Click on the above link to hear NBS’s 2013 entry to Z95.1′s contest “Christmas Idol.” (We are the 8th song out of 8 alphabetically, so if this link brings you to some other school’s song, click on the “last” button to get taken to our page.) Vote for us, and you’ll help us compete for $1,000 from Stacy’s Music for our music department.
Our song this year is sung by 7 members of our Senior and Middle School class, and backed up by our house band, Jon and Stuart. Thanks to George Staten for recording us. You can also hear our song on Z95.1 on Monday, December 9.
Katrien’s middle school math class is doing some unusual work. As an article in The Boston Globe explains, it’s an “innovative math curriculum called Bootstrap, which uses computer coding to help students learn algebra functions in real-life applications, rather than in abstract problem-solving.” Check out this article for more information about the program! I especially liked this quote: “The number one reason for using Bootstrap is that it answers the question all students ask, ‘When am I ever going to use this?’ ”
The North Branch community celebrated Thanksgiving at the Rockfish Valley firehouse this year. Every class from Primary up participated in the program, which began with a round of ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple (which I have come to think of as our theme song). The students sang and played music for the audience and we shared soup, cornbread, butter and cider. The soup was the delicious result of a week of vegetable chopping led by Elizabeth Ferrall. Students brought in vegetables and helped add to the soup all week. 5th-8th grade students made cornbread and butter to accompany the main course. Thank you to everyone who helped make the evening a success!
We’ve had a lot of exciting things going on at North Branch in the past two weeks. The Juniors did a phenomenal job making dioramas of books they read and a representative from Barefoot Books came for a one-day book fair. The books were lovely, and it turned out to be a great fundraiser for the school. Also, a big thank you to hot air balloon pilot Scott Cohrs of Bonaire Charters for taking the time to speak to our middle school students yesterday as part of a unit on physics. It was too windy to inflate the balloon using propane, but Scott stretched it out across the field for the students to see. As you can see from teh pictures, the students were pretty excited about this visit!
On Halloween, the Seniors went on a wonderful field trip to McCormick Observatory. We really appreciated Professor Ed Murphy’s expertise and ability to answer every question posed to him. My son told me on the way home, “I kept thinking he wouldn’t know the answer to something, but he knew about everything!” Some of the things we learned are: kids who are 5th and 6th graders now are likely the ones who will go on future missions to Mars; the Mars Rover “Spirit” bounced 27 times before coming to rest on the surface; the seven peaks of a mountain range on Mars are named for the astronauts lost on the Columbia; it takes 20 minutes for radio waves to reach Earth from Mars and the current rover, Curiosity, is powered by plutonium. I highly recommend attending one of the public nights, click here to learn more. We also learned about an interesting and free program called Stellarium, which will show you the sky on any day in history you choose, download it here.
The Observatory entrance
The telescope clock
The dome panels open
Professor Murphy talks about the dome
The observation chair, still adjusted with a rope pulley