The Middle School Open House begins with the chance to meet current students, parents, and teachers in our Assembly Hall. We'll have student work on display so that you can see what a project-based curriculum looks like here. After a short welcome and group presentation, you can choose a mini-class to attend. Our teachers have designed these workshops as a way for you to choose something that interests you and to learn a bit more about how we teach. We hope you'll enjoy it!
*Note: the descriptions below are a sampling of courses that have been offered in prior years. Some will surely repeat this year, and we'll have new additions as well!
How Nothing Becomes Something How did the clothespin get its hinge? How did the coffee mug get its handle? We'll create our own answers by developing creation myths in the style of African folk tales. Be ready to improvise and get creative!
Ode to Oreos Do you nibble or chomp? Do you twist off the tops or dunk into milk? Come and explore the delights of Oreos and poetry in this delicious workshop.
#simplepleasurespoetry Before there were 140 characters in a tweet, there were limitless lines and succinct stanzas in a poem. In this workshop, we will both read and write a poem to capture a moment that brings you great joy: the first snow, sleeping in on a Saturday, sipping hot chocolate with whipped cream, jumping off the dock, finishing a book, scoring a goal. Come and enjoy the simple pleasures of pencil, paper, and poetry in our Library. No network connection necessary!
The 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel Come and debate what have been some of man's most important inventions of the past 8,000 years. We will brainstorm what could be on this list and then debate which of these inventions has changed the fortunes of mankind the most. Have recent inventions such as the cell phone and computer had a greater impact than earlier breakthroughs like the abacus or the compass? Make your own list and then see if we can come to consensus on the top three inventions since the wheel.
See-Saws, Merry-Go-Rounds, and Slides Have you ever wondered why we use doorknobs to open doors, hammers to pound nails, or bottle openers to open fancy sodas? Behind each of these miraculous inventions lies the power of see-saws, merry-go-rounds and slides. After this session, you may never see a pencil sharpener the same way again!
Do-It-Yourself Flashlight Use LEGO parts and aluminum foil to design and build your own hand-crank flashlight. Can you create a crank and reflector that will produce as bright a light as possible? Test the effectiveness of your design using a light sensor and data-logging software.
Learn Mandarin through Calligraphy Nihao, xiexie & zaijian! Come and talk in Mandarin. We will explore the beauty of the language through calligraphy writing and making stories with Chinese characters. No experience necessary!
Celebrate Dia de los Muertos and Learn Spanish Come and learn about the "Day of the Dead" (Dia de los Muertos) celebration through cognates and cartoons. Learn to speak Spanish in a fun and interactive way!
Pentominoes The emphasis of this geometry activity is on informal, concrete experience, not on the symbolic and formal definitions that are the focus in many textbooks. Pentominoes calls on a different kind of reasoning than is needed for numerical tasks. Students who do not consider themselves to be good math students often enjoy success in these kinds of spatial experiences. There are two aspects to this activity. One is searching for possible arrangements of squares — a geometric visualization task. The other is deciding when all possible arrangements have been found, which requires the use of logical reasoning.
Math Ex2ploration Become a "Math Ex2plorer" while developing powerful connections between numbers! We will focus on one aspect of number theory, which will demonstrate how we strengthen skills in a fun and engaging way.
Print it! Come and explore relief print-making. In the Art Studio, you will learn how to print many interesting objects using carved rubber, different tools, miscellaneous objects, and a giant press. Join us and find out how!