District 49's Multimedia Blog
Roughly 100 yards of shoreline along Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs was devoted to Falcon School District 49’s annual fishing event.
Bonnie Mendenhall, District 49 adaptive physical education teacher for middle and high school students, started the event in 2006, after receiving a Future Fisherman Foundation grant for the required instructional materials.
The outing was commended by the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education in 2007 for supporting state learning standards and habitats. Mendenhall received the CAEE PreK-12 Education Award for coordinating the educational experience.
Each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, through its “Fishing is Fun” grant program, has provided the district’s special needs students with new poles. The program funds angler education and expects everyone to eventually share what he or she learns.
This year, twelfth grader Shelby Bugarin, a special needs student at Sand Creek High School, taught fish biology. The 18-year-old shared anatomy charts that explained identifying characteristics, such as scale colors and fin locations.
Fourteen of her schoolmates arrived for the service learning opportunity, as participants in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. Several are studying how to help students with disabilities acquire new skills.
They led stations that focused on knot tying, casting fishing line, catching a fish, fish biology and environmental science. Watching a jar of fresh water cloud with contaminants, representing common pollutants, the special needs students yelled, “yuk.”
Across a paved path, Josh Nehring, Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologist, was standing over a mini pool with four rainbow trout. He told a group of onlookers, “never touch a fish with dry hands, you’ll remove their protective coating.”
While overseeing a fish handling station, Nehring encouraged students to wet their hands and feel a trout’s body and fin texture. He later offered help with removing hooks from fish caught in Prospect Lake, where rainbow trout is a top angler attraction.
The lake is stocked from March to May with 10- to 12-inch trout, according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife 2013 Fishing Forecast.
“Our hope is they’ll continue fishing with their families,” said Mendenhall. “We’re hoping to give them a lifetime activity.”
130510-281 – Josh Nehring, Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologist, encourages special needs students to feel a rainbow trout’s body and fin texture May 10 at Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs. More than 80 special needs students had gathered for Falcon School District 49’s annual fishing event. The event started in 2006 with a Future Fisherman Foundation grant. Each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, through its “Fishing is Fun” grant program, has provided the district’s students with new poles.
130510-351 – Eleventh grader Nick Cook, 17, explains fish anatomy to special needs students May 10 at Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs. More than 80 special needs students had gathered for Falcon School District 49’s annual fishing event. Cook joined 13 other International Baccalaureate students from Sand Creek High School for the service learning opportunity. Several are studying how to help students with disabilities acquire new skills.
130510-557 – Chris Anderson helps his son, eighth grader John Anderson, 15, hook bait May 10 at Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs. More than 80 special needs students had gathered for Falcon School District 49’s annual fishing event. The event started in 2006 with a Future Fisherman Foundation grant. Each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, through its “Fishing is Fun” grant program, has provided the district’s students with new poles.
|Posted by District 49 at 8:41 PM | 0 comments|
The National Museum of World War II Aviation opened in October. The founders partnered with the Colorado Consortium for Earth and Space Science to start an educational program for area kindergarten-twelfth grade students in April.
Deb Haase, an Academy School District 20 teacher on special assignment to CCESSE’s Challenger Learning Center, said the program supports STEM curricula with a hook into history.
About 700 students have benefited, said Haase. As a dozen seventh graders from Skyview Middle School in Falcon School District 49 arrived May 3, they marked the first time a middle school participated.
“The whole idea of the museum is to teach World War II aviation history,” said Debi Klaers, co-founder of the museum. She greeted the seventh graders as they entered its exhibit hangers, situated in the northwestern side of the Colorado Springs Airport.
Klaers said the museum is “for the people.” As the World War II veteran community diminishes, she says it’s exceedingly important to inspire youth to learn more about its history and equipment.
The museum is co-located with WestPac Restorations, a company restoring World War II aircraft.
Separated into four groups, the students learned about plane restoration, flying the Navy’s N3N-3 " Yellow Peril" primary trainer, aircraft flight control surfaces using Styrofoam plates, and the pertinent events leading up to and during World War II.
Seventh grader Blake Horter, 13, explained his ambitions to be a Marine Corps pilot, as volunteer docent Iain Wayman explained N3N-3 flight controls. Wayman, 14, completed his first solo flight in March, using a restored Schweizer 2-22 glider.
“How can I sign up to be a volunteer,” said Horter, after handing his exhibit evaluation to Klaers. His class left after nearly three hours touring the museum.
130503-507 – Volunteer docent Jack Pasalevich explains a B-25 bomber to Skyview Middle School students May 3 at the National Museum of World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs. The Falcon School District 49 seventh graders are the first middle school students to participate in a new educational program by the Colorado Consortium for Earth and Space Science. After opening in October, the founders of the museum partnered with the CCESS to boost youth interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, using a hook into history.
130503-650– Seventh grader Brent Holcomb, 13, listens to volunteer docent Iain Wayman, 14, explain flight controls of the Navy’s N3N-3 " Yellow Peril" primary trainer May 3 at the National Museum of World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs. Holcomb arrived from Skyview Middle School in Falcon School District 49 to participate in a new educational program by the Colorado Consortium for Earth and Space Science. After opening in October, the founders of the museum partnered with the CCESS to boost youth interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, using a hook into history.
|Posted by District 49 at 4:23 PM | 0 comments|
“Boys on the left, girls on the right,” they said, pointing to gender signs on the walls of the classroom at Evans International Elementary School in Falcon School District 49. An upcoming discussion would cover the pros and cons of single-sex schools.
“I’m interested in hearing what they have to say,” said Sean Dorsey, Sand Creek Zone innovation leader, entering the room. “I want to see what they’ve accumulated and see what we can use as we plan our zones.”
Dorsey wasn’t referring to research by teachers or administrators. Fifth graders Antanaysiah Green, Ashley Mingee, Lily Bean and Brittney Jimeson chose the topic to investigate, created the slideshow of their findings, and now they’d present it.
For 20 minutes, the 11-year-olds cited scientific studies, student achievement comparisons and community and educator perceptions. They responded to peer questions, such as “What do you think about it?” and “Would you go to a single-sex school?”
At the end, the fifth graders passed around a petition to encourage district leadership to experiment with single-sex classrooms. Next school year, they’ll attend middle school, where their research suggests the most benefits.
“We hated the idea at first,” said Green, “but as we researched it more, our answers started changing. I think it’d be good for me. I’m shy around boys.”
“I’m more comfortable with boys,” said Bean, “I don’t like all the drama with girls.”
The school’s fifth graders, roughly 110 students, had formed 30 interest groups to explore community issues. Each group hosted three rotations, presenting their culminating project for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, designed for ages 3 to 12.
Jenny Breeding, International Baccalaureate PYP coordinator, said everyone described how they exercised the program’s five transdisciplinary skills: research, communications, self-management, thinking and social.
Fifth graders Jacob Calhoun, Ryan Wicklund, Jevin Bush and Logan Buzbee reflected on nuclear power. They explained the production of massive amounts of energy with low greenhouse gas emissions, and the potential for deadly radiation leaks and meltdowns.
Buzbee says he’s now comfortable with remaining undecided about the use of nuclear power, and motivated to learn more.
“I believe in the IB program,” said Stacey Buzbee, watching her 11-year-old son, Logan Buzbee, complete four months of studying nuclear power. “It makes the kids think. They’re constantly using their brains for problem solving… asking ‘why?’”
130501-405 – Fifth grader Antanaysiah Green, 11, explains the pros and cons of single-sex schools May 1 at Evans International Elementary School in Falcon School District 49. The elementary school’s fifth graders, roughly 110 students, had formed 30 interest groups to explore community issues. The culminating project completes the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program.
130501-463 – Fifth grader Ryan Wicklund, 11, demonstrates possible radiation mutations with Jacob Calhoun, 11, while explaining the pros and cons of nuclear power May 1 at Evans International Elementary School in Falcon School District 49. The elementary school’s fifth graders, roughly 110 students, had formed 30 interest groups to explore community issues. The culminating project completes the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program.
|Posted by District 49 at 9:07 PM | 0 comments|
Bree Bremser, a 12th grader at Sand Creek High School, will open District 49’s Stand. Up. Speak Out. concert this summer, as part of The BottomLine, an indie-country duo.
Completing the duo is Nathan Noblit, a 12th grader at nearby Pine Creek High School. The student of Academy School District 20 is well known locally for his guitar talents.
Bremser, 18, born in Belgium, has lived in Colorado Springs for 13 years. She says her musical ambitions started at five years old, when she discovered her grandmother’s singing talents. Her voice recently received runner-up recognition during an X-Factor competition.
“I believe in the motto, ‘treat your neighbors the way you would want to be treated,’” said Bremser, who’s an active member of her high school’s student council. She’s planning to employ her musical career as an opportunity for philanthropy.
In August, she’ll join musical artists from around the United States to promote a positive, safe and compassionate culture for students and families in El Paso County.
Vertical Horizon, an American alternative rock band, will headline the festivities. The diverse concert lineup also includes The BottomLine, Taylor Watson, Devyn Rush, Brian Jarvis and Brendan James.
Speakers will participate from national anti-bullying and educational organizations, such as Safe2Tell, Rachel’s Challenge and Hey UGLY.
Tickets for Stand Up. Speak Out. a concert to end bullying, are available at the Security Service Field box office and online. They cost $15. A discounted rate of $13 is afforded to youth 12 years and under, seniors 55 years and older, and military ID card holders.
For more information about District 49 and Stand Up. Speak Out., visit the event page. To sign up for emails, text keyword District49 to 33233.
|Posted by District 49 at 4:24 PM | 1 comment|
"This is about information literacy – using information," said Taylor, standing in the school's library April 12, surrounded by about 120 student projects. Tables held their exhibits and research papers, while computers displayed their documentaries and websites.
Find a turning point when an idea or event changed the world. That was the only project guidance Taylor gave her 10th-12th grade students in Falcon School District 49.
The teens turned their attention toward social issues, human rights and global conflicts. They chose their medium for presentation, as Taylor coached them through identifying trustworthy resources and discovering a culminating thesis.
"They're learning to use information," said Taylor, "maneuvering through reliable sources on the Internet, finding what you can trust and what not to, and how to interpret it." After two months, the students presented their innovative, creative and technological explorations.
Taylor said the first-ever event was the school's largest research exhibition, and she'll continue it under a competitive atmosphere. Students from different classes filed into the library April 11-12, rating the projects for their historical and presentational quality.
"I'd like to see this become like basketball season," she said. "This is a competition like a sport, just a different venue.
"It takes a lot of work to weed though all the information available today… this is preparing them for college, careers and they're learning an important life skill."
130412-342 — Tenth grader Lovell Jones, 15, reviews a bouncing mine project April 12 at Sand Creek High School in Falcon School District 49. Jones appreciated the exhibit's photos and research into the device, arguably one of the most inhumane weapons of modern warfare. About 120 projects were on display in the school's library, a combination of exhibits, websites, documentaries and research papers. "My only direction was to find a turning point when an idea or event changed the world," said history teacher Megan Taylor of her 10th-12th grade students.
|Posted by District 49 at 12:13 PM | 0 comments|
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