AP Calculus BC students were presented with the task of planning out the 75th anniversary photo to include the entire school.
In order to commemorate and celebrate 75 years of SBS, the Office of Advancement hoped to create an all school photo, in the shape of “75.” In the early discussions of this photo, the team quickly realized that an accurate calculation of the number of persons and sizes was the best approach to making their dream a reality. After a quick conversation with upper school math teacher Erica Clark, they were assured the SBS Calculus BC students were up to the task.
However, this project was not complete without its challenges. According to Schuyler Clark ‘22, the complex geometry of it all created the greatest challenge, “It was difficult to explore a problem like this because it is not every day you encounter the geometry of everyday numbers such as 7 and 5. One typically deals with squares, triangles and other classic geometric figures, so transitioning to these polygons posed the largest difficulty.” He also shared that, “My prior knowledge did somewhat more to hinder the process than expedite it. Having been over four years since I last took a class on geometry, the principles taught in my math classes acted more as distractions from the simplicity of the task. I had to go back to the basics and dissect the problem to solve it.”
Once a game plan was made, Schuyler and Caroline Chapman ‘22 both expressed the ease of working as a team toward their goal. “Our whole calculus class was able to work together and collaborate off of each others’ work,” said Caroline. “It was easy to come together as a class and collaborate as a cohesive body because that’s something we have to do so often, it’s like second nature to us,” said Schuyler.
The mission of SBS is to train students to think critically, live biblically and lead courageously. During this unique project, our students were stretched to think critically and in a new and exciting way. According to Naomi Konuma ‘22, “Throughout this project, we were given the opportunity to lead with the skills that SBS has equipped us with. This assignment taught us to think critically by thinking creatively.” Schuyler echoed her thoughts and said, “We were forced to look at the task at hand from a new angle to find a conceivable answer. Thinking critically for me is thinking outside-of-the-box, which is exactly what this project required.”
The impact of this photo will be felt for years to come, but for these students, the impact has already started to set in. “As I stood with 1,200 other members of our SBS family for the photo, I felt proud that I was able to be part of the group of students that designed the dimensions of the numbers for an event that brought our entire community together,” said Naomi. Schuyler concluded, “This project brought me a great deal of joy–to see my work unfold before my eyes in real-time. Often we ask how will a certain subject ever help us in the real world; this project demonstrated math’s real-life application, which isn’t always something that’s clear in a subject that is so hypothetical.”