News from Emily

July 3, 2014

Beautiful spring weather arrived in time for our Cycling Exploration class to ride the roads of Bloomington. Many of you have noticed our work on the bike shelter: look for improvements throughout the spring! Thanks to everyone for the school-wide participation (and parent volunteers) in the Bike-to-School Breakfast on Earth Day. As the spring warms up, academic classes have gotten to more complicated subjects as the capstones to our semesters together.
In Chemistry students conducted lots of experiments on metal reactivity: dissolving aluminum cans, turning aluminum foil into copper, turning copper pennies into thin foils, and precipitating silver crystals. They ended the course with acid-base and oxidation-reduction reactions, along with some delicious freezing-point experiments on organic chemical emulsions (a.k.a. ice cream).
In the Cells & Genes course, students taught each other about a wide range of genetic disorders and solved a lot of puzzles about trait inheritance patterns. They explored epigenetics and the age-old questions of nature vs. nurture. Students finished the course with opinion essays on genetic engineering and biotechnology.
In Botany, we weeded and mulched, weeded and mulched, weeded and mulched in the spring sunshine. Each student mapped and redesigned a garden bed around the school. We transplanted wildflowers with the Urban Woodlands project and students finished the course with field guides for the various edible fruit and nut trees we are cultivating.

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