This Week in Upper School 9/11/2020
...by Lauren Eisenberg
The Shinshinim program brings recent high school graduates from their homes in Israel to Las Vegas and cities around the world to share their love of Judaism and their lived experiences in the homeland. And although they haven’t left Israel and stepped foot yet in Las Vegas, our Shinshinim, Raz and Shai, are making quite an impact! Every Thursday, the Shinshinim engage in community-building activities with our middle schoolers during their home room period. Using Flipgrid, Raz and Shai have introduced themselves to the students, spoken about their hobbies, and shown them their hometowns -- and soon, they will be sharing with students their favorite foods and their family traditions at Rosh HaShanah. Our sixth through eighth graders have responded with adorable videos of their own, which Shai and Raz view, as well as and give shout outs to their favorite uploads. Students are excited to be meeting the Shinshinim (virtually, for now) and Raz and Shai feel like they are getting to know the students, even though they are still in Israel. Ask your child to show you the heartwarming collection of videos at https://flipgrid.com/dd707f49. Last week, 57 students responded so we are seeing a high engagement rate -- it’s a wonderful example of creating community through technology!
...by Ling-Chih Bachman
PreCalculus is a fascinating, challenging math course that puts together the building blocks of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Trigonometry in preparation for the study of Calculus. As part of our Honors and Advanced Placement-level math course sequence, PreCalculus represents the first step in our triad of high-level courses which also includes AP Calculus AB and AP Statistics. This week, students in PreCalculus engaged in a hands-on investigation to determine the relationship between the dimensions of a 2D net (a template) and the volume of the resulting, folded rectangular prism. Students cut out squares of different size lengths from the four corners of an 8.5-by 11-inch sheet of paper. They then folded up the flaps and measured the volume of the open top box formed by the net. Each class then explored how length, width, height, and volume are all functions of the size of the cutout and which values constitute the domain. Using Desmos, an online graphing tool, students explored the graph of the volume function and were intrigued to see how volume increased with the size of the cutout -- but only up to a certain value. As PreCalculus classes move further into the semester, our high-level students will continue to use both technology-rich and everyday modeling tools (like paper, scissors, and rulers!) to explore, and quantitatively describe, the world around them!