Guests Abound at Copernicus during 2017!
Copernicus Family Day
The Copernicus families came together in May to celebrate our community and diversity with a “Cinco de Mayo” shindig that was a smash hit! Families shared a variety of dishes that represented a bit of their family’s background. Parents and kids also partook in a little crafting, creating works of art using images of family members to celebrate their family’s history. Kids sang songs including “Los Pollitos” and sported hats they made from reclaimed materials, paint and colorful feathers. They also played drums they crafted with Ms. Allison for human history month.
Copernicus teachers were also celebrated! Ms. Allison was voted the teacher most likely to become the next Director. Ms. Areli was voted the most intentional teacher, and teachers voted Ms. Heather as the most well-rounded caregiver. During the event we also welcomed the newest additions to our team, Ms. Ana, Art and Spanish teacher in the Sun Room, Ms. Audrey, STEM and Art in the Earth Room, and Ms. Alma Assistant Teacher.
Warm thanks and special shout out was given to parent, Michelle Flores, and her construction team for building our newest addition to the playground: the kid coop! The kid coop is not only a great play house, but we will also use it as the outside reading room and water play changing area. What a groovy addition to our playground!
Finally, what a special moment it was when some parents spoke out during the event! They shared kind words about what Copernicus means to their family. What an amazing opportunity for reflection and thankfulness for all of us at Copernicus Academy! Thank you Copernicus families!
Guests from the Austin Community
In January, our Astronomy and Geology month included a visit by Geologist Allison Mote. Ms. Mote shared a story about the minerals and rocks that form our planet. She explored the tremendous energy stored inside the Earth’s core with a demonstration of a volcano and she also helped us recognize the differences between fossils and rocks.
Central Austin medical center, Benchmark Urgent & Family Care, visited Copernicus in March and brought a very cool experiment to demonstrate the importance of hand washing when containing the spread of germs and viruses. This was a great platform for teachers to highlight the interconnections between different living organisms. Kids used a special “germ” lotion on their hands and then put them under a black light. “Germs” covered all hands. After hand washing, kids realized that time and process is important during hand washing, as many of our hands still had “germs”, even after washing! Thanks to Megan Lawlor and her team!
Further, Copernicus kids engaged with some awesome guests during human history month. This is always a perfect opportunity for the Copernicus kids to get a sense of how modern humans collaborate and work together! Catherine Nagle, a registered nurse, collaborated with Copernicus kids to put Anthony Anatomy back together again. There were many medical practitioners during that session. Kids helped Mark Nagle, chemical engineer, build a “reactor” using waffle block scaffolding and PVC pipes to create a purple foam reaction by combing blue and red vinegar.
Evolutionary Biologist and Chemist, Briana Castaño, shared an amazing experiment that included flame tests showing how chemicals give off different colors. Briana prepared a precipitation reaction combining two substances that then produced a new substance. Kids became chemists for an afternoon and mixed substances to observe how a change in color is often the evidence of newly created substances!
Artist, Will Goodwin brought samples of his work to showcase the combination of technology with art. Will uses digital images and lasers to create laser-cut works of art. Kids interacted with the pieces, compared them to the digital images, and even received a sample of the artist’s work.
One of Austin’s finest, parent and Austin Police officer, Mason Woo, visited our school! Officer Woo talked about safety, public service and even brought his police vehicle. Everyone crafted badges of their own to become honorary officers for the afternoon. Kids had a chance to see the cop car up close, spoke on the speaker and special assistants helped turn on the siren and lights!
Rebecca Muzquiz and Joni Martinez, professionals from the Criss Cole Center for the Blind, joined us in an exciting commencement to the month of anatomy. Ms. Joni shared a book in braille and Ms. Rebecca highlighted how we use all our senses, not only sight, to gather information. Kids explored the space with a blindfold and cane and talked about how mobility is possible even when our sense of sight is not available.
Furry and Feathered Guests
Brett the Farm Lady returned to Copernicus in April, and this time our guests included large farm animals! Copernicus kids welcomed a 400lb pig, a donkey, goats with baby goats, chickens and chicks, ducks, rabbits and kittens! Excitement abounded as kids fed the donkey and encountered large hoofed friends! Ms. Brett demonstrated how to hold small animals, helped us get up close and personal with large animals and also talked about providing a safe and healthy environments for them. Our animal friends made wrapping up animal month a huge success!
We thank all the guests who have enriched our curriculum during the first half of 2017 and look forward to more interactions with our community!