List of 5 news stories.

  • Senior School English Students Presented “What Does it Mean to be Human?”


    On Friday, November 15, students in the Senior School English class "Looking in a Different Mirror" presented a multimedia experience called “What Does it Mean to be Human?” to students, faculty, and staff in the Events Center Media Rooms.
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  • SA Honors Military Heroes on Veterans Day


    The Sewickley Academy community hosted two Veterans Day assemblies on Monday, November 11, to commemorate the service of our military heroes.
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  • Spirit of Community Food Drive is a Success!


    Thank you to everyone for their generosity to the Spirit of Community Thanksgiving Food Drive. 
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  • Senior School Students Join the PMEA Band Festival


    Seniors Erin Mahoney, who plays clarinet, and bassoonist, Nicholas Valenta, will play in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 1 Senior High Band Festival. 
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  • SA Wins First Round of KDKA's Hometown High-Q


    Sewickley Academy's Senior School Quiz Bowl team members seniors Cooper Cheng and Nicholas Valenta and sophomore Rebecca Glass competed on Hometown High-Q, KDKA-TV’s quiz show, this past weekend, which filmed on Saturday, October 12. The Panthers won with a score of 565 points – 175 points more than the closest team they faced!
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Senior School English Students Presented “What Does it Mean to be Human?”


On Friday, November 15, students in the Senior School English class "Looking in a Different Mirror" presented a multimedia experience called “What Does it Mean to be Human?” to students, faculty, and staff in the Events Center Media Rooms.

According to Senior School English teacher Deborah Golden, students used literature to explore ideas about what it means to be human and how their definition or conception of humanity might need to change now and in the future. “Integrating the novels we have read and the fascinating discussions we have had in class all term, students are choosing to present their ideas in myriad of ways. Visitors can expect to encounter original drama, visual art, interactive experiences, and multimedia presentations,” she explained.

As part of their final project in this elective class, the nine seniors worked in three groups to address the challenges of human-animal relations, human cloning, and "future humans" such as artificial intelligence (AI) or alien life forms.

Lena introduced the presentations by framing the complexity of defining the term humanity. “This trimester, we’ve explored the definition of humanity through the lens of our three texts [“We Are All Completely Beside
Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler, “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro, and “Dawn” by Octavia Butler]. Today, the audience gets to explore our definitions of humanity and form their own viewpoints,” Lena said.

Bennett showed the creative side of AI by displaying artwork and challenged the audience to decipher who created each piece, a human or AI. The group was amazed at the images AI produced.

Next, Tim explored the genetic revolution. “I focused on the ethical considerations behind human gene editing, specifically about human germline editing,” said Tim. He also analyzed the potential benefits and consequences of gene editing.

Dimitri took a personal approach to the assignment and highlighted how he is using AI tools to help improve his skills as a baseball player. For instance, baseball software uses AI to virtually train athletes to swing better, track performance, and envision the ball field. He also shared examples of humans using AI to enhance their speed with the aid of prosthetic limbs in the sport of track and field.

During Robin’s presentation, he focused on the idea of free will and its role in the definition of humanity by looking back historically at human nature and posing three questions: 1. What does it mean to have free will? 2. Why do we rarely act according to our free will? 3. What’s the importance of having free will with respect to our definition of humanity?

Several of the students’ presentations required participants to move about the learning spaces, as if in a gallery or museum, to experience their take on the assignment, including Morgan, who set up a cage used for animals. “The cage installation gives the audience a chance to experience what most animals go through every day,” Morgan said. “While inside the cage, I want everyone to imagine a world where this is all they know,” she continued.

Vinka and Abby used their artistic abilities to construct visual drawings inspired by the books they read for the class. Vinka described one of her pieces, “Milkmaid,” as “We force cows to breed and then take their babies so that we can make profits from their milk. In this piece, I show a world in which this is reversed; now one of our own is being exploited for usage or another sentient being.” Abby sketched “Them, Us.” She explained the piece, “[It is] a hand, to represent a God complex, that rests on a lever, as if in a factory. The lever point to the “them” side, as people with different identities are seen standing on a factory belt.”

The presentations wrapped up with an original short play, The Mouse and the Human, presented by Connery and Vinka. “It explores the relationship between animals and humans when put in an unfamiliar environment together,” Connery said. The drama begged the audience to think about what a reversed relationship could look like.

After all the presentations concluded, the audience was left with one simple question: Can you explain what it means to be human?

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