Saturday, 10 May 2014

Open House, Zip Lines, and More

Open House

Last week the older students went on a field trip.  This week for the younger students it was Open House time!  For the AIM and Penticton grade 1/2 classes it was an opportunity to invite parents in to see what we've been working on.  Thank you to all of the parents who were able to drop in!  Both classes showed parents the recording work that we've been doing using Audacity.  We also showed them the deciphering tools we have been using on the Crypto Club website.

In the AIM class we put the parents to work; partnered with a student they took part in the Straw Bridge Building Challenge.  Each parent-student pair was given 15 straws and 25cm of masking tape.  Their task?  To make a bridge that spanned a 30 cm gap and was strong enough to support a coffee can.  The can could be rested on the top of the bridge, or suspended below the bridge using string.  The next part of the challenge was to see how many golf balls could be placed in the coffee can before the bridge collapsed.  Everyone was successful in building a strong bridge!  Caitlin and her dad blew away the old record for this challenge by building a bridge that supported 11 golf balls and 5 pairs of scissors.  We ran out of golf balls, thus the scissors.  Who knew we needed more than 11 golf balls?

AIM students and parents with their straw bridges.
The Penticton grade 1-2 class showed their parents the work they had been doing in Bitstrips, an online comic strip creation tool.  Students have been learning about how we communicate non-verbally using gestures, facial expressions and body language.  Bitstrips allows students to pose characters and adjust facial expressions.  Students helped parents create a character that looked just like them!  Later, students and parents deciphered a secret message and then used different materials to create messages in morse code.    

Zip Line Building Challenge

The ASPIRE class were given a new building challenge: design and build something to carry a ping pong ball from the top of a zip line to the bottom in 4 seconds or less.  This challenge involved dealing with friction and balance.  Students were quickly able to construct a vehicle to carry one ping pong ball.  They didn't stop there though; they were very motivated to see if they could carry two or more ping pong balls.  Watch the video below to see their results (link).

That's A Wrap!

The Penticton grade 3-5 classes did final work on their radio shows.  We also took the opportunity to listen to recently completed shows.    

Upcoming Events

Last week of classes: May 12th - 15th
Parent Meetings: starting May 26th.  Schedule with individual times will be sent home this week.   

Thanks for checking in and seeing what we've been up to... This Week In Gifted!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Field Trip, Marshmallow Challenge, and the Black Chamber!

Field Trip

This week the Penticton grade 3-5 classes and the Summerland ASPIRE class visited CBC Radio and Global Okanagan Television in  Kelowna.

At Global Okanagan our dynamic guide, Barbara Vanstone, showed us the ins and outs of creating news programs and television advertisements.  Some groups were able to talk to the news director who explained how he chose what was going on the news each evening.  We got to see what he had planned for that evening's news.  A couple of groups got to speak with Doris Maria Bregolisse.  Doris is an anchor and reporter at Global Okanagan and she spoke to the students about her job.  One thing we learned is that although the news set and anchors are in Kelowna, technicians in Vancouver or Toronto actually do the filming and produce the show.  They operate the cameras remotely and communicate with the anchors through headsets.  We got to go on the very green news set (see photos below).  The walls are painted green so that they can chroma key (green screen) in a computer generated background.

At CBC Radio, Daybreak South host Chris Walker was our guide.  He and Daybreak South producer Marion Barschel spoke to the students about how the show is put together.  Chris took the students into the studio where they got a chance to read a one minute news bulletin and the opportunity to operate the sound board.  We learned that it is not easy to read the news clearly, fluently, and in under a minute!  The news bulletins did not go on air, but I hope to get the recordings to share with students and their families.  A few lucky students from the last group on Thursday's trip were chosen to read the Mind Breakers quiz questions for next week's show.  The questions should be aired each day next week at approximately 6:55am.

Thank you to the parent chaperones who joined us; Tammy Drobe, Sharon Herman, Sarah Larsen, Julie MacIntyre, Dave Singleton, Sherralee Sailes, Michelle Kincaid, Heather Allen, Keith MacIntyre, Joy Wang, Jo-Ann Apolzer, and April Smith.  Your help was greatly appreciated!

Below are some photos from the trip or check them out here.

Marshmallow Challenge

This week the AIM students took on the Marshmallow Challenge!  Their task was to build the tallest structure they could out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 metre of tape and 1 metre of string.  They did not have to use all of the materials, but their structure needed to be freestanding and be able to support a large marshmallow on top.  They were given the materials and 18 minutes to complete the task.  What we learned, among other things is that a marshmallow is heavier than it looks!

Welcome to the Black Chamber

The Penticton grade 1/2 class operated their own black chamber this week.  What is a black chamber?  Black chambers are secret rooms operated by nations where they attempt to decode messages sent by their rivals.  The students first set about deciphering some messages that were enciphered using the Pigpen Cipher.  We then looked at, and listened to Morse Code.  Students enciphered their names using Morse Code, the Pigpen Cipher and the Caesar Shift Cipher.   Perhaps Room 32 is becoming the current day Bletchley Park?! 

Upcoming Events

May 5th: AIM Open House.  AIM parents/guardians are invited to join us for all or part of the class.  The class runs from 12:30 - 2:30pm.
May 7th: Penticton Grade 1/2 Open House.  Parents/guardians are invited to join us for all or part of the class.  The class runs from 12:30 - 2:30pm.
May 12th - 15th: Last Week of Classes
Parent Meetings: Dates and times to be announced.

Thanks for checking in to find out what we've been up to... This Week In Gifted!