Friday, February 23, 2018

The Art of Modern War

The middle school students had an interesting Skype interview this week with Mr. Mackenzie's brother, Specialist Saad Almomory, stationed in South Korea. He is a Forward Observer (F-13), one of the most dangerous jobs in the army. He scouts out locations from above for firing weapons, especially necessary when there are obstacles in the way of sight. The students decided to try their hands at this aspect of modern warfare. A wall was created to obstruct vision and students had to figure out the parabola a rubber band would take in an attempt to hit a target on the other side of the wall.

The students also explored more about World War II at a visit to the Washington State History Museum. While they had explored the museum earlier in the year, the students went with these research questions in mind:

1.       What was the Hanford facility and how did it contribute to the end of WWII? How has the activity there impacted the current state of environmental welfare?

2.       How did the demand for labor due to the war impact African Americans, Latinos, and women in this area?

3.       Listen to Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat, 1942, “On the Home Front,” located on the telephones in the “diner” section of the museum. What are Roosevelt’s thoughts on the war production effort? Identify two points that he makes.

4.       Describe the Japanese community in Tacoma/Seattle before the war and how it was impacted by the war. Things to consider include:
-          The Japanese Language School of Tacoma
-          The Map of the Japanese District in Seattle
-          Kenjinkai organizations and baseball
-          The Puyallup fairegrounds
-          Gordon Hirabayashi and the legal challenge to internment
-          Japanese American Citizens League

       5. How did rationing, recycling, and sacrifice impact the Puget Sound region and help the War effort?

       6. How did the War change the role for women in the workplace? How did women balance the need to work with their “responsibilities” at home?

Once they had completed this task, students got the chance to explore the new Toytopia exhibit. They enjoyed playing old video games and seeing old toys.

The students also launched their parachutes out of a window of the nearby parking garage. It was interesting seeing which models did well! 

Throw a snow day on top of all of that, and it was a pretty awesome week at the middle school!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Seabury Connects with Nature!!

Seabury Students got up close and personal with some plankton pals this week at the Tacoma Nature Center! Free and open to the public, the Tacoma Nature Center is part of the Metro Parks Tacoma park system. It encompasses 71-acres of wetland and forest, including trails around Tacoma's Snake Lake. (Don't worry- there aren't any snakes!!)

Seabury students broke into teams to explore the various learning opportunities the Nature Center had to offer. At the Lab, students learned about the various animal and plant life that call the Snake Lake wetland home. They then explored a plankton sample via microscope.

Students enjoyed learning about the different types of plankton in the lake, as well as exploring the fur and skeletal samples of local wildlife.

Students also had the chance to take a hike around Snake Lake. They used their observation skills to note all of the wildlife that they either saw or heard, helping the Nature Center in its effort to monitor local populations. They practiced bird calls, looked for turtles, and saw tons of robins. They also learned about trail etiquette that is designed to help prevent erosion and keep sediment out of the wetland where the animals live.

At Seabury, the City Is Our Classroom and we're lucky that our City has some beautiful nature to learn about. Our hands got dirty, our shoes got muddy, but we left the Tacoma Nature Center with a better understanding of how to keep our local environment safe and happy!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Climbing on Tables to Learn about Aerodynamics

What are the four forces of flight?
How easy is it to crash?
How do planes stay in the air?
Caught Pondering

Middle School Students are pondering these questions, about flight and how they pertain to WWII and Modernity.


They are designing parachutes to explore the force of drag and wind resistance. Students go through the design process to slow their free fall subjects 90% slower.

About to Test a Parachute

The student below is creating air powered rocket car in order to illustrate the force of thrust.

Many students have really gotten into engineering more and more complex looking planes. They have used paper airplanes to explore lift and weight. Our students are learning how airfoils use Bernoulli's Principle to create air pressure that lifts planes off the ground.

Incredible Makers

In connection with these experiments, students will soon be visiting Boeing Museum
of Flight and an air strip to further expand their background knowledge.