For the sixth year in a row the Waldorf School of Baltimore’s middle school students have participated in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Educational Outreach, Tower of Power competition and won besting other middle school students as well as Hopkins engineering undergraduates! The success is due to our students’ diligence, our staff’s passion and commitment, and the academic and hands-on learning they get at the Waldorf School.
“The secret is Waldorf education.” says platonic solids teacher, Kathleen Breen. “If you visit the Children’s Garden you’ll see the foundations of working together and creative building from the start, …children building structures together in imaginative free play and the structured rhythm of the day which helps build executive function.”
How do Waldorf students grow to be creative and impactful, academically and in the world? Students here develop critical thinking, intellectual awareness and creativity, through a rich and rigorous curriculum. The Waldorf School of Baltimore educates children to think, feel, and act with depth, imagination, and purpose.
For Kathleen Breen, teaching mathematical concepts at WSB has been a 12 year passion; evident through displays of student replicas of octahedrons and tetrahedrons made from varied materials, including clay, plywood, playing cards, straw, and pipe cleaners. She observed, “There’s the art work and Eurythmy, students really get the value of working in 3 dimensions from all of these.”
Ms. Breen, in collaboration with the middle school teachers, is committed to inspiring student growth year after year. “Students know how to work with their hands, how to work with materials, and how to work with people.” Working with their hands is fundamentally encouraged throughout the growth of a Waldorf student. WSB students’ success in the Tower of Power competition is connected to student’s awareness of touch--the actual feel and make-up of materials, whether they are beeswax, yarn, copper rods, or spaghetti and marshmallows. From Kindergarten on, students experience the flexible or brittle nature of natural and man-made materials through work and play. Students learn how to use and manipulate fragile materials with confidence and understanding. By seventh and eighth grade, students are naturally drawn to basic geometrical forms, using their own hands and imagination.
A five-year winning streak has again propelled our students into winning the 2015 Johns Hopkins Tower of Power Middle School competition. We are excited to announce 7th graders Falon Gustin and Eva Kaplan, and 6th grader Braden Morrison, are this year’s winning team. They constructed their spaghetti and marshmallow tower to a height of 170 centimeters. This year’s competition was close. Many schools ranked only two or three centimeters apart. View the chart below for a full list of the results. View photos of this year's competition.
|School||Height (in cm)|
|Waldorf School of Baltimore||170|
|Bryn Mawr School||169|
|Dundalk Middle School||138|
|Sparrows Point Middle School||126|
|Notre Dame Preparatory School||120|
|The Summit School||120|
|Cockeysville Middle School||104|
|Perry Hall Middle School||102|
|Stemmers Run Middle School||100|
|St. Michael the Archangel School||99|
|Redland Middle School||86|