Inspirational People Who Have ⚡Sparked ⚡ Change!

Who are the change-makers we look up to? What are the changes these inspirational people have sparked in the world? Orange Banders dug deep into their stores of history and knowledge and identified an individual who has sparked change in the world to research and celebrate. Using the artwork of Kehinde Wiley as a model, kiddos created mixed media collage portraits of their Change-Maker to accompany a write up. ⚡


Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is considered one of the most important  scientist of the 1900’s . Einstein was born on Friday, March 14th, 1879 and grew up in Germany. He went  to the school Luitpold Gymnasium, although he did not like school because his teachers would not let him think and daydream. Later on in his life he said after he got married he famously said, “My first love is thinking.” and that never changed.   Albert Einstein is known for helping explain how gravity works and how the planets move around the sun. albert got sick on Sunday, April 17th, 1955 with abdominal aortic aneurysm. Einstein refused any treatment. “I want to go when I want, I have done my share and it is time to go,” said Einstein. He died the next morning, Monday, April 18th, 1955 at age 76. I choose Albert Einstein as my person who sparked change because he was an amazing scientist.

By Lola Pizzato-Smith


Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower was an army general and a really awesome guy I like. Without him we would have not won World War II and we would have lost the space race. He was born on October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas and went to West Point Army Academy  and then GRADUATED. He was the 34th president of the U.S. and said, “don’t join the book burners.” He was referring to the Nazis who ravaged Europe from 1939 to 1945. Their leader was Adolf Hitler who was alive from 1898-1945. Dwight D  was the supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe and his GIs captured Wernher Von Braun who was a German who made a big Nazi terror weapon that killed a lot of people. This weapon was also called a wonder weapon by Hitler it was actually called V2 rocket. This was the first rocket to actually go past the stratosphere. Dwight D created NASA (National Space and Aeronautics Agency.) NASA used Wernher Von Braun’s knowledge of sending things to space to make the Saturn 5 – the spaceship that sent the US to the moon. Dwight D did get to see the success of NASA but from a hospital bed because of heart failure. He died on March 28, 1969, the same year Saturn 5 was actually launched. I think he is important because without him we wouldn’t have won World War II or the Space Race.

By Emilio Demartines


Michael Faraday

The history of Michael Faraday: he was born on 22/September/1791 in south London. In 1812 faraday sent a note to Humphry Davy, a famous scientist at the royal institution to be an assistant for Davy. sadly Davy turned him down but in 1813 he got a job as chemical assistant. A year later he was allowed to go on a trip with Davy and his wife on a European tour to France, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium meeting influential scientists. Michael faraday returned in 1815 and Faraday still worked at the royal institution helping other scientists with their experiments. Some years later in 1831 michael faraday made a groundbreaking discovery! He made a electromagnet motor showing the elements of electromagnetism. in the 1840s faraday’s health began to deplete. He saferd with memory loss and he began to not do as much working. He died on august/25/1867 at Hampton court. I love michael faraday because my school is having a spark ark and michael faraday was a electromagnetic scientist. I also love the way he worked and I love how he sparked change.

From the creator of this paragraph about Michael Faraday,

Devlin Diehl Hefti.


Supreme Court Hero

Maybe a necklace is just a necklace. Maybe a necklace is an awesome necklace. Maybe your necklace is a wedding gift. But for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her necklace is a message. A lesson. A fortune.

Joan Ruth Bader was born on March, 15 1933. She had kicked A LOT, so her older sister nicknamed her Kiki. Her first name, Joan, seemed very ordinary for the 1930’s, so they started calling her by her middle name. She was just like any other ordinary baby. One day, after she turned one, going close on 2, her older sister died.

When she turned 17, at cornell university, she met martin david ginsburg, who’s room neighbored her’s. They got married in 1954. Her mother gave ruth bader good advice. “it sometimes helps to be a little deaf.” They moved to oklahoma. There, ruth’s husband went into war after ROTC. One day, she was taking a chemistry test at cornell university. because he was uncertain about her ability, her instructor said, “i’ll give you a practice exam.” So the next day the test was the practice exam, and she knew what he wanted in return.

She had her first child when she was 21, and was working in the social security office, but got demoted that job, for being a mother. Ruth and her husband went together to Harvard law school. At Harvard the law school dean tried to embarrass her once, by asking her, in front of other students, how she could “’justify’ taking a spot from a qualified man?” She was embarrassed, but said “my husband is a 2nd year law student, and it’s important to understand my husband’s work.”
She made the law review at Harvard, and transferred to columbia when her husband got a job in new york. She made the law review there too. Ruth graduated near the top of her law school class, but tried hard to get a job, largely due to sextual discrimination.

Ruth bader ginsburg got paid less for being married. Sadly, she lost her husband in 2010.

The end.

By Nolan McCormick


Mohandas Gandhi

I’m talking about Gandhi. He was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, India. And Gandhi died January 30, 1948 in New Delhi, India. He best known for organizing non-violent civil rights protests. He was the 1930 Time Magazine Man of the Year. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize 5 times.Gandhi sparked change because He Helped made India not part of the UK. I chose Gandhi because I watched a movie about him and he seems like a really good guy

By Solin Visci


I.N.

Warning! This is about Isaac Newton who stood on the shoulders of …

Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643. He went to school in England. One of his quotes is: “If i have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”. He is trying to say that he understood a lot of things because he built off the ideas of the scientists before him. When he was in his garden he saw an apple fall to the ground. Later he wondered if it was the tree or gravity that made the apple fall. In 1687 newton published the laws of gravitation. Isaac helped understand gravity. Gravity is the force that pulls things down.  There are laws of motion named after him. Say you kick a ball. the same force you put on the ball came from your foot. He died in 1727 at age 83. I choose Isaac because I was curious about him.

By Reyahn Bantia



Steve Martin

August 14, 1945 was when Steve was born and this is the start of Steve Martin’s short story. He was important because he made everyone laugh and now let’s begin. Steve was born in Waco Texas. He did not know a lot of comedy yet! His first job was at Disneyland. That’s how he got gigs. Also that was how he knew the lasso in the 3 Amigos. That is one of his famous films. After that he was a Smothers Brother and he won the Dating Game. After that hole jerney he was a comedian and actor. He made everyone laugh even the people who never laughed before! That’s a short story of Steve Martin

This is a quote from Steve Martin himself:

I’m tired of wasting letters when punctuation will do, period.

I chose this because I wanted to show you how funny he was, period.

By Arlo Montesano

Sparking Inspiration

The #brightworksbeehive has been in full swing this arc. Twice a week the kids rotate through arc-specific centers. During ⚡ we focused on light by exploring the building blocks of all things- atoms, bioluminescence in nature, and ⚡s in outer space with our closest star, the sun. In preparation for switching our gears from exploration to expression the #brightworksbeehive took a trip downtown to explore LMNL, an immersive and interactive art exhibit.

Upon our return we reflected on all of the ideas and concepts we learned about during exploration and our favorite aspects of the LMNL experience. We were able to identify and connect what we had learned with what we saw to design two ⚡ experiences for our expression projects: a water room and an outer space room.

With help from the Yellow band, we outlined the project process for the Red band. Next we split into two groups to prepare our plans. This week we will get to work and are excited to share how our ideas come to life. Stay tuned!

Green and Orange Bands Study What Sparked Japanese Internment during WWII

Back during the Heart Arc, the Green and Orange bands visited the de Young Museum for the Weapons of Mass Seduction: The Art of Propaganda exhibit, which displayed propaganda art from WWI and WWII. Semi-inspired by this trip, Green and Orange decided to embark on a deeper exploration of what sparked the United States to get involved with World War II. From there, we took an even closer look at the question of what sparked the U.S.’s decision to intern hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans for several years during the War, an event that strongly impacted the West Coast of the United States, but is often not the focus in WWII discussions.

Apollo, Sadie and Soleil at the de Young’s Weapons of Mass Seduction exhibit during Heart Arc.

Because California was and continues to be one of the most densely populated states for Asian-Americans in the U.S., our Bands were very lucky to be able to attend so many field trips which specifically documented and paid tribute to the people and places affected by Japanese Internment. To kick off our study, we went to the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, where students learned not only about internment, but also about the history of Japanese immigration to the United States and even the specific history of Japanese people in San Jose. One of our docents, Yoshiko Kanazawa, was interned as a child, and so students were able to directly ask her questions about her experience. From Yoshiko, we heard not only about the lack of privacy at camp, which she considered to be one of the most challenging aspects, but also the variety of attitudes Japanese-Americans had towards being interned. For Yoshiko, her family encouraged her and her siblings to maintain a positive attitude and trust that they would only get stronger from their time in camp. She explained that other people at the camp were much angrier at the U.S. and felt that their imprisonment was hugely unjust and wanted to fight back, which lead to disagreements and resentment amongst the Japanese Americans.

Yoshiko Kanazawa giving a tour to Green Band at JAMsj.

The Green and Orange bands also attended the EXCLUSION: The Presidio’s Role in World War II Japanese American Incarceration exhibit in the Presidio, which gave students the opportunity to examine primary sources and artifacts related to our study. For example, the exhibit contained replicas of the first order issued by the Western Defense Command and Fourth Army Wartime Civil Control Administration to people of Japanese ancestry instructing them on their evacuation. These documents were published in the Presidio, and students engaged in an activity where they had to reflect on what it would feel like to see such a poster that may target their own ethnicity or background.

Blaise, Lars, Emilio and Lola looking for resources at the EXCLUSION exhibit in the Presidio.

Back in the Band Space, Green and Orange drew from a number of different sources on the events of Japanese-American internment in order to broaden and expand our understanding of these historical circumstances. We read My Dog Teny by Yoshito Wayne Osaki—a story about a young boy who had to leave his family dog behind when relocated to a camp, analyzed excerpts from A Young People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn which looked at the events leading up to WWII with a critical eye, watched historical videos that presented a more objective perspective, watched a Ted Talk by George Takei who was interned as a young child, and even listened to a song by Fort Minor which described the artist’s grandfather’s tragic experience in Manzanar. Perhaps our favorite source throughout the study was the historical-fiction graphic novel, Gaijin: American Prisoner of War by Matt Faulkner.

One of our in-school resources.

Gaijin told and illustrated the story of a young half-Japanese, half-white boy named Koji from San Francisco who is interned with his white mother at the Alameda Downs. Due to his biracial heritage, Koji is seen as an outsider, or “gaijin,” by people both inside and outside of the camp. While dealing with the hardships of being interned—including being bullied, missing his father, and feeling untrusting towards his mother, Koji struggles to find his identity. Through our reading of Gaijin, Greenies analyzed the book’s themes, images, language and characters, allowing us to further understand that, like Yoshiko had mentioned at the museum, every Japanese-American who was interned by the U.S. had their own individual experiences and responses to the events.

Sully (before he moved to Teal Band) reading Gaijin.

Our culminating field trip for our Japanese Internment exploration was our three-day journey to Lone Pine, CA, where we had the unique opportunity to visit Manzanar, one of the few camps (now a National Historic site) located in California. Driving roughly 10 hours, the brave students, collaborators and volunteer-parents stayed two nights in the town of Lone Pine, located in the Owens Valley, and spent one full day visiting Manzanar. At the Historical Site in Independence, CA, toured by Park Ranger Alisa, the students of Green and Orange were able to not only see the actual location of the camp, which was a dusty desert surrounded by the stunning and colossal mountains of the Sierra Nevadas, but also go inside the restructured barracks, latrine, and even have lunch in the original mess hall. In the visitor’s center, students learned about different individuals who were kept at Manzanar, and the struggles, tragedies, joys and successes they experienced during their time interned.

The Green and Orange Bands at Manzanar in Independence, CA.

Red Spark Start

In the Hive each collaborator chose a spark to concentrate on throughout exploration and mine is the Sun. During our center time we have learned about the Earth’s rotation and revolution around the sun and how that affects day and night around the world.

Before watching the video I shared with the kids that I wanted to learn more about the sun as part of the spark arc because I thought it might be the first spark! “Yeah the sun and stars are the hottest!” Nishka added and Bo shared, “The oldest spark is in the desert. It’s like electric.” “We could find a spark in a thunderstorm,” Mira thinks and we agreed, lightning is also a spark!

  

In the Red band we are reading myths from around the world about how light was brought to the world. We began with Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest then read Fire Came To The Earth People a story from West Africa. After reading Raven the kids helped create a summary. Once we finished reading Fire Came To The Earth People we each chose one story to continue telling in our What could happen next? writing time. Our most recent read-aloud The Sun Girl and the Moon Boy from Korea had us all on the edge of our seats as we waited to hear if the son and daughter would outsmart the tiger! You can see our continuation stories below.

 

From left to right:

Sky Chief takes the sun back and gives the planets, the stars, the milky way, and the solar system. Mira

Raven comes down from the sun and there is a trap but Raven doesn’t see it. Sky Chief is looking through the bushes in the forest since he put the trap there. Sky Chief will grab the trap and put it in a box when Raven gets in the trap. Bodhi

My story Sky Chief, the moon, and Raven. And the black sky because it’s nighttime. Val

Sky Chief had a hook to catch Raven. Brother Bald Eagle came to the rescue but Sky Chief’s daughter was there. The peregrine Falcon dad showed up and dived down. The squirrel mom went up to save them. And hummingbird cousins went to distract them by going all different ways. The toucan and parrot showed up and made so many sounds. And then the vultures showed up to scare them away so the peregrine falcon can dive down. The falcon is going to unlock them up. Leithan

Sky Chief might give the moon and the sun. Ariadne

Raven took the sun. The god was mad. Raven was happy. Anya

Mom, Raven, Dad, Sister, and Brother are happy. Angelina

Chameleon will get more straw and then Moon God will realize that is it actually mean. She will give them more things because she made the Earth and she should take of the Earth. Nishka

After the Raven puts the sun in the sky a super volcano erupts and Sky Chief dies because of the magma. Emir

We will continue to read more myths about the sun, moon, and stars and experiment with ways to show the relationships between all three and the Earth. Stay tuned for more Hive adventures.

Green Band gets cooking!

The Green Band has sparked our Spark Arc with one of our favorite topics- food! Side story: On our first day of school this year, while each child was sharing what they were excited about, Sakira said she was excited to be in my band because I’m the “cooking collaborator.” A number of children nodded and agreed with her. I was completely unaware of my reputation as the “cooking collaborator,” and having only cooked a couple of times last year with my band (which didn’t seem like more than any other collaborator), I wasn’t sure where it’ had come from. Nonetheless I have felt some pressure to live up to my reputation, and I do really love to cook.

Last year’s Greenies eating tacos they made, leading to my reputation as the Cooking Collaborator.

Thus inspired our cooking unit. Cooking is, by definition, “the practice or skill of preparing food by combining, mixing, and heating ingredients,” so why not explore this idea of heat and food through a scientific lens during the Spark Arc? The Greenies started the unit by each receiving a carrot. We observed the uncooked carrots, took notes, and then each decided on a different way to cook our carrot. We microwaved a carrot, boiled a carrot, grated it and fried it like a latke, roasted it for different lengths of time, and even tried to light one on fire (it did not work). Kids checked for changes in the color, texture, size, smell and taste. We then shared our results with the band.

Isaac cooking a carrot-pancake.

After our open-ended carrot experiment, the Greenies then designed their own experiments following the Scientific Method. Students asked themselves a question they wanted to answer about food, formed a hypothesis, and then designed their own experiment. We talked about what a testable question is, learned complex scientific vocabulary like “independent and dependent variables,” and what a “control” is. The Green Band hit the grocery store and then performed their experiments in the kitchen.

Ramses was very excited to compare his control chocolate with his habanero pepper chocolate!

Working either independently or in pairs, the Greenies conducted their experiments carefully to test their hypotheses and answer their food questions. Blaise boiled a jalapeño to see if it would change the spice-level, Tamasen and Sakira fried a peach to see how it affected the texture, Apollo microwaved a potato to see how it changed the texture and color, Soleil fried berries to analyze their look, smell and taste, Ramses made chocolate mixed with habanero pepper to see what happens when you mix sweet and spicy, and lastly Sully fried peas to see if it would change the texture. (Isaac and Sadie were not at school for our first round of experiments.) Each experiment had a control so that kids were able to accurately compare their experiment group to the untouched produce.

Sakira and Tamasen compare their fried 1/2 peach with their control 1/2 peach.

After finding and sharing their results, the students tweaked their hypotheses and redesigned their experiments, changing one element, but keeping the rest of the variables the same, for a last and final experiment. Blaise roasted his jalapeño, Tamasen and Sakira toasted their peach, Apollo pan-fried his potato, Soleil baked her berries, Ramses added pepper to chocolate milk, and Sully fried a half head of cabbage. Isaac was able to pan-fry his potato slices, and Sadie attempted to fry watermelon slices. We got some delicious, some mushy, and some gross results. We followed up these experiments by reading an article on how different cooking methods affect nutritional value.

Sadie fries her watermelon slices.

On December 7th, Greenies will celebrate our cooking experiments by hosting Community Friday. Hope you’ll be there!!

We promise we won’t serve boiled jalapeños!

Blue Band Heart Work

Hi everyone! It’s been a quick and busy start to the new year. Today the band reflected on our journey during heart and how surprised they were that we learned about the heart as a symbol, feelings, friendship, and anatomical hearts all in one arc!

 

He(art)

We started the arc by learning about two artists that were both deeply passionate creators and used heart imagery in their work: Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Then we made our own paintings that show a pose that reflects us.

            

Chairs

Next we designed chairs to practice the idea that “work is love made visible” (Kahlil Gibran). Since our stools were only on loan from the art space, students had to design a chair to use this year. We started by drawing designs and adding measurements based on our bodies and other chairs we like to use. Then they made small, 3D prototypes to see if their design needed any changes and start thinking through. Lastly, after building the chair students spent a day using them and went back into the shop to make any needed changes.

 

Anatomical Hearts

We also learned about how our hearts work by using and making stethoscopes, making a model of blood, dissecting chicken hearts, and talking to a cardiologist.

 

Teamwork

Along the way we’ve been talking about feelings that our close to our heart and how to notice how others are feeling for we can help them. We used role play to help us brainstorm solutions to common social challenges. We have also talked about what makes good teamwork to lay a foundation for all the work we will do together this year. We also talked about how we are in control of our choices and made a remote to help us think of tools to help us stay on the right channel, think through our decisions, and feel encouraged along the way.

Getting inspired about math

To start our year off we used Jo Boelar’s 3 weeks of inspirational math curriculum to think about norms around how we do math as a community and learn about the way our brains work while we do math. We learned how to verbally defend our solutions and about the way our brains grow as we make mistakes and struggle with a problem.

 

Writing a map of our hearts

Lastly we spent heart arc getting to know each other through sharing our interests and stories in writing. We started by making drawing of all the important people, places, activities, and objects that our close to our hearts. Then we wrote many stories about these things. We’ve been working on making mental movies for our readers through using descriptive language, stretching out every small, important action, and using the same tequniques as our favorite authors. One day during our writing study we went to the community garden in the neighborhood to think about how we can use our senses to come up with descriptive language.