Northwood Robotics Goes 6-4 at World Championships 

Members of the Northwood Robotics team posed for a photo at the 2022 FIRST Robotics World Championships in Houston, April 2022 (Photo provided).

The Northwood Robotics Team travelled to Houston, Texas over spring break to compete in the FIRST Robotics World Championships. It’s the first time Northwood has qualified for the prestigious event. After a long season of preparation and hard work, they earned their place at the world championship, and the finished the competition with a winning record.  

Teams go through qualifications, which include 10 matches. At the end of qualifications, the teams that place in the top 8 then pick 3 other teams to be with them. Northwood’s robotics team won 6 and lost 4 in the qualifying round, which is outstanding for their first world championship, but unfortunately, they didn’t get picked to advance.  

There were 75 teams in their division and Northwood Robotics placed 46th based on points and placed in the top 20 based on wins and losses. 

The team was encouraged by the performance.

“It was fantastic. There were 25,000 people at the arena. We focused mainly on being a strong defensive team,” David Garvey, one of the team’s leaders, said. “We played some really good defense. We held some of the best teams in the world down really well. We were one of the best defensive robots there. It was an unreal experience going to such a huge event, it will be a tournament I remember for the rest of my life. We learned so much from this trip. Experiencing new things and meeting new people helped me develop as a person. Overall, it was a fantastic experience,” Garvey concluded. 

The robotics team found success despite having several issues getting to Houston. They were supposed to fly out of Albany at 9:30 on a Tuesday morning, but their plane broke down. The team began to worry that they wouldn’t make it to Houston. Thankfully, United Airlines gave them a coach ride to a hotel in New York, and with a 3:00 am start the next day, they finally made it to Houston.  

“We arrived in Houston at 8:30 a.m., and it took us an hour to get to the competition. We competed hard all day and got back to the hotel around 7:30 p.m. which gave us a bit of time to rest, but not much, because we had to be at the competition at 6 a.m. the next day,” Garvey said. 

The students who represented Northwood Robotics in the competition were Anthony Lavigne ‘22, Brian Bette ‘23, Brian Brady ‘24, David Garvey ‘22, Kiet Do ‘22, Matthew Burns ‘22, Minh-Khoi Nguyen ‘23, Mitchell Tuttle ‘24, Piper Teig ‘25, and Wyatt Wardlaw ‘24.  Mr. Martin is the coach and mentor of the team and Ms. Martin also serves as a team mentor.  

These students have worked hard all year and have talent and passion for robotics. They are happy with their performance in Houston and are optimistic about Northwood’s future in robotics. It was a great tournament for Northwood School and a valuable experience for students. 

Arts Showcase Declared “Fantastic!”

Kendin Basden ’22 performing at the Northwood Arts Showcase on April 27 at LPCA.

The Arts Showcase was last week on Wednesday, April 27th. Students from Northwood and other schools came together to put on a fantastic show for the Northwood community.

Students sang, played instruments, danced, and showed their paintings, drawings, illustrations and other visual arts.

Students worked for hours to be ready for this huge performance. Ms. Carmichael and Mr. Stewart organized the performance and played a huge role in the success of the show, which took place at the LCPA which allowed more students and family to come watch the show. 

Cedric Lemaire ’24 was extremely impressed with the talent displayed at the show. “It was fantastic. I didn’t know so many students at Northwood were that talented. The most enjoyable performance of the show in my opinion was Kiet. All performances were amazing, but when Kiet sang ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ by Frank Sinatra I went crazy! His singing was fantastic and had everyone in awe. Overall, I had a fantastic night, I look forward to the next Arts Showcase.” 

“Over 25 students, including skiers, dancers, soccer and hockey players came together to share their songs, dance moves, and artwork with the Northwood community,” said co-producer and music teacher Mr. Stewart. “While doing a production less than 48 hours removed from vacation is less than ideal, our amazing performers worked incredibly hard and put on quite a show! I thought we had moments of triumph, moments of resilience, and moments of joy, and that’s all you can ask for out of any performance. I’m so proud of all the work our students continue to do to help make both the visual and performing arts a vibrant part of their Northwood experience,” Stewart added. 

The Arts Showcase was brilliant. I was lucky enough to participate in the show and had so much fun preparing for the performance and performing. Northwood encourages all students to try new things and to challenge themselves. This Arts Performance provided an opportunity for experienced artists to display their skill and provided an opportunity for new artists to learn and perform. The Arts Showcase this trimester was fantastic, the Northwood community can’t wait for the next show. 

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Prom Set for May 19th with “Midnight Garden” Theme 

Midnight GardenStudents are extremely optimistic about this year’s prom, which will be the last social activity for the 2022 graduates. This year’s Northwood Prom theme is “Midnight Garden.” 

Prom is an opportunity for students to make memories they will remember for the rest of their lives; it also gives students something to look forward to after a long, stressful year at school.   

“I am really looking forward to this year’s prom, as a 2022 graduate this is a significant event for me and other 2022 graduates,” Aristide Gry ‘22 said. “I am optimistic about the prom theme; I think the prom committee chose very wisely this year and made a good decision choosing Midnight Garden.” 

The Northwood Prom committee chose “Midnight Garden” because they wanted the same feel as last year’s “Enchanted Garden,” but this year they wanted to step it up a notch. Students can use endless creativity to choose what they’re going to wear. Midnight Garden is also a very calm, creative vibe that lets students enjoy their big night and allows them to have some fun.   

Student activities coordinator Ms. Carrie Donatello, one of the organizers for the prom this year, shared some details of the event: “The prom will take place on Thursday, May 19th, a day before senior dinner. The prom will begin at approximately 7:00 p.m. and will be held on campus under the same giant tent used for senior dinner and graduation. Guests from outside of Northwood are welcome to join us this year,” Ms. Donatello, added, and “it will cost $70 per student.” The food offerings will be different this year. “There will be two food trucks, so there will be a variety of options for students to choose from,” said Mrs. Donatello. There will also be a pre-prom reception in the living room and a dessert table at the end of prom. 

Because the event is mostly outside and COVID-19 community levels are not high, the school will not require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative test. “We hope the whole school will participate,” said Donatello, “it will be like a formal party.” 

Start preparing your outfit for this year’s prom on May 19th. Remember, the theme is “Midnight Garden,” so dress appropriately. Northwood encourages all students to attend promit will be a night to remember. 

Robotics Team is Headed to Nationals 

The Northwood Robotics Team has qualified for its first-ever national championship. The Huskies are headed to Houston during spring break for the 2022 FIRST Championship.

Some of the member of the Northwood Robotics Team (6300), including (l to r) Mr. Jeff Martin, Kirk NguyenLe ’23, Mitchell Tuttle ’24, and David Garvey ’22 (Photo: .

The Robotics team qualified for the national championship by winning the “The Engineering Inspiration Award” at a regional competition earlier this season. This award recognizes a team’s engineering and design skills for their robot; it also recognizes how well they work together and work with other teams. The Northwood Robotics Team showed great perseverance and resilience which inspired many Northwood students and staff. 

The 2022 FIRST Championship is April 20 – 23 in Houston, Texas. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a robotics community that inspires young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. 

The Northwood students on Team 6300 always work to help other teams,” Mr. Jeff Martin, the mentor for the robotics team, said. “At this event they specifically gave a great deal of help (programming, parts, strategy, etc.) to the Lake Placid High School team,” Martin added.  

Martin believes the Huskies deserved the engineering award. “The judges at the event were impressed by how well kids knew and understood their robot design and how well they communicated their ideas to the judges,” Martin said.  

Earning a trip to nationals is a huge honor. “Winning this award qualified the team for the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship in Houston in April,” Martin said. “Only 3 awards at any competition will earn you a trip to World Champs. They also earned a $5,000 NASA sponsorship,” Martin boasted. 

“It was a fantastic tournament,” robotics team member David Garvey ‘22 said of the event that qualified the Huskies for nationals. “It was only our second tournament this year. It could have been better though. We got unlucky with some of our assigned alliances. However, we still succeeded.” 

Garvey has high hopes for the Huskies in Houston. “We are excited to compete against the top 600 teams in the world,” Garvey said. “We are aiming to place really high in that tournament and potentially win it.” 

Students interested in getting involved in robotics should reach out to Mr. Martin or Ms. Carmichael.  

This Robotics Team has inspired many students and faculty around campus. Northwood wishes the Robotics Team good luck in Houston and hope they come home with a trophy. 

Three Students Honored by Tech Organization 

Iva-Amanda Nelson ’23, Christie-Ann Nelson ’23, and Adria Tebo ’23 were recently honored by NCWIT (Photo: Mr. John Spear).

Iva-Amanda Nelson ‘23, Christie-Ann Nelson ‘23, and Adria Tebo ’23 were recently honored with National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Awards for Aspirations in Computing. The NCWIT works to increase the meaningful participation of girls and women in computing. 

Amanda won the Regional Aspirations in Computing Award, which is extremely difficult to win. Her sister Christie achieved a Regional Honorable Mention for the same award, and Tebo was named Regional Rising Star. They were recognized for their work in CAD Design, 3D Printing and Robotics courses, which are part of Northwood’s Innovation, Engineering, & Entrepreneurship Department and offered at Northwood’s Innovation Hub.

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors female, genderqueer, or non-binary students in 9th-12th grade for their computing-related achievements and interests. The award also encourages them to pursue their passion. 

“I am inspired by my achievement. Since a young age I have always been into STEM-related activities,” Amanda Nelson said. “This award means a lot to me. Since coming to Northwood, I have been open to so many new opportunities and am extremely grateful for the opportunity to win this award,” she added. 

The Northwood community is extremely proud of Amanda, Christie, and Adria. Northwood encourages more students to challenge themselves and participate in STEM-related opportunities at school. 

Opinion: Climate Change Causing Extreme Flooding in Australia

Photograph taken as flood levels were rising in Brisbane, March 2022 (Photo: Jaana Dielenberg
via Twitter @Jaana_Dielen).

Seventeen people dead. Houses, buildings, schools, and parks have been indiscriminately destroyed by terrible floods in eastern Australia. As an Australian, I am pained knowing my country is suffering due to the terrible floods.  

Recently in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia, there have been vigorous floods that are supposed to occur “once in 100 years.” Houses, buildings, schools, and parks have been destroyed by these terrible floods. These are the second “100-year floods” in the past 5 years.  

Residents of flood-prone regions in Australia are asking, “Is this the new normal?” I think it will become the “new normal”. Climate change is getting worse and worse every day, and we aren’t doing enough about it. Statistics prove these extreme weather events have been happening more frequently in recent decades. If it gets worse, it will become the new normal. 

Is climate change the issue? I feel as if it is. The Brisbane flooding is one of many natural disasters that have occurred recently. I spoke to Northwood’s Environmental Science teacher, Ms. Kelly Carter to ask if she thinks this will be the new normal and if this is a climate change-related disaster. 

“Yes, in ways this is the new normal, although what Australia is experiencing regarding extreme rainfall is due to a natural, cyclical, phenomena called La Nina that’s part of El Nino Southern Oscillation pattern,” carter said.  

Carter noted that most scientists now agree climate change is being caused by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels which add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, resulting in rising temperatures, melting glaciers and ice caps, sea level rise and overall changing weather patterns.  

Climate change “could be intensifying El Nino events and making these events happen more frequently,” Carter said. “Currently the globe is experiencing the effects of La Nina.”  

El Nino and La Nina are patterns of shifting winds and ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean between South America, Australia and SE Asia. “This pattern oscillates between El Nino and La Nina conditions every 3-7 years, bringing different weather patterns around the world, which is likely a major reason why Australia is experiencing record flooding,” Carter observed.  

Normally the trade winds blow from east to west, they reverse during an El Nino event and return to their normal direction during La Nina but with greater intensity. The stronger trade winds during La Nina events move warmer surface waters toward the coast of Australia giving them warmer and rainier conditions than the Americas.  

Carter sees climate change as a major cause of the extreme weather in Australia. “Overall, the average sea surface temperatures have risen 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1901 due to climate change, and warmer oceans will most certainly influence weather patterns and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation,” she said. 

I agree with Ms. Carter: climate change has been affecting the world severely. The world needs to wake up. If these new natural disasters become the “new normal,” humanity could become extinct. People need to have faith in science, there is scientific proof the floods in Australia are related to climate change. It is quite worrying knowing my country has been affected this badly, my attitude towards climate change has changed. This is a serious matter. 

Ukraine Crisis in the Classroom


The Russian invasion of Ukraine may be on the other side of the world, but in many Northwood classrooms, it’s what’s for homework and the topic of the day’s lesson. 

On February 23rd around 4:00 am, Russia started to invade Ukraine. This conflict has been an ongoing situation for many years. Russia and Ukraine had previously been close allies until Ukraine made gestures to join NATO when tensions between the neighboring countries arose. Russia was irritated when they heard Ukraine was attempting to join NATO because the two countries have been close for generations; Ukraine was part of the U.S.S.R. Russia began stationing troops around Ukraine, insisting they weren’t going to attack — until they did of February 23rd. Many innocent people have been injured or killed while Russia invaded and attacked Ukrainian military bases, infrastructure, and according to some news reports, civilian targets.  

In response to the current events happening in the world some of Northwood’s teachers have been keeping their students up to date.  

In the ninth grade Integrated Humanities class taught by Ms. Carmichael and Ms. Wardlaw, they had been listening to a podcast overviewing the events in Ukraine. The podcast touched on the people of Ukraine that are fleeing to surrounding countries, people going into Ukraine to help fight, families having to say goodbye to loved ones going to fight, commercial flights being cancelled because of the crisis, and media outlets backed by Russia being banned.  

Students also discussed war history and how this crisis compares to past events. Teachers consistently ask students’ opinions on what they were learning. They had previously written personal reflections on the crisis; in the future they will look back on what happened without any media bias.  

Also, to relate to students’ athletic interests, they discussed how Russia and Belarus, a close ally of Russia who provided support for the invasion, were getting kicked out of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Many athletic teams from around the work have objected to allowing Russia into international completions. 

Students in Ms. Odell’s and Ms. Riffle’s sophomore Integrated Humanities class are also comparing the Ukraine crisis to past wars to see how they correlate. “We learned about NATO, which was founded after World War II, and the Cold War and the Soviet Union and how it collapsed and how that relates to the current ongoing war and conflict in Ukraine and Russia,” Brian Brady ‘24 said. Brady also said he’s interested to see how the U.S. responds, and how the conflict will affect fossil fuel prices. Brady said he appreciated discussing current events in class. “It broadens our understanding of what’s happening in the world,” he said. 

Students in Mr. Nemec’s AP Macroeconomics class they have been learning about the Ukraine crisis from a financial standpoint. “In Economics, we’re trying to follow the economic impact [of the conflict],” Nemec said. “It’ll be interesting to see the effect of sanctions. The Russian economy will be directly impacted, and it’ll be interesting how their leadership navigates,” he added.  

Masks are Optional After Two Years of Mandate

Angelica Gonzalez ’22 (left), Mitchell Baker ’25, and other journalism students ceremoniously throw away their masks upon hearing news of Northwood going mask-optional (Photo: Mr. John Spear).

For the first time since March of 2020, we can see each other’s faces at Northwood School.

On March 2nd, the mask mandate will no longer be a rule. Students and teachers will not be required to wear a mask. This is a significant day for the Northwood community, the last time students could go with masks was when the school sent everyone home at the start of the pandemic two years ago this month.

Mr. John Spear, Assistant Head for School Life, wrote in a message to the school community, “The CDC and New York State Department of Health have each changed their guidance on indoor masking in schools. Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, March 2, students, employees, and visitors will no longer be required to wear a mask when indoors at Northwood School.”

Students are excited to get rid of the mask mandate. Sachiel Ming ‘24 said, “I am new this year, so I have never experienced a mask-free Northwood. I am tremendously excited to continue learning without a mask, it has been so annoying and uncomfortable wearing a mask.”

Ming thinks removing masks will bring the community closer together. “I feel without a mask students can interact with each other much easier.”

Although the mask mandate has been lifted, there are still a few rare occasions where students and staff must wear masks. “On the shuttle bus to the Hub and in a limited number of classroom settings. Students have been notified if they are regularly in those settings,” wrote Spear. “Another situation where a mask is required in school is when someone returns from the recently shortened five-day isolation after a positive test; recently recovered students are permitted to return to school on day six, but they must wear a mask on days six through ten,” he added.

It is also important that students know that wearing a mask is optional, not forbidden. If you are feeling sick or don’t feel comfortable without a mask, you should wear a mask.

Spear noted that the CDC and the New York health department allowed us to be mask free due to numerous factors, including:
> a decrease in positive cases
> continuous and sustained downward trend of cases
> 7-day average of positivity going down
> 7-day average cases children 5-18 are at the lowest point since the re-surge of cases
> hospitalizations have trended downward
> pediatric hospitalizations are low
> community immunity and vaccination rates continue to increase.

Spear warned that we may not have seen the last of masks at Northwood. “t’s important to remind everyone that if these metrics trend in the other direction,” he said, “the CDC or the NYS Health Department may revise guidance to again require masks or a future outbreak on campus may warrant requiring masks again.”

Ring the Bell for Northwood! 

This year marks the 6th annual Ring the Bell. The special day of fundraising creates enthusiasm, excitement, and support for Northwood School. The March 3rd event celebrates the spirit and generosity of Northwood School’s alumni, parents, and friends. There will be an online fundraiser which allows alumni and parents from all around the world to participate in this fantastic event. 

Mr. Tom Broderick is organizing this year’s Ring the Bell for Northwood. “Ring the Bell is the biggest celebration for Northwood,” Broderick said. “We call it a day for Northwood where we ask our alumni, students, and parents to give back to the school.”  

This is a perfect opportunity for the Northwood community to show their appreciation for the school. All funds raised through Ring the Bell go to the Northwood Fund which funds some of the school’s highest priorities, including financial aid and LEAP.  

Broderick emphasized that “This idea of a giving day is more of a celebration where we try to get everyone enthusiastic about the school.”  

There is a role for current students in the Ring the Bell. “What I would love is if every student gave their donation equal to their graduating year,” said Broderick, “so if you are a 2022 graduate you would donate $20.22.”  

Some students might ask why should I donate my hard-earned money to the school? Mr. Broderick said “To support the school. Student donations show that you love the mission of the school and are willing to give to support it.” 

Ring the Bell for Northwood gives the Northwood family an opportunity to give back. Parents, students and alumni can donate from all over the world. Ring the Bell is a potent annual celebration that is crucial for Northwood. This year the school would love to have 100% student participation in the donations to the annual fund. Give back to the school and donate equal to your graduation year. Click here to Ring the Bell for Northwood. 

Formal Dinner Performance Showcases Music Program

It has been a difficult winter, with sports teams hit by COVID outbreaks and the freezing cold weather has made it difficult to stay motivated. As the Trimester comes to an end, students look forward to the formal dinner. On Wednesday, Northwood hosted an exhilarating formal dinner.

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Formal dinners occur about once per month. It’s an occasion that allows students to dress up and socialize after a long exhausting term. After a scrumptious dinner there was a potent music performance produced by music teacher Mr. Adam Stewart and his students.

“What music will be played after the formal dinner?” Mr Stewart asked in an interview a few days before the show. “We’re doing a nice variety of music that our students have chosen. It is mostly music from movies or the radio, so hopefully our audience will recognize it and enjoy!”

Some of the songs included “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana and “Yesterday” by the Beatles. Students are excited to hear their peers perform these songs.

“We are always trying to do something special to make the formal dinner memorable,” Stewart said. “This time around the formal dinner lined up with the end of the trimester, so my classes have plenty of music to perform. I believe performing is a quintessential part of music learning. This opportunity to perform in front of the community is a chance to benefit our performers and listeners,” Stewart added.

Stewart hopes the music performance after the formal dinner will inspire more students to join the superb music program here at Northwood. “Our program took a brief hiatus prior to my arrival, so in many ways it feels like we’re waking up from a long winter’s nap. Many students are eager to pick up where we left off, while others have their own musical priorities. This gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate what we want out of this program while still prioritizing individual goals. Hopefully I’m doing a good job establishing a safe space to take risks as a performer here at Northwood so that students of all ability levels feel comfortable trying new things.”

The future of the music program is bright, many young talented students here at Northwood are eager to step into the music world and learn new things. Stewart is optimistic about the future of the program. “My plan is to prioritize supporting any music-based student initiatives. This means that if you want to learn an instrument, learn to sing, start a band, or learn to compose music, I’m here to support your goals.”

So far Stewart’s efforts have led to the formation of a Jazz Band and Acapella ensembles as well as monthly Open Mics at The Hub.

“I want each student at Northwood to feel supported exploring their musical curiosity, whether that involves studying to audition for All State, creating content for social media, or even mixing beats to support your freestyling. If you are willing to try, I’m here to support you!”

The formal dinner was a fantastic where students got to dress up, eat some fancy food and listen to some awesome tunes.

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