MS Blazer Buzz 2 June

This week's highlight:Body, Mind, Spirit!

Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students enjoyed a morning of exercising their bodies, strengthening their minds, and filling their spirits during this year's Middle School Community Building Day. The morning began with chalk art. Groups worked together to transform an ordinary block of the campus sidewalk into a colorful and inspirational message for all. “Be - YOU - tiful,” “Imagine,” and “Dream” were just some of the ideas shared by students. With those uplifting words resonating in their minds, Katie Dixon of Kadi-Fit led the students in an incredible cardio-dance workout. Hearts pumped while students sang and shouted, jumped and danced to song after song. Stinson Hall’s yard rocked as everyone discovered just how much fun getting fit can be. A much-deserved snack of yogurt, fruit, and granola came next, providing just the right kind of nourishment for the final activity of the morning, yoga. Under the instruction of Kiesha Battles, the middle schoolers learned a variety of basic moves and also challenged their bodies and minds with several more advanced positions. The message of the day summed up the focus of the year:  a truly healthy person understands and nurtures their mental, physical, and emotional being. This year’s Community Building Day showed the students how art, dance, nutrition, and exercise can nourish their minds, their bodies, and their spirits.

Contributed by Kim Lysne and Kristen Wiesenmayer

MS Blazer Buzz 26 May

This week's highlight: We all live downstream!

In keeping with the theme for the eighth grade year, “How Did We Get Here,” students have been studying how everyone is interconnected by water. In history class, students explored the importance of water to the early development of towns, and learned that communities are currently encouraging conservation and sustainability efforts through programs such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification of new construction and development. During science class, students learned about community as part of a watershed. In the recent weeks, the eighth graders have been spotted trekking through wooded areas on campus following the flow of water to see the affects on the environment. They have also measured the quality of water at Blythe Landing on Lake Norman. The class experience water testing on a grand scale at the Lee S. Duke Water Treatment Plant in Huntersville where students learned how water is purified and supplied throughout Mecklenburg County. Closer to home, the eighth graders have been working on a project in math class measuring water runoff at their homes and determining how this connects to the watershed. The culmination of this coursework will be shared at the end-of-year Water Works presentation and tour following a luncheon in the Lodge on June 3.

Contributed by Doug Guy

MS Blazer Buzz 19 May

This week's highlight: 6th Grade Class Trip to the Great Smokies!

Did you know that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the salamander capital of the world? Woodlawn's sixth grade spent three days at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and learned all about North Carolina’s very own National Park and the diversity of wildlife that makes its home there. The camp is located within the boundaries of the National Park, affording the sixth graders the opportunity to experience nature up close. On a salamander hike, students found four different salamander species and were able to identify them. To learn about the geology of the region, the class hiked to a beautiful waterfall and adventurous students stuck their heads in the chilly waterfall and went wading in the stream. In addition, students learned to use a compass accurately in wilderness navigation class, square danced, and learned about how important forests are to the health of wildlife and the planet. In the closing circle, many students said they had become keenly aware of how many different kinds of plants and animals there are in the world and our responsibility to earth's living things. The diversity of plants, animals, geology, and ecology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park made for an amazing experience; many students said they wanted to return to the salamander capital of the world this summer with their families!

Contributed by Cathy Denham

MS Blazer Buzz 11 May

This week's highlight: 8th Graders Take on DC

Early morning on Monday, April 28th, the eighth grade began the much anticipated 2014 trip to our nation's capitol, Washington DC. The class traveled in comfort in a 29-passenger bus from Rose Charters. After spending time at school with Ms. Robinson learning about American history, the students were prepared to take on our nation’s capitol city.

The class began its visit in the DC area on Monday afternoon with a tour of the home and grounds at Mount Vernon. That evening the students enjoyed dinner at Bertucci's in Alexandria, VA, and checked into their hotel in Arlington. After a good night of rest, the eight graders and their chaperons, Mr. Milburn, Ms. Robinson, and Mrs. Armstrong, rode the Metrorail into Washington, DC. On Tuesday, the class visited the National Museum of the American Indian, the Library of Congress, the Capitol, and the Holocaust Museum. The rain and lack of moonlight on Tuesday evening did not keep the class from enjoying dinner at Union Station and the Monuments by Moonlight tour.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the class visited Ford's Theatre, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery of Art, the Newseum, the Archives, Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the National Museum of American History, the National Air and Space Museum, Arlington Cemetery, and the Pentagon City Mall. The class trip ended Friday evening after lunch at Michie Tavern in Charlottesville, VA, a tour of Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, and the bus ride back to Woodlawn.  The trip was a fun and educational culmination to the eighth grade year and a glimpse into answers to the question of the year, "How Did We Get Here?"

Contributed by Patty Armstrong

MS Blazer Buzz 5 May

This week's highlight: Camp Tekoa

"In the end, we will only conserve what we love. We will only love what we understand. We will only understand what we are taught." - Baba Dioum (African Naturalist)

After spending time in the classroom amassing knowledge of the workings of our planet and all of its living things, the seventh graders traveled to Camp Tekoa for their annual overnight trip and spent three days soaking up information in the Inside Out environmental education program.
An appreciation for nature is inextricably linked to our survival and success as members of a diverse global society. While studying stream ecology, hiking to remote water falls, and learning to rock climb, the seventh graders built a deeper sense of respect and admiration for our natural world.

Inspired by this new admiration and presented with a challenge, the students rose to the occasion and put forth a herculean effort in order to reclaim a section of stream overrun by invasive species and riddled with debris. This section of stream on the property of Camp Tekoa will now provide a place for future visitors to study, learn, and gain an appreciation for nature.

Leaning on the knowledge of the superb staff from Inside Out, the seventh graders had the chance to identify and eat wild edibles, ride a water sleuth, build a raft, paddle a canoe, hear stories of celestial reverence, and most importantly, learn more about themselves and the awe inspiring wonder that is nature.

Contributed by Chris Van Amburgh