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Category Archives: Middle School

Hands-on Learning Takes Center Stage at CAS Douglas Middle School

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Fifth grader proudly displays egg that survived the drop.

Students in grades 5-8 who attend the Douglas campus of CAS Middle School have recently excelled in exploratory learning and educational trips. Mrs. Alvarado’s and Mrs. Peraza’s fifth grade classes conducted an elasticity experiment with eggs constructing differing surrounds which would help the egg survive a drop off a 20-foot structure. Students then had the opportunity to test their theories with an outdoor egg drop.

6th graders pose beside their research posters.

6th graders pose beside their research posters.

The sixth grade classes also continued with project-based learning in their research projects. Students researched famous inventors such as   Alexander Graham Bell and George Eastman Kodak. Later, they recreated famous inventions so that the students could see what they looked like. All of the sixth grade students in Mrs. Robles’ science classes have been working hard on this project for the past two weeks, and projects are now on display for all students to see.

7th graders enjoy their tour of Pima Air & Space Museum

7th graders enjoy their tour of Pima Air & Space Museum

Finally, the students in Mrs. Gonzalez’s and Ms. Paredes’ 7th grade science class went on a field trip to the Pima Air and Space Museum.  The students learned about the evolution of flight and were able to walk around and look at various types of airplanes.  They saw planes that have been in various wars, as well as space.  They also toured to the Airplane Boneyard viewing hundreds of planes that were previously engaged in military efforts around the globe.

Seventh and Eighth Grade Science Fair Stimulates Excellent Scientific Inquiry

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Eighth grade science fair winners proudly display their science fair boards

Seventh and eighth grade students at The Center for Academic Success participated in a science fair on February 6 in the cafeteria. CAS holds a science fair every year; this year there were around 57 students who entered. Windy Petit, middle school science teacher, helped organize the fair and Angelica Brown, high school science teacher, Meredith Galloway, assistant principal, and Romilly Gardner, third grade teacher, acted as judges during the event.

There were six winners: three seventh grade winners and three eighth grade winners. For seventh grade, Ethan Johnson won third place, Macayla Fetting won second place and Gienezza Melendez won first place. For eighth grade, Ian Sandbourne won third place, Licia Borowski won second place and Erin Gainey won first place. First place winners from both grades will continue on to the Youth Engineering and Science (YES) Fair. This year’s award-winning science projects demonstrated a unique blend of inquiry and creativity investigating the efficacy of bullet-resistant vests, environments that foster bacterial growth, behavioral patterns in canines, and soil pollution near gas stations.

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7th grade science fair winners display project boards and ribbons.

According to the YES Fair Rule Book, the YES Fair is “an organized exhibit of student projects in the areas of science, research, technology, mathematics, and engineering. The YES Fair is affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair and follows its rules and guidelines.” The YES Fair will be held at the end of March at the Windemere Hotel and Conference Center.

Students were required to include a hypothesis, materials, procedures, data/observations, results, a graph of their results, conclusions, applications and future research, a bibliography and acknowledgements on their poster boards which were displayed at the fair. All of these things played a role in the judging process.

Petit said, “[The science fair is] to get the students involved with learning and finding out new things that they can.”

CAS Celebrates Christmas and Winter Holidays with Polar Parties, 4th Grade Play, & Christmas Around the World

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“Magic” indoor snow provides messy fun at the Polar Party.

The Center for Academic Success celebrated the Christmas season with plenty of fun surrounding the holiday in addition to high-quality learning activities. Students in the k-4 elementary held a Polar Party blowout in which students decorated sugar cookies, played pin the ornament on the tree (similar to pin the tail on the donkey), and molded indoor snowmen from “magic” Arizona snow [see photo left].

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Kinder students enjoy Donut Dangle game.

Students also raced to eat sugared donuts off a string and worked with art teacher Ms. Marshall to create reindeer clothespin ornaments. At the culmination, students selected three different reindeer snack mixes to take along to view the classic cartoon — The Grinch.

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Santa and elves review the “nice” list in 4th grade musical.

Fourth grade classes also performed a winter musical in which Santa decided that kids no longer found him “hip.” Santa then decides to transform into “The Clause” as he proclaims the entire north pole to change into a 1950’s-style workshop. Dual Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and elves set the fun stage for this drama as Santa learns that children still love their holiday traditions. In addition to memorizing all their lines, fourth graders also sang and danced to classic Christmas carols such as “Jingle Bells,” and “Here Comes Santa Clause” in addition to 1950’s classics like “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Rock Around the Clock.”

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Fourth Grade cast poses before their performance.

Many thanks to both the fourth grade class and Music Teacher Ms. Dokken who made this ambitious musical possible.

CAS also involved family and world-heritage traditions in its holiday celebrations with many classrooms decorating gingerbread houses, researching Christmas around the world, and explaining family food and gift traditions. Classes learned the stories of Father Christmas, Saint Nicolas, and the story of The Magi which have transformed over the years into holiday gift-giving. Although not every CAS family celebrates Christmas, those with differing traditions were able to explain holidays like Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Kwanza to their classmates. Several students who do not observe holidays also shared their family traditions and beliefs for this time of year.

Whatever your family traditions, CAS offers you and yours a very Merry Christmas and time of joy this holiday season as we reflect on the year. CAS will observe a half-day with a 12:00 release on Friday, December 19th and will be closed for the holidays for two weeks. Classes will resume on Monday, January 5th, 2015.

CAS Remembers 9/11 with Flag Ceremony

100_1671The Center for Academic Success held a short flagpole memorial ceremony in honor of the American tragedy of September 11th. Middle and high school students with staff met Dean of Students Jarad Young at the CAS flag pole for a few words on the importance of honoring the fallen and remembering the anniversary each year of the attacks.

Students and staff had a somber raising of the flag to half-mast in silence followed by a salute and pledge. On this day, and all days, CAS is proud to serve our families who work to protect our freedoms in the armed forces and employ so many veterans on our staff. 100_1674Students will continue to remember the day at CAS with moments of silence and readings about the 9/11 events which took 3,000 American lives 13 years ago.