It was a day that combined brains and brawn with culture and competition in the name of ancient history for Newtown Middle School’s Team Impact. As part of their study of Ancient Greek city-states, students spent weeks exploring the many ways in which the citizens of Sparta, Megara, Athens, Corinth, and Argos developed unique identities as contributors to both ancient and modern-day society. Their studies culminated in a day of sport and showmanship as the Team Impact Olympics were held on October 19 in and around the school building.
Organized by Social Studies teacher Mr. Bob McCarthy, the team assigned each homeroom to take on the identity of a team of Olympians from a different city-state. Each homeroom designed a flag to signify its identity, wrote a cheer to spur team spirit and motivated and coordinated a team uniform. All of these artistic masterpieces were prominently displayed at the Team Impact Olympics opening ceremonies, during which the competitors from the city-states were reminded about the origins and purpose of the ancient games, the importance of sportsmanship and fair play, and the purpose that the games served for the people of each city-state: shifting citizens’ focus away from battle and war for a brief time.
Once the long-awaited games began, students competed in events like a javelin toss, discus throw, shotput, hoplite relay race, and a game of quick-thinking known as ‘Knuckle Bones’. Directed by city-state leaders, students navigated through the modern-day Olympia, site of the ancient games. When the final scores were tallied, it was the city-state of Sparta that proved victorious in the overall competition. The entire Team Impact community came together in celebration of one another’s talents and abilities through the Olympic events, and their studies came to life through a show of strength and smarts. Long live the Team Impact Olympics!