Middle School STEM News 2-7-19

posted Feb 7, 2019, 2:19 PM by Cynthia Friedman

January 28th to February 14th

Human Health and Development Presentations provided by Planned Parenthood during Health from 2:15 to 3:05 over the course of three weeks.

Topics Covered:

  • Birth Control and Sexual Protection

  • STIs

  • Consent

  • Healthy Relationships

  • Sexual Decision Making

  • Biological Sex and Gender Identity

February 8


February 11 to February 14

Human Health and Development Presentation provided by CAHOOTS during Health (2:15 to 3:05)

February 18

NO SCHOOL - President's Day

February 22  

Pasta Dinner and DDD Kick-off!




Canopy Connections Field Trip (Seventh Graders)

A big THANK YOU to our Canopy Connections Volunteers - Kathee Palfy, Christine Bender, Briony McFarland, and Adrena Mohtadi. They will be joining the seventh graders, India and myself on the Canopy Connections field trip. More details to come as the date approaches.



Students designed and created detailed models illustrating the material composition, consistency, relative depth, density, and temperature of each of the layers of Earth.  They decided how to represent the information with clear, easy to follow illustrations and labels. The same skills necessary to create an informative, easy to digest illustration, are necessary in creating an outline for an organized highly communicative essay.  The deep learning of this assignment also included the process of creating a scale for their model that accurately depicts the relative proportions of all of the layers of the Earth. They had to decide the number of millimeters diameter their model would need to be to fit on their page, how many kilometers each millimeter unit represented, and then apply that scale as they drew their model as accurately as possible.  

Presentations and peer evaluations took place on Wednesday. Table groups rotated around the room evaluating each “Earth’s Interior” presentation against a rubric.  They then reflected on their own degree of success in each aspect of the assignment requirements.

Reflection prompts:

  • What made information easier or more difficult to digest?  

  • How did individuals organize information differently?  How effective were their choices?

  • What are the elements in a strong presentation? Why?

Next week week we move on to our deep investigations into the study of earthquakes.  

Human Health and Development

The students love this video shown by our Planned Parenthood Educator as an analogy for consent. Check it out!

  • Consent - It’s Simple as Tea


She also acted out a scenario with a student volunteer in which the student was prompted to come up and ask to pet her dog (represented by a stuffed animal). She responded in various ways with words and body language. The group then dissected the interaction.  An important example situation she acted out in this scenario was, “OK, I guess.” The volunteer student, inferring her indecision, chose not pet the dog. They talked about how someone could be uncomfortable saying no, but really mean no. Consent has to be enthusiastic.

In another scenario she responded with, “Yes, but just his ears.” In this case, consent was given just to pet it’s ears...not it’s back, or belly, etc. It’s her dog, she knows her dog, and has the right to say when, how, and what, just like we all have that right with our bodies! A very important empowering lesson!

Each time she comes, she raves about the respectfulness and level of engagement of our students.  I love the opportunity to rave about our Montessori philosophy and the members of our wonderful Ridgeline Community.


With great appreciation,

Carrie and India