Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Student Athletes Shine in Awards Video

Congratulations to the many Thurgood Marshall Academy students who participated in a TMA sport this year! Go Warriors! 

Check out this video shown at the 3rd annual Athletic Awards Banquet last month:

Many thanks to Ms. Stewart for letting us re-post this video!

2nd Annual TMA Community Track Meet THIS SATURDAY

The Track and Field team will host the 2nd annual TMA Community Meet THIS SATURDAY at Banneker Track! Faculty, staff and students are invited to compete in races with the track team members from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.

There will be drinks, snacks and lunch provided.

STUDENTS: If you plan to compete and are NOT on the track team, you need your parent/guardian to sign a permission slip. See Coach Bein, Coach Scogin or Ms. Thompson to pick up a permission slip.

Banneker track is located next to the Banneker pool at 2500 Georgia Avenue, by the north end of the Shaw Metro. A bus will take students to Banneker from TMA at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

See Coach Bein or Coach Scogin with questions.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Interview with Award-Winning TMA Student Stewart Gray

Thurgood Marshall Academy sophomore Stewart Gray recently placed 5th in the nation in the National EnvironMentors Fair, a competition put on by EnvironMentors, a national environmental science program that matches students interested in science with mentors from community organizations, science laboratories, and local colleges and universities. Students and mentors meet off campus to engage in science laboratory experiments and rigorous research projects throughout the year. 

The Other 17 Hours sat down with Stewart to talk about his experience with EnvironMentors, his interest in science, and his winning Science Fair project!

Stewart presenting his project at the National Science Fair.

The Other 17 Hours: Stewart, could you tell us a little bit about EnvironMentors?

SG: The EnvironMentors program is a hands-on 8 month educational opportunity where you get to explore many areas of environmental science, including visits to the National Institute of Health and the Smithsonian. You also are paired with a mentor who helps you construct a project for the National Science Fair.

The Other 17 Hours: Who were your mentors this year, and what project did you work on?

SG: My mentors were Ayana Johnson, who works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a Knauss Fellow and Jennifer Ridell, who works for the Environmental Protection Agency as a AAAS Fellow. Our project was on the air quality of metro stations. We originally wanted to get a sense of how clean the air is in urban areas, but we couldn’t measure all of the air quality everywhere in the city, so we chose to measure the air quality of metro stations using a photo ionization detector. We took measurements both in the stations themselves and in the metro trains.

The Other 17 Hours: What were the results of your project?

SG: We were looking for specific kinds of pollutants in our study, and we found that the air quality was much better than I’d expected, which surprised me, because I thought that metro stations were pretty dirty.

The Other 17 Hours: Can you tell us about the Science Fair?

SG: I’d presented projects before, but never to the entire nation, so I was a little bit nervous about that. We set up our presentation and talked to the people attending the fair, giving them an overview of our research and our findings. When the judges came around to ask us questions, a lot of them said they liked the project idea.

The Other 17 Hours: Do you have any advice for students interested in EnvironMentors?

SG: Environmentors is a big commitment, but it’s worth it. I’d tell students to be sure that they’re dedicated enough to finish the year and they should try and build a relationship with their mentors. You don’t have to be an expert in environmental science, just willing to work together. It’s a great program because it’s really hands on—you get knowledge about the environment and how the entire community affects it, without having to use textbooks or learn in a classroom. You’re really learning by doing, under the supervision of teachers, scientists, and mentors.

Fifth in the Nation! Congrats, Stewart! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Bloggers Kijon James and Imani Scriber on the 5th Annual Spanish Fair!

Pura Vida: The Pure Life Comes to TMA 

By Kijon James and Imani Scriber

With singing, dancing, food, music, and games, there's plenty to capture one’s eye at the Spanish Fair! The various culture-based activities of TMA’s Spanish Fair makes you want to travel to another country. Between the professional and student performances, the fair showcased a clear view on the various exciting things to do and experience within the Spanish culture.

Student performances at the Spanish Fair.
The Spanish fair is an annual program put together by TMA students and staff in the Spanish department. Students and staff put in their best efforts to decorate and coordinate the fair and do a swell job every year without fail. The Spanish fair has always been a unforgettable highlight during the TMA school year and this year was no different!
Ms. Garcia poses for the camera!

“My favorite part of the Spanish fair was the performances. I always enjoy seeing my classmates relate their everyday talents to Spanish culture” –Imani Scriber (11th grade)

“I enjoyed learning about the different aspects of Spanish culture in the culture room, it introduced me to things that I didn’t realize about the culture. Plus, the food was GREAT!” –Kijon James (11th grade)

TMA 11th grader Kijon James
These are typical responses to the TMA annual Spanish fair. It surely makes people come to life!

A Magical Evening

Jetting down the red carpet, seniors and their dates gathered at the Westin Georgetown for a night of picture taking, dancing and devouring of finger food! All dressed up and nowhere to go? That was certainly not the case for this year’s senior class who donned their best dresses, heels, tuxes, and suits, to celebrate the end of the year.  When the clock struck 10, Ms. Bobo crowned the Class of 2012's Prom King and Queen—Demetrius Begemann and Nia Boxley. Dancing continued well into the night until it was time to award Best Dressed (drum roll please) to……..Nia Crawley and Evan Mabry and Most Creative to Malik Latney and Moriah Nelson! Congratulations!

A special thanks to Ms. Bobo’s stellar organizing skills, Ms. Shabbaz’s dazzling decorations, and to the TMA staff who volunteered to chaperone, set-up, clean-up and make the evening a success!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yale Alumni Help Thurgood Marshall Academy Students with Portfolio Presentations

This past Saturday, May 12th, Thurgood Marshall Academy hosted 20 volunteers from the Association of Yale Alumni, who spent a few hours working with juniors and seniors on their portfolio binders and presentations. The volunteers were participants in the AYA's fourth annual Yale Day of Service, which connects Yale Alumni with service sites all over the world. Experts in a range of topics from Excel to Public Speaking, these volunteers used their many skills to help students craft strong end of semester presentations. 

For those who don't know, all Thurgood Marshall Academy students are required to build a portfolio, a binder documenting their academic and civic achievement, and to hold themselves responsible to high standards. Each student compiles a record of his or her academic work, behavioral performance, and community service and prepares special academic projects in core subjects for inclusion in their portfolios.  

Each year Thurgood Marshall Academy students give—and are graded on—formal presentations of their portfolios before a panel of faculty, staff, parents, and other volunteers. In their portfolio presentations students make their case to be promoted to the next grade using their academics and citizenship work as evidence.
Because Portfolio is one of the most demanding aspects of the curriculum at Thurgood Marshall Academy, many of the students who attended the portfolio help session with Yale Alumni noted that they now feel much better prepared to present their portfolios in June. Thank you to the many alumni who volunteered their time to work with students! We hope to see you again next year! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spring in the Garden: Food Policy, Berry Trellising, New Sign, and Michaelann Henderson Talks Strawberries

It’s been a whirlwind month in the Thurgood Marshall Academy Garden: Karen Lee’s Government classes finished up their unit on food policy by exploring the politics of food, and then took the first step to food independence by planting onions, potatoes, peas, beans, kale, and arugula in our raised beds (and taking some cute pictures!):

Government teacher Karen Lee with seniors Tiona Rollerson and Vernee Lightfoot.
Sam Ullery, The School Garden Specialist for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), stopped by to help us tame our berry patch: 

Kate Lee, Sam Ullery, Kali Boehle-Silva, and the berry patch!
Art teacher Nafeesah Shabazz and the members of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Art Club put up a wire garden sign that’s now gracing the fence across from the Anacostia Metro:

Art Teacher Nafeesah Shabazz and Darylquisha Hill, Art Club member, in front of the new sign!

And we’re just starting to harvest our kale, collards, lettuce, radishes, and (a student and staff favorite) strawberries! 

Guest blogger and Green Club Vice President Michaelann Henderson stopped by the Programs Office to muse on the TMA garden and the fast- ripening strawberries:

The garden teaches us the importance of knowing where our food comes from and what goes into making fruits and vegetables. Being able to grow our own food is fun and it teaches us how our bodies and minds react to fresh food. In Green Club we learn proper garden etiquette and how to grow and manage our own gardens. We learn about how different foods affect our bodies, nutritional facts, and why buying locally grown foods are better for ourselves and the economy. Gardening teaches us how to choose food at the grocery store that doesn’t just taste good, but is also healthy for us!

The strawberries in the garden are fresh and sweet, beautiful and bright red. It’s always exciting to see the finished product after planting and watering seeds to make a food… I love our strawberries and can’t wait to see what we make with them in our next Green Club meeting!

Law Day Culminates with a Civil Mock Trial Lesson

Kiah McGill prepares her argument at Foley Lardner.
After an introduction to trial proceedings in March law day’s lesson on criminal mock trials, ninth graders applied their preparation, negotiation, and delivery skills during this month’s civil mock trial.  Students began last Friday’s session with a review of the parts of the trial and an overview of the differences between criminal and civil law.  Following an exploration of the differences between the two, students split into two sides—plaintiffs and defendants, ready to tackle the facts of the case of Tubman v. Turner which challenged students to examine the issue of social host liability.   

Keneon Williams delivers his argument
Guest judge Deb Lange swears in witness Dean Smikle

Student attorneys and witnesses for the defense were tasked to represent party host Nat Turner and alleged drunk driver Bill Garrison, who after leaving a party hosted by Turner crashed into another car driven by Harriet Tubman, who was on her way home from work early one Sunday morning.  With the help of testimony from party guest Dorothy Dix, students representing plaintiff Harriet Tubman composed arguments to charge Turner with negligence and seek $100,000 in lost wages for Tubman.  Participants from both sides collaborated with volunteer attorneys to craft opening statements, witness examinations, cross examinations and closing statements in anticipation of the trail.  After 30 minutes to finalize arguments, the trial launched and objections and order in the courts began flying around the board room.   

April’s civil mock trail completed this year’s Law Day Program.  A special thank you to all the TMA law day chaperones and volunteer attorneys from our partner firms Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins, and Foley Lardner for their energy and efforts throughout the year in making the Law Day program run smoothly!  See you in the fall!  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TMA Track and Field Heats Up

The TMA Track team has ramped up its power and athleticism for it's second season. Starting with a competitive scrimmage against Washington Latin in March, the Warriors have built momentum toward a slew of city-wide meets in May. Captains Chris Ridout, Kijon James and Nakiah Ferrel led the team to wins against Washington Latin in the 200, 400 and 800 meter races as well as the 400 meter relay. The squad followed-up with a strong performance against top competitors at the Woodward Relays at Georgetown Prep, the nation's longest running high school relay meet.
After another great meet against Capital City Public Charter School, the Warriors are set to take on more charter competition Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in a scrimmage against Options at Kenilworth Park.

Come out and support TMA Track!

Guest Blogger Rushawna May on "Difference Day at TMA!"

Students and Counselor Kelly Paul decorate Difference Day shirts in the cafeteria. 
The first ever Difference Day here at TMA is brought to you by the after school clubs Connections (which meets every other Wednesday ) and ADL (meets every Monday). These two clubs take a huge stance against discrimination and bullying and strongly believe that each person is equal and unique in their own way. This event is for the students and also staff members who want to show off and take pride in what makes them different or what simply makes them stand out in the crowd.

Starting on Monday April 23rd, students and staff were able to decorate free shirts that celebrated what makes them unique. On Tuesday, May 1st, in the cafeteria, students and staff will be able to write what makes them different on posters that will be hung around the school building.

Whether you're proud of being a nerd, being popular, weird, skinny, fat and more...Flaunt It! Grab your T-shirt (if you made one) and show off what's special about you!