Washington, D.C.

You thought we were stopping at New York City? Well think again because last week we went on another amazing field trip. This time we went to Washington, D.C.. While there, we tried to get into the Supreme Court, talked with some judges, went on a bike tour of the city, saw Bernie Sanders, went on a tour of the Capitol Building, and visited the Newseum.

Once we got off the train into Washington, D.C., we walked straight to the Supreme Court and got in line to view a hearing. The line was already enormous and spilled off of the stairs and a good ways down the sidewalk. Sadly, we ended up waiting in line for two hours and didn’t get in. What is really angering about this is that we were the next people in line!

After the mishap at the Supreme Court, we got lunch and contacted Ethyl’s brother, Ofair, who was able to get in touch in two judges for us to talk to. They were both very nice, and we got to know a lot about what it is like to be a judge. Something that I found really interesting and inspiring is that both of them said they became lawyers and untimely judges for the same reasons. They chose this profession because they felt that they wanted to make a difference in the world for the greater good.

The last thing we did that day was go on a bike tour to see some of the most inportant landmarks in the city. These included places like the Washington monument, the Jefferson memorial, the Lincon memorial, and the the Martin Luther King memorial. My favorite of these was the Jefferson memorial, as it was right next to a body of water, and it was incredibly beautiful to see the sunset reflect in it. After we finished the bike tour we went back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

The next day we ate breakfast and left for a tour of the Capitol Building, only to stumble upon a speech by Bernie Sanders! This was definitely a surprise and really interesting to listen to. We stayed for a few minutes before continuing on to on to the Capitol. Once there, we went through security and walked over to Senator Coons’ office where one of his interns , Mikey, showed us around. One of the things I enjoyed the most was seeing all of the paintings and architecture of the building itself. I found it very impressive how big and intricate these paintings were and how beautiful the ceilings and tiles were.

After leaving the Capitol Building we walked over to the Newseum. One there, we ate lunch and then headed over to the theatre they had to see a 4D movie. We ended up waiting in line, and once we got in they couldn’t start the movie, and we had to leave. This was certainly the trip of waiting in lines with no reward, but luckily the FBI and Berlin Wall exhibits were amazing made up for missing the movie!

After leaving the museum we took the metro to the train station and came back home. Overall, this was an exciting trip, but it was very tiring. I had a lot of fun and hope we can go back to visit the two places we missed out on this time.

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New York

Last Friday we took an overnight trip to New York City. On the first day, we visited the Supreme Court and got to sit in on a trial. While we were there, a guide told us about the court system and how different parts of it work. For example, we learned what sort of things happen in family court and how those differ from civil court. That night we went to see a show called Stomp. In this show, there are performers who create music using everyday objects. There is little to no dialogue in this show, apart from the occasional exclamation or “hey!”. Some of the ways they make music in this show are incredibly creative. For example, for one song they had a bunch of tubes and were drumming on those. There was another song where they were strapped onto the walls and were drumming on various objects attached to the walls. The next day we went to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for lunch. In this diner all of the employees are performers and have either been on Broadway or are trying to get on Broadway. Throughout your meal, they will sing for you. These songs can be from movies, from Broadway, or just songs you’d normally hear on the radio. After that, we went on a tour of NBC studios. While there, they showed us around a few different studios and told us about the history of the building and the company. After the tour, we were able to make our own show. This was really fun to do, and I’m excited to see the final project which was emailed to us. Overall, this was an amazing trip, probably the best, and I’m excited for our next trip to Washington D.C.

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The Unless Project

About a week ago, we went to WMS and taught the six to nines about water. We set up five stations with five different lessons to teach them about the impact they have on water. The teachers split the children into the correct number of groups with either six or seven people, and they rotated around the stations. At the station I was in charge of, I was teaching about the food web. Many of the children already knew what the food chain was, so it wasn’t terribly difficult to get them to understand the basics of it. I had a small food web set up on the table connecting a mouse, snake, hawk, and owl. After explaining how these four animals were connected, I sat them on the floor to create a food web with them. I passed out stuffed animals which were a flower, a bug/macroinvertebrate, a fish, a raccoon, a hawk, a kingfisher, and a mushroom. However, the number of children in each group was uneven so not all of the animals I had were always used. We talked about which animals eat which, and passed around a ball of yarn to connect the animals. After we were done, they continued rotation around the stations. I hope that these kids learned something from the project and are able to make a difference in their communities.

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Fonthill Castle and Tile Works

Today we went on a field trip to Fonthill Castle and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. Both of these buildings were founded and used by Henry Chapman Mercer, an amazing tile maker. He built the castle to live in, but wanted it to be a museum once he died. Even though he wasn’t an architect, he designed the whole house himself. He also built it of concrete, for there was no chance that it would ever burn down. He did this because his uncle owned a large museum filled with sets of armor, but it ended up burning down. Mercer wanted to do everything in his power to avoid this. Throughout the castle, you can see many examples of his works, and even the ceilings are covered in tiles. I think this was an amazing way to build a house. One thing I found funny was that the castle included five bedrooms in total (with only two being on regular use by the housekeeper and Mercer), and each one connected to a separate bathroom. These bathrooms still connected to rest of the house, so whenever you found a bathroom you knew the next room would be a bedroom, and vise versa. Something else that was funny was that most of the house seemed like a maze. There was one intersection that branched off in ten different ways! I couldn’t imagine trying to live there, let alone work there. I felt kind of bad for the tour guides.
Overall, this was an amazing trip, and I would love to go back again to see the parts we were unable to see this time!

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Religion Project

We recently started a project about religion. We all chose a religion to research and create a presentation on. I think this is a really interesting project because I don’t think most of us know a lot about religion. There are also a mix of religions in our class which I think makes this even more interesting. The religion I chose was Paganism. Unlike some other religions, Paganism is not very strict and allows for people to follow whatever variation they believe in. An example of this is that Paganism is Polytheistic, but people believe a lot of different things within that. Some people believe that there are multiple gods and goddesses and view them as individuals. On the other hand, some people view them as all of the goddesses being one great goddess and all of the gods being one great God. I think this fact in particular is very interesting because before researching this, I pretty much only knew of more strict religions and not ones that were this flexible. I’m really excited to continue with this project and learn more about this religion and other religions.

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Mütter Museum

This last Wednesday, the last day before break started, we went on a science field trip to the Mütter Museum. This is a museum where they have things relating to the human body and a lot of different medical procedures or problems. While there were definitely a lot of things that peaked my interest and that I enjoyed a lot, there were a lot of things that grossed me out a lot. I personally don’t like to see shrunken heads or persevered organs. On the bright side, I still learned a lot of things from the museum and the class that we had. One of my favorite things in the museum was a booth that showed you getting your arm amputated. It did this by using a mirror and a screen to cover up your arm and project a fake one over it. By doing this you were able to see yourself in the mirror and a fake arm on a screen covering your real one. It showed the process of being in a war, having your arm shot, having it get infected, and having to get it amputated and learning to live with only one arm. I think this was a great exhibit to look at because this is an actual thing that people go through, and you are able to experience a simulation of that.
We also got to go to a class on how to identify bones. During this class we were shown a presentation and different parts of a skeleton and how to use these parts to identify different things. Just by looking at the skull you’re are able to identify the age, gender, and race of the person. I think it’s absolutely amazing that people are able to tell that just by looking at the skull, and are able to tell so much more by looking at a full skeleton.
I think that overall this was a great experience, and I learned a lot.

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New York

Last Monday, we went on an amazing trip to New York. After getting through some tough transportation issues, we went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. We were going on a class tour, so we were able to do some activities that may not have been available to us otherwise. First, we went to classroom and watched a short summary about what happened on 9/11. Then, we went out into the museum. While looking around the museum, we stopped at specific places to write or draw on a graphic organizer. One of my favorite and most memorable spots was the last pillar. This was the last thing that was pulled out of the wreckage of the World Trade Centers. As other things were being cleaned out around it, there were messages graffitied on it, pictures taped to it, and even bouquets of flowers attached to it. One of the pictures on the pillar particularly caught my attention. This was a picture of a victim of the attack that was duct taped on the pillar. What made me so interested in it was that there were messages written on the duct tape in permanent marker. I couldn’t read most of them, but the one that stood out the most was a small “xoxo” in the bottom right corner. This just seemed like such a sweet gesture to me, and I think it’s beautiful that someone did this. It’s amazing to me how in such a hard time for the country, everyone was able to come together and help after this attack.

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Math League

Last week, we started preparing for math league. Math league is a competition where groups from schools in a certain area come together and do math. At each monthly meet, students are given seven math problem to complete in 3-4 minutes. Every question they get right is tallied and counted for the school. I think math league is very interesting because even the people who are really good at math are challenged. I think this also shows how hard it is to do math league because every one is given the same problems, regardless of their math level. I think this also makes it a lot more fun because you are able to try new things that you might not know how to do yet. This also helps me to internalize many math concepts!

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Science Field Trip

Last Wednesday, we went on a trip to the Laurels. While there, we walked around and recorded different things. One of these was all the living things we saw. Some of these were things I’ve seen before, but some I’ve never even heard of! This includes things like Witch Hazel and Beech Drop. It was really interesting to look at every little living thing in this forest and to really see how many there are. We also recorded things such as the temperature of the air, soil, and water, and also took soil samples. After going there, we went to test a pond in Kennett by collecting microorganisms. When we were there, we did about the same thing we did in the Laurels. Sadly, this pond was very polluted so we couldn’t find much in the water. Although we were not able to find much in the water, we did see things like a Great Blue Heron, a Kingfisher, some geese, and a few ducks. Overall, I think this was a very interesting field trip, and I hope we can go to the Laurels again!

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Hamilton and Jefferson

Last Thursday night we went to a debate. This was a reenactment put on by actors portraying Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. This debate was showing the differences between Federalists and Democratic Republicans. One of the main differences was that Republicans followed the constitution more strictly, while Federalists followed it more loosely. Another difference was that the Federalists favored a single government, ruling over the entire country, while Republicans thought multiple small governments with limited power for each state would be better. We also got the chance to ask them some questions and take picture with them at the end. I think this was a very fun trip, and I would like to go on one similar to it in the future.

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