At the opening of the 2014 Midwinter Term exhibit at the Ross Gallery on April 9, members of the Ross community gathered to view artwork by the Art and Community class and photography, videos, and journals from student trips to Belize; Cuba; French Polynesia; Greece; Panama; Myanmar; St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; England; and Long Island.
Highlights of the exhibit included a human rights mural dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela and portraits of the students in traditional Tahitian dress, along with images of coral reefs and marine life, exotic wildlife and fauna, ancient landmarks, Buddhist temples, and traditional instruments. The students also captured memories of their adventures into new worlds and cultures in writing. The M-Term exhibit will be on display through mid-May.
M-Term sharing continued at the Lower School on April 11. Teacher Mark Foard and several high school students who hiked the Ridgeway Trail in southern England with him summarized their experiences for the fourth grade class, which is currently studying Neolithic communities and sustainable environments. The Ridgeway passes near many Neolithic, Iron Age, and Bronze Age sites, including Stonehenge, Wayland’s Smithy, and White Horse Hill, site of the Uffington White Horse chalk monument. Mark and the students brought the adventure to life with a video documentary of their trip, humorous tales of hopping fences and slogging through mud, and their delight in finding bits of ancient civilizations along the way. Many fourth graders said it was great to see some of the places and architectures they learned about in class and to realize they too could visit them one day.
At the end of the day, kindergarten through sixth grades gathered in the Multi-Purpose Room for a special assembly, attended by Mrs. Ross, to learn about the M-Term Founder’s Expedition to French Polynesia. Dressed in ceremonial Tahitian headdresses and skirts, the older students opened with performances of the Maeva, a long, quick, rhythmic dance of welcome; the Haka, a traditional men’s dance to display warrior skills; and the Ti’are, a lyrical women’s dance. They also discussed their biodiversity studies at the University of California Berkeley Gump South Pacific Research Station and displayed the biocube they used during their research. At the conclusion of the presentation, the younger students were invited to the front of the room to learn the dances and were offered the opportunity to conduct their own future biodiversity studies with their classmates.