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Battle of the Beaks

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Bird beaks

Bird beaks

In a Battle of the Beaks exercise sophomore Biology students recently learned how animals better adapted to take advantage of available foods fare better than the less adapted, and thus live to pass on their genes to the next generation.

Bird beaks were represented by chopsticks, a spoon, tweezers, and a staple remover. Students needed to use their beak implement to pickup various items representing different foods. Thirty seconds were given to collect as much of one food type as possible, before repeating the activity with different types of food.

At the conclusion of the exercise, students were asked to answer what they noticed about their feeding abilities, and reflect on what would happen if a natural disaster caused a certain food type to disappear.

A beak battle in action!

A beak battle in action!

St. Johns Bridge

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Intro Art students recently completed 2 group paintings: St. Johns Bridge Westbound and Eastbound. Take a look at their impressive (collective) pieces below!

Nain Emery & St. Johns bound west

Nain Emery & St. Johns bound west

Lang Kanyer & St. Johns eastbound

Lang Kanyer & St. Johns eastbound

What We’re Reading: English 12

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Westside seniors are exploring Hamlet, Shakespeare’s psychological thriller highlighting the young Prince Hamlet’s search for justice and revenge. Students write literary analysis papers and perform original soliloquies.

Moses Ndagijimana, Catalina Gillis, Alexis Rodriguez, & Alessandro di Sabato

Moses Ndagijimana, Catalina Gillis, Alexis Rodriguez, & Alessandro di Sabato

Polyhedron Design

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Westside’s Digital Design class put multiple skills to great use in a recent project designing multi-sided polyhedron 3D shapes. These creative creations were displayed in the hall by the Art room.

Take a look!

BB-8 inspired? Perhaps!

BB-8 inspired? Perhaps!

A long line of polyhedrons.

A long line of polyhedrons.

Biology: Cell Organelles Functions

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Biology students were recently tasked with creatively describing the functions of at least 10 different organelles in a cell. Take a look at the project put together by Ethan Chung, Gabe Askew, Peter Nordlund, and Harry Tang below!

What We’re Reading: English 10

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Sophomore English students are reading The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Shakespeare’s historical rendition of the assassination Caesar. Students analyze famous monologues and soliloquies in the play, paying particular attention to rhetorical devices to prepare for in-class debates.

Chris Gordon, Sophie Collins, and Maggie Suter

Chris Gordon, Sophie Collins, and Maggie Suter

Biology: Cell Organelles Functions

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Biology students were recently tasked with creatively describing the functions of at least 10 different organelles in a cell. Take a look at the project put together by Sammi Lopresti, Logan Washburn, Maggie Suter, and Davis Raz below!

WCHS: Stock Market Challenge Champions

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Last week a group of Westside students participated in Junior Achievement’s Stock Market Challenge, with one of the three Westside teams, comprised of Chris Tento, Will Geib, Abbie Nieuwstraten, Wyatt Lewis, and Reece Hupfer, capturing 1st place. This is the 2nd time in 4 years that a Westside team has won the event.

Abbie Nieuwstraten, Reece Hupfer, Chris Tento, Wyatt Lewis, and Will Geib

Abbie Nieuwstraten, Reece Hupfer, Chris Tento, Wyatt Lewis, and Will Geib

Junior Achievement explains their Stock Market Challenge as “an opportunity for students to learn valuable lessons in personal finance and investments. At the JA Stock Market Challenge, teams of four to five students start with $1,000,000 in fictitious funds to buy stock in mock companies. Once the opening bell rings on our Stock Market trading floor, the market opens and every 90 seconds represents a complete trading day. Over the next two hours (representing 60 trading days), students must work together and think on their feet, applying the concepts they learned in the classroom, as they compete to build the highest net worth portfolio. Teams must determine the effect market occurrences and current trading will have on stock prices, compete for the attention of floor traders, and track the performance of their stocks on three jumbo screens. The team with the highest Net Worth Portfolio at the end of 60 “trading days” will be crowned the Stock Market Champion.”

There were 64 total teams who participated, and all three Westside groups beat all other high schools by 25 %. The members of the two other teams were: Brittney Martin, Ali Mills, Danielle Simmons, Rachel Kline, Taylor Ranslow, Simon Griffin, Abe Ahn, Joe Zhao and Yuke Li.

Great work Eagle traders!

 

What We’re Reading: Freshmen English

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To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Summary: It is the 1930’s in Maycomb, Alabama. Racism runs rampant, and so does Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. The protagonist, six year old “Scout” Finch has many adventures alongside her eight year old brother Jem, her lawyer father Atticus Finch, and many other interesting characters of the town. Little does she know that the town will encounter many difficult issues over the next two years of her life. A humble and honest man of color is accused of assaulting a white woman, and the case is headed to a supposedly “fair” trial. The town’s ugly underbelly is exposed, and Scout learns hard lessons about character and human nature. Will justice prevail? Will hate and prejudice see reason and forgiveness? Will the integrity of Atticus Finch be enough to save Scout and Jem?

Why we’re reading: Our world is rife with injustice, and in desperate need of people of unshakeable integrity. There are invaluable lessons to be learned from this book that can change hearts, minds, and – most importantly actions – if we will seek out the wisdom to be found. We read this book to better understand ourselves and the world around us.

Romeo & Juliet – William Shakespeare

Summary: Two upper class families of Verona are engaged in a feud that has killed many years, and many men. Yet, out of bitter battle comes love at first sight. Romeo sees Juliet across a crowded room and is transfixed. Juliet sees Romeo and is enraptured. But, will Romeo & Juliet’s young love be enough to overcome the stubborn pride and desperate hate that swirls around them? What does true love look like? Where do dreams end and practicality begin?

Why we’re reading: Hate is easily found in our city, our state, and our nation. There is only one way to deal with hate: love. But, love is vastly misunderstood and abused in our culture today. The heart is neglected while emotions and temporary feelings are infused with Monster energy drinks. We read this play to better understand what true love looks like, how to listen to our God-given hearts, and to gain a sense of compassion for the world around us.

To Kill A Mocking Bird & Fahrenheit 451

To Kill A Mocking Bird & Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Summary: Guy Montag is a fireman. But, in the future firemen do not put out fires, they start them. Guy has been told all his life that books and ideas are bad and that they should be burned, so for many years he does as he is told. Until one day a “peculiar” young woman, and then an “insane” old woman, challenge his thinking. Are books and ideas as bad as he has been told? Maybe life will be better with more distractions and less time for thinking? Will he find the answers he seeks, or will his curiosity lead to his death?

Why we’re reading: In an increasingly polarizing cultural fabric, it is more important than ever before to learn to listen to ideas and opposing viewpoints. For many, listening is a last resort when it should be a default first option. We read this book to better understand our response to opposing ideas, and to learn to appreciate ideas – even if we do not agree with them. We also read this book to understand that faster does not necessarily mean better, and easier is not always a good thing.

Biology: Cell Organelles Functions

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Biology students were recently tasked with creatively describing the functions of at least 10 different organelles in a cell. Take a look at the project put together by Emma Phillips, Esther Nor-Ashkarian, and Kyra Hartigan below!