In case you missed it, here is an interview with Charlotte Zinsser Booth, Head of School, on the radio:
Today’s assembly was all recorder performances. Many students had been waiting several weeks to perform – we have had a busy few weeks! We enjoyed listening to: Shortnin’ Bread, Wayfaring Stranger, All Through the Night, a French lullaby and Old King Cole.
In a tradition that goes back many years, Michael’s 5th-6th grade Senior Class held the Mayan Market today. The Seniors have been studying the Mayans for weeks now, and have learned about their art, culture, language and customs. Students spent several days preparing items to barter at the market – all items were natural objects or handmade by the students. Each class had a turn at the market, where they also brought items to trade. Market guests were treated to foods such as banana, papaya, avocado, and Mayan chocolate. One of my favorite parts was the “jaguar pelt” made out of an old fuzzy sleeper that someone had outgrown.
Here are the Seniors and Michael introducing the Market:
The Bastille was one of the subjects at the middle school debate this morning. I had the honor of being asked to sit in and listen to the 7th and 8th graders debate several subjects. In addition to the Bastille debate, the students also debated if the 1700s were the best or worst of times, and whether or not the statement “You’re either with us or against us” is fair/accurate in times of political or religious strife.
I learned several interesting things, for example, there were not many prisoners in residence at the time the Bastille was stormed in 1789. From Wikipedia: “At this point, the Bastille was nearly empty of prisoners, housing only seven old men annoyed by all the disturbance: four forgers, two “lunatics” and one “deviant” aristocrat, the comte de Solages (the Marquis de Sade had been transferred out ten days earlier). I also learned that there was a ship, the SS Californian, nearby when the Titanic sank – if it had responded to the distress calls, more lives might have been spared.
Members of the UVA Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega came to North Branch on Saturday, March 17th and this past Saturday to work on several projects. They erected a greenhouse and constructed an end wall for it, built an amphitheater, a wooden surround for the sandbox, built-in benches on the front porch, repaired the walkway and ramp to the trailer, landscaped, and more. There are pictures on our Facebook page! We would like to take this opportunity to give them a huge thank you! The North Branch community is also very appreciative of Windridge Landscaping, Jim Gates, Jeff of Goff Plumbing, and all of the other people who worked to make these projects possible.
The science teams returned from Richmond on Saturday. Maggie and her 5th-8th grade science classes were there competing at KidWind, a wind turbine competition. This was Virginia’s first KidWind challenge. From the brochure: “KidWind was founded in 2002 by Michael Arquin, a middle school teacher from Monterey, California….they have helped teachers and students build over 50,000 experimental wind turbines…the KidWind Challenge is now in its third year and is being held in many states throughout the country.”
Many of the science students and parents went to support the students chosen to be on the teams. The event was a collective effort by all of the science students. Those who were not on the teams still worked on many aspects of the projects, including poster making, design testing and fabrication of the models.
Maggie tells me: “Each team was part of a bigger class effort, with all of the class’s work going into their designs, posters, thinking, etc. Lots of kids wanted to be on the teams, and I had to choose (with some input from them) who would represent each class. The team, of course, had the added responsibility of testing and being interviewed. It is important to me to honor the collaborative effort and attitude of each class. It was truly a joint effort in each of the 3 classes!”
See more pictures of KidWind on our Facebook page! Congratulations to all who worked on this, to those who were in Richmond, and to Maggie!
At Friday’s assembly, we were delighted to learn that two of the middle schoolers were awarded prizes at the Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair, held this past Monday at John Paul Jones Arena. This picture is of an experiment done to determine if girls and boys are more likely to have the same eye colors as their mother or father, respectively.
One of our 8th graders performed an experiment to determine which local woods could hold the most weight. He won an Honorable Mention:
Congratulations to the students and to Jebb, their teacher!
There will be a more detailed post once I get more information, but I wanted to share this right away. Maggie’s 6th-8th grade science students traveled to the Science Museum of Virginia today to participate in one of KidWind’s National Challenges. The teams took three prizes! The 7th-8th grade team, “North Wind,” took second place overall and “Winds R Us,” a 5th-6th grade team, took third place. Another 5th-6th grade team, the “Windy Squirrel Monkeys,” was awarded an honorable mention. Huge congratulations to Maggie and all of the students (and parents!) who competed or came to support the teams!
The middle school chorus sings “Bright morning stars.”