The sixth graders began their Environmental Science year exploring the great outdoors at TEVA and learning about the environment as a whole. We have now come full circle, looking at the smaller outdoor elements of our environment. With a better understanding of Ecosystems and biomes the students can examine all the natural resources and evaluate how the many biotic and abiotic factors work hand and hand. They are investigating how everything connects to their own backyard by testing the water chemistry in the Great Oak Park behind our school.

By Mrs. Kelly
Science and Physical Education Teacher

On June 6th, the Sixth Grade traveled back in time to see some of the wonders of ancient Egypt first-hand. Our journey took us to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. We were well prepared for all the amazing artifacts that we would see.

The students had learned the meanings of many important hieroglyphic symbols, and walking in the footsteps of Jean Champollion, we actually deciphered some of the writing on Egyptian statues and wall paintings from thousands of years ago! We had read the book "How the Sphinx Got to the Museum", which told the story of how one particular sphinx of the pharaoh Hatshepsut made the journey to the Met (see photo below).

The class, with the expert guidance of Mrs. Jaffe, sketched many figures and motifs from the tomb paintings of ancient Egypt. They also were able to get a glimpse into daily life, as they sketched artifacts depicting various "rooms" modeled to depict, among others, a typical slaughter house and brewery . You are invited to see some of the students' masterpieces, hanging proudly on the bulletin board as you climb the stairs to the second floor of GBDS...

Seeing the mummies and other treasures made everything come alive for the class and definitely was the culminating high point to our study of this remarkable civilization!

 

Click here to view pictures from the trip.

 

Mrs. Glassberg
Social Studies Teacher

On April 15th, the middle school girls at the Academies at Gerrard Berman Day School will visit the County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph, NJ. The trip was sponsored by CCM’s Department of Engineering and Women in STEM club, with support from the Bayer Foundation.
During the trip the girls got an inside view into many of CCM’s programs as well as interacting directly with female computer science and engineering students. The students were mesmerized by the tour of the Music Technology Center that includes state of the art recording studios, practice rooms filled with pianos and drums, and a black box theater. Women at NASA was the theme of the planetarium show. The show began with a tour of the night sky, including constellations, planets, and stars. Contributions by female engineers at NASA were also highlighted during the show. Female engineers have been leaders in both the Cassini probe of Saturn and several Mars rovers. An informative and collegial discussion with four female computer science and engineering majors followed. The challenges of majoring in a STEM fields as well as the academic, personal, and professional benefits were all discussed. The visit concluded with a tour of the chemistry instrumentation, rapid prototyping/3D printing, and materials testing labs. Demonstrations of mass spectrometry, 3D printing, and metals testing were both educational and fun!

 

The goal of the field trip is to counteract the negative messages our society sends females indicating  that they are not suited for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) points to studies that show that by first grade, children have already developed an unconscious bias associating boys with math. Additionally, toys frequently reinforce rigid, highly gendered stereotypes that to build or engineer. The AAUW also notes that attrition of girls from the STEM education pipeline occurs as early as seventh grade.  By the end of high school fewer girls than boys plan to pursue STEM in college, an issue that the Academies at GBDS takes seriously.

 

As our relationship with the County College of Morris grows, we look forward to offering more enriching field trips in STEM and the arts.

 

Mrs. Barbach
Academies Coordinator

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GBDS sixth graders have been studying Geometry with Mrs. Bloomberg. Geometry, the branch of mathematics that studies the properties, measurement, and relationships of points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids, involves learning numerous terms. These enable one to classify shapes, and investigate congruence, similarity, symmetry, and transformations. In order to solidify those terms in the student's memory, each was asked to write their name in block letters and then creatively label any angles, lines or other terms displayed in their name drawing. The results can be seen displayed on the bulletin board in the Middle School hallway.

The GBDS seventh graders, working with Mrs. Bloomberg, have mixed art with their math studies. They are studying Linear Functions and Graphing, learning how to identify and graph linear functions by first plotting points on a graph and then finding that line's slope and its y-intercept. Students then write rules for linear functions from words and from tables. Each student was given a pennant with a challenging problem written on it. After completed their work and having the solution checked for accuracy, they creatively decorated their pennant. Their efforts are also on display in the Middle School hallway, where you can see their great job using their math skills along with their artistic talents!

By Mrs. Bloomberg
Math Teacher and Coordinator

As part of the sixth grade Environmental Science curriculum the students have been learning about present day environmental issues.  These include the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources, along with managing forests and fisheries.  We conducted a laboratory experiment to exhibit the outcome and effect on the environment of using nonrenewable resources. This was followed by a discussion on alternative approaches to the issue. The class also did a jig-saw activity, where each group researched an aspect of the various methods of managing forests and fisheries. Each participant then became a reporter and shared with a new group the research they had accumulated on their topic and provided an informative handout to the entire class.


By Mrs. Kelly
Science Teacher
Physical Education Teacher

 

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Academies at Gerrard Berman Day School
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