New Athenian Sports Team Formed: Sports Credit for Women’s Lacrosse

As of the 2017-18 school year, a girls lacrosse PE class will take place during the winter sports season.

Students Mimo U. ’19 and Sam C. ’19 planned the addition of the sport over the previous school year.

Both girls played lacrosse before coming to Athenian, and have since stopped playing because of the lack of a team at school.

They were inspired to take their idea of having a lacrosse team at Athenian and put it into action because of the fact that there were fewer girl sports at Athenian, due to the loss of the softball team.

It was important to them and others that there were more opportunities for girls to play sports.

“When I applied to Athenian they said there was probably going to be a team by my freshman year because there was another group of people trying to get a team started, but when I came there still wasn’t a team,” Mimo said. “I tried out other sports but in the end, I really wanted to have a sport at the school that I was good at and experienced in.”

This year the sport will just be held as a PE for a trial year, but with regular sports credits and after-school practices. If it goes well, there will most likely be a team next year that will compete against other schools.

Director of Athletics, Darek Cliff, said the goal of the PE class this year is to “wage the commitment and dedication” of the team for next year.

“Head Royce has a team that’s pretty new, Lick Wilmerding has a team as well, and there’s definitely a lot of private schools in San Francisco that have teams,” Mimo said. “There might be club teams during that season to play, but we’re not sure exactly which season we will be playing in yet.”

In the school’s past, some sports teams, including football, have been attempted to be added by students, but this is the first successful one in a while.

“It was really hard [to get the team started] because a lot of the efforts had to be lead by Sam and I [sic],” Mimo said. “It’s really amazing that they gave us the PE, but it was really hard to get and took a lot of work.”

Teams like softball have been canceled and re-added multiple times, but none have been added for the first time in the school’s recent history. Cliff explained that because softball is in the BCL East division, the games were closer to campus and with schools in our division.

“Lacrosse is part of the BCL West division, so most games would be across the bridge, which gives a geological disadvantage,” Cliff said.

All skill levels are welcome to participate, and the team will not be participating in the league with other teams until next year.

BlendEd Seismic Studies Class Shakes Up Learning

by Katie Furlong ’18

This fall, I took a class called Seismic Studies & Earthquake Engineering. The class was a BlendEd class, so it was composed of students from Athenian, Marin Academy, Lick-Wilmerding, Urban, and College Prep. The main benefits of BlendEd classes are that they allow students to work independently and perfect time management skills, as well as meet and work with students and teachers from other Bay Area independent schools. The majority of the class was based online, but there were also a few dates where we met in person, either to have an in-class lesson or to participate in a discussion with engineers who work to design earthquake-proof structures.

Our final project for the class was to build a three-foot tower out of just balsa wood and glue that we would test on the shake table at UC Berkeley. This project was intended to help wrap up everything we had learned about the structural integrity required of buildings needed to survive an earthquake.

We first tested our towers with two earthquakes that are programmed into the shake table: the 1995 Kobe earthquake (Magnitude 6.9) and the 1994 Northridge earthquake (Magnitude 6.7). My tower survived the replications of both the Kobe earthquake and the Northridge earthquake.

After, we were able to design our own earthquakes to test our buildings by changing the amplitude and frequency of the seismic waves. While I was subjecting my building to an earthquake of my own design, I saw weeks of hard work shatter right in front of my eyes. Despite the demise of my tower, I thought this project was a great way to put into action everything we had learned in the class and it made it more memorable than just taking a test to finish off a semester of hard work. I can certainly say that it was one of the best demonstrations of Athenian’s commitment to hands-on and experiential education that I’ve experienced throughout my four years here.