Olaf and Elsa visited The Academies at GBDS on Sunday, December 20. More than 120 children and parents enjoyed a Frozen celebration with a variety of engaging experiences for young children. Students made "Olaf in A Bottle" using recycled water bottles and cotton balls. Mrs. Sheila Barbach, Academies Coordinator, enthralled the children by using safe chemical compounds plus water to make faux snow. Each child was fascinated by the experience and took home a three ounce cup full of "snow" to share with friends. Then they made an edible snowman of crackers, cream cheese, pretzels, and raisins.

After these activities, the children were invited to meet Olaf and Elsa in our gym. Shaking hands and exchanging hugs with these lovable costumed Frozen characters was a treat for all! Parents and grandparents were thrilled with the opportunity to get keepsake pictures of this magical meeting. With the Frozen theme playing in the background, every family had a wonderful time sharing this fun filled experience with new and old friends. Our guests experienced the Academies in a delightful educational and entertaining manner. We hope to invite these families to join us for future classroom experiences to further experience the Academies in an even more personal way.

 

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Students and staff gathered together to rejoice in the celebration of Chanukah! The holiday program consisted of five festive stations focusing on different curricular elements of our schools' program that make up the Academies. Each station was planned by teachers but led by middle school students, helping build the students' tool-kit on how to be effective and meaningful leaders!


The five rotations integrated science, math, art, and cooking with the incorporation of Hebrew language. The students enjoyed making latkas and designing Chanukiot, dreidels and jars of oil, as well as learning about science through hands-on activities relating to the Festival of Lights! There was also a math station which consisted of two sessions, one for the older children and one for the younger children. The younger children engaged in a counting Chanukah candles activity while the older children used multiplication to solve Chanukah related equations. In all, the Chanukah program was a fantastic, fun, and educational experience full of learning, smiles, and song.

 

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Limor Ben-Yosef (Witzman School) and the Edit Copell (Rabin School), teachers in Nahariya, visited Academies at Gerrard Berman Day School in December. Their trip was through a program sponsored by the Partnership2Gether Education Task Force of the Jewish Federation and the Nahariya Educator Delegation. Limor and Edit taught a lesson to each classs about Chanukah and places in Israel. Both women shared their excitement and special skills with all the students!

The five-year-old program has made Israel relevant, real, and exciting for our students in a way that movies, stories, or books never could. During the year our students participate in educational collaborations such as pen pals, projects, bulletin board exchanges, Web-conferencing, and blogging. As a result, The Academies at GBDS was featured recently in the delegation's version of our Keshet! We are so thankful that these teachers came to enrich our students' learning and hope to keep the partnership with Nahariya schools and teachers thriving!

Olaf and Elsa visited The Academies at GBDS on Sunday, December 20. More than 120 children and parents enjoyed a Frozen celebration with a variety of engaging experiences for young children. Students made "Olaf in A Bottle" using recycled water bottles and cotton balls. Mrs. Sheila Barbach, Academies Coordinator, enthralled the children by using safe chemical compound plus water to make faux snow. Each child was fascinated by the experience and took home a three ounce cup full of "snow" to share with friends. Then they made an edible snowman of crackers, cream cheese, pretzels, and raisins.

After these activities, the children were invited to meet Olaf and Elsa in our gym. Shaking hands and exchanging hugs with these lovable costumed Frozen characters was a treat for all! Parents and grandparents were thrilled with the opportunity to get keepsake pictures of this magical meeting. With the Frozen theme playing in the background, every family had a wonderful time sharing this fun filled experience with new and old friends. Our guests experienced the Academies in a delightful educational and entertaining manner. We hope to invite these families to join us for future classroom experiences to further experience the Academies in an even more personal way.

Academies students from 4th through 8th grade were mesmerized by Dr. Greg Olsen, the third private citizen to orbit the earth on the International Space Station (ISS).

Dr. Olsen spoke to the students about his experiences training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow for his space mission and his subsequent10 day stay on the International Space Station. During his time in space, Dr. Olsen, along with Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts orbited the earth 150 times and traveled close to 4 million miles.

The presentation included many fascinating photos and videos documenting Dr. Olsen’s time at the Space Station. These made the blast off into orbit as well as just the realities of drinking, eating, sleeping, and performing other daily tasks aboard the station come to life for the students. During the presentation they learned about the mechanics of space flight, including the speed a shuttle must maintain to achieve and to remain in orbit as well as the intricacies of bringing a spacecraft back from outer space. Dr. Olsen’s presentation artfully blended together his personal story with the science and engineering of space travel, the peculiarities of daily life on a space station, and the importance of never giving up.

Dr. Olsen graciously and skillfully fielded questions about using a bathroom in outer space, training for space travel, and keeping busy on the ISS. One notable question was what inspired Dr. Olsen to pursue space travel. He related that he was inspired as a young middle school student by the launch of Sputnik and early space travel. His motto of “never give up” has helped him reach his inspiring professional and personal goals. He impressed upon the children that this attitude had led him to holding degrees in Physics and a PhD in Materials Science, in spite of not being a strong mathematics student.

The Academies at GBDS students benefited tremendously from the visit by Dr. Olsen. The opportunity to interact with an accomplished scientist and professional, holding 12 patents in the fields of fiber optics and infrared cameras and who traveled into outer space, made a strong impression on the students. Dr. Olsen’s message of never giving up, reinforced the Leader In Me programming in the school's curriculum as well as the value of the Academies at GBDS' focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

Special thanks to Mrs. Jackie Rigante, a parent at the Academies, who connected our school to Dr. Olsen.

After an illustrious career as a research scientist and entrepreneur, Dr. Olsen is now president of GHO Ventures in Princeton, NJ, where he manages his “angel” investments, South African winery, Montana ranch, and performs numerous speaking engagements to encourage children – especially minorities and females- to consider careers in science and engineering. He is active in the New Jersey Technology Counsel (NJTC), NJTC Venture Fund, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the NJ Commission on Science and Technology.

Dr. Olsen received a BS Physics (1966), a BSEE and MS Physics (1968) from Fairleigh Dickinson University, then was awarded a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Virginia (1971). He performed post-doctoral studies at the University of Port Elizabeth (South Africa), taught elementary physics classes, and then worked as a research scientist at RCA Labs (Sarnoff Center) from 1972 to 1983. He developed vapor phase epitaxial crystal growth of optoelectronic devices, including laser diodes and photodetectors for fiber optic applications based on the material indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs). He was awarded 12 patents, wrote more than 100 technical papers, co-authored several book chapters, and has given numerous invited lectures to both technical and trade journal audiences. Dr. Olsen is an IEEE LEOS Fellow and the first recipient of the prestigious IEEE Aron Kressel Award.

He is active in many civic organizations including Trenton Big Brothers and Sisters, Trenton Boys and Girls Club, Trenton Soup Kitchen, Princeton Historical Society, Custer Battlefield Preservation Committee, and Fairleigh Dickinson University and University of Virginia Alumni Associations. In his spare time he enjoys golf, country and western music and dancing, opera and horseback riding.

 

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