poetry (4 students), memoirs (3), and one fictional story.

Mrs. Carmichael, the Dean of Academics and Integrated Humanities I teacher, expressed, “It’s a huge accomplishment—I’m happy with how things worked out and how the publication looks, and I’m very excited for next year.”

Throughout the school year, students in Humanities I focus on six main writing units: poetry, memoirs, and short stories. Each unit consists of two drafts per writing piece and a final version towards the end of the year. During the weeks leading up to the Wild Words Submission, the students did a mini-unit on revision, where they were introduced to six different revision techniques. Once they had picked one writing piece in particular, the students went through multiple revisions before submitting the final version for a grade. Note that the submission to the Wild Words Anthology itself is purely optional.

Revisions, of course, were no easy chores. Each round of revision was a deep delve into the writing itself and not a collection of small changes here and there. In addition, young writers may often feel that the work is most completed during the first draft, and the idea of revision—to throw what they had created away and restart—can hurt and give a sense of fabrication.

However, Mrs. Carmichael greatly values the importance of revisions. “Revision is writing. The first draft is necessarily writing: it’s creativity and sometimes brain dumping. The first draft is trying to articulate a thought or a feeling in a story,” she explained. “Revising a piece of writing reinforces said thoughts and feelings. To me, that is the craft of writing, and it is a challenge to be able to do deep revisions at their age,” she later commented.

Given the two initial iterations alongside the revision unit, students were able to put out expressive yet cohesive pieces of writing. Furthermore, they were allowed to pick any pieces of writing they had created during the year. Mrs. Carmichael attributed this to the engagement of the class, the willingness to go the extra mile to share their works with the broader community, and ultimately the sense of pride that came with what the students had accomplished.

This experience also goes to highlight the Integrated Humanities class at Northwood. As a project-based, double-period course, students are much better supported to create projects than traditional, in-class papers usually assigned in English classes. Also, the course offers connections to the outside world, as shown with the Wild Words Anthology. It is truly remarkable, the possibility of creating works in class that can be read by hundreds of people all over the North Country and beyond.

“I have received messages from many of the parents that, I assume, are very proud of their kids and excited that they had this kind of opportunity,” Mrs. Carmichael remarked.

Van Slyke’s Art a Wintering: Reflection of a Journey

Between March 2nd and the 11th, Northwood art teacher Ms. Ingrid Van Slyke hosted an exhibition of her paintings at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA). The showcase featured 24 pieces, all with a central theme surrounding winter. This was Van Slyke’s thesis exhibition to advance towards completing her Master of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)—a journey four years in the making. She titled it “Wintering: The Nature of Resilience.”

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When asked about her favorite piece from the gallery, Ms. Van Slyke replied: “It’s called ‘The Road Home.’ It’s one of the smaller pieces and is painted in soft pastel. The painting depicts somebody’s driveway that I frequently walk by when I go for a walk on John Brown Rd.” The Road Home was displayed alongside the exhibition’s thesis at the gallery’s forefront. “I used it as a metaphor for a journey in life. There are snow tracks and bumpiness on the road, which contrasts everything else around. In that sense, it represents the uncertainties in our lives—at times, it can be bumpy, and other times it can go smoothly,” she added.

Four years ago, Ms. Van Slyke began her journey as a student pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree. Amongst the requirements for graduation were the inclusion of a thesis show exhibition and a thesis paper to complement it. After that, she invited three professors from her thesis committee to arrange a walkthrough of the gallery, where they would ultimately evaluate the exhibit.

Ms. Van Slyke spent three years creating the art gallery—an incredible feat considering her full-time job at Northwood.

The planning of the exhibition began a year ago when Ms. Van Slyke reached out to the LPCA to find a date for the show. After discussions, they agreed upon a date, which was the beginning of this March. Fast forward to a week before the opening reception, she brought over her now-completed artworks; and, with the help of Anya from the LPCA, set up the gallery. Everything was curated—works had to be level and in proper placements.

The exhibit was a success. The opening reception took place on the evening of Friday, March 3rd, when around 80 people attended.

Ms. Van Slyke describes the theme behind her show: “I have been painting winter for three years—it’s an environment that I like to paint a lot. The term winter does not refer to snow. For me, it was a personal time. Last year, I lost my mom, my dad, and my mother-in-law, all in a short period of time. With loss like that, people go through what I call wintering: it’s a time where you delve into your conscience and try to figure out things in life.” Afterward, she explained its connection to the gallery: “I used the showcase as a metaphor for wintering because when we look out the window here, everything is blanketed in snow. Everything becomes much more still. Then, spring comes, and life goes on.”

Study of Concussed Fruit Flies May Add to Understanding of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Abby with the HIT Device (Photo: Hung Nguyen ‘25).

Advanced STEM Research is a unique, year-long course offered at Northwood. Students can pick their topic of interest, devise a plan of operation, conduct experiments, and ultimately present their findings at the Hub in the final weeks of school. This year, Abby Sinclair ‘23 is researching the effect of diets on fruit flies’ ability to withstand concussions.

The experiment begins by feeding two fruit flies with two different diets. One group is fed a controlled diet, primarily carbohydrates, while the other will be fed a keto diet with more protein. The flies will then be struck at different angles using the High Impact Trauma (HIT) device, and observation will be made within 24 hours. Noted details include mortality rates and aggressive behavioral patterns. According to Sinclair, Sinclair hopes to see whether the data results can translate to humans with a traumatic brain injury, given that humans and fruit flies share 75% of the disease-fighting genes.

Proceeding with the preliminary observation, Abby will run three additional treatments: the control diet group, the keto diet group before and after being concussed, and the keto diet group after being concussed with the control diet group before the concussion. The upcoming procedure will be for the control group. The flies will be concussed at four combinations of hits: one hit at 40°, two hits at 40°, one hit at 90°, and two hits at 90°, respectively. After that, Sinclair will monitor the flies for the following 48 hours instead of 24 hours to record the mortality rate in the period. As mentioned, she will note any behavioral changes resulting from diet and hit combinations.

Abby developed the basic experimental design over the summer. “Originally, I came up with this idea while talking to my cousin, who was experimenting with reducing mortality in fruit flies. It piqued my interest, and the materials were accessible, so I contacted Mrs. Walker in the summer to see how we could make this happen. Once the school year started, I talked with Mr. Roy for guidance in creating the HIT device,” Sinclair said.

“I decided to take this course because I wanted to be challenged in Biology and get a taste of lab work,” she said. “I’ve liked the independence of structuring my time and how the project will turn out, the ability to make my own decisions, working out the process of dealing with fruit flies and the process of trial and error. I’ve learned the patience needed to carry out the experiment. There have been obstacles throughout the project. One instance is trying to keep the fruit flies alive, especially during the past winter break. Ultimately, I’m enjoying the class because I have learned a lot and would encourage others to take it,” added Sinclair.

Sinclair will pursue a pre-med curriculum in college, where she will continue her studies in Biology. She aspires to one day become an anesthesiologist.

Visual Arts at Northwood: “It Starts with a Line”

Artist: Giordan Gulati ’24

In addition to the many programs offered at Northwood, it also offers a humble but proud visual arts program. In charge of the classes is Ms. Van Slyke, a painter and teacher who has hosted eight workshops, and 18 juried exhibitions and won 9 awards for her work with pastels. She began her tenure at Northwood in 2009 and has been part of the community ever since.

In the Drawing and Painting class, students study Pablo Picasso and his artworks in Cubism. There, they learn about Cubism, watch a documentary on Picasso, and understand the world around the artists at the time and how it influenced their art. They are creating a still-life Cubist drawing and will soon begin a Cubist painting.

Artist: Giordan Gulati ’24

In Adirondack Art Exploration, students learn about folk art and Adirondack artists. One of these artists is Edna West Teall, a deceased folk artist who lived in the Adirondacks. They learned of her style of art and put their learning into practice. Other notable artists students learned about: Georgia O’Keeffe, Harold Weston, Rockwell Kent, and Winslow Homer. In addition, students also explored their art in person. They have gone to the Museum of Plattsburgh to see the art of Rockwell Kent in person and visit a local artist in Saranac Lake to appreciate her art gallery and discuss with her. Not to mention, students will sometimes be able to go outdoors to paint in the Adirondacks.

Intertwined with the classes, the rising artists also learn different art techniques: drawing perspectives, buildings, landscapes, and portraits. It all started with a line. Then, line thickness is added to the equation. After that comes value contrast (shading). Eventually, it comes to the larger context: composition, where to place things on the canvas, and color. Ultimately, students will learn more and more art techniques as they hone their skills and learn about the different genres of visual art.

Artist: Tam Nguyen ’23

Building students’ art portfolios is one of the program’s most significant points of pride. “Every year, we have students go to major art schools, which is huge for a small school like us: Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Pratt Institute, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Otis [College of Art and Design], and all sorts of visual art schools. That’s a good background to have for a small school like ours,” expressed Mrs. Van Slyke. Even without an AP Art department, Northwood has been able to support emerging students in building their art portfolios. With that being said, those in pursuit of fine arts will often have supplemental aid elsewhere.

“I think [the art program] enriches the population to a great extent,” Van Slyke said. “I’d have students come in that haven’t had art in years, especially some of our students who are more geared toward athletics. They come in here and are a little afraid that they haven’t taken drawing or painting since they were kids and love it. Now all of a sudden, they find that they’ve got other people in this room that’s like them, and they allow themselves to be okay with failing, learning slowly and then skill building.

Artist: Giordan Gulati ’24

I’m thinking of my drawing class right now because there’s a group of boys there and they’re so focused and into drawing that it relaxes them. There’s so much stress in other parts of our lives because everyone is so busy that drawing and art allow them to be single-minded, focus on what’s in front, and let everything else go. This year, I’ve seen so many students who have never taken art latch on to it and enjoy coming to class and enjoy art. I think that’s how it enriches kids. They may never draw again or take another art class but now they know that they can draw, paint, know that they can find a place of peace—a place where it clears their mind—and that they can do it.”

Humans of Northwood: Mr. Santos Chaparro III

With the coming of the second semester of the 2022-23 school year, Northwood School welcomes a new member into its community, Mr. Santos Chaparro III, the new Director of Food Service. Originally from New Jersey, Santos moved to the Adirondacks 24 years ago when he attended Paul Smith’s College for Culinary Arts. He currently resides in Lake Placid with his wife and son. The Mirror sat down with Santos to learn about his life and journey to Northwood.

When I was younger, I had asthma and allergies, so I spent a lot of time home with my mother. We would pass the time watching cooking shows, and I would try to help her in the kitchen. As years went on, I grew out of being ill, especially when I moved up here to go to Paul Smith’s College. Initially, I was going to school for medical technology in North Jersey.

When I first started at Paul Smith’s, I fell in love with the area because I saw the towering snowbanks—they were taller than I was. You would hear a guy blowing snow all over the place, and you couldn’t even see over them. It felt like this little tunnel you were going through, except it was all snow. It was gorgeous. ‘Oh my God, this is where I need to be,’ and I have loved it ever since.

Before I came here, I worked at the Crowne Plaza many years ago when it was called the Holiday Inn. After that, I went to Lisa G’s and spent seven years there. I then moved on to the Lake Placid Conference Center for eight years.

Working at a school is the same idea. It’s still food service; I know the business. I built rapport with customers, clients, and vendors, which has made it a clean transition thus far.

My favorite food is fall cooking, such as stews and casseroles. The smell of decaying leaves makes me happiest, especially when cooking, and the windows are always open. My hobbies are fishing when springtime-summer hits, cleaning the house and doing laundry, which sounds odd. I grew up always making my bed and ensuring the room was picked up and tidied. Other than that, I enjoy working out, reading, and watching the news.

I always saw my passion [in cooking] as a hobby because it’s easy, and everything else is just duty, like management and payroll. It feels simple: I can make soup and cook food whenever. It’s more about focusing on attention, verbal interactions, and networking. That’s always the best part—I’m no longer being bogged down in the kitchen or office.

As told to Hung Nguyen ’25. Photo provided.

Humans of Northwood: Ms. Jill Walker

I grew up in Minnesota, in a neighborhood where kids just ran around and played and had fun. We were outside all the time, and I played many sports. I was a good student; I wasn’t a great student. Very early on, I learned that I loved math and science. I went to college to be a math major and then switched because I fell in love with biology. I originally thought I would be a math teacher since I loved working with people, and I didn’t like sitting still. So, I thought I’d be a teacher there and then.

I got involved in some scientific research, and I loved it. I received my master’s degree and was going for a Ph.D. and becoming a college professor, but I realized a large part of that was writing grants and looking for money and not really doing the hands-on stuff, which is what I liked. So, I went back, and after I got my master’s, I started teaching high school.

That’s been the last 24 years. I’ve been teaching high school for a long time and have taught at the university level. I taught for two years at the university and did research. Before I went to grad school, I worked at Outward Bound. I was an Outward Bound instructor for three years, where we took kids in the woods and taught them how to hike, whitewater, canoe, backpack, and camp. I did that for three years, and I loved it, but three years was long enough—I didn’t need to keep doing it. I went to graduate school after that. So chronologically, it was college, Outward Bound, graduate school, and I started teaching high school.

My husband and I lived in Rochester, NY, about four hours away. And every time we had time off, we would drive here to do outdoor activities like rock climbing and camping. I was teaching there, and my husband works for a publishing company so that he could work from home. He still works from home, so we decided to go to the Adirondacks because I can get a teaching job anywhere, and I taught at the public school here in town for a year. Then, I came to Northwood for one year to teach biology. It was a maternity leave job. As it turned out, the position became vacant after that year, so they reached out to me, and I continued working here. This is my 19th year now.

My favorite cuisine is probably Indian food, but anything ethnic would do: Ethiopian, Korean, Chinese, or anything with many flavors. I do like spicy food also. I like to ride my mountain bike, cross-country ski, and canoe. My biggest hobby is my dog, who’s 16 now. I also like to read, cook and garden, so there’s a lot of them. My favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption. It might be an older person kind of movie. I don’t know if it would resonate with a younger person, but it’s an excellent book.

One of the things people might not know about me is that I spent over a decade as a high-level rock climber. That was my sport; we, my husband and I, climbed all over the country, and I loved it. It was only when I got into teaching that I started running out of time for it. I don’t do it at all, mainly because I’ve hurt my feet doing it too much for so many years, but I’ve rock climbed all over the place.

My teaching philosophy is not that any student leaves my classroom remembering a detail. The number the bones in the body, etc.? Whatever. It’s that they have enjoyed the class or learning the material enough that when they leave, they might want to look more into it. I don’t have any goal for all my students to become biologists.

It’s more if you’ve learned something in my class that you thought was interesting or fun, then maybe ten years from now, you’re reading the newspaper, or you hear something, and you’re like, oh, that’s cool, so you read or listen to it. It’s just about igniting an interest in science in the world around us and making kids enjoy learning and learn how their brains work.

I think any kid can do whatever they want now. Maybe you’re not going to be an NHL player. Perhaps you’re not going to be a Yale University doctor. But I think you can do anything if you are passionate about something. If you want to be a doctor, you can be a doctor. What are you willing to give to it, though? Academically, if you find what you’re passionate about, you can do anything you want, and it’s just a matter of putting in the time and work. I hope I can help kids learn that they can do anything they put their minds to if they’re willing to put in the time to do it and that they shouldn’t be stopped by thinking they’re not smart enough.

As told to Hung Nguyen ’25. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

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