Fifth graders in Mrs. Osborne's math class recently finished studying area and perimeter of rectangles, squares, triangles, and parallelograms. The unit concluded with a tiny house project. "Tiny houses" are typically homes with less than 400 square feet of space. Students were given the challenging task of creating not only such a house but one that also met certain requirements (such as windows, lights, a front door, artwork, a mirror, a bed, table, counter, refrigerator, and more). Before jumping straight to building their model, they had to draft a blueprint of their house and create a sensible layout.
Today the Lower School's fourth and fifth-grade classes had a special visitor to give them insight on the weather: Chief Meteorologist at WDBJ-Channel 7 in Roanoke, Brent Watts came to explain about the ways in which weather scientists measure things like precipitation, wind, and other variables in our environment—even demonstrating a weather balloon. The kids were captivated and had many question which Mr. Watts was more than happy to answer. We appreciate him taking the time to give our students this unique opportunity.
The 100 Books Initiative, begun last year, formally recognizes our commitment to fine literature and developing lifelong learners beginning at the earliest levels. To be successful in this endeavor requires a collaboration between family, school, and student, as we all have a part to play in creating a shared literature experience among our Lower School students. Graduating from Ellis Hall will afford every student the opportunity to share in this experience, as well as to be recognized for the additional effort in pursuing these goals further.
After being delayed by snow days, this morning, Enkhee Dendev ’17 finally presented her speech entitled: Regenerative Medicine: Bioartificial Organs to the Upper School assembly. She briefly chronicled the history of organ transplantation and then detailed the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine where whole organs are produced using a person's own cells to replace traumatized or disease-damaged organs such as the ear, trachea or bladder. Scientists are moving closer to human trials for more vascularized artificial organs (those which need a high amount of blood supply) such as the heart or kidney. Enkhee's 7-year-old young sister, Marla, introduced the topic and was a very patient observer for the talk. Enkhee hopes to study this topic further in college, but as far as we can tell, she's definitely off to a good start in understanding its complexities. You can hear the speech in its entirety in the Featured Content section of onCampus.
Students in the Upper School now have access to a 3-D printer, thanks to the generosity of the Winn family. Dean of Student Life and Mathematics Chair Stephen Belderes says the machine will be available for use in classes as part of a STEM curriculum. In the past, students had access to a 3-D printer, though it was fussy and wouldn't consistently work. With the purchase of another, currently under repair, the School will soon have access to two machines for three-dimensional design. Our sincerest appreciation to the Winns for their generosity. We can't wait to see what our students come up with.
Last Friday and this Monday two students delivered their DeHart presentations to the Upper School in Fishburn Auditorium: Sulan Yan ’17 and Blake Marvin ’17. Due to technical problems with our sound board software, the talks were not recorded. However, a brief summary of their topics follows:
Sulan Yan spoke on globalization and the influence of westernization on Chinese culture.
Blake Marvin's topic was law enforcement and its effect on community relations, illustrating his point with examples such as airport racial profiling and the events leading to the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Photos from DeHart Speeches can be found in the Featured Content section of onCampus.
This morning, Caroline McGimsey ’17 delivered her DeHart presentation on the perception of America to foreigners as related by pop culture. She discussed how many of the films we produce, which may have nominal success here, are quite popular abroad and gross quite higher numbers than on American soil. With the predominance of the Internet and social media channels such as YouTube, the media readily available to foreign cultures paints quite a different picture of Americans than reality would portray. These characteristics such as frivolity, excessive partying, and material wealth promote an image of Americans which, in actuality, is applicable to only a small number of individuals, and even those are distorted through the filter of video editing or carefully chosen images and wording. The full audio of her presentation can be heard by visiting the Featured Content of onCampus.
Laney Fralin ’17 presented her topic this Monday morning on Service and Therapy Animals and the unique benefits they provide to those who are differently abled, physically and/or emotionally. Along with her, Tide, a dog trained by St. Francis Service Dogs, and his handler demonstrated some of the physical tasks accomplished so that those who they serve can remain independent, such as retrieving and handing off objects, and moving items like laundry baskets. Along with her speech, Ms. Fralin showed some before-and-after case studies of those who have benefitted from this unique form of therapy, often helping emotional disorders which otherwise would be untreatable or inadequately addressed by modern medicinal therapies. Partial audio of her speech can be played from the Featured Content section of onCampus.
Back from Thanksgiving break, our Upper School community was treated on Tuesday to Bruce Farrell's DeHart Speech on the extraordinary and remarkable life of Nelson Mandela. The research was inspired by his own trip to South Africa and conversations with Denis Goldberg, the third accused in the Rivonia Trial which convicted Nelson Mandela and others who were active in the anit-apartheid movement of sabotage. Goldberg was given four life sentences and served 22 years in a prison for white political prisoners. Bruce reflects: "I spent a day with him learning about Nelson Mandela's walk to freedom. Denis Goldberg may be one of the most inspiring and genuine men I've ever met. He was the inspiration behind my DeHart Project."
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.