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What’s up in Science? Or should I say going down in Science?

January 11, 2022 | Melissa McCallihan

Kinetic energy, potential energy, mass, velocity, and gravity are vocabulary words we are using in science right now. We started our study of physics with a few projects that gave us the idea of what kinetic energy and potential energy are and this month we took it a step further with the realization that mass, velocity and gravity influence these forms of energy. 

Our next project is a play on an old school project that many of us may have done. Egg drop projects have been done for many years. The idea is to create a structure that would protect the egg from breaking when released from a certain height. Structures are built around the egg to keep it safe. The entire structure is released to the ground below. 


Instead, students are creating structures that will cushion the landing of an egg when it is dropped from a certain height. There are some material constraints: no food products, no gels or pastes of any kind. Also, there are size constraints. Next week we will test our egg catchers. 

Our physics study will then move to waves–light waves and sound waves. 

Melissa McCallihan

Teacher, Grade 6; Science Grades 6-8

Teaching children to take risks and fail well is important to Melissa McCallihan, who has taught for over 30 years. She believes children learn as much through their failures as they do through their successes. She celebrates both in her classroom. In collaboration with the middle school director, art teacher, and other fourth and fifth grade teachers, Mrs. McCallihan has been instrumental in developing the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program, an extension of the Lower School’s Shared Space model. “STEAM is where students solve problems and sometimes get it wrong,” says Mrs. McCallihan when asked about risks and failing well. “Students need to learn how to do that with grace, and to try again with grit and determination.” Mrs. McCallihan currently teaches sixth through eighth grade science.

Mrs. McCallihan cares deeply about relationships with her colleagues, students, and families. She works hard to make and maintain connections on a personal and professional level. And follows the mantra “Worship God, Love All.”

When not at school, you can find Mrs. McCallihan searching out a fantastic restaurant or hidden sight to see in New York City.

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