Eagle Creek Academy
Middle School Excitement
Middle School Excitement
All of our sixth, seventh and eighth grade students take on a string instrument and join our string orchestra. The children have class twice per week for 45 minutes with an instructor who is an accomplished, performing violinist. The students are happily surprised at how quickly they learn to play. They will tell you that being in the band has taught them many things, such as how to read music, keep a beat, concentrate, think creatively, work on a team, persevere, and manage practice time. So far, our middle school string orchestra has played for various school functions. Soon, the children hope to play at some community events.
Middle school students traveled to Northern Michigan for a three day field trip. Students visited several areas of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park and later conducted experiments with sand and water tension. We spend two nights in a lodge at the Traverse City State Park and enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather when we swam in Lake Michigan and enjoyed games, bonfires, s’mores and other team building activities. The highlight of our trip was when students conducted authentic research and investigated the ecology of the Great Lakes as well as learned a little bit about how to sail schooner Inland Seas. Students followed this activity up by building and testing underwater remote controlled vehicles on board the Utopia at Discovery Pier in Traverse City. Our trip wrapped up with a visit to the local farmers market, putt-putt and a stop at a favorite local diner before returning home.
Model United Nations
Our sixth, seventh and eighth grade students are preparing for their trip to NYC for the Model United Nations (MUN) assembly. MUN is an entire social studies curriculum. Students are assigned a country and some problems in that country, such as how to handle immigrants, how to promote women's rights, or how to reduce child labor. The students spend class time studying the country and the problems, with the ultimate goal of proposing solutions. Importantly, the solutions must fit the aspirations and culture of the assigned country.
Our middle school students will be representing the Republic of Panama. To get started, they studied Panama's geography, economy, history, and government. Next, each student joined a committee and focused on certain global problems. (The committees are the same as in the real UN.) The children in the committee for Disarmament and International Security are researching military budget reduction; the prohibition against developing and stockpiling chemical weapons; and the destruction of chemical weapons. The children in the Economic and Financial committee are researching sustainable development; how to reduce the risk of disaster; and the eradication of poverty. The students in the Administrative and Budgetary committee are researching the financing of the UN Children's Fund and of the UN peacekeeping missions in Abeyi, Cyprus and Liberia. The children in the Social, Humanitarian & Culture committee are researching the rights of indigenous and disabled people.
Finally, our students will form solutions to the problems they have studied. In March, they will go to NYC to join hundreds of other US students to simulate a UN assembly, during which they will present their solutions, listen to other countries' solutions, and vote on final resolutions. Our 678 graders are excited to know that in the past, the real UN has adopted several MUN suggestions!