Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Battle of Verdun

By I.G. Age 13
On Veterans Day, November 11, 2015, my family and I visited Verdun, France. We visited the World War I memorial there. Fought by the Germans and the French, the Battle of Verdun lasted nine months and three weeks. Around 714,231 people were killed. The Battle of Verdun ended up being the longest conflict during that war.

 
On February 21, 1916, a shot from the Germans hit a cathedral in Verdun, starting the battle where many men lost their lives fighting. There are many memorials for the men who died fighting. One of them, the Douaumont Ossuary, has hundreds of bones from unknown soldiers.  


So many were killed, that identification was difficult. In a small part of the museum of the Douaumont Ossuary there are rings, guns, hats, knives, and other things found over time buried in the ground. The Douaumont Ossuary also has a 20-minute documentary on the Battle of Verdun, and of course it includes a small gift shop. This was a unique trip for me because it is one of the few sites I’ve seen relating to WWI. While I have been to many WWII memorials, this took me back a little further in history.  

 

Field Trip to the Dynamikum Science Center

Several UHSG families met to explore the Dynamikum Science Center in Pirmasens on Nov. 30th.  The museum is about 45 minutes from the KMC area and is filled with interactive displays that teach a variety of principles about physics.  Museum visitors can test their speed in a dark room, solve puzzles, and interact with every display.  To cap off the visit, the UHSG group grabbed snacks in the museum cafe and several took turns racing down the two slides that lead back the museum entrance and exit.
 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Book Club

By S.B. Age 14

Book Club meets twice a month and is taught by Ms. Melissa M. This is the fourth time Ms. Melissa has taught Book Club. Past books have included To Kill a Mockingbird, Ender’s Game, Hatchet, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Book Thief.  In the last session, the older group ages 12-18 read Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury that takes place in the future. The younger group ages 8-12 read Out of the Dust.


At a normal Book Club meeting, students discuss the book and ask any questions they may have. Each session ends with projects related to the assigned books. Students presented these at the final meeting and are free to get creative with their projects.

 
In the past, the book club participants were 90% girls, but this last session it was 90% boys.  Ms. Melissa said that she can’t decide which was more fun but she definitely knows which was quieter!