Wow! It is hard to believe, we are already in our third quarter of 6th grade! With our winter break in December and settling back into the groove of things in January, we forgot to update you on all of our exciting happenings.
Before break, students picked out a name for our eco-friendly class bear. Chubby the bear is made from recycled plastic bottles, but that’s just one reason why he is special. On December 17th, Chubby departed for a world-wide travel adventure that will terminate in June with his hopeful return to our classroom. Chubby sends postcards back to our classroom from all the places he is visiting (currently, he is spending time in Germany after a stop in England) and then we search for famous scientists from these areas, science discoveries that have taken/are taking place in the area, how scientist could aid the community, etc… Chubby began his adventures traveling with me to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The students have been learning about earthquakes and are very interested in how to engineer buildings that can withstand earthquakes and how to create seismographs or other forms of technology that could detect and warn people of earthquakes earlier.
Continuing with our global focus, students have been split into six groups for our second semester. These groups represent: Australia, Brazil, China, Haiti, Rwanda and the United Nations. Each group will face a challenge that is in line with our science objectives from natural disasters, changing ecosystems and population growth. Students then discuss and debate with the other countries and the UN on how best to allocate resources, alleviate their problems and advocate for their country. The students have been so passionate with this project and it has been hilarious to catch them passing notes in the halls asking for aid from other countries. This all goes back to my big goal for the year that my students who have inhabited a rural town all of their lives isolated from much of the outside world will be able to recognize our global interconnectedness; furthermore, how science can be used to empower and transform peoples lives. Feel free to ask them about their countries, what problems have arrived and their thoughts on foreign aid in your next pen pal letter!
Lastly, we capped off February with some acting debuts. On Friday, we had our Black History Program where many of the sixth graders impersonated celebrities of our generation. Several students let loose their hidden singing talents belting out a few Whitney Houston hits. Check out some of their pictures from the performance below.