In the News

Elementary School Science Camp Held at Williams College

It was storytime this past week at Williams College. But the rising fifth- and sixth-graders at the college’s Summer Science Lab were not being told stories. They were challenged to make up stories. As part of the weeklong day camp, campers were assigned each night to think about a phenomenon observed in class and develop a “story” that might explain it.

Eight Williams Seniors Win Fellowships for PostGrad Study at Cambridge

Williams College has announced the winners of the Dr. Herchel Smith Fellowship for graduate study at Cambridge University’s Emmanuel College.

The eight seniors awarded the fellowship are Noah Betz-Richman, Krista Gelev, Eleanor Lustig, Jonathan Meng, Samuel Reinert, Thomas Riley, Samuel Swire and Angela Yeo.

BioEYES program breeds curiosity, enthusiasm for science in Berkshire classrooms

Over the course of three weeks, third-grade science classes in three local schools have been able to witness an underwater circle of life from the comfort of their classrooms.

For eight years now, through the Winter Study program at Williams College, faculty and students have brought a hands-on biology program called BioEYES into area schools, adapted from a program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Eligible Berkshire residents can get free tax help through VITA program

As a seasonal worker, Diane Miranda doesn’t have a lot of money to throw around.

So instead of paying an accounting firm $300 to file her taxes, she’s taking advantage of the free income tax preparation program offered by Berkshire Community Action Council.

“At no cost, you get all your taxes done, and you get your whole refund back,” she said. “But when you pay $300 for just a regular tax return, half your refund is gone already, so it’s pretty decent that they do this.”

Positive Pathways

A partnership between the Williams College Center for Learning in Action (CLiA) and the Berkshire County House of Corrections offers tutoring in writing, reading and math to inmates planning to take the HiSET, a high school equivalency exam, in preparation for their upcoming release.

Reid Middle School Justice League: Finding power, learning responsibility

The Justice League Club at Reid Middle School is giving seventh-graders a chance to represent themselves for who they are, not who other people think they are or expect them to be.

Some of the middle school students involved say they have been characterized by people in various ways, from being the quiet girl in class to being the son of a man whom police arrested. But guidance counselor Kristen Shepardson said she selected students to be a part of the club to help their true potential shine through those perceptions.

Take and Eat Brings Meals to Williamstown Elderly

Since September of 2015, Take and Eat has been an effort from the Williams College Chaplain’s Office and Williams College InterFaith with one simple goal: to provide meals to those in need. Take and Eat, Inc. is a faith-based nonprofit in North Adams, MA dedicated to providing meals for the elderly on weekends and three-day holidays. Founded in 2003 by Rev. Francis and Kathleen Ryan, Take and Eat has provided thousands of meals for Williamstown residents. The organization was founded to supplement Meals on Wheels Berkshire County, which only serves meals on weekdays.

Sammi Stone ’17 Explains Give it Up!

How would you describe Give it Up! to someone who’s never heard of it before?

Give it Up! is a program run by the Center for Learning in Action (CLiA) at Williams College with some support from the Zilkha Center. It’s a service for students to make it accessible and convenient to donate unwanted goods at the end of the year.

Meaningful Mystic Report by Jessica Munoz ’19

Over spring break, eight students and OSL’s Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Involvement Benjamin Lamb went on the Meaningful Mystic Spring Break Out Trip. The students engaged in meaningful work that revolved around environmental sustainability and climate change through a historical lens in Mystic, Connecticut.

Art, Food, and Sustainability? An Interview with Eleanor Lustig ’18

“The Ghana ThinkTank is totally separate from everything else I’ve done at Williams,” Eleanor Lustig ’18 told me, one weekday morning in early March. “I got involved because it’s a different angle than I’ve ever taken on sustainability work at Williams.” Lustig has significant experience in activism and sustainability work: She’s a member of thinkFOOD, co-leader of WRAPS, and part of the founding team for the new Campus Kitchen. “All the work I’ve done here is food-related,” she said, “but this is an opportunity to address sustainability from other perspectives.

Leftovers with love: How Williams College students stand up to local food insecurity

The innovative, locally sourced meals prepared by the dining services team for the students of Williams College now grace the tables of a local homeless shelter and local food projects to help feed locals facing food insecurity.

Williams College students bring special energy to North Adams elementary schools

It’s a sunny afternoon, but students at Brayton Elementary School are already staring at constellations in the night sky.

After an astronomy lesson about the stars, first-graders in Jacqueline Thomas’ class were tasked with forming their own constellations using gold star-shaped stickers and black paper. With limitless imagination, the students guessed what each others’ constellations formed.

Williams Science Camp Serves Youngsters, Collegians

Learning went both ways at Williams College’s Summer Science Lab this month.  “One of my interns said this morning, ‘The kids were my teachers this week as well,’ ” lab director Stephen Bechtel said last week.  Bechtel spoke as week one came to an end at the day camp for rising fifth- and sixth-grade students.  The program saw a bump in participation this summer, reaching its capacity of 36 children per week.  Those children explored scientific themes and did experiments under the direction of Williams professors Chip Lovett and David Richardson, who are assisted by 18 college interns from Williams and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Williams College Summer Science Lab offers ‘wow’ factor

A science-based “wow” factor is very much in play at the 17th Williams College Summer Science Lab at the college’s Morley Scientific Laboratory.

Grant Helps College Students Bring Science to Kids

The college students are teaching the kids, but in the end, the kids end up teaching their teachers, too.  Entering the third year of a four-year grant, undergraduates from MCLA and Williams College have worked with both elementary teachers and college science professors to develop inquiry-based units of instruction based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in a program called “Teaching to Learn.” They then implemented their programs with students in Brayton, Colegrove and Greylock schools – and then made tweaks as they learned from the kindergarten through sixth-graders what works.

Mt. Greylock Students Win Fourth in First Envirothon Appearance

Williams College junior Jeffrey Rubel helped a team of Mount Greylock students take fourth place statewide in their first-ever appearance at Envirothon.

Envirothon 2016

On May 12, a group of local high school students will compete in a statewide environmental science competition called Envirothon. The event—which takes place at Hopkinton State Park in eastern Massachusetts—brings teams from across the state to an outdoor, hands-on competition. Winning teams from each state will compete in Ontario in July at the North American Envirothon.

CS Majors Volunteer with Local Elementary Students

Matthew McNaughton ’16, Emily Roach ’16, and Leslie Chae ’16, participated in the Williams Elementary Outreach iTeam, a pilot program of CLiA. They worked with students at Brayton Elementary in North Adams for “The Hour of Code,” to introduce young students to what coding is and get them excited. The students had limited educational experiences with computers and computer science.

Cracking the Code: Learning the literacy of new media

Students aren’t just playing computer games, they’re learning to make them.

Williamstown School Committee Hears About College’s Involvement

Williams College may be known as a premiere liberal arts college, but it’s contribution to the sciences at Williamstown Elementary School are significant.  Representatives from the college’s Center for Learning in Action addressed the School Committee at its February meeting to talk about the relationship between Williams and the elementary school.

Williams College Pledges $5 Million for Capital Needs of Mt. Greylock Regional School District Outside Scope of the Building Project

Williams College announced today that it will form a $5 million fund to support the Mount Greylock Regional School District’s capital needs outside the scope of the building project that the district is pursuing with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

Lanesborough fourth-graders learn to look at world through ‘BioEYES’

For the past week, the fourth-grade classrooms of Sean MacDonald and Jenn Szymanski at Lanesborough Elementary School have been transformed into satellite biology laboratories, where kids could study genetics, embryonic development and animal science from the comfort of their own desks and chairs. The Williams College Center for Learning in Action for six years has donated the staff and supplies to run the “BioEYES” program, developed at the University of Pennsylvania, in local schools. This is the first year the program has been extended to Lanesborough.

Williams College to Host Annual Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

Williams College will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of events on Monday, January 18. All are welcome to attend these free, public events.

MathBlast draws 166 High School Students

This morning, 166 high school students from Mt. Greylock Regional High School, BArT, and Deerfield Academy experienced the joy of learning math at Williams College.  Started by Professor of Mathematics Olga R. Beaver, MathBlast is meant to expose high school students to exciting topics in math that are not seen in a typical high school curriculum.

Williams College to Deepen Partnership with Mount Greylock Regional School with Annual Operating Revenue

Williams College and Mount Greylock Regional School announced today a gift from Williams that will expand the college’s longstanding partnership with the school to include annual operating funds.

SWAG starts Buxton workshops

During Winter Study, Sexual Wellness Advocacy Group (SWAG), an organization composed of students at the College, will hold workshops to educate all students who attend the Buxton School, located in Williamstown, on consent and healthy relationships.

Brayton School Receives $35,000 in Donations Toward iPad Program

Brayton Elementary School has received a $35,000 boost in technology thanks to donations from BJ’s Wholesale and a former resident connected to the school system. Stephen Drotter, son of late Drury High School Principal Stephen J. Drotter, donated $25,000 as memorial to his wife, Lynn Whitney Dion Drotter. The two donations will afford about 50 iPads for Brayton as well as technical support and teacher training.

College launches $650 million fundraising campaign

On Saturday, the College launched Teach It Forward, a fundraising campaign that aims to raise $650 million.

Curtin speaks on fighting food insecurity and poverty

Michael Curtin ’86 spoke last Friday in Paresky Auditorium, giving a talk entitled, “Fighting Food Insecurity and Poverty in America,” which addressed the history and mission of D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK), a community kitchen founded by former nightclub owner Robert Egger.

Michael F. Curtin Jr. Talks Food Insecurity and Poverty Solutions in America

Michael F. Curtin, Jr. ’86, executive director of D.C. Central Kitchen and 2015 Bicentennial Medalist, will speak at Williams College on Friday, Sept. 18, about his experience in engineering path-breaking solutions to alleviate food insecurity, health disparities and poverty in America. The talk will begin at 2 p.m. in the Paresky Center Auditorium.

Williams College Summer Science Lab gets big reaction from students

There are plenty of creams, tablets and elixirs on the market that claim to cure health problems and ease ailments, but do they actually work?

During this month’s Williams College Summer Science Lab sessions, students were able to use professional tools to investigate household compounds, putting things like antacids to the test to see which ones really work.

Brayton Elementary third-graders stitch past and present together

Emily George had no idea that a dozen neighborhood schools once dotted the city where she lives.

But Emily and other Brayton Elementary School third-graders learned about a former school on Miner Street and even one-room schools, among others that existed circa-1896.

ScienceBlast 2015

Early on a recent spring morning, physics professor Tiku Majumder asked more than 70 Mount Greylock Regional High School students gathered in Wege Auditorium to consider a different view of science.

North Adams Teachers Show Off iPad Classroom Creativity

Learning the geography of New England. Creating illustrated books. Studying how to draw koi fish using Japanese techniques.

These are just a few of the innovate ways teachers at Greylock and Brayton elementary schools are using iPads in their classrooms — iPads given to the schools through their relationship with Williams College.

Williams College Receives Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Distinction

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected Williams College to receive its Community Engagement Classification. Williams was one of 240 institutions to earn this distinction in 2015, 83 of them for the first time.

Hedrick Smith to Join March 3″Rules Change”Winter Study Project via Video Link

Via a live video link, Hedrick Smith ’55 will join the event “Rules Change and the American Dream: A Dialogue Across Generations” at Williams College on Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, Bernhard Music Center. After summarizing findings from two years of nationwide speaking and listening, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and documentarian will join a dialogue with the audience—and with three Williams seniors who studied capitalism and government while working on the Rules Change Project during Winter Study.

Williams College Announces New Muslim Chaplain and Assistant Director of the Center for Learning in Action

Williams College has hired Sharif Rosen as the new Muslim chaplain and assistant director of the Center for Learning in Action.

Williams College Joins White House Initiative on College Access

Williams College President Adam Falk will today join President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

Muslim Chaplain Bilal Ansari Leaves, College looks for replacement

With the departure of former Muslim chaplain Bilal Ansari to the new Zaytuna College in California, the College is considering his legacy as they search for a new Muslim chaplain.

Williams Students Teach High School Chinese

Thanks to two Williams seniors and associate professor of Chinese Li Yu, local high school students can now take introductory Chinese.

Great Day of Service 2013

Ten dozen donuts and bagels, 100 granola bars, 5 boxes of coffee, 150 bag lunches, and 150 T-shirts.

That’s what it took to fuel 150 Williams students who fanned out across 14 nearby schools, churches, and nonprofit organizations for this year’s Great Day of Service in April.

Spring Break: Broadening Horizons

During spring break, Williams students scatter to the four winds. Some train with their teams or tour with performance groups. Others pursue academic research. But for a large number of students, spring break is a time to learn about and serve in communities as diverse as New Orleans, Nicaragua, and even a Navajo reservation.

Williams Students Help Develop, Teach Fourth-Grade Science Curriculum

Fourth-grade students and teachers at Williamstown, Brayton, and Greylock Elementary Schools have engaged this fall in a newly developed science curriculum created in collaboration with Williams College. The curriculum focuses on the subject of “Energy” and was written last summer by Sarah Gottesman ’14 and Mpaza Kapembwa ’15 under the guidance of Williams Elementary Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Swoap, Experiential Education Coordinator Paula Consolini, and fourth-grade teachers from the three elementary schools.

Stop. Go. Listen.

The warm-up game for 93 8th graders is simple.  Pick one of three words: “stop,” “go,” or “listen.”  When it’s your turn, stand up and face your peers, then speak your word loudly and clearly.  Sit down, and it’s on to the next student.  The game’s coach and referee is Kairav Sinha, a first-year Williams student who’s reshaping the public speaking curriculum at Williamstown’s Mt. Greylock Regional School.

A Muslim for All Williams Seasons

Bilal Ansari wastes no time.

Williams’ first Muslim chaplain and associate coordinator of community engagement arrived on campus on August 28, 2011. By August 31 he was hosting a feast for Muslim students to celebrate the end of Ramadan and helping lead Williamstown efforts to support residents flooded out of The Spruces mobile home park by Hurricane Irene.