Middle School

Middle School

Dr. Moreno’s Blog

From the Middle School Principal, Marilyn Moreno

July 11, 2014

A Multitude of Opportunities for Middle School Students

As we continue to enjoy our summer vacation, I am convinced Bullis Middle School students were exposed in the 2013-14 school year to a multitude of opportunities to gain knowledge regarding their academics, themselves and their world. The combination of experiential education, informative Middle School assemblies, creative academic lessons and good old fashioned fun set the scene for the great year! Lessons of respect and caring were also taught as we completed community service projects, diversity sessions and inter-disciplinary capstone projects.

Memorable activities during the year included:

  • Middle School Global Summer Trip: This year in June our students traveled to Northern Arizona. With their chaperone teachers they visited the Grand Canyon, the NASA Department of Astrogeology, the Colorado River, and Native American cultural sites. 
  • Supreme Court Visit: Students in 8th grade witnessed the final day of oral arguments for the term. They watched justices interact with the lawyers and saw the announcement of decisions. Students also learned about the interesting history of the court. 
  • Visit to the United Nations:  Sixth grade visited the United Nations in New York City. Students toured the facility and discussed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals with dignitaries. 
  • Student-Led Fund Raiser for Haiti: The Middle School surprised the Former Ambassador of Haiti Raymond Joseph with a donation to purchase trees in Haiti to help with reforestation. Funds were raised during a “Dodgeball for Haiti” fundraiser sponsored by the National Junior Honor. 
  • Capstone Activity:
    Each grade completed an end-of-year authentic, interdisciplinary project issues-based challenge requiring problem-solving and strategic decision making. Topics were as follows:
    6th Grade: Chesapeake Bay Watershed
    7th Grade: Infectious Diseases and Related Impacts on Communities
    8th Grade: Development of Space Colonies ·
  • Entrepreneurship Signature Program: Twenty-two parents and community volunteers taught classes in financial literacy as part of a program called “Junior Achievement for a Day.” Students explored with their guest teachers economic principles, financial literacy concepts and career opportunities. 
  • Signature Speaker Series: Four speakers spoke with students to share their career experiences an Air Traffic Controller, the CEO of Euclid Technology, a police officer of a canine unit and the owner of a Dunkin Donuts and Jamba Juice franchise. 
  • Virtual Author Series: Four authors talked with students via Skype: N. H. Senzai (Shooting of Kabul), Tim Green (Unstoppable), Yolanda Young (from the website “On Being A Black Lawyer”) and Linda Sue Park (A Long Walk to Water). 
  • Extra-Curricular Club Offerings: Eighteen clubs supplemented the academic program. Highlights include:
    Rocketry Club:
    Advisors: Kerry Wisnosky P’17,’19,’24 and Erik Cherdak P’19,’21
    Students built and tested rockets and other vehicles focusing on fundamental physics of rocketry:altitude, velocity and acceleration. They built rockets, stomp launchers, parachute recovery systems, Pop Can HERO engines, rocket racer cars and transportation systems. Students also participated in launching a solid motor ESTES rocket on Bullis’ south lawn.
    Everyday Technology
    Advisor: Richard Hayman ’63
    Students focused on electricity, clean water supplies, cell phones and more. Officer Mike Prather from the Montgomery County Police Department spoke to students about undercover operations in the county, Alan Hayman taught students how mobile apps are created, two engineers from CISCO spoke about the internet/Wi-Fi, a Georgetown professor discussed science issues and Bullis Video Communications Associate Mark Riffee explained digital photography.
    Investing Club
    Advisor: Math Teacher Bruce Kelley
    Students played “The Wall Street Stock Market Game.” Teams of students researched the stock market and debated the merits of purchasing stock for their portfolio. Group leaders made the final decision. Several guest speakers spoke to students.
    Book Club
    Advisor: Librarian Joy Foust-Colburn
    Students read novels and created book trailers for the novel they read. They encouraged other Bullis Middle School students to read by creating a music video about Overdrive (our ebook collection), read to 2nd graders and made a book trailer to entice others to read short stories. They also held a bake sale to raise money for “Books for Africa,” a literacy charity.
    Diversity Club
    Advisors: Assistant Principal Kira Orr and Athletic Trainer Rachel Moore
    Students led a program on diversity during a Middle School Assembly. They also attended the Middle School Student Diversity Leadership Conference at Sandy Spring Friends School entitled, “Embracing Neurodiversity: Affirming All Learners by Challenging Labeling.”
    Math Club
    Advisor: Math Teacher Jason Kezmarsky
    Students traveled to Sheridan School in Northwest D.C. to participate in a math competition with other private schools. The competition consisted of several rounds of the game 24 and one round of problem solving. 
    Ethos Club
    Advisor: Latin Teacher Kristin Kvasnyuk
    The Ethos club published three Middle School newsletters during the year. Student reporters visited MS events and activities including clubs to captured information, take pictures and write interesting articles. They also prepared pieces to increase Middle School representation in the Bullis Yearbook. 
We anticipate a great 2014-2015 school year as well. Enjoy the remainder of your summer vacation. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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