Arthropod Adoptions

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! They were excited to meet with guest experts from, who brought some invertebrates that the students got to look at closely and touch. 

Afterwords, the students were asked to look at the Arthropod (jointed foot) Phyla and find an organism they found interesting and create a Bitmoji Adoption Ad for the Arthropod of their choice.

Students created themselves in Bitmoji form and shared why their invertebrate would be a great pet for your household!  Maybe you have been looking for the cutest caterpillar to be the envy of all your friends or a pistol shrimp that is so cute and cuddly but also breaks the sound barrier with its claw leaving you deaf. Another option is that if you are scared you will lose a small pet, a large Atlas Moth might be for you! Finally, you might even find a huge Robber Crab you might want to use to scare your children. There are many options to choose from for your next pet. Please find the arthropod of your dreams at the 7th Grade Arthropod Adoption event! Read some of their adoption posters below.

Chicha Morada

The middle school students recently learned how to prepare Chicha Morada, an iconic Peruvian beverage, in Spanish class. The drink is made from dried purple corn, boiled together with pineapple, cinnamon stick, and cloves. It is the most popular drink in the Andean region. As part of their study of the culture of the Andean region, yellow block students created videos describing the ingredients and process of preparing the refreshing, delicious Chicha Morada!

Check out their videos below!

Bienvenidos a Perú, es una bebida saludable y deliciosa. 


Congratulations Middle Schoolers

A big congratulations go out to our middle school students on their wonderful performance of The Drowsy Chaperone at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette last Friday evening.

Special thanks to the many people that helped make the show happen.

  • To Town Hall Theatre for their grace in allowing us to share their beautiful and historic space. We are so grateful to be a part of your community.
  • To Javier Yacarini, without whom nothing would ever happen. Special thanks for the refrigerator.
  • To Jayme Feldhammer for her time, sewing machine, and deep kindness.
  • To Emily, Mel and Shay for their help with the program.
  • To Kim Parks for all her help and organization. 💙
  • To the Middle School Teachers for their help with props and rehearsals, their willingness to share their class time, and their encouragement of all performers.
  • To the Middle School Students for their creativity and courage. Your performance was inspiring!
  • To Grace for all the hard work, dedication and passion put into the show. Your casting created magic on the stage, and allowed the students to shine bright. Inspiring middle school students to share their creativity, compassion and courage on the stage is no easy feat, but you do it with ease year after year. Thank you!

If you missed the show, you can watch the video of it below.

#SaklanMusical #SaklanExperientialLearning

Creating & Operating ROVs

As part of the sixth grade earth science curriculum, the students learned about invasive species and how they can affect an ecosystem. One species they focused on was the Crown of Thorns (COT) sea star. They learned how the sea star’s fast reproduction and limited predators on the Great Barrier Reef are creating quite a problem for that precious ecosystem. The COTs eat the algae in the coral which is causing the coral to die at rapid rates. Students then learned how scientists are using Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to learn to identify and inject vinegar into the COTs. The vinegar dissolves them from the inside out. These ROVs can work 24 hours a day in all kinds of weather conditions. 

Ms. O recently attended an ROV course where she learned to create and operate SEAMate ROVs, and she was excited to bring this knowledge back to the classroom and share it with the sixth graders! Ms. O had the students team up to create their own ROVs in order to simulate the work of the scientists out on the reef. The students had to wire their electrical control box, wire the motors and assemble the propellers, design a frame, and decorate their ROV.

With the ROVs completed, the students were given the challenge of collecting COT’s from the local MCC Augusta Pool. Students had to figure out how to maneuver their ROV and remove the imitation COTs from the pool.

Through this process, the sixth graders learned a lot about electricity, engineering, design, scientific research and careers in both robotics and ecology. Many expressed how much they enjoyed taking part in and learning about robotics!

#SaklanScience #SaklanHandsOn

Physics of Roller Coasters

Last Friday, the 8th grade class went to Great America to put their physics to the test by riding roller coasters and other amusement rides, determining speed, acceleration, and which forces were acting on them. Then they applied Newtons 3 Laws of Motion to see how physics plays a key role in the design, fun and safety of roller coasters. Students timed the rides, wore accelerometers to test the amount of g-force the ride exerted on their body and filled out a packet of physics! 

They will now be using the rides of Great America as inspiration for their culminating project in their physics class; building their own roller coasters! 


2023 Middle School Musical

The Saklan Middle School students have been rehearsing the junior version of The Drowsy Chaperone musical as their culminating project for music class. Every student in the Middle School is participating in the production, whether it is acting in a main role, taking care of props, helping with costumes, or being a stage hand. It is a true collaborative effort to produce an amazing final product.

On Friday, May 12th the students will perform at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. The entire community is invited to the show. Tickets are required for attendance and can be purchased by clicking on the button below.

We hope you can join us for what is sure to be a wonderful show!

#SaklanMusicals SaklanCreative

Scale Factor Discovery

The seventh graders noticed a problem when working with similar figures (figures that are the same shape but not necessarily the same size, as shown below).

The students could find a scale factor and use that to find missing side lengths but when they tried to use the scale factor to find an unknown area it didn’t work. They set out to study the problem in more detail.

First, the 7th graders made triangles with a scale factor of 2, 3, and 4 of the original. The students then repeated this with squares, rhombuses, and trapezoids and displayed their data in a large table. This confirmed what they knew- that the scale factor worked as a multiplier for the side length and the perimeter. It also confirmed the problem – when they multiplied the area of one triangle times 2 (the scale factor) the area they got was 2. But, when they counted the triangles they had 4. When they did times 3, the area was 9 triangles. Times 4 was 16 triangles. It was true for the squares, rhombuses, and trapezoids too. They realized there was something they could multiply by. 

By squaring the scale factor, they found a multiplier that would help them solve unknown areas!

Mountain Yellow Legged Frog

Last week the 6th graders learned about the Mountain Yellow Legged Frog, an endangered species from Southern California, as part of their climate change and conservation unit. There are believed to be only 200 of these frogs left in the wild. The students learned about the threats to their habitat, including the human impacts of invasive species and disease and how a certain fungus is a threat to amphibian survival world wide. After learning about about the frog’s spatial ecology, students knew what was needed for them to survive. The sixth graders then took on the role of scientists and researched areas in the southern California mountain ranges that would be a good fit for them to be released. Students then learned how researchers come back and find the frogs to understand the survival rates of those previously released. 

Using telemetry equipment borrowed from the San Diego Zoo, the students experienced what it is like to conduct scientific wildlife research out in the field. Students used the telemetry devices to track hidden stuffed animal frogs on the Saklan campus. This hands-on experience allowed the students to understand how researchers track released endangered species, in this case their frogs, and to monitor the health of the frogs over time. 

Pi Day

On Tuesday, March 14th, Saklan’s third and eighth graders celebrated every mathematician’s favorite holiday: Pi Day! Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference in relation to its diameter. It is celebrated on March 14 because the date format 3-14 are the first three digits of Pi. Third graders worked together with the eighth graders to see if they could find Pi by measuring the circumference and diameter of a cookie.

They also collaborated to write mnemonic devices to help remember the digits of Pi and wrote some original Pi-Ku poetry. The third graders really enjoyed collaborating with the eighth graders in learning about Pi!


Newton’s Laws of Motion

Since February, the 8th graders have been studying physics in science class. They have been learning about the forces of gravity, air resistance, and friction on our planet. The students have also been working on putting Newton’s three Laws of Motion into real life scenarios.

To learn about these forces, the eighth graders have been taking part in different hands-on labs to help exhibit how these forces act on objects on our planet.  Students first studied friction by measuring the force needed to move different blocks and bricks along different surface textures.  These textures included a smooth countertop, markers that roll and sandpaper. Using a spring scale students could measure the force needed to move the objects and the amount of friction the textures were producing.

To see gravity and air resistance, students created different sized parachutes in class and dropped them from the ceiling of the science lab. Students could then see the pull of gravity on the parachutes and how air resistance could be used to slow that force down. Next, students worked on designing, creating, and shooting off rockets to try to see how to defy both air resistance and gravity.


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