Challenge Program News - Forest Park District 91 - Mrs. Finn

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Bear down for a harsh winter! Third graders discovered a wooley bear caterpillar (identified by chaperone Anna Friedman) whose segment colors showed us we may be in for a long, harsh winter. 
Students spent a beautiful fall day exploring  geometry and nature at the Morton Arboretum’s special “Origami in the Garden” exhibit.  While taking in the gorgeous surroundings, we were also constructing origami flappy birds by the pond.

Mrs Finn's Challenge Program elementary students are busy solving logic problems and puzzles. We are also solving linear equations with a kinesthetic and visual system that helps students to think algebraically. 

Working with both the International Community School of Abidjan in Cote d'lvoire, West Africa and All Saints Academy in Winter Haven, Florida, fourth and fifth graders discussed tough topics of race, religion, language, tradition, economics, gender and other topics that tend to divide us.   After brainstorming the topic "Embracing Our Differences" with our partner schools schools, students realized they needed to look at these topics from a different perspective.  

Students and their global partners developed a website: Our Visit to Earth: Embracing Our Differences from the perspective of alien visitors encountering people and situations on our planet.  

The educators who make up this Global Virtual Classroom seek to promote communication, collaboration and understanding among students around the world.

Eighth graders submitted a proposal for a traffic safety issue they investigated  at the end of last year in Forest Park. 
Building an Age-Friendly City and finding solutions to the growing number of seniors in the world, is the current eighth grade project.  The creation of this Future City involves developing a simulated city, writing a research paper, building a model and presenting their work (and vision) to engineers in the field. 


5th & 6th visited Argonne National Laboratory on Monday, November 27th  for a special workshop on Building a Better Battery. This lab allowed students to explore the process of accelerating discovery using the "sprint" method.  Small groups are given limited time to investigate a specific aspect of a battery design to collect data, look for trends, and report back to the team. The team reviews the small group’s recommendations and through scientific argumentation, comes to a consensus about that aspect of the battery’s design. 

The project goal was to develop a prototype battery that will be used to power a toy car. The kids did an awesome job debating the data and successfully launched a vehicle using their battery design.











Middle School students are embarking on a research journey exploring the “Conflict & Compromise in History.”   This project invites students to become an expert on a topic of interest, learn to manage their time, explore resources, acquire evidence to support their thesis and think like a historian as they develop a strategy to present their research and insight others.
F

Challenge Night
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
at 6:30p.m.


Seventh graders participated in the 2017 Northern Illinois Model UN Conference at the Chicago History Museum on Friday, November 3rd. Opening ceremonies included keynote speaker Andrew H. Schapiro, who served as the United States Ambassador to the Czech Republiic during President Obama's 
second term. During the conference simulation, students became delegates from various countries and engaged in a full day of speaking, debating and writing resolutions on international affairs.  

At NIMUN VII, students are assigned to a country in one of five UN bodies  At this year's conference, delegates took on the following committees: United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD), Committee on the Peaceful 
Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), Organization of African Unity (OAU),  and World Health Organization (WHO). 
The topics they faced included: Conflict in the Horn of Africa and Deterioriating Conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa, Air Pollution, Cybersecurity, Cyberwarefare, and Conflict in Kashmir – to name a few.   Some of the interactive simulations included crisis scenarios that tested their foreign policy knowledge and negotiating skills. 

The conference is geared toward middle school students looking for a challenging experience and is largely coordinated by an intense group of teens involved in the Chicagoland MUN Club. Since it's inception, Challenge Program students have been offered this rare opportunity to participate in NIMUN and we are very grateful for the immense amount of work that goes into preparing for this day.


More Opportunities...

Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development offers a variety of weekend and online courses

Summer Institute at University of Chicago



Summer Opportunities:

The following sites are not updated yet, however, please be sure to check in with them if you are interested in summer programs for your child.

Summer Gifted and Talented Program at Dominican University

Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI) at Purdue University

Northwestern Center for Talent Development - Chicago
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