Students Hailey, Emily and William in the Top 20 Teens class did a presentation on Fetal Alcohol Synsdrome. Students in this group invited in guest speaker Barb Clark from the MN Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS). Students in the class were required to do a 30-40 minute presentation on a mental health issue. Presentations had to include many facets, including: diagnosis, school impact & life outcomes.
Barb Clark, the guest speaker from MOFAS offered interesting commentary and facts, including her own personal experience in raising a daughter (by adoption) with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). Did you know that any drink containing alcohol can harm a baby at any time during pregnancy? Ms. Clark urged students that FAS and FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) is 100% preventable. The speaker noted was that there are still doctors who say it is okay to drink a glass of wine during pregnancy. Ms. Clark strongly urged that any alcohol, including wine, should not be consumed during pregnancy!
Kudos to these students for bringing in a great speaker for us to learn from :)
MAAP STARS stands for Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs Self-Esteem, Team Work, Achievement, Reconignition, and Success. In the MAAPS STARS class we learn some things along the lines of interviewing, advertising, and public speaking. Kelli, Katie, Trevin and I, Allie, were given the option of picking team events for the competition. We choose to do service learning Imovie project. First we gathered information on how much service learning we have done this year. Then we put together a plan for the Imovie. Finally we took pictures and put together the movie you see here. It was a long process that we learned from and it was fun. We had to change the movie many times and edit it to get it right. (thanks Kelli) But in the end it turned out good. We learned how to make better movies and change our projects to fit criteria. Now the movie will be displayed here, on youtube, and on CTN. It also will be sent to Minnesota Dept. of Education.
Learning about government from a book is one thing, but being here and being a part of it is a learning experience that will stick with us for much longer! We started out our morning in suits and ties, and after a bumpy van ride and some wrong turns we made it to the Kelly Inn, near the capitol. We took a quick briefing on the upcoming issues that are soon to be affecting charter schools all over Minnesota. Then, we hustled promptly to our first meetings in the State Office Building, or SOB. Part of our group split off to have our first meeting with Representative Sanders. We discussed the bill, H.F. 134 or Charter School Authorizer Approval Extension Bill, with him and how this bill will affect 64 schools in Minnesota. These schools could be shut down if they don't have an approved authorizer by June 30th, 2011. The bill is currently stalled in the House of Representatives.
So far, the senators and representatives we've met with have responded positively and have listened to our opinions on the issues. One representative mentioned accountability and supporting charter schools that get results. We feel that there is so much more to learning and showing what we've learned than by just judging results by our test scores. What we've been trying to show them is that we're more than just numbers in a system. We're real people that are actually affected by these bills and laws.
Part of our group met with Senator Wolf --- cool name, huh? She welcomed us openly, being a teacher and having a lot of knowledge about education. The Charter School Authorizer Approval Extension Bill was already passed in the Senate, so we thanked her helping get it through.
By Katie Blenkush and Sara Snaza Stay tuned for updates from our other students! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
3.6 miles of snow shoeing. Six people choose to go and walkout to the sea caves and back on the second day. We saw white and green and some more white. :) the nature was silent but all you can hear as you are walking down the path is the clinking of the snow shoes. I struggled to breathe as the hills went up and down. The hills were steep and slipper it was cold but a little bit of fun. we talk to each other to get us through the long walk and cold. At the beginning it was easier on the way, but on the way back it got rugged.
Today at snow shoeing we walked two miles, it was four of us snowshoeing it was a lot of work but it was a blast. We walked to this cave it was a least fifty feet deep and it was on top of the water. I have never done this before but i want to do this again.
Today we went to Wolf Song, a dog sledding company. First we went in the cabin to gear ourselves up, snow pants, boots, mush gloves, mukluks (boots that are a lot like moccasins that keep you feet amazingly warm). After we got done gearing up we went to go play with the dogs before the run. There was 36 Siberian Huskies. They were all unique in their own little way. After playing with the dogs we all gave them some water to get ready for their big run. Then we helped to gear the dogs up, some of the dogs willingly put on their harness and some of them were really squirmy. After their harnesses were on they we really excited to run, they would not stop barking and jumping, it was really difficult to get them in their mushing line. Once they were all set and we were ready to go they took off fast! When they took off it was a huge kick. They would almost Throw you off when they take off. The scenery is amazing the snow would hit your face and almost totally blind you. We went through two open feilds. When going through the pasty the rider would get hit with small twigs just off the beaten trail. It was so amazing that i wanted to take a dog home or just ask to live there. I wish I could go back for a second day.
Are you one of those people who believe that the world is going to end in 2012 because the Mayan calendar ends? Well after our guided tour of Mayan ruins today by a Maya person named Ismael, you would no long believe it....thankfully!
Our group started the day going to tour some Mayan ruins just outside Tulum. Upon arrival we were greeted by Ismael, a native to the area. As we walked through the beautiful area we learned a lot of really interesting things. We saw ficus trees which we learned is a parasite tree and can be known as the "supermarket" of trees. We saw a tree called " " that they get gum from. We learned about a tree called Chechem and Checa, Checchem is a poisonous tree that is something like contracting poison ivy, but worse because it is really hard to treat, but luckily the anecdote tree called Checa is usually nearby and scraping away the bark reveals the anecdote and is applied to the affected area.
We were able to climb on top of Mayan ruins and learned they build two temples one being the access point to a tunnel to get to the main temple. We had to ask our guide about the tale of the world ending in 2012, and he just laughed. He told us that the Mayans worked in cycles of 52 years and in those 52 years they worked 7 of the years, and that is when the calendars were updated. So it is likely that there was a war or something that prevented the Maya people from making a new calendar. Ismael said the Maya people laugh at those who believe the story of the world ending.
So if you were one of those people who believed that the world was going to end in 2012, hopefully this bit of information provided to you by a very credible Mayan resource called Ismael, will calm your fears. The Maya people are very interesting, private people, and if you ever have a chance to come to the Yucatan Peninsula, make sure you take time to learn about the people who largely inhabit this area.
For those of you following our blog, our Internet connection is non-existent in the field. We will post when we can and unfortunately the connection can not handle picture and video. We will update our post with media when we get back to the states. Today we are heading into Mayan ruins and cenotes, which are fresh water underground rivers. Everyone is having a great time and yesterday we helped gather palm leaves for a local fence project. More to follow.