Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Murder in Manor House!

  Last Friday, we had our yearly Mystery Night!  Mystery Night is a night when the whole grade joins together to have the night of their lives. The activities are kept a secret until the special day. It is planned by the hard working class parents and teachers.
After eagerly waiting for the day to end, we were finally told what we were going to do for the night. This year, we solved a tricky murder mystery at Manor House. Each of us had to dress up as the character that was assigned to us, such as Betty Jean Honeysuckle, Fannie Flamingo, or Claire Voyant. We had each been given personal information about our character and had to incorporate it into our costume.
After getting to know each others characters, we gathered around and Mrs. Wendy (the head of the night) began talking to us about what else was going to happen that night. Then, all of a sudden “Joseph Boddy” came out into the crowd and slowly died. Mrs. Wendy asked some girls to trace his outline. We all then went to dinner of sandwiches and salads and looked over our character information. After dinner, we asked one another questions such as “Do you have a gun?” or “Did you know Joseph Boddy?”
Near the end of the night, we had dessert and Mrs. Wendy gave out awards such as “Best Actor” and “Best Costume”. Some of the winners were:
Sophie P. --  “Best Costume” for the costume design of her character Ms. Awesomeness, a super hero.
Mina N. -- “Best Actor” for her role as Lulu D’loca, an escaped mental patient.
Finally, after dinner and the awards, the murderer was announced. We all waited impatiently as Mrs. Wendy told us that Sadie G. and Jackie M. were the murderers!! Wow! What a night!

-- Text and Photos by Ayanna D. and Brianna T.

The Twisted Twizzlers Go to the State Championships!

We, The GFS Twisted Twizzlers Robotics Team, had the amazing experience of going to the State Championship on Saturday, February 26, 2011. On Saturday, we proved our hard work to many people at the UMBC campus. As you may have read in our previous post, our team won the Robot Design award at the FLL Qualifier, and were able to move on to the State Championships.  

Every year, the challenges and themes are different. Last year was called Smart Move, which was based on transportation. Body Forward, the theme this year, focused on medicine and biomedical engineering. 
To read about the 2011 Body Forward Challenge, click here: First Lego League
We arrived at the UMBC Retriever Athletic Center at 9:00 a.m. and prepared for our morning presentations. At 10:00 a.m., we went into a classroom and in front of five judges, we gave a research presentation. Our presentation was on the sense of pressure in a prosthetic hand. We created an innovative solution for prosthetics to feel pressure, and created a wooden model hand with a variable resistor. The judges loved our idea and asked us many questions about our idea.
After the presentation, we moved on to the Technical Judging. This was where we explained our robot design and our programming. After showing some key attachments on our robot, we were able to show some of our programs to the judges. It was really nerve wracking because the programs usually are not consistent, and when we showed the judges some of the runs, the robot did not function properly. Luckily, we looked at these mistakes as a way to learn and fix our programs for next time.
In the afternoon, we did the challenges. All of the challenges are on a board, and we program the robot to accomplish certain tasks. The programming is what takes up most of our club time on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For programming, we use the Lego NXT Software, which can be as easy as going forward or as hard as converting letters to numbers. We scored a total of 425 points in the three rounds combined, but we only got the highest score, which was 175. After the rounds were over, they took the top four teams into a sudden death round. We weren’t part of this round, but we enjoyed watching the strategies used by others!
After a long day of competition, the awards ceremony started.  There were many awards given to many teams who showed outstanding effort.  Sadly, we didn’t come home with a trophy, but we did leave with high hopes for next year!  Congratulations to the teams who participated in First Lego League, and good luck to those who are going to the World Festival!
-- Text and photos by Alex T. (GFS Twisted Twizzlers Team Member)

Spring is Coming!

Snow melting, birds chirping, sun shining can only mean one thing: Spring is Here! 

7th Graders enjoying lunch on the Dining Hall porch.
At Garrison Forest School spring weather means putting away GFS sweatpants, sitting outside during lunch, and spring sports. Although we will miss wearing boots to school, and having snowball fights outside, spring is the season we all look forward to. I asked several 7th graders what they look forward to about spring.
“The thing I love about spring is when I ride outside at the barn.”-Kara F.
 “I like how the campus is so beautiful and really shows what GFS is all about.” –Ayanna D.
“Lax season!”-Cammie G. 

 As you can see, spring is awaited by everyone  for all these different reasons! 
-- text and photos by Hallie A. (Special thanks to Ayanna, Cammie, and Kara)