Friday, January 19, 2018

Something's Fishy! A Marine Mystery for Seabury Middle School!

Seabury Middle School students went on an adventure to Highline College's Marine Science and Technology (or MaST) Center in Des Moines today, where they became sleuths in a marine mystery. The MaST Center is a marine biology facility and aquarium associated with Highline College, which houses labs, classrooms, research areas, and a 15-tank aquarium. The location is open to the public on Saturday mornings, but the rest of the week services as an educational and outreach facility.

Seabury students were faced with the task of identifying the cause of death of a native marine mammal. Armed with data, photos, and necropsy (i.e. animal autopsy) results, students were asked to find evidence that supported their hypothesis of the cause of death. Their brains worked on overdrive, coming up with really clever theories and trying to prove them via the evidence at hand.

After this sleuthing mission, students then had the chance to visit the aquarium and get to know a few sea creatures better through the touch tank. A beachside scavenger hunt ended the day, as students combed the sand looking for items such as driftwood, different types of rocks, and various species of animals. 

It was cold, but that did not stop Seabury students from having a blast learning more about our local environment and the animals we share it with!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Holocaust Artifacts

With our class trip quickly approaching, we are learning more about modern war. Students will begin reading Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl in February, so they are learning about the Holocaust to give them more background information for this. To do this, we have received an artifacts box from the Holocaust Center for Humanity, a museum in Seattle, which we will  be visiting in March. Students watched a short video about the Holocaust and then were able to explore a replica of an artifact from some of the people they watched in the video.

Here students reflect on what they saw in the video or learned about the Holocaust through the artifacts.

One artifact was a Boy Scout card from Shanghai from a boy who fled Germany, Heinz Schwarz. 
"He was a German-Jew and was put on a train to Shanghai for protection from Nazi Germany. Even though his father was a war hero (in WWI), he was still persecuted."

"It is a children's shoe warn by a child in WWII. Before people were killed they took off their clothes. The Germans collected all the clothes and they were sent to the Reich. When people were liberated in 1945 piles of shoes were found."

"The artifact I got is a badge that people used to identify the Jews. I think it was interesting how the Jews had to pay for the yellow stars to sew on all of their clothes."
"Armbands/stars were different depending on the place."

"This artifact is a class photo of Frieda's Jewish school. They were forced to go and wear the yellow star as a label for being Jewish. She was taken to a concentration camp when she was 14. When she returned, all her classmates but Frieda had died. This picture is an artifact because it is one of the very few photos of these Jews as children, as well as the ones who had passed during the war."
"It was cut out because she gave it to her friends' families."

"This artifact is a passport marked with a J belonging to a woman named Elizabeth Sara Swartz. All Jewish women were required to take the middle name Sara, and men had to change their middle name to Israel. They had to do this due to a law passed in 1939."

This is a "small piece of blanket with a rough and scratchy texture." 
"This blanket is quite thin. It is hard to imagine this keeping 6 people warm."

Other reflections:
"These people were children. They were young, but lost their youthful joy that kids have. They had one shot at life and they were so cruel to them at such a young age, and still they had hope."

"I found it interesting that experiments were on twins in particular."

"I thought it was interesting that you were Jewish if you had 3 or 4 Jewish grandparents."

"Something that stood out to me was the gas chambers, because they were just so horrible, and so many people died from them."

"Who knew that World War 2-like incidents were still seen today?"

"Something that stood out for me was the images of the children, because I've heard so many stories and read so many books about all of the events that took place in WWII, but putting faces to all of that was very powerful."