Sustainability Inquiry Challenge, 11/18/2009


1. Look, smell, and hear what’s around you in your school environment.


2. Describe what you see. Write it down.


Submit drawings, poems, narrative descriptions of what you see, hear and smell. Identify positive and negative sensations. Using your senses, identify and describe what you like and don’t like, in the school environment, including the grounds.


3. Envision the future. Formulate a suggestion.


a. Suggest what could we do differently in our classrooms and as a school as a whole community to make this world more pleasant and greener.



b. Note specifically what actions we need to take to achieve your envisioned future.

This is due at room 216 by Tuesday, December 1 at 2:30 p.m.

Sky Challenge, October 8, 2009


This challenge goes out as a shout out to Ms. Lindsay, Mr. Greenberg, and all the other star, planet and moon lovers in the building, of which I am one.
Coloquially, in every day language, and also in myths and legends, there is a light in the sky, a brilliant orb, which is known as both the Morning Star and the Evening Star. This October, this light is the Morning Star.

Activity: Go outside around 6:00 a.m. and look into the Eastern sky. You will see a bright , steady orb.

Challenge, Part 1.
Locate the orb in the morning sky. Look about 35 degrees up from the horizon. Check the estimation I’ve made. I know it’s an acute angle.

Challenge, Part 2.
Do some research. What is this light. Why is it sometimes in the morning sky and sometimes in the evening sky. What are some questions about this light? What can this light teach us about the Greenhouse Effect? Can you find any myths or legends about this light?

Challenge, Part 3.

Submit one, two, or all of the following.
a. A Drawing, showing what you see in the sky. Include the orb, but also the rooftops, the sunrise, other lights in the sky.
b. Written description of what you’re seeing.
c. Poem, rap, or any writing this light might inspire you to write.
d. Retelling of a myth or legend about this light.

We had a pizza party for the 250 year old tree challenge. We are not planning any specific extrinsic reward for this challenge, but you never know. We might plan a trip to the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space. We hope you will do this challenge for the joy of searching and discovering.

Green Question. Why should we care about this light? What does it mean to live in a place where the air is so dirty, you cannot see this light. Clue about the object: This light never rises more than 60 degrees above the horizon.

This is a short challenge. It is due in room 216 by Wednesday, October 14th by 3:07.

Put your best foot forward. Edit for spelling, capitalization and punctuation. Revise for organization. Be sure to include your name, class, and academy name.

Good luck!



Inquiry Challenge I, 9/25/09


Context. Along the perimeter of the school, there is a tree that is about 250 years old. It is one of the oldest trees in the neighborhood.

Part 1. Think about what characteristics an older tree would exhibit. Old people have wrinkled skin. Does wrinkled bark indicate old age in a tree? Old people often become smaller. Is a small tree indicative of longevity in a tree? What characteristics are clues to a tree’s age?

Before or after the school day, walk the perimeter of the school and look for a tree that you think might be 250 years old.


Part 2. Submit one of the following to room 216:
• Draw a picture of the tree
• write a description of the tree
• create a map of school grounds showing us where this old tree stands, or
• write directions to the tree from a specific school exit to the tree.


Part 3. Math & Social Studies
Considering the tree is 250 years old, what major event occurred when this tree was 17 years old?


Part 4. Inquiry, Literacy
Write 2-3 sentences telling us how you figured out which tree is the oldest. Write 2-3 sentences describing what Inquiry means to you.


Hand in your submission to room 216 by 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, 9/29.
We are posting this challenge outside room 216, so you can review the challenge.

Winning submissions will be posted on the “Wall of Inquiry” outside Room 216, so "put your best foot forward."