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

Reminder:  Challenge Night is
April 27th at 6:30 p.m. in the Field-Stevenson School Gymnasium


4th and 5th Grade Challenge Program students from Field-Stevenson and Grant-White became astronauts on a simulated NASA mission to Mars on November 16th.  Serving on both the Mission Control team and the Spacecraft team, students were in charge of running all aspects of the mission,  working hands-on with science experiments, and communicating with each other.  
Before their voyage, students had to apply for their positions by completing an application about themselves.  There were various jobs that required specific skills to apply.  Based on their application, students were assigned to one of many teams: Probe, Medical, Communications, Life Support, Isolation and Life Support. 
Each team had a role that was critical for the mission success.  Students had a great time and led a successful mission through their teamwork

Model UN

Middle School Challenge 6th and 7th grade students participated in the 2015 Northern Illinois Model UN Conference at the Chicago History Museum on Friday, November 13th. Taking on the role as delegates from various countries, students did an outstanding job speaking, debating and writing resolutions on international affairs. 
During the mock summit, delegates participated in one of four UN bodies: the Committee for Disarmament and International Security (DISEC), the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD), the African Union (AU), and the United Nations Security Council. The topics they faced included: cloning, militarization of the Arctic, the technology divide, failed states (Africa), economic development, Ukraine, and military intervention in Africa. 

The interactive simulations included crisis scenarios that tested their foreign policy knowledge and negotiating skills.  The students absolutely had a blast and learned a great deal. 

Future City:  Solid Waste Management

Eighth grade students got a rare and fascinating behind-the scenes tour of a recycling facility in Chicago as we explored the topic of solid waste management. We also stopped by a small business called “The Wasteshed” which provides the community with repurposing of items that otherwise end up in the trash. Students are currently building a simulated city model and incorporating futuristic solid waste management ideas into their design.


Third grade students invented exciting times for their “Extrordinaire client” by researching, looking closely and asking questions.  

Hour of CODE

Students are working with Hands-On Equations and are employing creative computing with MIT’s Scratch application where they can learn to think creatively and reason systematically. 

Future City

8th grade worked with Mr. Shelton on scale. 

Nasa sent our students Mars and Moon soil simulants to test!

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Gifted Summer Programs

Northwestern Center for Talent development is accepting applications for their 2014 Summer Program. 

Programs are held in Evanston, Elmhurst, Skokie, Palatine, Naperville, Chicago and Lake Forest, Illinois

Summer program website

Dominican University will announce their summer Gifyed and Talented programs soon. Check their website for announcements and applicant information.

3-D Modeling
Sixth and seventh grader students are currently completing a unit on 3-D printing.  After testing out several design programs for the Chromebook, we began designing terrain tiles for a country. The tiles connect to each other and this unit will segue into our Create a Country unit next month.


TrashHackers robotics team from Forest Park Middle School participated in the Chicago Regional Tournament at Naperville North High School on Saturday, December 5th.  FLL is an international non-profit organization founded to inspire student interest and participation in STEM learning through real-world problem solving missions while building self-confidence, communication and leadership. Each year, students are presented with a new theme that has three components: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values. 

This year's theme was "Trash Trek." For the research project component, the TrashHackers team came up with designing an app that would help to eliminate trash by providing users with information. Using the camera on their phone, the app can quickly scan an item before it heads to the trash. The app provides the user with video ideas for upcycling, and tells them if the item can be recycled or composted. The team also worked on creating a solution for chip bags that cannot be recycled. Students demonstrated the app in action during their presentation to judges. Teams are judged based on their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, competitive play, teamwork, sportsmanship, and sense of community.

Congratulations to the TrashHack team: Sakthi, Jaydon, Justin, Jonathan, Jalen and Eduardo.

Mars - Making it Real
4th and 5th grade students are designing their own space mission starting with research and then moving on to logistics.

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more photos from Model UN

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