The Circle Voice

Upper Schoolers Tackle Fall FSAs

Elizabeth+and+Mary+kickboxing.
Elizabeth and Mary kickboxing.

Elizabeth and Mary kickboxing.

Elizabeth Girian '20

Elizabeth Girian '20

Elizabeth and Mary kickboxing.

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Golf

Andrej Klema ’21, a long time golfer, spends his afternoons improving his technique at the Groton Country Club. He hopes that this experience will aid him in setting a new personal record. Golfing also provides a distraction from work related anxiety, he said, adding that golfing is a “meditation” and a “great outlet for stress.”

Music

Violinist Julien Lee Heberling ’19, songwriter Jane Park ’20, and organist Chip Pontifell ’19 have challenged themselves with FSAs that incorporate their love and aptitude for music. Julien prepares for his senior violin recital in the spring, a culmination of his musical journey at Groton. Jane seeks develop her skill with creating music, and is working hard to find lyrics that convey her “personal experiences and emotions.” At the end of the term, she plans to host a recital and upload her music online. Chip is focusing on the organ, an instrument that she has done an FSA for before. With the help of organ master Mr. Moriarty, Chip plans to focus on church accompaniment pieces. Her FSA recital will include pieces both on the organ and the harpsichord, another instrument she has played.

Horseback Riding

Nicole Lee Heberling ’21 is pursuing an FSA that allows her to expand her horse-riding repertoire through regular trips to Southwind Farm in Pepperell. She rides twice a week and learns from local experienced rider Denise Marks. Nicole plans to attend shows and competitions where she can showcase her progress.

Step Troop

Edwina Polynice ’21, Angelica Parra ’21, Ayanda Tambo ’19 and Dashy Rodriguez ’19 have chosen to revive the Groton Step Troupe “Rare Essence” with their FSA. They split their time rehearsing with faculty sponsor Carolyn Chica and going to the dance afternoon activity. Recently, the group debuted with a performance at Open Mic. They plan to teach a “Learn to Step” class at the end of the term and perform for the school more.

Kickboxing

Mary Collins and Elizabeth Girian ’20 are continuing their kickboxing FSA from last fall, joined this year by Ambrey Hayes ’20. They travel to the Title Boxing Club at The Point three times a week for 45-60 minute lessons. Through their classes, they hope to learn the basics of self-defense while staying fit.

Active Minds Research

Building upon a mental health research project she pursued last spring, Tilden Brooks ’19 is conducting a research FSA for the non-profit organization Active Minds. By conducting dozens of interviews with students about mental health at Groton, Tilly hopes to examine the stress faced by students in high pressure areas. At the end of the term, she will publish her findings in a paper.

Educational Machine Learning Applications

Using an online Stanford course, Roshan Palakkal ’21 is researching how students can use machine learning to positively impact their understandings of certain materials. By modeling complex mathematical concepts, Roshan hopes to eventually share its utility at Groton; for example, machine learning technology may prove helpful as a Latin translator or a handwriting recognizer.

Effects of Climate Change on Migratory Patterns

This fall, Shirley Li and Sarah Glawe ’19 hope to provide further evidence of the effects of climate change on the local ecosystem, especially in the areas of Lake Romeyn and Gemmell-Hughes field. After collecting field information on the migratory patterns of birds by filming them with a motion-activated camera, they will compare their findings to data collected by scientists 50 years ago. Shirley said, “We wanted to show that climate change is not merely a distant concept that people mention in the news, and nor is it simply limited to the weather or temperature. It’s a tangible concept that’s affecting even local bird communities around us.” If their findings prove significant, they will share their work with the local scientific community. 

Sculling

Members of Groton’s varsity crew teams, Caroline Beran ’20, Lars Caspersen ’19, Anya Hanitchak ’21, and Johnny Stankard ’19 are exploring a type of rowing called sculling. Groton usually races in sweep boats, where each rower pulls one oar and a coxswain steers the boat. In sculling, however, each individual pulls two oars and there is often no coxswain. These four students meet at the boathouse three times a week with varsity crew coaches Andy Anderson and Tiffany Doggett. They plan to compete in races throughout the season.

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