Celebrating Our Year in GHS InLab

Closing the Year Remotely - June 2020

Dear GHS Innovation Lab Students, Parents, and GHS Community Partners:

We did it! Here we are in June, thinking back to this spring when we made the daunting, overnight transition to Distance Learning in our GHS Innovation Lab (InLab) program.


Who knew how Project-Based Learning (PBL) would work remotely in a virtual environment?

So much uncertainty, so many challenges. How would students finish their projects for competitions like the NPR Student Podcast Challenge or exhibitions of learning for National History Day?


No, it has not been easy. But you know what? Our students kept going, kept pushing themselves and stayed engaged, connected, and grew as cooperative learners, thinkers, and communicators beyond our wildest dreams.


The result of learning and implementing PBL in a Virtual space? Grace under pressure.


In this newsletter, we highlight the roller-coaster ride of Distance Learning and the amazing work of our InLab students. We also say a final farewell and best of luck to our Senior Class.

Lastly, we would like to extend a huge THANK YOU and CONGRATS to everyone for making it through this DL journey together.


Wishing you peace and good health as we head into summer!


The InLab Squad

Ben, Brian, Courtney, Jessica, Joe, Kathy, Lauren, and Mike

InLab 10 & 11: Exhibition at the Bruce Museum

Back Row (L-R): Ben, Martina, Parker, Devin, Izzy, Angie, Delilah, Ryan, Ralph, Ana, Katherine Graham, Jack, Jennie, Francesco, Chris.

Middle Row (L-R): Remy, Junior, Julien, Stephen, Ali, Jamie, Gillian, Veronica, Matthew, Madison.

Front Row (L-R): Chelsea, Jack, Andre, Jefferson, Quentin, Carolina, Alex, Demi, Richa.

Watch Our End of Year Salute!

Thanks to all of our InLab students for a year we will never forget. Click the gray link above to watch a special send-off video to of our scholars!

Let's Take A Trip Around the World

What's spring without a field trip? Click the link above, which will take you on a virtual field trip around the world! Choose points on the Padlet map to find out more about the deep dive projects from our 9th and 11th Grade Humanities scholars.

Innovation Lab 10 at Home

During DL, the GHS Innovation Lab's Humanities 10 students put their collaboration, creativity, and initiative to work in spite of the challenges. Click the red heading above to view this amazing curated work on the Humanities 10 website. Enjoy!

Explore InLab Student Blogs

We're all in it together. Click above to get a glimpse of life at home during Distance Learning. Featured Blogs from Olivia Leppla ("Blue Skies Lie Ahead") and Veronica Paez-Deggellar ("On Exhibition and Growth: One Student’s Perspective").

CT & National History Day Winners!

GHS InLab Students were among ten GHS students to win awards at the Connecticut History Day competition in April. Congrats and Good Luck to InLab Sophomores Carolina Ferrer and Richa Vaid, who will be competing at the National Competition June 14-20.

How did Juniors end their year in Design Studio?

In Design Studio 11, students spent time this spring working on on college essay writing prompts, SAT practice, writing and presenting their junior Presentations of Learning (PoLs) and maintaining their blogs. Students presented their PoLs to their teachers and counselor via Google Meets in fifteen-minute windows, reflecting on personalized goals toward the Vision of the Graduate Capacities, as well as their continued growth and perseverance during Distance Learning.

Living Portraits

What helped you get through Quarantine?


The things I couldn't live without were, my book on Nomadic living (I look at this at least once a day), my computer, my calculator, COFFEE, my Ipad/phone, exercising (a group of friends and I do a social distanced workout group every morning at 8:30), books (I have read at least one book a week), My airpods, makeup (I have been playing with fun colors and extreme makeup techniques), and my blankets (being cozy has been a must for me). - Jennie Olmsted

This Living Portrait photo challenge was inspired by photographer Gregg Segal's project "Daily Bread" about nutrition and eating habits of children around the world. Students were asked to gather ten items that held great meaning for them during DL and take a photo with themselves in the center of the photo.

Katherine Reflects on the Year:

I feel like InLab has made me the person I’ve always wanted to be, but I was always scared and didn’t know how to get there. I remember from the first day of school, immediately when I got home I told my parents that it was the best first day of school ever because from the minute I walked in the Innovation Lab environment, I felt seen not just as a student, not just as a letter grade that would be entered into Aspen, but as a collaborator and person with valued opinions. I will never forget my time in InLab as it has truly changed my life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. - Katherine Feldmeth

Congratulations, Frankie Pugliese (InLab 9) for Winning Honorable Mention in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge!

Frankie's podcast "The Importance of Family Dinners" was chosen as an honorable mention winner in the national NPR Podcast Challenge competition! It is a wonderful accolade for Frankie and we congratulate all of our students who conducted research & interviews, and recorded, produced, and edited their Podcasts from home during Distance Learning. Check out Frankie's Podcast Sound-cloud as well as other from our Design Studio 9 class!

Kathleen Mendez

NPR Student Podcast Challenge Entries Spring 2020 by Kathleen Mendez
Click here to see what Francesco Violanti (InLab 11) had to say about his role as a global citizen in this sample student reflection (Recorded with FlipGrid). Like many of our selfless students at GHS, Francesco volunteered his time during the pandemic delivering meals to families through an initiative with Neighbor to Neighbor. Way to go, Francesco!
Don't Forget About Summer Reading!

Click the link above for details about Innovation Lab's Summer Reading Assignment.

Congratulations to Our Seniors!

Jaden McKean, Gracie McCoe, Will Taki, Liam Brinton, and Manny Martinez

Big Crowd Cheer & Applause Clap Sound Effect

An extra shout out to all of our parents who made Distance Learning possible!

We could not have done this without you!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Our Greenwich High School Innovation Lab teachers are passionate about their content and implement cutting-edge learning strategies. Organized into two areas, Humanities and STEM, co-teaching is common and both areas are linked closely to a year-long thematic arc. Teachers also share responsibility for the Design Studio elective. Greenwich High School's Innovation Lab offers a project-based, interdisciplinary option for English and social studies (as Humanities) and/or STEM (science and math). Ninth, tenth and eleventh graders are eligible.

Click here to find out more about our program's philosophy and approach.

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Joe Baske, Humanities 12 (email)

Michael Belanger, Humanities 10 (email)

Courtney Hawes, Humanities 9 and 11 (email)

Kathy Mendez, Humanities 9 and 11 (@edtechmama, email)

Jessica von Brachel, Humanities 10 (email)

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Brian Walach (@mrwalach, email)

Lauren Moskovitz (email)

Ben Gawle (email)

Welcome, Mr. Baxley!

Welcome our newest colleague, Rick Baxley, who will be teaching the Senior Science Research course next year. Rick has loved teaching at GHS for 10 years and has taught several levels of many science courses (practical bio, honors bio, practical chem, regular chem, honors environmental science, APES, astronomy, honors astronomy, and forensics) and he says he’s always looking to learn more about our world. He’ll be teaching honors environmental science, APES, and InLab senior science research in the fall.
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Program Administrator: Christina Shaw, Cantor Housemaster (email)

Program Associate: Courtney Hawes (email)

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Thanks to the Greenwich Alliance for Education for your continued support! A Reaching Out Grant from the Greenwich Alliance for Education supports materials, projects, and the continued professional development of best practices.
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Questions? Comments?

Interested in learning more about GHS Innovation Lab and our PBL approach? Reach out to any of our InLab team members or students.