October's Big Fishes

Monday Mélange

JoAnna is an attorney and a federal prosecutor with the Department of Justice. She visited River Class for our first Monday Mélange and spoke with the River Class students about her general job responsibilities and how the concepts of justice and the rule of law integrate into their daily lives. JoAnna asked the students how they would go about "investigating" an event and finding the truth. They had remarkable questions and observations! JoAnna asked them about how teachers or parents, as "judges," should go about making choices when there is a conflict between siblings or peers.  

JoAnna also asked the students about the different purposes of punishment (in their case, minutes off of recess time) and they discussed how one purpose of punishment is to help people make better choices in the future. Another purpose of punishment is to help people in the larger community feel confident that a fair and just result has been achieved. Finally, JoAnna showed them a few knick knacks from her job, including a picture of President Obama and Attorney General (and Durham's own) Loretta Lynch, a Secret Service sew-on patch, a toy Presidential motorcade limo, and a FBI collector's coin (pictured below).

(Monday Mélange (mixture/medley) is a time when we invite parents and other members of our community to share their interests and talents with us. In the past we have had presentations about safety, nutrition, and sound. We've also had hands-on projects such as making wind-up toys, rainsticks, and collages.)

Design and Engineering

In Design and Engineering students have been studying the field of agricultural engineering through hearing a story about a girl who lives in the Dominican Republic. They have learned that insects are a part of the natural world and can be both helpful and harmful to plants. 

As part of this unit students cut and drilled wood pieces to make a model of the natural system of pollination.

Over the next few weeks students will be working in small teams to design, build, and test a hand pollinator. They will be testing materials to determine which materials are best at picking up and dropping off pollen. 

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