Building Roller Coasters

The 8th graders culminating physics project was to design and create a roller coaster for a marble that utilized the forces we learned about in class, had enough momentum to fulfill a loop, and had a slow down stop. Each 8th grader used their creativity, math skills and the scientific method to design, redesign, start over, and eventually create their coasters. 

Students also got inspiration for their coasters by watching a few video clips, where they learned the need for gravitational pull to power the coasters, centripetal force and air resistance to provide thrills, and of course friction to stop safely!

We are extremely impressed with their efforts in this project – especially having to create these at home, and present and work virtually this year throughout this project. They are a great class, and we are glad to see they are ready for high school!


Re-Creating Art Masterpieces 

With art museums closed, institutions such as the Los Angeles Getty Museum made their collection accessible online. The museum challenged their viewers to choose their favorite artwork and re-create the painting. What does that look like?

Well, branching off of performance art, the 4th-8th grade took on the challenge. Using household items, costumes, pets, plants and beyond, they re-created the artwork of their liking. Each piece is nothing short of creative! The question is, who did it better?


Thank You!

The Saklan Student Council, along with our partner Pledge to Humanity, would like to thank the Saklan Community for making our food drive a huge success.  We collected 1,415 pounds of food for the Monument Crisis Center. Together we made a difference for struggling families in our county.


Adopt An Arthropod

The 7th grade has been learning about all the different kingdoms of life this spring. Currently, the 7th grade is in the middle of learning about animals, in particular invertebrates. Students were asked to look at the Arthropod (jointed foot) Phyla, find an organism they found interesting, and create a Bitmoji Adoption Ad for the arthropod of their choice.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Students created themselves in Bitmoji form, so you could tell whose is whose, and shared why their invertebrate would be a great pet for your household! Maybe you have been looking for a bird-eating spider to get rid of that pesty morning wake up call, or a blue scorpion to be the glamorous fashion pet of your dreams. No? Maybe a man eating praying mantis for when your husband drives your crazy… Just kidding, they only eat their own husbands! But you might even find a huge crab you may want to use to scare your children! Find the arthropod of your dreams at the 7th Grade Arthropod Adoption event!


Our Art Fair Goes Online!



When the Art Fair was cancelled, Miss Natalie wanted to figure out a way to still share the amazing artwork created by all our artists. A lot of thoughtfulness, patience, hard work, and creativity went into these amazing works of art. Just too good to not share with our Saklan community and beyond!

Artsonia is the world’s largest online collection of student art portfolios. Schools all around the world use this platform. It does need your consent as a parent because of the online public presence your child’s artwork will now have. This week an email was sent from Artsonia and once you give permission to display your child’s artwork online, you are able to view all other artwork that is public as well. The online art gallery will officially launch next Friday, May 22, 2020.


Le Tour de Quarantine

Hats off (or helmets should we say) to Mac and his family for taking the live storytime to a new level. Mac, Melanie and Ben read The Cycling Wangdoos by Kelly Puller in their Le Tour de Quarantine. If you want a good laugh, take a few minutes to enjoy their live reading.

If you would like to do a live reading, please contact David at  Live readings are done through Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00 pm.


Protective Paper Towel Masks


Grades 6th-8th made somewhat of a fashion statement making a simple protective face mask using a paper towel, two rubber bands, a stapler, and some markers. They were asked to use one word or phrase to describe how they have felt through this experience of shelter in place. They could also respond with one word or phrase of what they are learning in this moment in time. Students drew other parts to the mask like speech bubbles and an expressive mouth while making the mask colorful.

In the process of making, students talked about why they chose that word or phrase. We talked about what they do to change negative thoughts into positive, and how art and other things can help with those bored, anxious, or stressed out times. They were asked to then take a picture of themselves wearing the mask. As they say, a lot is said within looking someone in the eyes. Looking closer, you can see a lot of emotion in the students’ eyes in relationship to their chosen word or phrase.


Thank You, NOAA TAS!


Special thank you to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Teacher at Sea Program which sent Miss O. some lab supplies for her students to be able to take part in labs while doing distance learning. The 6th grade students will be able to do a climate change lab and alternative energy lab from their kindness and support of their alumni teachers. Thank you, NOAA Teacher at Sea, our students (and Miss O) thank you! Students will pick up these lab supplies at the next “swap and drop!”


Earth Day-April 22nd

April 22, 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of the first Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans for the protection of the planet. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans – 10% of the U.S. population at the time – took to the street, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement.

Earth Day is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event and it led to passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clear Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Normally, we make a whole day Earth Day at Saklan, but this year we thought we’d make it a week. Here are some ideas for your students to help celebrate this coming week:

Earth Week Activities You Can Do At Home

Save it Sunday – have your child make a sign to hang in the home or other shared space to remind people to save resources (turn off the lights, save water at the faucet)

Make it Monday – encourage your child’s engineering/artistic side, allow your student to create something that had been made from recycled materials (for example, turn a jar into a vase, create sunbutter and pine cone bird feeder, or artistically make a milk jug into an animal)

Earth day

Teach it Tuesday – have you or your students learn and then teach a friend or family member something about sustainability (for example, an idea about saving water or reducing waste)

Walk it Wednesday (Actual Earth Day) – take you and your children on a walk (even if it’s just in your backyard) and enjoy the wonders of our planet. Enjoy the beauty of your community, create a nature treasure hunt or even pick up trash in your community to help celebrate Earth Day.

Be Thankful Thursday – Even in uncertain times, the sun rises each day, our birds chirp, and we are blessed to have this amazing community. Encourage your students (and family members) to share what they are thankful for.

Farm it Friday – Spring has sprung and what better time to plant and plan for the future. Let your students put their hands in the dirt, plant some seeds or small plants, water them, and tend to their flower or vegetable filled future.

Set a new Habit Saturday – Encourage your students to make one environmental gesture a habit; maybe always using a reusable water bottle, never using a plastic straw again, riding their bike short distances instead of needing a ride, etc. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something! 

Here are some great picture books as well to get your students in the mood:

Want to hear from Scientists in the field?

National Geographic Explorer classroom lets you hear & chat with real scientists, sign up here:

Want a Family Movie Night? These are always a hit:

  • Our Planet
  • Disney’s Ocean
  • Wall-E
  • Planet Earth
  • Blue Planet