Congratulations to the Class of 2017!
Though I did not get to tell each of you in person, my wish is that your high school years will be filled with enriching learning experiences, the companionship and support of old and new friends, and the confidence to know that you can accomplish great things. Understand that goals worth reaching are always worth the effort. Find your passion and believe in your dreams.
Thoughts shared with previous graduates:
Some important ideas I hope you take away from this past year are a sense of time management, attention to detail, taking pride in what you produce and create, and learning how to learn. By that I mean, in this time of digital overload of information, how do you know what is true, what is right, what is safe? We can no longer say, "No one ever taught me that" because all we have to do is find someone on YouTube or Twitter who is an expert in that skill we need to learn. We can sign up for an online course or learn about a topic in so many ways. Teaching correct use of digital tools and providing you with opportunities to think, analyze, and create is our way of "teaching you to fish", rather than merely handing you some fish. There is a wonderful world out there. Continue to learn what is worth keeping and what to throw back. Make a positive mark on the world.
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." (Luke 5:4)
We have worked on a variety of skill areas this year, including:
organization of information
evaluating websites for authenticity and purpose
analyzing and synthesizing information
comprehension of informational text
choosing appropriately licensed media
writing formulas in spreadsheets
coding and programming logic
video production in Moviemaker and iMovie
Our final project of the year could have used a little more time for "tweaking" and polishing (or proofreading) but every team managed to complete the impact video. I hope that these topics have made you realize the importance of the choices you make and the impact you can have on the future of our planet and the future of mankind. Perhaps your message will have an impact on someone else's choices as well. Video links are below.
8th Grade 60 Second Earth Impact Videos
What is the impact of landfill leachate on groundwater?
What is the impact of stormwater runoff on the environment and human health?
How does surface mining/strip mining impact the environment?
Could CO2 capture and storage have an impact on reduction of carbon emissions?
What is the impact of increasing greenhouse gas emissions on humans and the environment?
How does deforestation impact global climate change?
What is the impact of fracking on groundwater?
What is the impact of agricultural pesticides on groundwater?
What is the impact of soil degradation and desertification on the environment?
What is the impact of rising CO2 levels on the ocean?
What is the potential environmental impact from oil sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline?
What is the impact of bottled water use on the environment and human health?
What is the impact of styrofoam on human health and the environment?
How can the use of geothermal energy impact climate change?
What is the impact of groundwater depletion on the environment?
Remember the quote on the computer lab wall by the legendary football coach Lou Holtz:
Ability is what you're capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.
If I can ever be of any assistance to you in your high school years as you cast your net out over the sea of knowledge, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to know of your high school adventures. Be safe in the physical world and in the digital world. Keep your digital footprint (digital tattoo) clean. God bless you all!
Note: Your Google account will remain active until June 20, and the email restriction will be lifted so that you may access and share any of the contents of your school account to your personal email. After that date accounts will be suspended.