Alice Grieve, a fifth-grader at Mill Creek Elementary School, won at the national level in Reflections fine arts contest, sponsored by the National PTA organization. CONTRIBUTED

Alice Grieve wins at national level in Reflections

MADISON – After local and state accolades, fifth-grader Alice Grieve advanced and won at the national level with National PTA’s Reflections fine arts contest.

This fall, Alice will be a fifth-grader at Mill Creek Elementary School.

With the judges’ superlative opinions of her Reflections submission, Alice believes “they liked it because my message was unique, as was my presentation.”

For her project, Alice created a ‘skirt of honor’ to recognize accomplished women. “This skirt made of ties has names of brave women who showed their voice by stepping into fields that were usually associated with men, such as math, engineering, science and politics,” she said.

“These women persisted, sacrificed and paved the way for other women to step in those same fields,” Alice said. “They made it easier for me to follow my dreams about being a structural engineer for NASA. I left one tie blank, because one day, I hope my name is on there.”

To make the skirt, Alice collected old ties from her father, friends and a thrift store. By hand, she sewed the ties together along the sides. “Then, I cut off the skinny parts of the ties and added ribbon to tie around my waist,” Alice said.

With research, Alice identified 19 accomplished women (plus her blank tie) and wrote their names on packing tape stuck to each tie.

Alice realizes that women entering these fields don’t have a perfect path. “The road I will take to become an engineer for NASA is not going to be an easy one. But because of these women and countless others, my path will consist of going up and down hills — not mountains,” she said.

“So here I am NASA – I’ll send people to Mars!” Alice said.

At Mill Creek, Alice especially enjoys math and art. “I like math because it’s fun and feels like it makes sense. I love seeing math patterns like the Fibonacci sequence in everything from shells to sunflowers to spiral galaxies,” she said. “Math also explains lots of things, like how music sounds on a piano.”

“Art is also my favorite subject, because I like to put different things together in ways that make something beautiful,” Alice said. Alice had “amazing art teachers” at Mill Creek and Madison elementary schools, along with classes with Miss Peggy at Michael’s store for “weird and wacky art” and Color Theory art studio with Ms. Barnes for more sophisticated methods.

Alice’s school affiliations include the district’s Fifth-Grade Honor Chorus, Activity Days, Science Academy and ProjectCSGIRLS, non-profit for girls in technology. Academically, she achieved ‘A’ Honor Roll and Liberty Legacy’s “Super Citizen Award.”

Alice’s parents are Tom and Lisa Grieve. He works as a navigation engineer and software designer at Leidos. Lisa formerly taught fourth-graders and now is a stay-at-home mom.

Alice enjoys reading, playing piano and projects in science, math, coloring, painting, cooking and programming.

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