On Wednesday, June 6, Waterside hosted its annual STEAM Fair- a celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Rather than competing for a grand prize, this year small groups of third, fourth and fifth students worked together to create interactive exhibits. The younger students then attended the STEAM Fair, where they had an opportunity to learn from their older peers through various hands-on experiments. Projects ranged from creating slime to constructing lava lamps to exploring water filters and watching a "storm in a jar," just to name a few. While all of the projects were impressive, what stood out most this year was how the older students not only worked together to create an innovative exhibit, but also how they used their acquired knowledge to engage the younger students. It was a wonderful day for the entire Waterside community.
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This year's spring concert was entitled "This Is Me," and was a celebration of all the things that make us different and unique. With songs from a variety of genres, students lifted their voices and showed off their talents to remind us all that we are all individuals, and each one of us special.
On Thursday, May 24, Waterside School made its annual trip to the famed Metropolitan Opera House for The American Ballet Theatre's "Young People's Ballet Workshop." Students and families sat amongst an audience of thousands as they watched performances not only by the professional ballet company, but also one by Waterside's own ballet company.
Under the direction of the American Ballet Theater's award-winning "Make A Ballet" program, boys and girls from Waterside's third, fourth, and fifth grade classes participated in a unique yearlong ballet program designed to introduce students not only to basic ballet techniques and training, but also to all aspects of the creative ballet experience. Leading up to the performance, the young dancers engaged in every aspect of creating and performing their piece, from conceiving the concept for the ballet to choreographing the routine to helping design the costumes. Through weekly rehearsals, the dancers gained practice thinking critically and creatively as well as an understanding of physical and artistic expression.
Unlike in past years, when Waterside and other schools all explored a specific theme, this year Waterside School was able to create its own theme for the performance. The Waterside dancers explored the contrast between light and dark, and good and evil; the result was an explosion of explosion of music and energy. The school extends its thanks to the underwriters of American Ballet Theatre's Education for this once in a lifetime experience.
On Friday, May 25th Waterside School held its annual Field Day. This year with high energy, enthusiasm, and school spirit, the blue team and the white team faced off in various competitions at Kosciuszko Park. From the water balloon toss, to the 40 yard sprint, kickball, lacrosse/soccer/baseball skills competition and a mile relay both teams showed their camaraderie and teamwork. Thank you to all the teachers, parents, Goldman Sachs volunteers, and of course, students for making this a day to remember!
On Saturday, May 19, Waterside hosted the school's most special tradition–International Festival. An annual celebration that honors the community's rich and diverse cultural backgrounds, International Festival allows students and families the opportunity to learn about and embrace each other's cultures.
Each grade selected a "focus country;" this year classes focused on Peru, Guatemala, Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, Ireland and Pakistan. Parents took the lead on educating the classes and coordinating the various presentations. Students presented their acquired knowledge through traditional dances and performances.
The festival began with the annual "Parade of Countries." Students from all grade levels- representing 39 countries- marched proudly into the gymnasium waving flags that represent their heritage. Then, the fifth grade narrators invited each class to the stage for their spectacular presentations. Finally, the festival concluded with a sensational West African drumming and dancing program. Mr. Henry Jones, a renowned musician and the founder of the music program "Infinite Roots," led the fourth and fifth graders in celebratory performances of "Funga," a welcome song from Nigeria, "Mendiani," a mask dance from Guinea and "Kakilambé," a mask dance from Senegal.
The festival culminated with a magnificent buffet of foods prepared by families representing the melting pot of backgrounds that characterizes Waterside School. This celebration of backgrounds, customs, and traditions is a true hallmark of the Waterside School community. Watch the video!