Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Onion Powered iPods & Sanitary Dog Smooches

Did you ever wonder whether an onion and an electrolyte liquid might provide enough energy to run your iPod? Did you ever wonder whether it was safer to kiss a dog than a human? Did you ever wonder what type of music might best make your flowers grow or how color affects your sense of taste?

Well, our students did. These were amongst the ninety projects reflecting a breathtaking combination of creativity, ingenuity, wit, and the scientific method, submitted by our students in 4th through 8th grade for this year's annual Science Fair.

Each and every project began with a "problem" which our students set out to explore through a developmentally appropriate experiment of their design, aided and guided by Mrs. Dana Parker, our Lower School Science teacher, and Mrs. Linda George, our Middle School Science Teacher. The boards which our students presented noted the student's original hypothesis as to what he or she expected the results of the experiment to be, followed by a description of the materials and procedure used in its execution, the data collected, and the conclusions drawn. From basic taste tests to complex DNA extraction, and from tests of the local environment to a test of the hallowed "5 Second Rule," the projects demonstrated the value of applied science at its best.

Special thanks to all of our "celebrity" judges who gave of their time to evaluate our students' work, to our science teachers, and to Mrs. Gersten for organizing the event. It is the students themselves, though, who deserve the greatest commendation for a job very well done.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


In keeping with our policy of not naming students on the blog, let me just congratulate that anonymous 12th grade girl who, in this week's Model UN - which featured teams from 43 schools and over 450 students - was awarded "Best Delegate for the International Court of Justice." Well done! Looks like there's a bright career in litigation shining on the horizon...

Math Day, History Day, and Election Podcasts

It's been a busy few weeks in our General Studies classes throughout the school. It seems like every day has featured another special program or another showcase of the wonderful world of ideas in which our students are engaged. Let me share with you just a few...

Two weeks ago our students, under the direction of Ms. Whitney Huey (soon to be Dr. Whitney Huey!), headed over to St. George's Independent School to participate in their annual History Day Competition. Our students did an outstanding job and their award-winning work is now on display for everyone to see in our Elementary School library.

Last Friday featured a showcase of our new Lower School math curriculum, called Everyday Mathematics. Mrs. Robertson invited the families of both our first and second graders for a Family Math Day in which our students taught their parents many of the fun math games they play in class. From High Roller to Bunny Hop, and from Name that Number to The Digit Game, our kids made it clear to their parents that learning math has never been so much fun! It just so happens that Everyday Math in the MHA is also the subject of a feature in this month's Jewish Scene. Check it out by clicking here...

Tuesday of this week brought technology into our 6th grade classroom in an exciting way. As part of their unit on the upcoming election, Mrs. Vaughn's class watched a CNN podcast projected onto the classroom's whiteboard, which covered the issues and players involved in Super Tuesday's primaries. Throughout the broadcast, Mrs. Vaughn explained terms and concepts so as to ensure that each and every student could converse intelligently and insightfully about the upcoming elections.

Can't wait to see what next week brings...