Thursday, March 24, 2011

Watch the Latest Episode of DESIGN SQUAD — Judy and Adam Aim for the Sky!

Engineers and designers Judy and Adam worked with Felipe, a 15-year-old pilot, to design and build a human-powered flying machine. Their efforts — the basis of last week's DESIGN SQUAD on PBS — had a  little help from NASA.

Click here to read The Hillwood Herald's coverage of Judy and Adam with DESIGN SQUAD. Both Judy and Adam came to Hillwood to be interviewed about their jobs, television shows, and challenges.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hillwood's Second Annual Walk-A-Thon! It's Time to Get Ready.

Walk-A-Thon 
Friday, May 14, 2010

Yay! Hillwood is having our seond annual health walk-a-thon! We had one last year, too, and we raised more than $3,000! We hope to raise at least $5,000 this year — and we need you, your family, and friends' help.

Participating students can raise from $25 to $50 per sponsor. You can collect a form for your sponsors at the Hillwood School front desk.
Students can ask family, friends, neighbors, or anyone you know to help us raise funds. The money is used for school improvements and may be added to the fund for bettering the play yard.

The Walk-A-Thon will be on Friday, May 6, 2011. We are going to be walking from Hillwood to Crissy Field and back. When we get back to school, we will have BBQ and refreshments. There will be prizes for those who raise the most money.

For details, go to the Hillwood Website. To see photos and read details from last year, read this story on The Herald.

5th Through 6th Grade Limerick Contest! Pick your Fave!

The 5th and 6th grade class is having a limerick contest in honor of St. Patrick's Day!

Each student has written three or more limericks and the staff of Hillwood School is going to judge them. The author of the limerick that's selected as best receives a treat from See's Candies.

Two of my favorites are:

Limerick 1: There once was a man with the flu
So he had to drink Mountain Dew
He didn't feel well
And he had a bad smell
'Til he threw up his Dew in the loo!

Limerick 2: My daddy once robbed a caboose
He is gonna be hung by a noose
I am sad he will die
You must know I just lied!
I hope they won't make his noose loose

And two of my, Alysen's, favorites are:

Limerick 3: There once was a man from Kentucky
Who was really not that lucky.
One day, he just died;
No, I really just lied,
But for dinner, he ate his pet ducky.

Limerick 4: There once was a wizard named Bobby
Who lived in a large hotel lobby.
He played with his dragon
Which ate a large wagon,
And then his large dragon ate Bobby.

We will not write the authors of these limericks because we don't know who they are. But vote on The Herald's page (upper right-hand corner survey). We'll also report on the actual winner soon.

Give a Planet a Makeover

Today, Angela and I made our own planet! We can control the age, the temperature, the size and the star type (F, G, or M). We also made many different ones and the results we got were:

  • Gas Giant
  • Earth-like planet
  • Super-Earth
  • Hot Rock
  • Iceball
  • Hot Jupitor (or Neptune)

You can start with a default planet (Earth, G1 581, and Mars), and simply design and engineer your planet from there.

Our planet is very close to the sun: very large and hot. Additionally, our star is class G, and it is 7 billion years old. It is called the Hot Jupitor (or Neptune).

The link to this website is Extreme Planet Makeover.

Create a Planet With NASA

Today Zeke and I went to Planet Quest, where we created a new planet for the extreme planet makeover and made one that looked a bit like Earth. We had a lot of fun and created a bunch of planets.

This is a picture of our planet. It is almost the same as Earth, but it's farther away from the sun and, thus, colder.

Meanwhile the scale that changes the age does nothing. The only thing that gets affected by the meters are the age meter, which makes the surface of the planet baked more. The distance from the sun makes the planet colder or warmer, and it affects the planet size, and the type of star that is near it. In a redesign, we would add more variables to the site to make it more interesting and informative. Still, it's fun and interesting to read the captions, which tells you a bit about your planet and the potential for life in outer space.

Barack Obama and Preventing Bullying in schools.

Barach Obama is preventing bullying with "Bullying Preventation Summit," and he and the White House staff have been writing about their efforts on both the White House website and the President's blog.


"A federal law could help students even though states have been passing their own anti-bullying laws," said Kara Suffredini, executive director of Mass Equality, the leading LGBT advocacy organization in Massachusetts. The SSIA (Safe Schools Improvement Act), she said, goes further than most state laws in providing a specific enforcement mechanism -- the withholding of funds. "It also goes further than most states, including Massachusetts, in its reporting requirements and in prohibiting bullying based upon specific, enumerated characteristics, such as sexual orientation and gender identity," she said.

Obama made about three anti-bullying bills:

1st bill:
"A federal law could help students even though states have been passing their own anti-bullying laws, said Kara Suffredini, executive director of Mass Equality, the leading LGBT advocacy organization in Massachusetts. The SSIA [Safe Schools Improvement Act], she said, goes further than most state laws in providing a specific enforcement mechanism -- the withholding of funds. It also goes further than most states, including
Massachusetts, in its reporting requirements and in prohibiting bullying based upon specific, enumerated characteristics, such as sexual orientation and gender identity."

2nd bill:
"SNDA states that elementary and secondary schools must not discriminate against students on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in any program or activity receiving federal funds, or they will risk losing those funds. 'Discrimination,' under SNDA, includes harassment, bullying, intimidation, and violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

3rd bill:

"Schools can and must protect EVERY child -- including those confused about their sexual or gender identity. But they must never use 'bullying prevention' to engage in one-sided advocacy about homosexuality, thereby discriminating against Christian, Jewish and Muslim students who believe homosexual practice is wrong."

Barack Obama invited into the White House some parents of bullied children and the bullied children themselves.

Japan's Sad Disaster Reminds Us: Is the Hillwood Community Ready for a Quake?

This morning an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan. It caused fires, whirlpools and tsunamis. You can watch a video on the left hand side of this page: New York Times.

When the next big earthquake hits in San Francisco, here are some ways you can keep safe.
  • Doorways are safe, but it wold be better to get under a table or bed and hold on to bed or table leg with one hand and cover your head/neck with the other.
  • To prepare you should always have a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, flashlights, water and purification tablets and canned food. 
  • Stay indoors if you are in there and duck and cover. 
  • Do not go near fireplaces, windows and do not go into the kitchen. 
  • If you're outside get away from buildings and power lines. 
  • After earthquakes wear sturdy shoes. 
  • Check for injuries and fire hazards, spills, objects that fell and food and water supplies. 
  • Before the next earthquake happens, decide where to meet after a natural disaster. 
  • Also, if you have pets have a list of friends and family you can send your animal to after a disaster, as they are not allowed in shelters.
This is a archived news clipping from the 1906 quake.

You can learn more about earthquake saftey from Prepare.org, and Earthquake.usgs.org.

    A look at jellyfish in the Deep Blue Sea



    This article is about jellyfish through an inside look. Jellyfish have lived in the ocean for millions of years even be for the dinosaurs lived on the earth. Jellyfish have tiny stinging cells in their tentacles to stun or paralyze their prey before they eat them. There are many types of jellyfish in the ocean. They have no brain, heart, blood, or gills.

    Some jellyfisht are 98% water. There are many types of jellyfish in the ocean. These jelly-like creatures pulse along on ocean currents. Inside their bell-shaped body is an opening that is their mouth. As jellyfish squirt water from their mouth they are propelled forward in the water.

    By Jennifer and Nikita

    "Mars Needs Moms"

    Today, Friday 11th, the adventure film "Mars Needs Moms" came out. "Mars Needs Moms" is about a 9-year-old boy named Milo, played by Seth Green, whose mother, Joan Cusack, is suddenly abducted by Martians who want to take her motherly instincts to raise their own children.

    In the making of the movie, the actors wore red dots on their faces and special suits. These things were needed to make the sharpness and the definition of the image. The crew spent three days fitting the actors with costumes, creating head cameras that captured and recorded their faces, figuring out where to place the performance-capture dots and having the actors perform a multitude of expressions as extremely as they could. If the directors, Robert Zemeckis and Simon Wells, had not done this, the image would have had a kind of mushiness, that would not capture how the facial muscles really do work.

    To read more about "Mars Needs Moms," go to the New York Times.

    Meteorology: Lightning And Thunder

    In two years, lightning has killed 4 and 127 injured in Alabama.

    Lightning is very dangerous. Thunder is not. Thunder is not dangerous because it is only the sound lightning makes when lightning heats up the air rapidly. When the air heats up it expands, and makes the sound of thunder.

    It takes thunder five seconds to travel because light is faster than sound. Thunder comes after the lightning. You can tell how many miles away a thunder and lightning storm is if you count the seconds between the lightning and thunder and divide it by five, you know how many miles away the the storm is. Lightning can travel from ground-up or from cloud to cloud.

    The most common lightning storms are from cloud to cloud.

    Lightning doesn't have to be dangerous if you:

    • Stay inside when there is a storm (cars, buildings, ect. not tractors or golf carts)
    • Don't have any water near you (showers, sinks, dishwashers, bath, ect.)
    • If there is no buildings or cars around, get on your hands and knees and tuck your head under your body DO NOT lay on your stomach. Your goal is to be as short as you can, but don't touch the ground too much with your body.
    • DO NOT get under a tree or near anything taller that you.
    For more info in meteorology, go to Dan's Wild Wild Weather.

    The Extreme cool planet maker

    In Extreme Planet Makeover you get to make your own planet and star. In this website you can change the distance between the planet and the star, the size of the planet, the type or class of the star, the age of the planet, and the type of planet.

    There are different types of planets called hot rock, ice ball, Earth like planet, super Earth, hot Jupiter, and gas giant. To use this website go to the Extreme Planet Makeover website.

    This website was made by NASA.
    The planet to the left is called a Super Planet.

    By Jay

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Over the Rainbow at the Oscars



    As Clara reported earlier this year, PS22 school kids from New York performed at the Oscars. Here is a vide clip from their performance at the Oscars.