Lower School Students and Parents Predict the Future for Back-to-School Night

dsc_3177 Ross Lower School parents and families were welcomed to campus Tuesday evening for Back-to-School Night. The annual event offers an opportunity for parents to become acquainted with their children’s teachers and to gain a better understanding of what students are learning in their classes.

The curricular theme for this academic year is Activating Future Memory, and students’ first assignments implementing the theme resulted in an exhibition presented in the Lower School Multi-Purpose Room. In every grade level, students were asked to envision an aspect of the future 20 years from now; in turn, parents were encouraged to present their own version of the future, which was then displayed for comparison alongside the student work.

dsc_3201 dsc_3211

Inspired by the poetry of Langston Hughes, fifth grade students authored poetry about their future dreams. Gymnast Delani B. wrote about her ambitions to represent the United States on the women’s gymnastics team, while avid reader Cameron M. wrote about his love of literature.


Students in the sixth grade were asked to create products that may be necessary in 20 years. Science enthusiast Tucker S. considered global overpopulation and designed a Lego prototype of a single-family home that could be used in the event humans have to colonize other planets.

“I knew it would be something involving space because space travel will be bigger,” Tucker said of his inspiration. I thought about the movie The Martian, and I wondered, ‘What if that could be reality?’” Tucker’s model home features an airlock, a communications room to interact with those on Earth, and a compact rocket that travels at 45 times the speed of light.


Scarlett G. designed a playground that would safely inspire children to be adventurous. It would include a swing set with a safety harness so that children could swing 360 degrees, a shape-shifting slide, and a basketball court with floating hoops.

Other grade-level assignments including creating future products, animals, and transportation, as well as creating Google doodles to represent the future.

“We had a lot of fun with this project because our parents were also active participants in it,” said Head of Lower School Jeanette Tyndall. “Thinking of the future requires imagination. We want our students to be constantly thinking of the future and dreaming big dreams, because those dreams can inspire ideas that could end up changing people's lives.”