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.

New Vietnam LEAP Offers Travel, Cultural Experience 

The many foods of Vietnam will be a feature of this LEAP (photo from “Vietnamese Street Food,” by Tracy Lister and Andreas Pohl.

With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, we look forward to the second rounds of LEAP activities. An interesting and new LEAP course that Northwood is offering is a trip to Vietnam for 2 weeks.  

The trip is led by Ms. Marcy Fagan, who told The Mirror, “The goal is to immerse ourselves in the culture, history, geology, and cuisine of Vietnam. We will travel from Hanoi down the coast to Ho Chi Minh City. The trip is two weeks, and I am excited to experience Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, where we will hike, kayak, and swim in caves. I’m also very excited to learn about the history and explore the tunnel system in Ho Chi Minh City. And I love pho, so I can’t wait to eat authentic pho!”  

Sophia Sherman ‘25 will also go to Vietnam. Sherman recently completed the highly successful Kilimanjaro LEAP and will take her second LEAP course of the year. She is looking forward to this LEAP because she sees it as more of a vacation compared to Kilimanjaro. Sherman is also looking forward to being on the beach and being with all her friends.  

Chrissie Nelson ‘23 will head to Vietnam shortly after she graduates on May 20. “I am excited to go on the cruise ship and see the water puppet show and hike and see the many different geographical features of the country,” she said.  

Abby Sinclair ‘23 is excited about the group that’s going to Vietnam. “I am very happy with it; it is a very diverse group of people which I hope to get to know better.” Sinclair added that she is looking forward to being in a foreign country and the water activities.  

Northwood is very excited and proud to be able to put on these international LEAP courses and hopes more students will be able to participate in these international travel opportunities in the future. 

Students Observe Ramadan


Every year, Muslims around the world come together to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. It is estimated that up to 1.9 billion people celebrate Ramadan yearly, and 2.2 million people celebrate it in the United States yearly. The holy month of Ramadan changes every year because it is in accordance with the Islamic calendar, which follows the lunar phases of the moon. This year Ramadan was from March 22 to April 20.

Ramadan consists of a period of fasting from sunrise to sunset every day for 30 days. There are a number of reasons why Muslims fast. First, it is believed that this is the month that God revealed the first verse of the Quran to the prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him). Second, fasting is to show appreciation and gratitude for what one has in his life; fasting is a reminder of all the things one usually has. It is also a time when Muslims have the opportunity to become closer to God and more devoted to their religion. Third, and beyond religious reasons, Ramadan also teaches life lessons, such as self-control, and empathy for those who are less fortunate, thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity.

This year, Northwood had three students who celebrated Ramadan, Aly El Mofty ‘23, Ahmed El Ganainy ‘23, and Mariama Thioubou ‘23. “It has been difficult fasting due to having to train and do school,” El Gainainy said. “It is our (Ahmed and Aly’s) very first time ever fasting outside of our home country, so it is a very new experience for us,” he added.

We wish Aly, Ahmed, and Mariama a Ramadan Kareem!

Humans of Northwood: Cam Abel ’23

“I started playing hockey when I was really little because my dad played in college. I’ve loved hockey since I started playing, I’ve always been excited for hockey season, and when I saw an opportunity to come here and play year-round, I decided to take advantage of it. I came midway through my sophomore year because my old team chose not to have a season because of COVID, so I decided I needed somewhere to go in January. My dad played with Mr. Spear in college, and that’s how I found out about Northwood, and I never looked back. I’m pretty happy I came.

“Just being in Lake Placid is pretty amazing. It’s also one big turn-on for the school that it’s here. I used to come up for hockey tournaments and loved it, and having the ability to be up here almost year-round has been really fun. I love the outdoors and being in a place where basically all you do is be outdoors – I love that! I love skating on the lake, hiking up mountains, and mountain day is pretty fun. It’s one of my favorite parts of the year. Last year I hiked up Marcy, and it was awesome. But yeah, just being in nature a lot and having the friends you meet in town, just doing all that has been fun.

“I’m going to Providence College [next year]. Hopefully, I will play club hockey there, but I’m really looking forward to being in the city. It’s a much different environment. It’s a pretty small college, so hopefully, it’ll be a lot like Northwood, where you know a lot of people and you sort of say hi as you pass them. Hopefully, I’ll have a good time there. I have no idea what I want to do after that. I’m excited for Providence.

“My hometown Williamstown [Massachusetts] is a lot like Lake Placid. Really small town with lots of tourists. College students make it interesting when they’re there. The town gains about half its population when the students are here, which is fun, and I couldn’t be happier growing up there. It’s a lot like here. You know everyone, it’s safe, you can be outside, your parents can just let you go free, and they don’t have to worry about you. I’m thankful I got to grow up in a place like that. Especially growing up, being able to use the college facilities, messing around on the turf, the basketball court, and the hockey rink has been pretty awesome. I’m lucky to have grown up there.

“In these last few months, I really want to focus on just the friends I’ve made here, finishing out the time with them, and just hanging out and enjoying my last little bit here because I’ve loved this place, and I mean, I would stay here another 3 years if I could. I’m finishing hockey season in a few weeks and playing some golf this spring. I want to enjoy the outdoors a little more. I want to have some fun with my friends and try and enjoy these last few months together.”

As told to Gus Garvey ’25. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.


“Return to Auschwitz” Filmmaker Speaks to Students

Vladimir Munk with filmmaker Julie Canepa. (Photo from “Return to Auschwitz: The Survival of Vladimir Munk”)

At a recent Monday Seminar, Northwood School experienced an enlightening talk by Julie Canepa on Vladimir Munk and his incredible story. The intention of this seminar was to inform and answer any questions that Northwood students and faculty had on Munk’s life story. To provide context for the seminar, students previously spent class time watching Return to Auschwitz: The Survival of Vladimir Munk in their respective history classes. This documentary is about Holocaust survivor Vladimir Munk, who returns to the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp 75 years later.

The film follows Munk as he shares his story and experiences in the Holocaust. Throughout the documentary, Munk reflects on the horrors he witnessed and how they have impacted his life since. He also speaks about the luck involved in his road to freedom and how he found love amidst the turmoil. Most importantly, he talks about the life he lived beyond his time spent in the concentration camps. It gives a refreshing look into the adaptation of the human spirit. The documentary is a powerful reminder of the human casualty of the Holocaust and the importance of preserving its memory.

Julie Canepa lives and works in Plattsburgh, about an hour north of Northwood School. Humanities department chair Ms. Heather Odell noted that Canepa’s proximity made it possible for the filmmaker to visit Northwood and “provide us with a first-hand look at what surviving the Holocaust really meant,” Odell said.

“Return to Auschwitz: The Survival of Vladimir Munk” was shown on PBS and is available for rent on Amazon Prime.

Julie Canepa met Vladimir Munk at Meadowbrook Healthcare, a skilled nursing care facility in Plattsburgh where Mr. Munk lives. Ms. Canepa performed a mini concert there, and afterward, she learned that Mr. Munk was a survivor of the Holocaust. Ms. Canepa then revisited Mr. Munk to talk about his story, which soon became a regular occurrence. She began to learn more about Mr. Munk and formed a powerful bond with him. Fast forward, Mr. Munk received an invitation to Auschwitz for the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, along with a guest of choice. Mr. Munk was hesitant to make the long journey but agreed and invited Ms. Canepa to accompany him. She shared this emotional trip with Mr. Munk. She filmed it along the way, incorporating multiple informational points of view through the concentration camps with knowledge known to only Mr. Munk.

Ms. Odell and Academic Dean Ms. Noel Carmichael were the leading force behind making this possible. They believed in the necessity to bring light to this survivor’s story and continue the memory of those who survived the Holocaust and those who fought trying. Ms. Odell said the goal for bringing in Julie Canepa to speak about the documentary “was for students to be able to form a personal connection to the memory of the Holocaust. When historical events occur before students are old enough to derive meaning from their significance, these connections are paramount in keeping history alive.” Mrs. Odell talked about how her classes were affected by this experience and said, “Students have written Mr. Munk letters, inquiring about his favorite football club to what it was like to relive Auschwitz. The Northwood community has kept our conversation alive by engaging in conversations about what life was like during WWII and the Holocaust. Students have also commented on Mr. Munk’s energetic nature and what it takes to turn 98, which he will do at the end of the month.” Not only did Munk’s story alter some of the students’ previous perspectives, but it also affected Ms. Odell herself. “Mr. Munk’s story gave me an opportunity to revisit this impactful time in history. His life journey is astounding, and we have so much to learn from his courage. I’m in awe of his resilience, bravery, and intellect. There are no words to capture what Mr. Munk has endured. Listening to his narrative is a privilege.”

The events and specifics of Munk’s story were striking to many students. “It affected me quite a lot. I saw what he had to go through, and I empathized for him,” Mitchell Baker ’25 said. Baker also thought that Canepa coming to speak added value to the learning experience. “It made it more personal…her actually being there and telling the story made it feel like it was real, rather than watching it on just a TV or reading out of a textbook. It helped me engage more.”

Multiple other students also agreed that the inclusion of Ms. Canepa in the seminar added a realness to them. “It was a very eye-opening experience,” A.J. Etumnu, Jr. ’25 said.

Northwood Trustee Elected State Supreme Court Justice

Ms. Allison McGahay (photo provided).

Northwood School Trustee Allison McGahay was elected to the state Supreme Court in November, and she will be sworn in to serve a 14-year term next month. The New York State Supreme Court is the highest trial court in New York. It has general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases and hears cases involving contracts, torts, real estate, and criminal offenses. The New York State Supreme Court is organized into four judicial departments, each of which is responsible for hearing cases in a particular geographic area of the state. McGahay received the most votes of the six candidates who ran for the three open seats. She is the first woman to win a State Supreme Court seat in the 4th Judicial District, which encompasses the Adirondacks.

McGahay is a Lake Placid local who lives in town with her husband, Bill, and two young children, Liam and Grace. She has been a lawyer for 17 years and graduated from Albany Law school. In 2020, she joined the Northwood School Board of Trustees, where she serves on the legal committee.

McGahay began her election bid in 2021 and campaigned all over the state for over a year. She spent her days visiting small Adirondack towns and the Albany region. In the Adirondacks, her yard signs were ubiquitous.

Her jurisdiction ranges from north of Albany to the Canadian border. Once sworn in, she will split her time between Lake Placid, Elizabethtown (the seat of Essex County), and Albany.

She is a dedicated attorney, mother, Trustee, and now State Supreme Court Justice!

Pink Out Cancer Fundraiser Extra Special This Year 


To help show support for breast cancer awareness month, Northwood’s community service club, CARE, organizes a “Pink Out” each year in conjunction with an athletic contest. A Pink Out consists of students going to a home athletic contest, typically a hockey game, wearing as much pink clothing or accessories as they can. 

Pink Out is extra special this year because a beloved member of the Northwood faculty is fighting breast cancer. “This year is more meaningful to me and my classmates because we are all rooting for Mrs. Walker during her fight against breast cancer.” Walker is currently in treatment at UVM Medical Center and the entire Northwood Community wishes her well.  


This year CARE purchased pink tape so the players can show their support while playing as well. CARE chose Saturday, October 22 to host the pink out. This weekend, all three hockey teams are home as well as some other athletes and independents. Choosing this weekend allows for a larger crowd to come and support. The timing also gives students more opportunities to support each of our hockey teams.  

During the game, Care will ask students and parents for donations that go towards breast cancer research and treatment.  

“Banned Books Week” Draws Attention to Censorship

Original illustration by Julia Turner ’23.

Did you know that the Harry Potter series was banned? Banned Books Week is a global event around the end of September every year, originating in 1982. In fact, this past week was Banned Books Week (September 18th-24th). Its significance lies in the celebration of intellectual freedom and raising awareness on the effect of censorship, starting with books. The chosen theme for this year is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” 

Banned Books Week was first founded by activist Judith Krug, in 1982. The goal was to bring to light the censorship of books to United States citizens. This was following the Island Tree School District v. Pico case, which resulted in the Supreme Court ruling on June 25th, 1982, that school officials do not have the permission to ban books from libraries solely due to their content. 

 The cause for the challenge/ban of these books through the last four decades were often due to their nature of containing profanity, sexual explicitness, abuse, and gender diversity.  

The five most challenged books across the United States this year (in descending order), according to the American Library Association (ALA)’s Office for Intellectual Freedom are: Gender Queer, by Maia Kobabe; Lawn Boy, by Jonathan Evison; All Boys Aren’t Blue, by George M. Johnson, Out of Darkness, by Ashley Hope Perez; and The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. 

Why is book banning and censorship important to Northwood? Banned Books Week raises awareness of censorship to the school, which has secluded itself as a private institution, according to Ms. Noel Carmichael, Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs. 

“We’re a little bit sheltered from this issue [of censorship], in a way, because, as an independent school we have a lot of freedom,” Carmichael said. “Every one of our English teachers and other courses gets to choose what they want to include in their courses that we vet internally, but we don’t have to respond to any external source for our reading material. So, we have a lot of freedom. But what that means is that we are ignorant of these issues. We can read whatever we want, but there are some people who can’t, and therefore, we have that problem of not knowing it’s an issue because it’s not an issue for us.” 

Back to the beloved Harry Potter books. According to the American Library Association, the popular children’s series, which has been made into wildly popular movies, are the most challenged books of this century. The most recent occurrence was in a Nashville Catholic school in 2019, according to The Tennessean newspaper.  

NHL Playoff Predictions

The NHL Playoffs have started, and after one of the most exciting seasons in history, many fans are looking forward to watching how it will all end. There are a lot of uncertainties for this year, and many questions to be answered. Here are my predictions for this year’s NHL Playoffs. 

Eastern Conference Winner: Carolina Hurricanes 

The Carolina Hurricanes had an incredibly successful season, finishing 3rd overall in the league. With Vezina-caliber goaltending and an incredibly deep roster, the Canes can compete with practically any team. Their biggest worry is starting the playoffs without their starting goaltender, Frederik Andersen, but if they can get him back and make it through the first round, they will likely go all the way. There aren’t really any holes within this team, which cannot be said about many of the teams in the playoffs. 

Western Conference Winner: Calgary Flames 

The Calgary Flames were the third winningest team in the Western Conference and confounded many expectations to get to the top of the Pacific Division. Their offensive output was ridiculous, with 2 100-point players in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, as well as 3 40-goal scorers. Additionally, their play in their own end was solid, with a strong defensive core as well as another Vezina candidate out of Jacob Markstrom. Because of this, the flames let in the 3rd fewest goals in the league. The flames have a relatively easy route to the conference finals, and whoever they end up facing there likely will not be prepared. 

Stanley Cup Winner: Carolina Hurricanes 

The Flames and Canes will be a spirited series from two of the most consistent teams, but I believe the edge will have to go to the Hurricanes. However, this will be an incredibly evenly matched series that will likely come with a couple of surprises. 


Dark Horses 

Edmonton Oilers 

Edmonton is a weird case. They have struggled a lot in recent seasons, both in and out of the playoffs, despite having the two best offensive players in the league. They have been on a losing streak in playoff games going back to 2017. Their defense and goaltending are incredibly shaky, and average at best. But the Oilers are one team I could potentially see making a solid run. They are a speedy, offensive team that can catch a lot of teams off guard. They were revitalized mid-season with the appointment of Jay Woodcroft as Head Coach, going 26-9-3 in his control and ending the season with a ton of momentum. And at least Oilers goalie Mike Smith has a decent history in the playoffs. 


Toronto Maple Leafs 

Toronto has not won a playoff series since 2004. If they can do as much as win this series, they could probably do anything. 


Series To Watch 

St. Louis vs Minnesota 

This will be the most evenly matched series in the playoffs. Two heavily offensive teams, who experienced incredibly passionate regular-season matchups, are to face off in the first round. There shouldn’t be a single game that isn’t a war. 


Edmonton vs Calgary 

The battle of Alberta, one of the best rivalries in the NHL, will likely return for the first time in 30 years, if there aren’t any surprises. It should be an excellent match up of star power and offense. 


Conn Smythe Winner-Frederik Andersen 

If the Carolina Hurricanes win the cup, I believe Andersen would be the winner as long as he could recover from his injury and previous playoff woes. He will be an important backbone to an already deep team and be a major help every step of the way. 


Breakout Players 

Seth Jarvis, Carolina Hurricanes 

Jarvis had a solid rookie season, with 17 goals and 40 points in 68 games. If the Canes do end up making the cup run, he will definitely be one of the many cogs that helps them get there. 


Bowen Byram, Colorado Avalanche 

Colorado’s 2019 first round pick had his rookie season cut short due to lingering concussion issues but was strong in the sample size we got from him. If Colorado makes a deep run, which is likely, Byram, Devon Toews, and Cale Makar will set a dangerous offensive standard for blueliners in the league. 

This year’s playoffs look to be incredibly exciting. Many teams have already defied expectations, so it’s not always easy to predict what will happen next. But no matter what happens, it’s important to just sit back and take it all in. It’s still a long road to the finals.

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. 

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