Forensic Biology - Marijuana on Trial

In our High School Forensic Biology class, we are currently studying Toxicology. We are learning about the different types of substances that are used for medical purposes. Some of these substances are abused for recreational uses and cause major problems in our society and to one’s self. A hot topic in society today is the legalization of marijuana. 9 states have legalized recreational and medical marijuana and 30 have legalized the use of medical marijuana, per businessinsider.com. We put marijuana on trial.

Crimes are often solved using forensics. It is important for the students to understand the procedures of court and how testimonies can affect a court case. They were encouraged to dress the part. Legalizing marijuana is a controversial topic and comes with biases. A good forensic scientist does not use any bias and lets the evidence speak for itself. In order to create an unbiased atmosphere, students had to argue against their personal views in an attempt to understand the preparation and procedures of a court trial.

Students were broken into two teams. They called 5 different witnesses or experts to the stand. The 5 fields were: Government, Education, Youth, Medical/Health, and Law Enforcement. Each team divided roles equally and teamwork was used to build a plan for their case. They were to research the effects of marijuana in their field of study and come up with questions that their teammate would ask them. They also had to research the other side because the opponent had a chance to cross-examine each witness.

All in all, the trial was used to understand court procedures and effects of testimonies.

Mr. McManus
HS Forensic Biology

RCS Upper Elementary BizTown Fun!

Rancho Christian School Upper Elementary students were given the opportunity to visit Junior Achievement BizTown of San Diego this year. Teachers underwent training at the start of the school year, and implemented BizTown’s Economics curriculum for 5 weeks prior to the field trip.

This program encouraged confidence in our students and motivated them to achieve a personal, an educational, and a career goal. Our students studied, actively engaged, and applied their knowledge in each designated program; work readiness, entrepreneurship, and personal financial literacy.

On Thursday, September 27, students walked through the doors of JA BizTown to 21 life-size businesses. Jobs included being the Mayor of Biz Town, working in TV and radio, running a variety of businesses, marketing and advertising, police work, creating a newspaper, and many more.

Students worked the simulated community and were encouraged to use critical thinking skills, learning about key economic concepts. The students were supported by many parent volunteers who went to the venue ahead of them in order to attend a 90-minute training on the simulation.

Nicole Nestor
5th Grade Teacher

Rate of Reaction - Chemistry & Physics

One of the things that students study in Chemistry is the rate of reaction; how fast it goes and what are the factors that control the rate of these reactions. An example from everyday life might be— if you put an iron pipe out in your lawn, how long will it take for it to rust and what factors influence this rusting; like temperature, water, acidity of the water, etc. We often do kinetics studies by observing color changes over time. However, one of the demos I do at the end of the year is the chemiluminescence of luminol (a compound closely related to the materials in light sticks). Luminol produces light when reacting with a strong oxidizer such as ndhydrogen peroxide. After reflecting on this, I thought it might be fun to design an experiment around the rate of this reaction as affected by temperature and concentration.

Integrating a little Physics into the lab (and therefore making interdisciplinary), we used light sensors from the physics lab to measure the intensity of the light in terms of luminous flux. We connected these sensors to a laptop through a software called Sparkvue and we were able to plot out the exponential decay of the intensity of light over time as the reaction proceeded. The graphs produced allowed us to determine the half-life of the reaction and we were able to show direct correlation between rate, concentration and temperature. And if that was not enough, the reaction glows in the dark, which for most of us is just cool and lot of fun.

Michael Rea
HS Chemistry & Physics

8th Grade Students Retrace the Journey of Lewis and Clark

On May 14, 1804 President Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis to explore the western lands. Lewis asked his friend, William Clark, to join him. On April 17, 2018, Rancho's 8th grade students to stepped into Lewis and Clark's shoes and begin their journey at St. Charles on the shores of the Missouri River. Various student volunteers read and acted out the epic journey, while they learned about the many major stops and discoveries of plants and animals along the way.

They began their journey at the Missouri River (the large fountain in front of the Central Campus).  The journey then took them across the Great Plains, where they spent the winter in North Dakota and met Sacagawea. They even encountered a Grizzly Bear that chased Lewis. Next they saw the Great Falls, where they had to carry their canoes. From there they crossed the Continental Divide (the large "divide" by the football field). Here they discovered many native plants and animal species. Crossing the Bitterroot Mountains was a difficult task. In December of 1805 they built Fort Clatsop, and remained there until their return trip. Our helpful porters carried supplies for the hungry hikers. It was a great adventure and a fun learning experience. We hope you can join us on our next journey.

Mrs. Roxanne Speer, Middle School

Mrs. DeRusha's 3rd Grade Class Partners with Stars of Hope for Mother's Day

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Mrs. DeRusha's 3rd grade class had a different take on Mother's Day gifts this year. The class did an act of kindness to honor their moms, rather than a traditional gift. Students partnered with Stars of Hope. Stars of Hope is a nonprofit organization that provides schools, businesses, churches, or community groups with the opportunity to make stars of hope to encourage people involved in tragedies of all kinds. From stars to the students at Parkland, to creating stars for families affected by natural disasters, they are sent all over the world. Each student was given a wooden star to create their message of hope. One side was used to write a message of encouragement and hope and the other was painted with messages and pictures that each child came up with on their own. No two stars were the same and it was so fun to see not only their creativity but compassion come out in unique ways. 

The kids then took pictures with their stars and wrote cards for their moms. It was a wonderful way to honor the unselfishness and kindness of their moms by displaying those same qualities themselves. Mrs. DeRusha hopes to partner with Stars of Hope in the future to continue to not only spread hope, but the love of Jesus to strangers all over our country that are in need of hope and encouragement.

Stars of Hope encourages groups or families of all sizes to contact them at www.starsofhopeusa.org to see how you can join the movement of spreading love and hope to those who need it most! Check out the story of how this organization got it's start and the work they are doing all over the world. 

  STARS OF HOPE    Since 2007, over 80,000 hand-painted Stars of HOPE® have lifted the spirits of millions of disaster survivors in 150 communities and 24 countries. Stars of HOPE is a registered trademark of New York Says Thank You Foundation.  Stars of HOPEⓇ started with two families in Greensburg, KS in 2007. The Parness family in New York who wanted to “Pay it Forward” for the love NYC received from people around the world following 9/11 and the Vincent family from Groesbeck, TX who wanted to “Pay it Forward” for the support received when New York Says Thank You volunteers rebuilt their home following a deadly tornado.  Stars of HOPE have transformed the physical and emotional landscapes of communities devastated by acts of nature or acts of violence from Newtown, Connecticut to Kathmandu, Nepal.  We have empowered 50,000+ volunteers including school children, families, seniors, first responders, veterans, active military, partner organizations, and entire communities to paint inspirational words, messages, and designs on 1-foot wooden Stars. These Stars of HOPE are displayed in public places in communities worldwide in the immediate and long-term aftermath of tragedy serving as beacons of hope and compassion for all to see.

STARS OF HOPE

Since 2007, over 80,000 hand-painted Stars of HOPE® have lifted the spirits of millions of disaster survivors in 150 communities and 24 countries. Stars of HOPE is a registered trademark of New York Says Thank You Foundation.

Stars of HOPEⓇ started with two families in Greensburg, KS in 2007. The Parness family in New York who wanted to “Pay it Forward” for the love NYC received from people around the world following 9/11 and the Vincent family from Groesbeck, TX who wanted to “Pay it Forward” for the support received when New York Says Thank You volunteers rebuilt their home following a deadly tornado.

Stars of HOPE have transformed the physical and emotional landscapes of communities devastated by acts of nature or acts of violence from Newtown, Connecticut to Kathmandu, Nepal.

We have empowered 50,000+ volunteers including school children, families, seniors, first responders, veterans, active military, partner organizations, and entire communities to paint inspirational words, messages, and designs on 1-foot wooden Stars. These Stars of HOPE are displayed in public places in communities worldwide in the immediate and long-term aftermath of tragedy serving as beacons of hope and compassion for all to see.

High School Mock Interview Day

To follow our school ethos of “University Ready, Life Ready” students in High School Consumer Math class have spent the last couple of weeks preparing for mock interviews as if it were their first interview after completion of college.  Students have already completed a variety of “life ready" projects in consumer math class this year that include a written budget, purchasing a vehicle, true costs of student loans, and a personal resume. This is in addition to an online math learning portal they use each class period. This final project is an accumulation of the knowledge they have acquired and will put into practice later in life.

Each student dressed up for the occasion in business attire or dress that is appropriate for their chosen profession. They ensure every hair is in place, a firm handshake is given, and direct eye contact is made. They have brought copies of their resume, 3 references, and questions for their interviewer. They are confident because they have prepared by researching questions the interviewer may ask - both general and job specific. As with anything new, they have some nerves but are relieved when their preparation pays off and the interview goes well. It helped them to hear the positive feedback each of the other students gave when the interview was completed. 

By Mr. Brett Beil, High School Math

4th Grade Wax Museum Day 2018

Wax Museum Historical Figures Day is an exciting project where Rancho Christian 4th grade students choose a person from California history to represent for a day. Students pick their person, research their life, and write a five paragraph essay about them. Also, they will write a short monologue, written in the voice of their person of study (1st person), which they will perform.

On the day of the event, students dress up like the people they have chosen and stand in front of a display board, which they made to represent their person.  They stand completely still in a pose that they have chosen, and wait until someone comes along and say, “Action!”  Once a person says this, the student comes alive and delivers their monologue. When they have finished, they go back to their original position.

All parts of this project are completed in class, from the writing to the display board. We always invite the parents to have a “first viewing” so that they can see the culmination of their child’s hard work. 

Welcome!

 Mrs. Betsy Kunau, Executive Director

Mrs. Betsy Kunau, Executive Director

Welcome to Rancho Christian's Learning Blog: "University Ready & Life Ready." This is a unique space where our fantastic teachers have the opportunity to share fun activities, experiments, and lessons that they teach our students on a daily basis.  While on the surface, and perhaps to the kids, these seem like an escape from curriculum learning - they are in fact, an excellent way of reinforcing a wide variety of concepts - truly preparing our students to be University Ready-Life Ready.  We are thrilled to give you the opportunity to see these!

We hope you enjoy learning about these student adventures almost as much as they had learning from them!