This Week in the Commons

Guest Speaker in the Briggs Center for Civic Engagment

Returning from our February break, we started this week with a special guest speaker. Andre Langston, manager of WDKX (103.9 FM) radio station,  is the son of the station’s founder, Andrew Langston. As an appropriate conclusion to the Third Grade’s study of Ruby Bridges and the civil rights movement, Mr. Langston shared with the students how his father founded the station when no one would hire him back in the late 1960s.  He had to apply for the available frequency and was given 60 days to build his radio station. WDKX commenced broadcasting on April 6, 1974  and has been broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week ever since. To this day, it is the first and only black-owned radio station in New York State, and the only locally-owned Rochester radio station. His father gave everything he had to keep his dream alive and now it is now 40 years old and ranked second in the market of Rochester.  Much of their focus is on education and black history, supporting the strong lesson of never giving up on your dreams.  WDKX was named in honor of black heroes Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X.

PLANTS project in 7th Grade

Plants, Land, Animals, Nature, Technology, Society–this is an overarching theme which will support a variety of projects which strive to innovate in ways that seek a high level of responsibility to all those areas/things and requires an understanding of the interconnected aspects of all of it. The first of the PLANTS projects started this week in the 7th Grade science classes. A description of the project is found below from Carli Rivers, who is working with Chris Hartman to lead this new learning adventure.

“Our new home in The Commons has opened the door to some exciting and unique learning opportunities. The seventh grade science class has partnered with Chris Hartman to embark on a plant science-engineering project in The Commons Greenhouse. The vast amount of vertical space in the greenhouse, coupled with the ability to grow year round, provided the context for an exciting engineering challenge. Seventh grade scientists were asked to design a vertical hydroponic growing system. After touring the greenhouse and performing some initial research around hydroponics, students worked together with their teammates to create initial designs. They presented these designs to Mr. Hartman, myself, and their classmates where they received feedback and made alterations. This week was spent building prototypes in the workshop and project space on the ground floor of The Commons. As students built their models, they encountered various problems that they had to creatively solve as a team. Their creativity, flexibility, and excitement have been truly inspiring. Over the next few weeks, students will finalize their models, measure and observe their lettuce plant growth, and make changes to their models as they see fit. We ultimately hope to take the top performing models and build them large scale. We will soon delve into the study of plant nutrition and focus on the importance and use of certain micronutrients and macronutrients.” Some photos of the initial work are below:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>