SMS Room 402

Mrs. Manes

This week in Room 402! (Nov. 30th - Dec. 4th)

-Model UN and History Day students can plan to meet in room 402 immediately after school today for work time until 4:00 p.m. Model UN students need to have position paper rough drafts turned in to me by Thursday, Dec. 3rd. This will give us time to proofread and revise for the final Model UN position paper due date of Dec. 10th. I appreciate everyone's patience as we make our way with Model UN this year. It's my first time sponsoring and many of the students' first times participating. It'll be a great learning experience, but we are getting a slow start!


-Chess Club will be canceled this week (Thursday, Dec. 3rd) because I will be in trainings at the district office all day until 4 p.m. Chess Club will resume next Thursday.


-Erika Dvorske, President and CEO of Douglas County United Way, will be at South Middle School on Friday afternoon to share with us her knowledge of community activism as we begin our spring semester focus in gifted guided studies on the ways in which we can become activists in our own communities. Mrs. Dvorske will lead an introduction to community activism and help students to think about the social and environmental issues they notice around them. We are looking forward to a great start!


-We will be participating in the Hour of Code during the week of Dec. 7-13. Computer science students from KU will be facilitating coding activities with students during a couple of available time slots. More information to come as the details are ironed out!


-If you have a daughter, please encourage her to attend Monday (Dec. 7th) night's Code Girl watch party at the Lawrence College and Career Center (2910 Haskell Ave.) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Girls in attendance will watch the documentary Code Girl, participate in Hour of Code activities, eat pizza, and share ideas. What a great opportunity for our girls with STEM interests!


-Did your daughter sign up for the KU Women in STEM Day? If so, it's this Saturday, Dec. 5th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.! Students were asked to provide a parent e-mail address when they registered, so you should have received a confirmation e-mail recently from Ashley Hutton, the coordinator of the event, detailing the day's activities. If your child needs transportation to or from the event, please let me know.

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Independent Study Research Projects

Your child's independent study research project is complete! (For the most part.) Presentations have lasted longer than anticipated (which is a wonderful problem to have!), so in some of our classes we will continue to wrap up presentations this week. I know I have learned so much from the students' research and have really enjoyed seeing the ways in which they've demonstrated their learning.


A few highlights so far:

- Wilderness Survival: A student made videos demonstrating how to make a shelter out of sticks and leaves, how to start a fire, and how to make a bow and arrow. He even brought his home-made bow and arrow to share with us, and we got to try it out outside!


- Reducing Carbon Footprint: A student dedicated one week to reducing her carbon footprint by throwing away only one piece of trash, using less water, buying locally grown produce, and putting thought into all energy that she used. She created an awesome illustration video as her means of sharing her approach and results!


- Pain in the Human Body: We were all put to the test when we sampled jalapeños, stepped on Legos with no shoes on, and put our hands in bowls of ice water as this student taught us about the various types of pain in the human body and how each works. It was a fun (and safe!) way to learn first-hand about the types of pain we all have experienced on occasion.


- Evolution: The study of evolution inspired one student to illustrate the ways in which human beings may continue to evolve over time. Will we be taller? Will our teeth be different? Will skin pigment change? Will hair patterns evolve? We all got a glimpse at the possible humans of tomorrow!


I look forward to seeing the rest of the presentations!

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Code Girl Watch Party

Monday, Dec. 7th, 5:30-8:30pm

2910 Haskell Avenue

Lawrence, KS

Hey Girls! Join us for the Code Girls watch party! Enjoy pizza and popcorn, as well as Hour of Code challenges after the movie!