Community Events to engage the head, heart, & hands

Middle School News

Come see the 6th Grade Play this Saturday!

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! (A Medieval Tale)

Saturday, January 14th at 7:00 pm, Auditorium

The 6th grade class will be performing Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village written by Laura Amy Schlitz. A librarian at a Baltimore County, Maryland school, Ms Schlitz wrote this engaging book as a piece to be performed by children. It contains nineteen monologues and two dialogues spoken by young members of a medieval village, making it the perfect ensemble work. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! was well received and won the 2008 Newbery Medal for excellence in children’s literature.

Mark your calendars, support the fine actors of this ensemble, and learn about what life was really like in 1255–fleas, poverty, hard manual labor, and more! See history come alive through this costume drama, with song, dance and the fine art of the monologue.

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Parent Education Evening: Meeting the Adolescent through the Middle School Curriculum

For parents who want to learn what makes the middle school years (grades 6, 7 & 8) different from the early grades. Please attend:

Wednesday, February 8th, 7:00-9:00 pm

In the Lower Eurythmy Room

This evening will provide parents with a developmental picture of the adolescent and describe how the academic, artistic and practical arts curriculum prepares and inspires students for more advanced levels of inquiry and analysis.

This event will create a forum for dialogue and provides answers to parent questions about the strengths of our middle school program. Many age relevant issues will be addressed including: How do Waldorf schools understand and approach technology in Middle School? How do the changes in adolescence effect students’ learning, socializing and emotional interactions? How does the curriculum meet these developmental needs? How does the Middle School curriculum prepare students for High School? These are the kinds questions we will explore in dialogue after being presented with examples of school lessons in distinct presentations from John Trevillion, 8th grade teacher, and Brian Gleichauf, high school science teacher.

Rudolf Steiner encourages teachers, in Physics instruction, to show the link between scientific knowledge acquired through experimentation and its technical applications in the modern world. Mr. Trevillion and Mr. Gleichauf will demonstrate and discuss a series of experiments that explore the invention and demonstration of engines and that are a theme introduced in the 8th grade (as external combustion steam engines) and picked up again in curriculum that has continuity in 9th grade Thermal Physics (with internal combustion engines).

Parents will have ample time for Q & A and discussions about the transitions into Middle School—and then into High School—curriculum.

For more information about this parent education evening please contact
Katherine Rogers at kg.rogers@comcast.net or Lisa Payton at lpayton@chicagowaldorf.org


Holiday Festivals Schedule

In this active time of the year, there are many opportunities to join with the children, faculty and staff in community and ritual events and celebrations. Please note that you can check the school’s web-based calendar for the most up-to-date information about these festivals.

We invite you to join in this season by celebrating with us to appreciate the values that we hold dear as a community. Here is a brief overview of upcoming events:

Festival of Lights Season

These festivals, presented in series, remind us of the light shining within each individual in the midst of the encroaching darkness of the season. School begins each Monday morning with a silent assembly that honors the power of light and community. These assemblies are not appropriate for children younger than 1st grade. All those attending are asked to enter in silence.

1st Festival of Light

Monday, Nov. 28, 8:15am, Auditorium
A peaceful, candle-lit celebration, for ages 3 & up. Parents are welcome to attend.

Winter Spiral

Tuesday, Nov. 29, Auditorium Stage
EC, 1st, 2nd, 8th & 12th grades – classes take turns throughout the day journeying through the spiral. Evening spiral will be open to the community, for ages 3 and up.

A Waldorf tradition made up of a simple pathway of pine boughs leading to a candle in the center. This is a way of experiencing the time of year through movement and reflection. As students take individual turns walking a path into and out of the center of the spiral a candle apple is placed on a star to illuminate the new pathway. Teachers tell stories, and quiet music is played.

Chicago Waldorf School Holiday Fair

Saturday, Dec. 3, 10:00am-5:00pm, throughout the school
This school fair is open to the entire community, friends and neighbors, for all ages.

Join in a day-long festival including:
Live Music & Entertainment • Candle Dipping • Unique Artisan Vendors • Jump Rope Making • Crafts for All Ages • Games & Raffle Prizes • Handmade Holiday Greenery • Photo Portraits • Mouthwatering Food & Fresh Baked Goods • Children’s House & Puppet Show (for wee ones)

2nd Festival of Light

Monday, Dec. 5, 8:15am, Auditorium
11th grade eurythmy, for ages 3 & up. Parents are welcome to attend.

A Visit from Saint Nicholas & Rupert

Tuesday, Dec. 6 – to the 1st & 2nd grade classrooms
In Early Childhood, Saint Nicholas & Rupert leave treats in the children’s shoes but do not go into the classrooms to visit. But the 1st and 2nd graders not only get treats but also get a visit from these moral arbiters. This intentional focus is because children of this age do not have a well developed ability to self-reflect. It is the outside conscience that helps makes clear what is right and wrong. In this ritual, Saint Nicholas reads from his “Golden Book” and proffers sage admonitions to the children on how to act kindly and positively. As a model of the id and superego, in this tradition Saint Nicholas is the embodiment of the higher well developed self, whereas Rupert is a non-human, undeveloped, lower self who is very mischievous, offensive, and self-absorbed when left on his own.

Santa Lucia– 3rd Festival of Light

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8:15am, Auditorium
2nd grade will be offering their Santa Lucia processional at the Festival of Light, for ages 3 & older. Parents are welcome to attend.

Based on the Swedish tradition honoring Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia) this candle-lit processional celebrates the gift of light in the time of darkness. Lucia’s name is derived from lux, lucis “light,” as she is the patron saint of those who are blind. The Second Graders will bring a beautiful gift of song and candlelight to the community. We have sometimes shared our Lucia celebration with community organizations like the Swedish American Museum. This integrates with the 2nd grade curriculum which usually includes stories of the saints.

Winter Music Festival

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:00pm, in the CWS Auditorium
Musical offerings from students and faculty to the community, for 1st grade and older. Parents are welcome to attend.

As a gift from our students, to our community, this song-filled event is a fun and beautiful evening of music and choral entertainment. The music program builds toward this opportunity for the students to sing en masse in varied groups, rounds and other choral arrangements. Traditional and holiday-themed songs are presented to paint the spirit of the season.

Chanukah

Wednesday, Dec. 21, studied/celebrated in the CWS classrooms.
Chanukah is also a festival of light and many classes observe the event, its ritual and its history with story, song, and the lighting of the menorah. The Jewish festivals are especially celebrated in the grade school along with studies of the Hebrew Bible in the 3rd grade class curriculum.

4th Festival of Light

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 8:15am, Auditorium
As a culmination of the season allowing community reflection upon returning from Winter break, the 11th grade presents a eurythmy performance for ages 3 & older. Parents are welcome to attend.


Waldorf School’s Michaelmas Celebration

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Students Perform Slaying of the Dragon

Chicago Waldorf School grade school, middle school and high school students gathered on September 29th, 2011 to celebrate the Festival of Michaelmas. Often called the festival of “strong will,” the community celebrates Michaelmas as marking the initiation of personal reflection. The festival is named for the archangel Michael, the protector of humanity, who inspires qualities of courage, initiative and steadfastness.

The students enjoyed a full day of festivities which included a performance by the Midwest Eurythmy Group, telling the story of St. George and the Dragon, a discussion on the life of Rudolf Steiner and a school-wide participatory Dragon Pageant. The day concluded with multiple bonfires for the individual grades at Albion beach.

These wonderful photos captured by CWS parent, Craig Lewandowski


Rocket Club Alumnus: A Boy and His “Bottle Rocket”

Chicago Waldorf School alumni Jackson Lubin (grade school class of 2011) and current parent Judy Lubin were featured on the Science Channel in a show called Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships. Over Labor Day weekend, Jackson and Judy travelled to Kansas to take part in a national rocket launch and “odd rocket” competition. The challenge of the competition is to turn an ordinary object into a rocket.

Making an “odd rocket” is much more difficult than making a regular rocket; ordinary objects are not meant to fly!

As the main engineer and design expert on the team, Jackson put his skills to the test for this project. The team started with a 5 foot tall, 2 foot wide garbage can & recycling container shaped like a soda bottle. After 10 months of hard work, the finished rocket weighed over 100 pounds and was skillfully engineered to be aerodynamically stable. With the help of 10 pounds of solid rocket fuel, the soda bottle soared to over 4,000 feet and clinched second place in the competition. To learn more information about the project, visit Science Discovery and JLRockets.

Sumbitted by Judy Lubin, Chicago Waldorf School Parent/Rocket Club Advisor / Photo by Sather Ranum


Canamac Productions Presents “Defamation” at CWS

Monday Oct 24th at 1:30pm

Performed for 9-12th grades
in the CWS auditorium

Defamation, written by Todd Logan, is a take-no-prisoners drama exploring the timely issues of race, class, and religion. In the play, Regina Wade, an African American businesswoman from Chicago’s south side, sues Arthur Golden, a Jewish real estate developer from Winnetka, for defamation. And there’s a twist: the AUDIENCE IS THE JURY. This compelling play offers a fresh approach to generate constructive dialogue about the ways we continue to be divided along the deeply personal, highly charged issues of race, class and religion, as well as how they impact the legal system.

“In a speech in February 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder made the ‘controversial’ comment that in spite of Obama’s election there continues to be a serious racial divide in America. I believe Holder is right,” said Logan. “For several years I’ve been trying to write a play that deals with the question ‘what does it really say about ourselves about where we go to bed at night?’ I finally found a dramatic way into the subject through a story about a professional African American woman, a successful Jewish businessman and a watch.”

This event is open to all members of the CWS community and our neighbors, the students and faculty from the Global Citizenship Experience High School who will be joining us for the play and interactive discussion sessions. This Fall, Defamation is on tour throughout the Chicagoland area. For more information, visit their website www.defamationtheplay.com

This event is sponsored by the CWS Inclusion & Diversity Committee. In partnership with the Global Citizenship Experience High School. If you would like more information about the Inclusion & Diversity Committee contact Jennifer Zielinski at jzielinksi@chicagowaldorf.org


Report: Rockets for Schools Launch & Science Fair

Thunder Rocket Club Takes Sheboygan By Storm

Or, rather, a storm took Sheboygan during the annual Rockets For Schools competition on May 20 and 21. But the launch continued even in the pouring rain, and the event was a fun experience for the Thunder Rocket Club and the other 50 teams that came to Sheboygan for the two day science fair and rocket launch. Lulu Johnson , Jackson Lubin, Augie Verciglio, Alex Bender-Hooper, Jimmy Geraghty, Gregory Levinson represented CWS along with advisors Brian Gleichauf and Judy Lubin. Club members Helena Joho and Cheyenne Patino could not attend, but were with us in spirit.

The first day included a presentation of the science project that the team had put into the payload of their rocket. Thunder Rocket Club choose a very sophisticated, challenging and unique payload project. The Rockets For Schools folks said they had never seen anything like our design. The team managed to mount three wind turbines onto the outside of the rocket, and keep them mounted on a vehicle travelling over 330 mph – a major engineering challenge!

The purpose of the turbines was to collect the energy from the air force during acceleration of the rocket. The original plan was to turn the energy into electricity, but the generators were too heavy. So, the team did what good scientists everywhere do and redefined the scope of the project to make it more achievable. The team measured the amount of energy in terms of RPMs of the turbines. They used a bicycle speedometer on one of the turbines to calculate the RPMs. A video camera inside the payload allowed them to read the speedometer and to directly count the revolutions of the turbine. They then calculated the amount of volts and amps that could be produced from the spinning of the turbines. They predicted that they would obtain 3000 volts in flight, yeilding 7.5 watts of power.

The team managed to mount three working wind turbines onto the outside of a rocket travelling over 330 mph – a major engineering challenge!

The launch of the 6 foot tall rocket took place on the second day of the event. In typical Rockets For Schools fashion, the rocket was launched into Lake Michigan. The Coast Guard retrieved the rocket from the water. Fog kept the Coast Guard from taking their boats out, so the launch was delayed a few hours. But when the fog cleared, the Thunder Rocket Club was second on the pad, so we beat the rain. The rocket roared off the pad on a Cesaroni I285 motor. Before the launch, we were a bit anxious because the turbines could possibly have adversely affected the stability of the rocket. But the rocket flew straight as an arrow! The video showed that the turbines worked exactly as intended, spinning freely to collect the energy from the acceleration throughout the flight. When the rocket hit the water, however, the plastic turbines shredded down to the wheel-core. So, the payload is not re-usable. But it worked! A successful launch!

Says participant Lulu Johnson, “After working so hard on the rocket and preparing the presentation, it felt good to represent our school with our beautiful rocket. It was also interesting to see other school’s rockets and payload projects, and to find out that so many people in the Midwest alone were interested in rocket science.”

You can find more photos and details on the launch and the preparation at www.jlrockets.com/Thunder_Rocket_Club.html


Students Raise Funds for Humanitarian Outreach

The CWS 8th graders were able to raise enough money to purchase these gifts: a Water Buffalo, Llama, Goat, Sheep, Honeybees and Flock of Chicks.

As part of the global awareness and outreach elements of the curriculum, the 8th grade developed and promoted a fundraising drive that culminated this year in earning approximately $700.00 that they then donated to Heifer International to help efforts to alleviate hunger and poverty.

Heifer International is a global nonprofit humanitarian assistance organization working to help end hunger and poverty and at the same time protect the environment and care for the Earth. Heifer provides living gifts of area-appropriate livestock and training in environmentally sound agricultural practices to families in need to help lift themselves out of poverty to become self-reliant.

For more than 65 years, Heifer has worked to help improve livelihoods for families that struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Since 1944, Heifer has helped more than 12 million families—62 million men, women and children—more than 1.5 million families in 2008-09.

Additional 8th Grade Efforts Raised 210 pairs of shoes.

Last year the 8th Grade held a bake sale to benefit the people of Haiti after the devastating earthquake. This year they decided to donate the money to Soles 4 Souls which provides a pair of shoes for every dollar raised to those in need. The 8th graders raised $175.00 and collected 35 pairs of shoes which enabled them to provide 210 pairs of shoes to the people of Haiti.

The students offered services like shoveling snow, babysitting and bake sales to raise money for their class project. Thanks to the 8th Grade students for spearheading this initiative and raising generous funds for these worthy causes!


Congratulations to CWS Student Liam Gorzen

Chicago Fire Department Awards Student Scholarship

8th grade student, Liam Gorzen, was very excited when he learned that he is to be a recipient of this year’s Chicago Fire Department’s Gold Badge Society’s High School Scholarship. The Gold Badge Society advocates for firefighters and paramedics, offering financial, emotional and operational support for members of the Chicago Fire Department as well as offering outreach to families on the national level.

This specific monetary award supports High School and College scholarships for children of active, retired, and disabled or deceased firefighters and paramedics from the Chicago Fire Department. Scholarship recipients had to be nominated by community members and demonstrate academic achievement supported with institutional documentation.

Liam attended the recent awards ceremony on Sunday, May 15th at the Chicago Fire Department’s Monthly Mass at Holy Family Church on Roosevelt Road.

Congratulations Liam, on a job well done!


7th Grade Field Trip in 2011

EUREKA! (The Life and Times of Archimedes)
Goes on the Road to Midwest Schools

The 7th grade will be embarking on its class trip in the last week of May. Like most 7th grade field trips at CWS, the current 7th grade will be engaging in the high ROPES, team challenges, and a climbing wall challenge. These adventure events are set to occur in Howell, Michigan. The 7th grade will also visit Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan where they will see the resurrection of Thomas Edison’s lab, the Wright brothers’ bicycle shop, the workings of steam engines revealed, slave and masters’ dwellings from the 19th Century American South, and many other remarkable expressions of our colonial and early industrial past.

The 7th grade will be remounting its production of their original play for three Michigan Waldorf schools.

The heart of our trip, however, will be two performances of Eureka! (The Life and Times of Archimedes) – yes, it has been re-titled from Archimedes since our November performances at CWS. The play opens as the commanders of a Roman army, eager to secure the city of Syracusa in Sicily as a strategic prize in Rome’s war with Carthage, debate the strategy whereby they can take it. Their efforts have been stymied for years by the war machines devised by Archimedes of Syracusa.

The means and opportunity to overcome the siege are at last determined when two personal slaves of Archimedes are brought before the Roman general Marcellus. Through them we learn about life in Archimedes’ household and the palace of his friend and supporter, King Hieron of Syracusa some forty years earlier. We are witness to his famous experiment with the gold crown of King Hieron, as well as his infamous clothes-less run through the streets of Syracusa. Marcellus, moved by the slaves’ account, seeks to rescue Archimedes and his family in the inevitable sacking of the city. His efforts, however, prove insufficient to restrain an overzealous Roman soldier, who murders Archimedes, and the play resolves with a lament and tribute to this remarkable human being, whose achievements we experience and benefit from (usually without knowing it) throughout our lives.

Both performances will take place on the beautiful stage of the Detroit Waldorf School. The first performance will take place before parents of the Detroit Waldorf School; the second will be a day-time performance before twelve classes, collectively from the Detroit Waldorf School, the Oakland Steiner School, and the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. The dates of these performances will be May 25th and May 26th.

The play itself is the product of collaboration between class teacher John Trevillion and music director Jeff Spade. The transformation of the play into a production required the efforts of all of the 7th grade parents, but key among them have been those of Mary Spalding, Liz Heavenrich, Isabel Liss, and Anne Libera. The “road show” sets have been “down-sized” from their ambitious November proportions, but the drama and songs remain intact. Mr. Spade will travel with us and provide piano accompaniment. Most importantly, the 7th grade is excited and eager to perform their play once more.


CWS 8th Grader Prevails in Advanced Sport Rocketry

CWS 8th grader, Jackson Lubin was recently profiled in Sport Rocketry Magazine as he received Junior Level 1 Certification from the National Association of Rocketry (NAR).

Jackson has been an avid rocket enthusiast for some time; he even was involved in starting the CWS rocket club. In the article he shares some of his strategies in rocket building and planning for the certification trials:

“On June 19, 2010, the very day I turned 14, I earned my NAR Junior High Power Participation Certification, or Junior Level 1 Cert.

I chose the Wildman Jr. from Wildman Rocketry because I wanted a rocket that would go high and fast. I also wanted it to be strong, so that I could use high thrust motors and so that it could take hard landings. The all fiberglass construction, together with injected carbon fiber internal fillets, make the rocket very strong.

I built the Wildman Jr. in a few days. The finished rocket is about 5 feet tall, is 2.1inches in diameter and has a 38mm motor mount. It weighs 3lbs. 9oz. without motor.

I chose the Cesaroni I-800 Vmax motor. The Vmax motors maximize velocity. I knew that the rocket would fly off the pad. Rocksim predicted that the rocket would go about 4,500 feet, and travel at almost 800 feet per second. My first high power flight would have the highest initial thrust that I would be able to use for the next 4 years, until I was 18 and could certify Level 2.

We took the rocket to the pad. The LCO pressed the button and the rocket leapt off the pad with a loud roar! It went straight up, despite the winds, and arced over very nicely. I was very happy when the ‘chute came out and the rocket began its decent.

The day got a lot of my friends excited about rockets. Some of my friends are starting to build model rockets and are planning for their own Junior Level 1 certifications…..”
Click here to read the full article (note a delay after clicking while this large PDF loads)

Excerpt from: Junior Level 1 Certification by Jackson Lubin
Sport Rocketry Magazine, March/April 2011