At the beginning of a new school year, everything feels fresh and new. When it includes the exciting redesign of Ashley Hall’s main campus entrance and a beautiful renovation of Lower School, what’s not to be excited about?! Over the summer, work was done on campus including a complete makeover of our Smith Street campus entrance so that it can now fully function as our main campus entrance. (Don’t you just love the new water feature?!) The Pardue Hall entrance has also been reconfigured to serve as the campus’s visitor reception area. Don’t forget all visitors must enter campus through the Smith Street Gate.
The Lo Dome for the Lower School
A few steps from the Smith Street gate is Pardue Hall with its new and impressive glass roof and enclosed breezeways. Lovingly called the Lo Dome to honor Ashley Hall’s longest active and much beloved faculty member, Lois Ruggiero, the glass enclosure adds over 2,000 square feet offering additional collaboration and learning space for programs such as the school’s ever-growing STEAM curriculum of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Needless to say the girls are loving the new space. We can’t wait to see it fully come to life this year! (Parents from all divisions are encouraged to stop by and see the new space in Pardue Hall.)
As soon as school was dismissed in early June, Ashley Hall embarked on a project to beautifully enclose Pardue Hall that will effectively create an additional 2,000 square feet of multipurpose space for collaboration and increased building safety. The School has lovingly named this new structure and place the Lo Dome in honor of the school’s longest active and universally admired teacher, Ms. Lois Ruggiero.
Research shows that girls must be encouraged to explore STEAM curriculum before the crucial middle school years in order to pique their interest in pursuing degrees and careers in science and engineering-related fields. For precisely this reason, Ashley Hall has dedicated a science teacher for the Lower School supporting the development of STEAM and computer coding initiatives. The Lo Dome will offer our students much-needed climate-controlled space for the girls to build, code, create, and collaborate. If all goes as planned, the Lo Dome will be in place and operational for the August opening of the 2017–2018 school year.
For more information on supporting the Lo Dome project, contact Director of Institutional Advancement, Suzie Smith, at [email protected] or (843) 720-2886.
Rendering by Walker Concepts Architecture.
Ashley Hall fifth graders are working with the Lowcountry Maritime Society (LMS) on a unique STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) project. LMS staff come to campus weekly to work with the girls on creating their own fleet of wooden boats. The girls are guided through the process of learning how to read scaled plans and transform those plans into a wooden boat they build themselves. Throughout the semester students are also taught about local maritime history and seamanship skills. Research shows that girls decide as early as fifth grade if they will consider careers in the areas of math and science. Ashley Hall understands the importance of STEAM related programming as it relates to an all-girls’ education.
Lower School Art Teacher, Tina Hirsig, and Kristen Callahan, Director of Technology, Innovation and Education have teamed together to create several dedicated “tinkering” spaces around campus which feature unique collaborative installations. Tina and Kristen believe that shaping and reshaping the world around us through the process of creative play promotes, supports and fosters critical thinking, curiosity, collaboration, problem-solving, exploration, and self discovery.
Each installation—Earth Loom, Lego Wall, and Chalkboard Wall—incorporates our school Hallmarks: Worldly, Compassionate, Discerning, Creative, Intelligent, Purposeful, Collaborative which serve as guiding principles. Teachers bring their disciplinary knowledge to the installation in order to expand and elaborate on their curriculum. These spaces serve as an incubator for new ideas with emphasis on what is already being taught in the classroom. These interactive installations have the potential to extend what students are learning academically, socially, and/or creatively.
Congratulations to Lower School faculty member and science teacher extraordinaire, Beth McCarty, who received the Daisy Barron Leland Award for Teaching Excellence during Monday’s faculty meeting. Named in honor of Mrs. Daisy Barron Leland, who taught mathematics at Ashley Hall for 22 years, the award is given in recognition for teaching excellence in mathematics, science, or use of technology in the classroom. PQV, Mrs. McCarty!
Did you know that the earlier girls are encouraged to explore STEM programming (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) the more likely they will be interested in pursuing this area of study later in their academic careers? In early February, Lower School students hosted STEM Night, inviting parents and our campus community. Using the engineering design process, 3rd and 4th graders were challenged to build a hovercraft that hovers and travels across a table.
STEM + girls = Success