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Upper School Corner - Mrs. Marjan Jahanfard

Wednesday, 13 April, 2016 - 4:42 pm


Mrs. Marjan Jahanfard- Mathmatics Chair

A very earthshattering event just happened at the Hebrew Academy Middle School!  Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes celebrated their success in finishing a very intense quarter long PBL on earthquakes by holding an Earthquake Fair. The premise of the project was to recommend a new site for a second Hebrew Academy campus around the Mediterranean Sea. The project kicked off with a visit to the CalTech Seismological laboratory and entailed a hands-on study of seismic activities around the world.

During the project, 6th grade students researched and created “earthquake survival kits” in their General Math class that included the purchase of necessary items within an allotted budget.

Algebra students completed a portfolio which included a comprehensive statistical analysis of the earthquake data they had gathered through the United States Geological Survey.  Their portfolios included a spreadsheet of the data, calculations of measures of central tendency, a graph of the data depicting the frequencies and magnitudes of earthquakes, and, finally, a narrative summarizing their findings and recommendations.

In Pre-Algebra, students created scaled blueprints of their earthquake safe buildings.  Using Sketchup, our pre-algebra students gained hands on experience in using 21st Century technology tools to  draw scaled models.

In science, the culminating projects were earthquake safe buildings that were built considering the various ways that different seismic waves travel. The final project was then put to the test using a shake table that mimicked earthquakes of magnitude 4 to 9 on the Richter scale. Along the way, the students learned about the various types of earthquake scale and earthquake safety precautions, and made their own seismographs to model how scientists record seismic activity.

In the words of our own Odelia Isti, a middle schooler, “Somewhere in this project, it stopped being just a project and started becoming something more personal, as this was not conceived from someone’s imagination, but based off of what many people each and everyday experience.”

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