Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ocean Acidification Booklet Project

Grades: 9
Teachers: Sarah Hirschfeld and Mike Weiss
Subject: Earth and Physical Science
Project Name: Ocean Acidification Booklet Project

Recently in our study of Oceanography, students investigated the impact of ocean acidification. This began in the Innovation Lab participating in a simulated underwater experience using virtual reality devices and Google Expeditions. There are some photos of our time in the lab here. Students then selected a research question that illuminated a certain aspect of ocean acidification from the causes, to the impacts, to the future outlook. They provided findings through oral presentations in a symposium format to their classmates. The section culminated with students creating an informational page for an ocean acidification booklet. Each class made their own booklet that was shared with parents and guardians. We also made a master copy of select student work across all classes which is attached.

This was a fun activity to do with our students as they all were invested in their part of ocean acidification and allowed us all to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. We hope you enjoy looking through their booklet and seeing the hard work our students put into this project.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Electric Car Design and Build

Grades: 10 -12
Teachers: Tom Pitman
Subject: Electric Car
Project Name: Electric Car Design and Build

This update was written by Alison Flowerdew, parent, and Yarmouth Education Foundation board member. The grant for this opportunity was funded by YEF.

Hello Car Enthusiasts!

There is a lot of excitement in room 410 at YHS! That's because the Electric Car Design and Build class is busy assembling their electric car for their big race in May. Tom Pitman is in the driver's seat (for now, anyway....)!

This class is made up of Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors and today they were working on building the bumper hoop, the steering controls and the drive train (pictures enclosed). They are hoping to finish building the car by the end of March so they can spend the month of April practicing their driving skills. They want to be fully prepared to race their electric machine at the Lime Rock Motor Speedway in CT on May 18th. There are several different classes that compete at this race including, the novice class, the modified class, the super modified class, the solar power class etc. YHS will be competing in the novice class and will be driving against schools from up and down the east coast. YHS is one of only 2 high schools in Maine to compete in this race (the other being Noble High School). Go Clippers!

The race on May 18th is all about endurance. The goal is to see how many laps you can complete in one hour. During that hour, there has to be at least one pit stop. During the pit stop, the students will check their car and change drivers. The car must complete the 1 hour race using the same battery the entire time. Each car will have 2 drivers on the day of the race, but in case you are wondering, all the Yarmouth students will be able to drive the car in April during the test drive stage.

When this class was originally offered, there was an overwhelming response from the students. So much so, that YHS partially funded a second electric car! So, there will be two cars and two classes heading to CT on May 18th. Mr. Pitman often finds students working on the cars before and after class. The students have said they are so excited to finally put their math skills to use in the real world. The kit came with a 42 page instruction manual. Bring on the math!

Once the race is over, the students will break down the cars so that future classes can rebuild them for next year's race. Mr. Pitman's ultimate goal is to build a car and enter it in the solar powered class one day.

And the fun doesn't stop there. They are hoping to drive down Main Street during the Clam Festival parade, showing off their fancy electric cars. They are working on getting stickers for the cars to showcase their sponsors (YEF, Coastal Maine Hardware and Batteries Plus etc). Let's talk big is our largest YEF sticker?? Tom said he'd like to put a YEF sticker front and center on one of the cars. If we don't have one big enough, Tom said he'd order a decal. It might be fun to have some YEF stickers for the helmets. Can we send some Tom's way?

Tom - Thank you so much for letting me come into your class room today. I can't wait to come back in April to take a picture of the final product! Thank you for bringing this grant to life for our high school students!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Celebrating Diversity: American Voices

Grades: 9-12
Subject: English Language Arts and Social Studies
Project Name: Celebrating Diversity: American Voices 

This update was written by Alison Flowerdew, parent, and Yarmouth Education Foundation board member. The grant for this opportunity was funded by YEF.

Part One: Grades 11 and 12
David Mills is in the house!  Part one of Marita O'Neill and Jackie Brookes's grant, Celebrating Diversity:  American Voices -- Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King, came to life today at YHS!  David Mills performed as Langston Hughes in the YPAC this morning for the Junior & Senior class.  He was a one man show!  He started his performance reciting Hughes's famous poem called The Negro Speaks of Rivers, then continued reciting Hughes's poems and short stories for about an hour. Throughout his performance, he used many different voices: male, female, young, old, black & white.

After his presentation this morning, he conducted a workshop on Blues Poetry in two Senior AP Literature classes.  The class read a Hughes poem titled Midwinter Blues.  After the students read the poem out loud, they dissected each stanza, line by line, discussing setting, structure, form, tone, meaning, repetition and rhyme.  The students then wrote their own Blues poem using the formula they'd just learned.  In the background, Mr. Mills played a Chicago Blues song, while the students wrote their poem.  At the end of class, a couple of brave students read their poems out loud and I'm here to report that Ms. O'Neill has some terrific poets in her class!  I could tell the students really enjoyed the workshop, because they personally thanked Mr. Mills and shook his hand on the way out the door.  

What a bonus for the students to have their English teachers and History teachers join forces to create this experience for them.

Part TwoOne: Grades 8, 9 and 10:

Part two of the David Mills grant started off with a bang today!  The YPAC was filled to capacity with Freshman, Sophomores and 8th graders as David Mills transformed himself into Martin Luther King Jr.

It was another terrific one man show!  David Mills recited excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches and letters, including "I Have a Dream", "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and "If I had Sneezed".  In between the speeches, he performed interludes to bring the audience from one stage of King's life to another.  One of the interludes discussed how King felt when the 4 girls were killed in the Alabama church in 1963, just days after giving his "I Have a Dream" speech.  It was a powerful performance.
This afternoon I attended a workshop in Mrs. Ruthman's Sophomore Modern World History class.  It was a small class, but they knew their stuff!  Mr. Mills started off the class by giving the students some historical context around the letter that Dr. King wrote from his jail cell in 1963.  He talked about the bus boycott, which lasted over a year, the protests in Birmingham (which was nicknamed "Bombingham"), and why Dr. King was imprisoned.  When talking about Dr. King's letter from jail, Mr. Mills explained how Dr. King appealed to the reader on an emotional and intellectual level through his high rhetoric.  Mr. Mills described the letter as an "epistolary poem", which is a poem in the form of a letter.  After the class read the "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", line by line, they discussed setting, repetition, meaning, parallel syntax, alliteration, paratactic syntax, hypophora, antithesis, anaphora, periodic sentences and metaphors.  Did you get all that?  The Sophomores did!  They were a smart bunch.
After the lesson on the literary devices found in Dr. King's letter, the students were asked to write their own
"epistolary poem" and were asked to include the elements they'd just learned from Dr. King's letter.  They were charged with writing about an experience they'd had in their lives where they'd been misunderstood, hurt or disrespected by someone with whom they were not able to respond to.  The students wrote and wrote and wrote.  Mrs. Ruthman's class turned into a writing machine. 
I know this grant was written for the high school, but I thought you might be interested in a couple of quotes from the 8th graders who attended the performance this morning.....
"I loved it!  The acting was amazing and I learned a lot of things about King's struggles that I wasn't awarde of.  I had no idea how vicious racism could be.  I was struck by the phone threat King received where they said they would kill his wife and daughter.  My big takeaway was that hatred is pointless"  This 8th grader said he was very moved and said this program was one of his favorites!

"It was awesome!  Mr. Mills did a great job with the miming.  I learned a lot about MLK".  

"I thought Mr. Mills was a really good actor and I enjoyed hearing him recite the "I have a Dream" speech.  I didn't know he was stabbed and I'd never heard the "If I had Sneezed" speech.  I loved the ending, when Mr. Mills talked about how Dr. King didn't want to be known for his Nobel Peace Prize or his many awards when he died, but for the impact he left on the world."

A special thank you to Caitlin for letting me join her class today and to Marita & Jackie for writing this grant and for bringing this experience to our students!  And finally, thank you for including the 8th graders.  It obviously had a big impact on them.  

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Studying Oceanography with Google Expeditions

Grades: 9
Teachers: Sarah Hirschfeld and Mike Weiss
Subject: Physical Science
Project Name: Oceanography
Resources: Google Expeditions

Grade 9 students studying a new unit on Oceanography used the #googleexpeditions kit (donated by YEF) to learn about acidification in the ocean as well as "swimming" with some of the undersea creatures. Sarah Hirschfeld and Mike Weiss led the lessons and dressed appropriately in scuba gear.

More Pictures