7th Grade Weekly Note

Good afternoon, parents!

We hope that you enjoyed the (not so much) snow day yesterday! Here are the highlights from the week in 7th grade.

Our Tuesday trip to the Penn Museum was a great success! In the Native American and Mesoamerican galleries, students hunted for various artifacts and took note of their time and culture of origin, their function, and their appearance. For their weekend CS homework, students will be seeking out some modern artifacts that serve similar purposes as one of those they located in the gallery. We also had some free time to explore the other exhibits in the museum, where we saw Roman coins, Egyptian mummies, a stone sphinx, a giant Chinese crystal, and African drums. Another huge thank you to our parent volunteers, Gemina and Sue, for accompanying us to the museum.

In science and language arts this week we wrapped up our exploration of modern medicine and disease and started looking into our fourth Seed of Change, energy. In language arts we explored the question “What is energy?” From there we looked at how power plants generate electricity by burning fossil fuels, which led us to a brief discussion of the Law of Conservation of Energy. From there we looked at an increasingly important energy technology (particularly in our region): fracking. Through readings and videos, we explored the arguments for and against fracking and how it actually works. We wrapped up the week looking at the promise and difficulties of solar power.

Next week, we turn our eyes to the heavens to explore our final Seed, space exploration. Over the weekend students will be reading and listening to John F. Kennedy’s famous “We Choose to Go to the Moon” speech, which was delivered in 1962 -- the same year that the movie Hidden Figures is set in. Our discussion in class next week might be significantly enriched if you have the opportunity to share with the students over the weekend your memories (if you have them) of the Space Race and the Cold War.

Finally, a couple of announcements. First, we’d like you to mark your calendars for our Seeds of Change Learning Celebration on Thursday, March 9, from 5:00-6:30 p.m.! This event will be the culmination of our Seeds of Change unit, during which students will present and share their research about the world-changing ideas and technologies they are most interested in. All family and friends are welcome! We will send additional reminders as the date approaches.

Second, we would like to remind you all again of the 6th/7th grade Mardi Gras potluck, which will take place in the Garage on Tuesday, February 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. You can RSVP here. If you have any questions about the event or what to bring, please email Sue or Erica. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thanks for your time, and have a great weekend!

David, Melanie, Steve, and Jake