Todays Events - July 28, 2021

Upcoming Events

  • Aug 23rd - Aug 23rd, 2021 - BOE Regular Meeting
    6:30 PM - Mt. Olive Middle School

  • Sep 13th - Sep 13th, 2021 - BOE Regular Meeting
    6:30 PM - Mt. Olive Middle School

  • Sep 27th - Sep 27th, 2021 - BOE Regular Meeting
    6:30 PM - Mt. Olive Middle School

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BAGELS & LOCKS

Incoming 6th Grade Middle School students are invited to walk their schedule, practice opening their locker and have a bagel on us! Students should be accompanied by an adult. Rising 6th grade Mount Olive district students should visit on:
Wednesday, August 18
9 a.m.–12 p.m. 
or
Wednesday, August 25 
9 a.m.–12 p.m. 

Students new to the district should visit on:
Monday, August 25
1–3 p.m.


Please report to the auditorium



Students examine the building blocks of life

Seventh-graders recently extracted DNA from strawberries. The experiment modeled how scientists break apart a cell in order to extract the DNA from the nucleus. The process used simple household items such as rubbing alcohol and dish detergent; the end result for each strawberry was about a teaspoon of white, slimy fluid.
 
“Everyone hears about DNA, but few people know what it looks like in real life,” said teacher Katie Sosnovik, who coordinated the experiment with teachers Rachel Eby and Leah Sian. “The lab showed students exactly how it looks and helped them connect that all living things are made of the same material.”
 
The lab was part of an eight-week unit on genetics and inheritance that explained how genes and chromosomes pass inherited traits from parents to offspring.
 
In a project that exemplified how traits are passed on, the students created their own aliens. Teachers provided students with the pairs of recessive and dominant genes of each alien parent. The genes determine physical characteristics such as skin color, body shape, face shape, and eye color. The young geneticists each flipped a coin to determine which genes would be passed on, then determined the probable traits of the alien children.
 
They also drew family portraits of their alien families to show the traits they calculated.

 


Jack Bacigalupo reads "The Giver"

Designing the perfect society

In English classes, seventh-graders recently defined their own versions of utopia, with honesty, peace, and equality three of the most often listed bedrock values. But more than anything, the students’ visions of an idyllic civilization provided insight into their unique personalities. The assignment provided an opportunity for students to proclaim the qualities and values they hold dear, and imagine a world in which mankind’s greatest problems were no more.
 
Nanki Kaur’s perfect world is filled with honest citizens who respect the environment and each other.
 
Lauren Marone’s is peaceful and inhabited by people who are determined to meet their goals and be their best.
 
Irene Reichl’s utopia is founded on kindness and equality; it’s a place where intelligence is valued and its residents have intellectual curiosity and a sense of adventure.
 
“This was one of my favorites assignments,” said Irene. “You get to create your own world. In a lot of ways, the [actual] world is really messed up so this was a chance to fix it on paper.”
 
With an emphasis on knowledge, adventure, and learning, Irene’s utopia reveals just who she is inside.
 
“I love to travel,” she said. “My family traveled to places like Maine and Hawaii before COVID. I love to learn different things about the world and all the different cultures. It’s so important to me. I think everyone should learn as much as they can.”
 
The exercise served as a prelude to the reading of “The Giver,” a 1994 Newbery-winning novel (and 2018 film). “The Giver” explores a seemingly perfect community without war, pain, or suffering. However, as the story develops and the lack of individuality and choice is seen, the dystopian foundation becomes evident. Portrayed are the extreme qualities of some of the features many students defined as essential. Peace/lack of conflict has become sedation, equality has devolved into conformity.
 
“Conformity is an important topic to discuss with students since this is the age when they’re trying to define their own identity and individuality,” said teacher Susan Zaremba. “Readers of ‘The Giver’ seem to question why everything has to be the same. Is it control or a way to make life easier so that people can focus on more important issues? As we move further into the novel, students are out loud questioning this and come to realize this isn't the utopia they thought it was initially. It’s great to watch their critical thinking skills evolve in asking these types of questions and connecting the dots.”

Further activities are planned that will allow the students to show their understanding of the book. For example, each student will develop a Spotify playlist for a specific character to demonstrate insight into that character. The students will also complete a dream sharing activity which will mimic the family discussions that the novel's main character is expected to participate in every morning.



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