The second BTVS trip to the Johnson’s Pumpkin farm was another successful outing. Although, we did not have the JGHS Michigan Wildlife class in attendance, we were still able to bring almost 30 students, staff, and parents. Students were once again able to attempt the corn maze, eat doughnuts and drink cider, get a pumpkin, and pet and feed the many animals!
This year our event club originally decided to host a fundraiser in order to raise money for our social events throughout the year, and potentially a school dance in February. The plan shifted to instead have a fundraiser to help a fellow Bobcat in need, and donate to aid in her battle with cancer. On Friday the 6th of October from 4-8 pm at the Bangor Township Virtual School, high school students and parents from both JGHS and BTVS ran a “Parent’s Night Out” event in which parents could drop off their school aged children to be baby sat and entertained. Cosens MMA coaches provided a martial arts seminar, we had a bounce house, video games, movies, and pizza. The event was a great success, but we ended up only breaking even with the cost of the event and monies collected.
Our annual September games event was a ton of fun. On September 25th from 11 to 2, students enjoyed a feast and games that are intellectually and physically challenging. Students began the day by bringing a dish to pass for a potluck style lunch that included fruit and veggie trays, meatballs, bacon covered weenies, brownies, cookies, and more! The games consisted of a scavenger hunt utilizing the Goose Chase app in which students earned points for completing missions inside and out of the Edison Administration Building. They played teenage Jeopardy that included categories such as Disney movies and current events. They also played Pictionary to utilize their skills and knowledge in art, and a variation of the game werewolf that included police and mobsters. Students are already requesting that we have the scavenger hunt again for one of out events, and Mr. Schmidt has expressed interest in participating as well!
One of our major initiatives at BTVS is to provide as much social interaction for students, and to bring as much of the traditional school to the virtual world. Thus, field trips are a vital piece. This September, Mrs. Villegas took a group of high school students on a canoe trip down the Rifle River with Mr. Jurek’s Michigan Wildlife class from JGHS. Students learned about plant and animal life in Michigan, and about watershed systems and rivers. Also, a group of about 30 students K-12 from BTVS went to the River of Time festival in Bay City on September 29th to learn about various US wars and time periods. Also, a group of four young ladies attended Art Prize with Mrs. Pobanz and her JGHS art students in Grand Rapids on October 4th. Next, we go to Johnson's Pumpkin Farm on October 27th!
On Tuesday the 2nd of May, 2017 our BTVS students had the opportunity to team up with Mr. Jurek’s Michigan Wildlife classes from JGHS to explore the Bay City State Park and the Saginaw Bay Welcome Center.
Our group first went to the lagoon to fish from the docks. Students successfully caught a few small Northern Pike up to 22 inches long, and one even caught a master angler black crappie thanks to the assistance of a few DNR officers. It was a whopping 19 inches even though the minimum master angler length is only 14 inches, and was very close to the state record of 22 inches. Even though it was cold and raining, the students stayed out on the dock fishing for over an hour.
We then went over the Saginaw Valley State University mobile research bus. They first had us travel to various locations along the bay to collect water samples in plastic sampling bottles. Our students then went on the bus to test the water quality by identifying amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus. They learned all about how the algae bloom in the bay is directly affected by the runoff from communities and farms. We also learned that the bay is typically safe to swim, but is unsatisfactory to most because of the muck (which is simply dead plant matter).
Finally, we went on a hike around the park to identify various bird, mammal, tree and fish species. On the hike we were able to learn about duck houses, see a beaver house, identify muskrats swimming in the lagoon, and learn why dead fish on shore are always missing their eyes (birds love them!).
It was an incredible experience that I suggest to anyone who has the time. You will learn a lot about history, ecosystems, and the human influence on nature. We will be going back again next year, and for years to come!
The best part about the day, however, was witnessing Mr. Jurek and JGHS receive the Green School Award for their efforts within the school and community to promote awareness of environmental issues.
The Bangor Township Virtual School teamed up with BTVS and John Glenn's Mr. Jurek and his science classes to take a much needed trip to Apple Mountain on Wednesday the 22nd of February 2017. Even though we had record high temperatures, and even though it had rained the day before, Apple Mountain workers made and moved snow diligently all morning to open for the public. We brought just over 30 students, and had an incredible time. The event was such a success that we have decided to make it an annual event on our social calendar. We look forward to hitting the slopes at the beautiful Apple Mountain again in the 2017-2018 school year! Thank you Apple Mountain Crew!
Next up........boarding the USS Edson on the Saginaw River for some ghost hunting in the spring!
Since the students today live in the digital age, and are considered the technology generation, of course they love video games. Our gaming club has been meeting once a month either on Saturday to Friday to set up their Xbox or Wii gaming systems to compete in various competition. We utilize our projectors to shoot a very large image onto our gymnasium walls with all of the lights off. The experience is incredible. We have had students playing Super Mario Smash Brothers, Call of Duty, various RPGs, and Wii bowling, tennis, golf, boxing, and baseball. Students also show each other their favorite computer games, hand held games, and even some card and board games. The club is so popular that we are now meeting more often.
Just before our holiday break, we had a white elephant party. There were treats, a white elephant gift exchange, and the students chose to watch A Christmas Story in the gymnasium. Here is the flyer for the event that we sent out to invite students:
Thanks to our wonderful cooks at John Glenn High School, we were able to get a full Thanksgiving meal sent to our building for the students and staff. There were full trays of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, pie, cinnamon apples, rolls, and a jello-marshmallow mix. It was incredibly delicious, and all of us are incredibly thankful. Thank you to the wonderful lunch staff at JGHS! There was quite a bit of food left over, so the students decided to donate it to the women's shelter next door. They said it was a wonderful surprise, and they were able to serve it at their dinner that evening.