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  Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pali Tuesday Oct 14

By Isabelle Gilet

Our 7th graders had a good night sleep and enjoyed their  breakfast very much after a very precise archery lesson yesterday afternoon!

The two groups then headed to their morning activities : crime scene investigation and team building !

Before having Sloppy Joes for lunch, one group went to the Nature Center to discover more about amphibians and reptiles. The other group used their great imaginations to create wonderful nature art in the forest…P1080589 P1080590 P1080592 P1080596 P1080599 P1080604 P1080630 P1080637 P1080644 P1080646 P1080649 P1080650 P1080653 P1080660 P1080662 P1080663 P1080666 P1080667 P1080668 P1080671 P1080673 P1080679 P1080682 P1080690 P1080694 P1080696 P1080699 P1080702 P1080710 P1080712 P1080714 P1080718 P1080727 P1080728 P1080742 P1080750 P1080756 P1080758


French Research Scientist presents to SDFAS 8th grade

By Bénédicte Brouder

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On October 9, SDFAS had the opportunity to welcome a French scientist, Jean-François Briand, who is doing research on genetic mutations and rare diseases — work which is supported by a joint MLF – Telethon project. He was in town for the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society conference and, as part of the “1,000 chercheurs dans les écoles” project in France, offered to give a presentation to our 8th graders.

While the topics are complex, Mr. Briand adapted his presentation to our very attentive 8th graders and included video and other visuals to illustrate the concepts. Mr. Briand’s presentation comes at a very fortuitous time, given that our 8th graders are currently studying genetics in Science with Ms. Jacoway, and also participating in a cross-curricular project with Mr. G., wherein they will debate the ethical questions surrounding genetic manipulation.

Following the debate, the 8th graders will have the opportunity to learn from another guest speaker and longtime member of the SDFAS community, Dr. Diego Miralles. Dr. Miralles will focus his talk on the ethics of genetic therapy and engineering, and will introduce a new perspective to the students, which will inspire continuous dialogue and learning even after their unit has concluded!


Joshua Tree Update – Tuesday, October 14, 8:40 a.m.

By Bénédicte Brouder

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All is well in Joshua Tree. The children had a good night overall and we woke up at 6:30 this morning. Then one group helped make breakfast  — banana pancakes and fruit — then we cleaned up, packed sandwiches, and we are off in two groups for a canyon hike and exploring in the park. More news at the end of day! We will try to send pictures but the connection is very weak.

P.S. We have access to very clean, individual pit toilets, with hand-washing stations with soap and foot-pumped water.


Oct 13 end of the day

By Isabelle Gilet

The students had fun dissecting some squids, after a complete review of its anatomy.

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More News from Joshua Tree

By Bénédicte Brouder

Afternoon update:

Students went on an afternoon walk around camp and did some scrambling on steep rocks. At the end of the hike, we had a Geology class with instructor Kyle, who is a specialist in the field. Granite formations abound in Joshua Tree National Park! Next, students took part in a discussion on the relationship between minerals and plants. Last, we had free time for journal-writing at 5pm then dinner (pasta) at 6:30. Everyone is doing well and enjoying the trip!

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  Monday, October 13, 2014

Oct 13 afternoon in Pali

By Isabelle Gilet

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Pali Oct 13

By Isabelle Gilet

Our students are enjoying their first lunch in Pali, and the boys get to go on the new soccer field.

Later in the afternoon, they will have orienteering, and balloon rescue.



First Photos from Joshua Tree 10-13-14

By Bénédicte Brouder

6th and 7th graders have arrived safely!

By Bénédicte Brouder

Dear 6th and 7th Grade Parents,

I just received word that our 6th graders have arrived safely at Joshua Tree and our 7th graders have arrived safely at Pali. I will continue to post updates as I receive them.

Mr. Jarlov reports from Joshua Tree: All is well and this afternoon we will get to know the area with a hike. But first, we will set up camp, pitch the tents, and have lunch. The temperature is nice – about 77ºF / 25ºC. Our first class today is about safety — staying hydrated, do’s and don’ts for the desert and on the rocks. We have three instructors – two men and one woman, in addition to our two chaperones.

Respectfully submitted,


  Saturday, October 11, 2014

6th Grade Packing List for Joshua Tree

By Bénédicte Brouder

Click on the link to get the equipment list:

Boojum Institute Desert Basecamp Equipment List