Spring Break successes
Students recently enjoyed a unique Spring Break experience during the Week Without Walls, which is a service and learning trip where students from both White Bear Lake Middle Schools immerse themselves in the culture and environment of Costa Rica. This year students ziplined, rafted, hiked, snorkeled, laughed, animal watched, surfed in the ocean and learned their way around Costa Rica's volcanoes, rainforests and hot springs. They also spent time working and learning with the students of two Costa Rican schools. The trip also included six White Bear Lake Area High School students who developed a mentorship program that included daily games, discussions and reflections. All students were excellent representatives of the district by modeling leadership, courage, grace, service and fortitude in all of their interactions and activities. One student shared that the trip made them feel truly appreciated.
Back in Minnesota, another student embraced an opportunity to shadow community members during an inter-generational event while knitting together passions. This opportunity served as a reminder of the beauty of passing interests from one generation of knitters to the next. A Girl Scout in the Brownie program met with the Mad Hatters Knitters group at the White Bear Area Senior Center. The knitters displayed items they have made to the troop. They showed the troop how to knit and crochet, while also teaching basic skills. The Brownie troop leader even donated more than 10 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, which many seniors appreciated! For more information about upcoming opportunities with the White Bear Area Senior Program, check out the latest edition of the Senior Voice
Last year, WBLAHS - North Campus's Media Center received a renovation where students have been able to enjoy flexible and future ready spaces. Media Specialist Amy Carney has been presenting locally and nationally about the transformation Amy spear-headed in the district through a presentation called "Creating Future Ready Media Centers." The media specialist recently presented for the Library Technology Conference at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. The presentation expresses the media specialist's forward-thinking desire to be able to foster the 21st Century learner in flexible spaces where students can enhance collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, accountability and analytical thinking. In other creativity news, Lincoln Elementary students shined on stage as they had a dress rehearsal for fellow classmates and a weekend full of "Oklahoma" performances. Check out this video
to see parts of the dress rehearsal experience.
While some students enjoyed performance opportunities, others were able to attend a public testimony where Senator Chuck Wiger praised the Race 2 Reduce program. The Race 2 Reduce program educates students about local water resources and introduces water conversation to encourage youth to be change agents on both a global and local scale. The students were able to sit right alongside Senator Chuck Wiger as they embraced the real-life legislative experience. In other news regarding legislative opportunities, White Bear Lake Area High School senior, Ryan Hall, spent time shadowing State Representative Peter Fischer at the Minnesota State Capitol during Spring Break. Ryan had participated in the High School Page Program a year ago, which sparked the current senior's desire to learn more about the legislative process.
Willow Lane Elementary and Otter Lake Elementary students recently embraced a sweet opportunity. They traveled over to Tamarack Nature Center to learn about the process of making syrup. Once a group of students found the perfect tree, they stood in a line and took turns hammering a spile into a tree. They were even able to taste the sap and watch it drip into a bucket for collection. Speaking of sweet experiences, the combination of learning and fun continued as several Willow Lane Elementary fifth graders made science observations about surface tensions on pennies and paper towels. The experience was captured in this video
. The students utilized droppers and picked up substances such as corn syrup, oil, soda and vinegar and placed them on pennies. Students were encouraged to express observations about the occurrences.
In other science news, Sunrise Park Middle School student Megan Van Ostrand is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2018 Minnesota National Geographic State Bee. The contest will take place at Minnesota State University, Mankato on Friday, April 6. Other students are hard at work as they complete phase one and phase two of Driver's Education. Check out a video
of the experience. Phase one includes the 30-hours of classroom instruction that prepares students to take the Minnesota permit test. Then, in phase two, after students pass the Minnesota permit test, they are required to complete six hours of driving lessons. The White Bear Lake Community Services & Recreation Department has a limited amount of financial assistance available for families interested in youth programs and classes. Students enrolled in the district's Free & Reduced Lunch Program may be eligible for a $25 or $50 discount. The learning experiences continued as students at WBLAHS - North Campus enjoyed a fun opportunity by hosting Hi-Mark Quartet, a professional barbershop quartet. WBLAHS - North Campus students who attended a workshop at St. John's University in October connected with the quartet. When the Hi-Mark Quartet visited the classroom, the students sang for them and the quartet performed for them in return.
The Week in 62.4 Seconds