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Exploring the Depths: KCA's Journey Through Words and Science

By Janet Porter and Amilia Winter

A poem from the basement of KCA 

By: Amilia Winter (6th and 7th grade English and Social Studies) 

As we look around this school what might we see? 

A sea of faces all smiling back at me. 

We learn to read and write, but so much more

Everywhere I look is an open door- 

Leading us down a path unknown 

Together we are closely sewn. 

Like a quilt, we each tell our story

We knit together full of glory.

Poetry we read and write 

We look to the future, oh what a sight! 

These kiddos sure are cool,

They make each day full of purpose, but there is one rule! 

Keep an open mind and learn from each other, 

We know we have much to discover. 


Science . . . 

What’s the question?

What has been done already - what can we find out?

Let’s think this through and design a prototype/experiment.  Remember - give me the recipe to create your design.

What happened?

Did it work?

What can we change?

Walking into the science room down the hall these are questions you hear regularly.  It doesn’t matter the class - we are approaching learning from an experimental design perspective.  Our students are working through the process and practicing science and engineering.

They have all done some amazing things from building volcanoes to experimenting with toxicity of radish seeds, but I am going to highlight two special projects from fall.  The 7th graders recently competed in Future Cities, a national competition.  Students answered the question of how to create a sustainable, all electric city 100 years in the future.  They created Reinsdyrbyen, Norway - a city fully powered by harvesting gamma rays.  The project included an essay, a 3D model, and a presentation/skit. Our students won excellence in Presentation/Q&A at the Great Plains Division competition!!

The freshman biology students spent time participating in the Plant the Moon International Challenge.  Using lunar simulated regolith, they designed and conducted an experiment to see if they could grow vegetables for astronauts living on the moon.  The Moon Planters team won Best in Show Plant Growth for the high school division!

So the next time you need a problem solved at home, think about your time in the basement at KCA and have your students work through the design process!


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