Education

Sparta Board of Education Presentations: 20Time at Sparta Middle School, Science at Alpine School

e4be78e4ceba84089594_IMG_0656.jpg
Learing about vibration by creating instruments Credits: Provided
e85828df538304a4fa4b_IMG_1726.JPG
Students from Laura Sofen's eighth grade English class presented their 20Time projects at the May Sparta Board of Education meeting Credits: Jennifer Dericks
5022a4015f6daaade35f_IMG_1722.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
cef29c5dd00221621dee_IMG_1707.JPG
` Credits: Jennifer Dericks
3e870d5e98cb848b281e_b47e49184f0f6865179e_IMG_1357.JPG
Learning about pitch with straws Credits: Provided
3487b10ecab9fbc7e901_c986d9e0b8c6de2ae15c_IMG_3849.jpg
Watching objects vibrate on a speaker Credits: Provided
2b96a02dcb8314a71da6_IMG_3854.jpg
Credits: Provided
030da777040259f707ee_IMG_3857.JPG
Creating shadows Credits: Provided
c45e66741febf8fe16a7_IMG_8706.jpg
Credits: Provided
6a150b060a5e2ed1578c_161e51207eecfe050401_IMG_8711.jpg
Credits: Provided
e4be78e4ceba84089594_IMG_0656.jpg

SPARTA, NJ — Students from Sparta Middle School and teacher from Alpine school gave presentations at the board of education May meeting. Students from Laura Sofen’s eighth grade English classes came to explain some of their 20Time projects. First grade teachers Amanda Lyons and Marissa Radjewski spoke to the board members and the community about the application of the Next Generation Science Standards in their classrooms. 

“Previously there were specific standards now lessons are student centered, allowing them to explore and have trial and error,” Lyons said. 

As a culmination of the unit on light and sound, the first grade teachers created a Light and Sound Museum experience for the students. Each class focused on displaying a single phenomenon. 

Sign Up for E-News

The students toured between rooms to experience each phenomenon. They shared a few examples. In the study of light waves, they learned the terms opaque, translucent, transparent and reflective and created shadows using a model sun and flashlights. In the study of sound waves they looked at vibration by creating instruments, observing a tuning fork and objects vibrating on a speaker and learned about pitch by making instruments.

“They are actively learning by doing,” Radjewski said. “It is a great way to get a deeper understanding, using real life experiences to make the abstract come to life.”

Next to the podium, Sofen explained the initiative in her classroom was based on a concept from Google during which employees were encouraged to use 20 percent of their time developing pet projects. 

Two groups of students talked about the lessons they learned during the process of working through their 20Time projects. The process began with the students identifying a problem they wanted to solve and developing a solution. 

They had to present their proposals to their classmates for approval, which was not automatic. Them the students had to implement their plan.

Three boys Mason Maher, Nathan Miller and Andrew Daghlian took turns explaining their journey. They explained they did not get approved for their first proposal, “a disease filtration system for dirty water.” It was rejected for being too costly.

The next proposal was to teach people how to clean water. It was approved but the companies they contacted to work on it, did not respond. So they “searched for another problem to solve.”

The trio settled on creating a water bottle holder that clips onto a desk because water and computers do not mix well. With all the students using chromebooks this could be an issue.  They took the initiative one step further, donating the proceeds of the sale of the clips to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“So far we’ve made $61,” they said. Their goal is $100.

They took turns explaining the “life lessons” they learned. “Never give up,” and “Teamwork. We had some dark times but we stuck together and had success,” they said.

Next Jenna Eltorky, Olivia Romano and Hayley Ouimette discussed their initiative; the rules on shorts at Sparta Middle School.  Again, the students took turns explaining the initiative and the process.

“It all started in the cafeteria when [Principal] Mr. Gregory told us our shorts were too short according to dress code rules,” the girls said.

The rule on shorts, according to the girls, was that they had to be fingertip length. They decided after talking with their friends, they would try to get some of the dress code rules changed.

They agreed “not all the rules should be changed,” but fingertip length shorts “are not fashionable and are hard to find in the store.” The other rule they sought to change was the “no shoulder rule.” Bare shoulders, they were told, “are a distraction.”

The girls disagreed.

They started getting signatures on a Change.org petition and made an appointment with Gregory, though they were “rescheduled several times because of snow” and other issues.

After not achieving their initial goal for the number of signatures on the petition within the school, they broadened the reach of the petition.

The girls said they “learned to accomplish things we want done” and that often “you have to fail before you can succeed.”

They concluded by speaking directly to the board of education member, “We ask you to change the dress code to account for current trends and styles.”

“This is why I love my job,” Sofen said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Police: Speeding Stop Nets Drug Charges for Two Brooklyn Men

June 19, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Two men from Brooklyn, New York stopped for speeding are facing drug charges.  On June 16 around 11 a.m. Sparta Police Officer Thomas Herd pulled over a grey Toyota Rav4 driven by David Mai, 20 going 95 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, police said.

When Herd spoke with the Mai, the officer smelled marijuana in the car. Mai said he had pot in his backpack.  Sparta Police ...

Sparta Police: Wanted Sparta Man Stopped for Speeding

SPARTA, NJ — A Sparta resident was picked up on an active warrant after getting stopped for speeding on Route 181. On June 16 around 1:35 a.m. Cpl. Marc Rubino stopped John Clark, 51 in his black Ford pickup driving 60 in a 45 MPH zone, police report.

Clark was not able to show the officer his license but gave his personal information. Rubino found Clark’s license had expired and ...

Sparta Police: Wanted Man Picked Up in Speeding Stop, Gets Drug Charges

SPARTA, NJ — A Newark man was picked up when the car in which he was riding was stopped for speeding. On June 8 around 11:50 a.m. Sparta Police Officer Thomas Herd pulled over Tashiana Martin, 27, of West Orange for speeding, police report.

When Herd spoke with Martin he smelled marijuana in the car. Herd also saw that passenger Ibenabdul Harden, 28, was not wearing a seat belt. When the ...

Sparta High School Time Capsule

June 20, 2018

To the editor: 

For this year’s AP project in our English class, we have put together a 2018 Sparta High School time capsule to be opened in 25 years. The capsule, likely to be buried next to the garden behind the school, will contain student testimonies, memes, and other relics of our time. Hopefully with this project we hope to preserve our unique experience of teenage ...

The Power of Positive Engagement

To the Editor:

I wanted to share this letter from Laurie Beacham, Media Director for NJ 11th for Change, about the notable increase in voter turnout and citizens deciding to run in the recent primary election:

"The 11th Congressional District has a lot to be proud of. In the June 5th primaries, voter turnout climbed from almost 33,000 in 2014 to over 86,000. Democratic ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, June 21, 2:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Summer Afternoon Garden Soiree

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Carousel_image_a567a59640ee87a05151_boe_sign__2_

Mon, June 25, 5:30 PM

Mohawk Avenue School, Sparta

Sparta Board of Education Meeting UPDATED

Education

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, June 30, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 7, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_ace2e0a21a0268782288_sparta_historical_society

Sun, July 8, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_dc175377b12fc03a60a8_toni4

Sun, July 8, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 14, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Sussex Stags Football Team to Hold Fourth Annual Golf Outing

June 16, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—The Sussex County Stags will be holding their fourth annual gold outing on Saturday June 23.

Arrival time is 11:30 a.m. at the Minebrook Golf Club located at 500 Schooleys Mountain Road in Hackettstown. Golfing will begin at 1 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online at www.sussexstags.com.

Tickets are $125 per person and include the following: golfing, the cart, an all you ...

Update: Police Break Up Fight Involving 40-50 People at Bridgewater Commons Mall

June 15, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported in an incident that shut down Bridgewater Commons Mall Thursday evening after a fight involving a crowd of 40-50 people.

Police are still investigating unconfirmed reports of shots being fired, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

The mall is closed for the evening as the investigation continues.

Somerset County ...

Why Buying a Home is Better Than Renting

People often ask if now is a good time to buy a home in New Jersey, but nobody ever asks whether or not it’s a good time to rent. Regardless, Team Nest Builder wants to make certain that everyone understands that now is NOT a good time to rent.

The Census Bureau recently released their 2018 first quarter median rent numbers. This graph from their report shows rent increases from 1988 ...

5 Fab Father's Day Happenings in Sussex & Morris Counties

Father’s Day hits this Sunday--what do YOU have planned? Team Nest Builder offers a slew of Father’s Day fun in Morris and Sussex County. Read on and surprise Dad with cool activities! (Be sure to check if registration is required prior to showing up!)

Alstede Farms' Father's Day Brunch – Chester

From 9am-noon, take a scenic hayride to a brunch buffet that offers ...

Don't Miss Sunday's OPEN HOUSE for 4BR Sparta Mountain Beauty

Perched handsomely on an acre in the beautiful SpartaMountain community, 28 Waters Edgeoffers a 4BR 2.5 Bathroom home with space and style. Come see for yourself this Sunday, June 17th, from 1-3pm at our OPEN HOUSE!

Located in the prestigious Sparta Mountain Reserve, this large, beautiful center hall colonial with open floor plan has a nice, level play yard with direct ...

Days on The Housing Market Drops to New Low

According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median number of days that a home spent on the market hit a new low of 26 days in April, as 57% of homes remained on the market for under a month.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, opined,

“What is available for sale is going under contract at a rapid pace. Since NAR began tracking this ...

Pass It Along Triathlon

Tri-something new this July and sign up for the Pass It Along Triathlon!

The 9th annual Pass It Along Triathlon will take place on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at the Lake Mohawk Country Club. This triathlon features two USAT-certified courses - Olympic and Sprint. This triathlon has become a Sparta tradition and everyone is welcome to attend to cheer on athletes and be a part of the ...

June 13 Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting

NEWTON, NJ - The June 13 Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting video.

 

Summer Hockey Programs at Skylands: 3v3, U8 and Beginner Hockey Camp

June 19, 2018

Skylands U8 Cross Ice Challenge League

Skylands Cross Ice Challenge League is an intermediate league for kids ages 8 and under. Emphasis on fun, skill progression, and player development, it de-emphasizes stressful, high-pressure, game scenarios and ultra-competitive play. It's focus is more on individual skating, player skills & puck touches
One practice per week ...