PatChat is your inside view of GA from students' perspective

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

8th Grade Impresses in Annual Science Fair

                Through the months of September and November, eighth graders dedicated their class time to developing and executing an experiment they designed. Those who placed top in their categories were selected to go to the Montco Science fair, which will occur March 13-15, 2014. The awards ceremony will be held on March 16, and award winners will advance to the Delaware Valley Science Fair in April.
Andrew poses with the product of his hard work.

                 Students first had to come up with a topic and have it approved by their teachers, who would act as supervisors through the months of science fair. After some paperwork regarding Montco Science Fair protocols, preliminary research began. Students obtained background knowledge regarding the aspects of their experiment through the internet, books, and other references. Using this knowledge, procedures were carefully created and executed. The deadline for the data was November 8th. It was a very tight schedule, and a lot of hard work was required to complete the projects. All data generated by the experiments was to be kept in a logbook. Although some of the equipment needed to carry out the experiments arrived late, students persevered and came out with great projects. After the data collection was complete, a display board, abstract, and the logbook were required to assemble the final presentation of the projects. There were many outstanding presentations and demonstrations, including a precariously balanced tea cup. Parents and visitors came around to each display board and listened to the students explain their projects. Projects were placed next to those of the same categories. The categories included Behavioral and Social Sciences, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Space Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Medicine and Health, Microbiology, Physics, Zoology, and Consumer Science.

            After the presentations, students and their families gathered in Honickman Auditorium for the awards ceremony. Winners were called up by category to receive their awards and an invitation to the Montco Science Fair in March. After months of hard work, Germantown Academy’s 2013 science fair came to an end. It was a learning experience for the eighth grade, and some students may even continue their science fair experience throughout Upper School.  Congratulations to all the eighth graders for their hard work in science fair!
- Andrew L. '18
Award and category winners at the Middle School Science Fair.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Swimmers Look Forward to National Competition

GA's girls' swim team has had a dominant season.
All of the long hours spent swimming, eating incredibly healthy meals, and staying in on Friday nights will all be worth the sacrifice this weekend. It is the annual Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships held at LaSalle University! For those who aren’t savvy with the swimming world, it is the GA swim team’s biggest meet of the season. We have spent many months preparing to win the championship. Our practice schedule consists of a morning practice from 6 AM to 7:40 AM then from 3 PM to 6 PM. But preparation doesn’t stop then. Eating habits and sleeping patterns also affect our performance. Each day, swimmers are encouraged by our coaches to eat healthy, protein-filled meals. Another big factor to the teams’ success is what we do on weekends. Swimmers often turn down the invitation to stay out weekend nights with friends. This is a huge sacrifice especially for a bunch of high schoolers but it is completely worth it. Getting to stand as a team, on the block labeled one, holding the Eastern trophy is priceless. The girls' team recently won the Inter-AC Championship and everyone is very excited to compete at Easterns. We love seeing our teachers and friends come out to support the GA swim team at LaSalle each year. We hope this year is no exception as the girl’s team competes for our fourth consecutive Eastern Interscholastic Championship title!

 - Julia P. ‘15

Julia and her teammates will look to be their fastest at LaSalle University.

Editor's note: The Patriots captured their 4th straight Eastern championship in impressive fashion. Recap the weekend's meet here.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Welcome to GA!

In the fall, hundreds of new students will enroll at GA to begin their journey as a Patriot. While the excitement on campus to welcome these new faces is palpable, we recognize that it’s sometimes an intimidating prospect to make the transition to a new school, even one as warm and welcoming as GA. In order to help ease our new students’ transition to GA, we’ve asked our PatChat writers, some of whom are navigating their first year themselves, to offer advice and tips for our newest students as they prepare to begin what promises to be another great year in the history of Germantown Academy.

Common themes are to try new things, meet new people, and to have fun.

Welcome to GA!


My best advice would be to go into the new school year with an open mind willing to try new things and meet new people. You never know what new interests you will acquire throughout high school and in order to get the whole experience, broaden your spectrum and take chances because you never know where these chances will take you. Be the person to sit down at a lunch table with unfamiliar faces and introduce yourself. You never know, they could become your best friends. Be the person to try a new sport, you may end up really enjoying it. Life is all about taking chances, let it start now.
Emmy D. ‘16
Emmy matriculated to the Upper School in 2012.


Do Some “Research”
Almost all GA families have gone through the very same process you’re experiencing right now. Together with the Admission Office, you can connect with a current GA family and get any and all of your questions answered. We also host admission events [like our New Family Welcome Reception, February 20]. Make use of technological-based research too! GA’s website has a ton of information – it’s easy to spend several hours on the site! Our Twitter, Instagram, and other social media pages accurately depict the school’s goings-on. And, of course, PatChat is a great source of information directly from students.

Get Involved!
GA has so many activities to choose from – sports, theater, clubs, you name it. You can even start your own club. Consider trying out several activities before you pick your favorite, which can be a difficult process!
…but not too involved. As a college preparatory school, GA is known for its rigorous academics that really show results. Definitely pick some activities but don’t stretch yourself too thin!

Embrace GA Culture
As one of the oldest communities in the country, we’re also the strongest. We encourage you, as you enter the GA world, to fully immerse yourself in our community. You’re guaranteed to build strong relationships that will last a lifetime!

Though she'll be at NYU in the fall, Alli still enjoys her time in the Library.
Alli L. ‘14



Entering Middle School was both terrifying and thrilling at the same time. Middle School is probably the best thing that has happened to me at GA. First of all the freedom you gain is a shock but the amount of responsibility you are given balances it out. Next, the opportunities that you get in GA Middle School, and better yet the Upper School, are amazing. Becoming a student in Middle School started a new chapter because I became the underdog again but the environment only makes you feel that way for about a week.

Madison P. ’18
Madison is a "Real Lifer" at GA; she's been here since Pre-K.



Applying to a new school can be a nerve wracking thing. I applied to GA because my sister went here, she graduated in 2013. The other scary part is the not knowing whether you were accepted. I am so appreciative that I did and want to say congrats to those who just received their acceptance letters!  If you were like me and don't know anyone, join a fall sport! Getting involved in activities is really the best way to meet people, and since there’s preseason, you'll know kids before the school year even starts. Everyone was so helpful and understanding, even when I thought I was terrible. Though I knew none of them at first, I met some of my good friends there. Becoming friends with just one person can introduce you to all of their friends and that is how you get to know more people. Just remember that you aren't the only new kid.

Sarina S. ‘17



Be Yourself
As corny as it sounds, it really is important.

 Don’t Be Shy
I know it’s easier said than done but it makes making friends that much easier. Everyone loves the person who can keep the conversation going and avoid having those awkward moments of silence.

Join Some Clubs/Teams
Hands down one of the best ways to get used to a new school is through activities. Whether it’s the Soccer team or the Belfry (Theatre Club), doing something where your mind gets to forget about school and just have fun is very useful. You’ll meet new people and you might even discover a hidden talent.

Don’t Get Discouraged
When you first get to GA, you may find it hard and stressful and I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. During my first year, some projects discouraged me more than anything ever has, but I kept working and school got easier.

When you’re 35 and you look back at your high school times, I can guarantee you won’t be thinking about the B you got on your history test, or the time you didn’t do your homework for English. You’re going to remember the fun stuff you did with your friends and family. I’m telling you not to get caught up too much in your school work and getting into college and everything else you’re going to have to do, and to make time for yourself to do the things you want to do.
I hope these tips are helpful and I’m excited to see all of you in a GA uniform sometime! Good day.

Gideon S. ‘15
Gideon has approved of GA since his arrival as a freshman.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Middle School Drama Department shines

This past Saturday was the last night of the Middle School Musical, Guys and Dolls. Kids from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade participated with a total of 62 performing on stage and backstage on the stage crew. Rehearsals started in November, 5 days a week running from 3:15 to 5:15, sometimes even 6:30. Middle School teachers Mrs. Rominger and Mrs. Donches directed the production along with Upper School teacher Mr. Masters helping with vocals and music. There were 3 shows; one on January 31st and two on February 1st. The Friday night show sold out and the audience gave the cast a well earned standing ovation.

A scene from Guys and Dolls as performed by the Middle School Drama Department.
 GA is such a positive and supportive place when it comes to theatre arts. The musicals are just one of the many ways that children throughout Middle School and Upper School can express themselves through performing arts. GA is a very safe place for kids to be who they really are because they know that they will always have support from the students and teachers in the community. The Middle School Musical allows kids to express themselves and lets them try something new they may not have experienced before. It also allows kids to participate in other after school activities such as sports.

The entire cast and orchestra.
- Madison P. ‘18
The orchestra warms up for the show. . .
while the cast diligently review their lines.

Madison belts out a tune in her role in Guys and Dolls.