What began as a science lesson on native plants and pollinators and their importance to our lives and region quickly expanded as Birchwood’s fourth graders became captivated by the issue. They learned that according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), pollinators critical to our food supply like bees, butterflies, moths, birds, bats, and beetles are declining due to habitat loss, disease, parasites, and environmental contaminants. They also learned that the benefits of native plants expand beyond providing habitat for critical pollinators but also help our region hold up better to extreme weather events such as flooding, drought, heat, and cold.
On April 6, Birchwood’s district level winners participated in the regional Power of the Pen creative writing tournament at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School. Abby Gemechu (7th grade of Avon) won 5th place overall and Best of Round 2 for her story, “Diving Boards and Other Mistakes.” Dhyani Nautiyal (7th grade of Lakewood) won 6th place overall and Best of Round 1 for his story, “A Little Break.” Congratulations to Abby and Dhyani who will compete at the state level on May 23-24 at the College of Wooster.
Birchwood is proud of all of the students who qualified for the regional competition: Eric Vaziri (8th grade of Westlake), Max Wang (8th grade of Avon), Sofia Boyd (7th grade of Cleveland), Camille Boyer (7th grade of Cleveland), Abby Gemechu (7th grade of Avon), and Dhyani Nautiyal (7th grade of Lakewood). The 7th grade team also placed 3rd at the district and the regional tournament.
On April 27, Birchwood students competed in the state level of National History Day at Ohio Wesleyan University. Students conducted in-depth research into a topic of their choosing on this year’s theme, Triumph and Tragedy in History. They presented their work through writing, performance, or other physical and electronic media. Their yearlong endeavors are often compared to college or even masters level research. Their hard work was rewarded with ten students winning awards and moving on to the national competition at the University of Maryland, June 9-13.
Birchwood School of Hawken is a member of the Ohio Association of Independent Schools (OAIS), the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools (CCIS), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). Birchwood School is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States.