MS Blazer Buzz 15 April
This week's highlight: Building a community of stewardship
We all belong to a watershed. Everything we do, from washing our laundry, to watering our lawns to driving our cars has an effect on our watershed and water quality. We all either live upstream from someone or downstream from someone. Anything we dump into a watershed can end up in our streams and lakes and eventually in our drinking water.
To fully understand our watershed, students from two different schools who share a watershed, Woodlawn School and Sugar Creek Charter School, are researching the history and ecology of their communities. They are identifying land use and trends over time and sharing what they discover with each other. They also took part in a watershed tour led by water quality professionals. The tour started at Lake Norman where they learned about water quality testing (see photo), before traveling to the rain gardens in the Huntersville Northcross shopping area. There the students earned how the gardens prevent many pollutants from going directly into our streams. The final stop was the Sugar Creek Restoration Area where the group discovered the importance of a meandering stream and natural areas to prevent flooding and to provide habitat for wildlife. During their time at Sugar Creek Restoration Area, the students also picked up trash as a way of giving back to the community.
Throughout this process, the students are identifying the positive and negative effects humans have on the environment. They will work collaboratively with artist David Edgar to create an exhibition that generates awareness about the importance of protecting our watershed and portrays that each of us has the responsibility and potential to be stewards of the earth.
Contributed by Kim Lysne
MS Blazer Buzz April 1
This week's highlight: Bird Migration
Each year as the weather is trying to decide whether to switch to spring or hold on to winter a bit longer, the Woodlawn sixth graders encourage spring with an integrated science, art and dance project on bird migration. During science class, students learn about birds, which are our most diverse land-dwelling vertebrates. The sixth graders learn to identify local birds and use the knowledge to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count to document bird populations. The award-winning documentary Winged Migration is shown to explain the arduous migration journey and teach students how some species migrate to safe nesting grounds and others follow food supplies such as insects and other small animals as seasons change. Each student researches the habitat and migration route of a particular bird in the film and creates sculptures of the bird in art class. The sixth graders design bird masks and simple costumes while also choreographing individual dances inspired by research on their bird. During the final performance, guests are treated to these dances and also educated about birds and how humans can help them on their migration route.
Contributed by Cathy Denham
MS Blazer Buzz 25 March
This week's highlight: A visit to the Brian Center
This month's visit to the Brian Center featured the eighth graders performing a "Style Show: Fashions through the Decades." The students dressed in trends from the 1920s through 1990s. The older adult buddies enjoyed the costumes as well as clips from famous songs, major events, movies and famous individuals of each decade. It was a trip down memory lane for the older adults and a learning experience for the eighth graders as they researched each decade in detail to prepare for the show. Students discovered that in the 1920s the League of Nations was formed, women in the US were given the right to vote, insecticides were first used on crops, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean, Mickey Mouse appeared and Louis Armstrong's West End Blues was popular. In the 1980s, Pac-Man was created, the Titanic wreck was found, the first woman went into space, the space shuttle Challenger exploded and popular movies included ET, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Ghostbusters and Back to the Future. The popular musicians were Michael Jackson, Madonna and Journey. The eighth graders shared their own talents and interests with the residents by performing a juggling act and a saxophone and piano duo. The group sang songs and also played an animal trivia game.
Contributed by Beth Robinson
MS Blazer Buzz 18 March
This week's highlight: National History Day!
Southwest Regional National History Day Competition at UNC Charlotte
Woodlawn middle schoolers participated in the Southwest Regional National History Day Competition at UNC Charlotte on Saturday, March 16. Students wrote papers, created websites and produced documentaries, exhibits and performances focusing on this year's National History Day theme, Turning Points in History - People, Events and Ideas. Several Woodlawn students' projects and papers were selected for the state level of the National History Day Competition in Raleigh on April 27. Students received first, second and third place ribbons, certificates and gift card prizes.
For the complete list of 2013 Woodlawn School winners, see our National History Day page.
Contributed by Beth Robinson
MS Blazer Buzz 11 March
This week's highlight: Raptors!
As part of their study of birds, Woodlawn sixth graders visited the Carolina Raptor Center on Friday, March 8. During the visit, the class participated in a program focusing on the needs of birds, their role in the ecosystem and how we can help raptors. While on campus, students participated in field mapping exercises, observation of bird behaviors and a study of bird habitats and migration patterns.
Contributed by Jen Conrad