Trips & Events

2019 - 2020

In September, Longsjo AALI 7th and 8th graders took a trip to Northeastern University to participate in a workshop on natural disasters with the Center for STEM Education. In the morning, students spent time learning about natural disasters and then developed and presented disaster preparation plans. After lunch, students completed hands-on engineering challenges. Students designed, built, and tested deployable flood barriers. They also had the chance to work in the earthquake lab to design earthquake-proof structures and test them on the earthquake table. They even had the chance to climb up on the table and feel an earthquake themselves.

In October, 7th and 8th grade Longsjo AALI students had the chance to visit WPI and participate in the WPI Middle School STEM Experience. Our students completed an engineering challenge related to windmills, took a campus tour, and got answers to their questions about college admissions and college life. Thanks to GEAR UP, students also enjoyed lunch in the dining hall.

In November, AALI 8th graders took a trip to the EcoTarium. Students attended a presentation of Mysteries of the Unseen World and then participated in a class on Pond Ecosystems complete with having to break the ice to get water samples. After lunch, students spent time in the African Communities exhibit finding evidence to support claims about ecosystems. Before heading back to school, students had a chance to explore the grounds a bit, try out the hurricane chamber, and visit the Wildcat Station.

In November, the Museum of Science brought their StarLab program to Longsjo. All 5th grade students had the chance to enter an inflatable planetarium with their advisory group and experience the 50 minute astronomy program. Museum of Science educators taught our students about stars and constellations, and relationships between the Sun, Moon, and Earth. There was also time for students to have their own space questions answered.

In December, AALI 6th graders took a trip to Harvard's Museum of Natural History. This trip was an extension of our book study around Woolly. During our visit, students participated in a class on climate change throughout Earth's history taught by museum educators complete with evidence found in fossils, tree rings, ice tubes and living biological indicators such as frogs and turtles. Then students had the chance to explore the rest of the museum exhibits. Students were particularly interested in the Geology collection as well as The Great Mammal Hall.

In December, AALI 7th graders took a trip to Amherst College. They attended a presentation in the Bassett Planetarium that focused on how and why our night sky changes throughout the night and throughout the year. Then students visited the Beneski Museum of Natural History where they had a guided tour that focused on how changes to the environment can lead to evolution and extinction. This tour was directly connected to our reading of The Sixth Extinction and many of the fossils we've read about as evidence of current and past extinctions were present in the museum for students to examine first-hand. After eating lunch in the dining hall, students were given a tour of campus and had many of their questions about college life answered.

In January, all Longsjo 7th graders attended a presentation on Forces, Energy, and Motion brought to us by the Museum of Science in Boston. As part of their Traveling Programs, the Museum educator led our 7th graders through a series of demonstrations to explore and prove Newton's Laws of Motion. Student volunteers were able to participate in demonstrations with a bicycle wheel gyroscope and slingshot. Additional demonstrations involved a pencil launcher, a marble shooter, a trebuchet, and a dodge ball.

In January, a group of Longsjo 7th and 8th graders took a trip to the New England Aquarium in Boston. As students explored the exhibits, they completed an assignment related to their middle school science standards. They were asked to make connections to natural selection, organism relationships, ecosystem disruptions, and the benefits and limitations of various ecosystem protection projects. Students also took part in a Squid Anatomy Explorer Class. Through hands-on exploration of a real squid, students received an introduction to dissections while learning about many of the adaptations that allow squid to survive and thrive. Upon completing the dissection, students even tested out the idea that sailors could use a squid's pen and ink to write letters.

Later in January, a group of 6th graders at Longsjo had the chance to explore the New England Aquarium in Boston. While they explored, students searched for interesting adaptations and considered how those adaptations helped the organisms survive in their ecosystems. Students also braved the cold to attend a Fur Seal Training Session. It was a quiet day at the aquarium which meant we had easy access to the touch tanks!

At the end of January, four Longsjo 7th grade AALI students presented at the LearnLaunch Learning Innovation Showcase at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. They brought along their work on virtual reality and spoke to educators, fellow students, and professionals in the field of technology. They also made two ignite speeches in front of the whole showcase to give an overview of their work and encourage attendees to visit their booth. Throughout the conference our Longsjo students were confident, informative, and professional.

Over the past year and a half, these students have gone from viewing virtual reality tours in class to creating their own. Using 360 cameras and virtual reality programs and headsets, they have created tours of the Fitchburg Art Museum, their White Mountain AMC hiking trip, and various locations from their book studies. For their most recent project, they built a lunar phase model within a box, took 360 pictures from inside it, and created a tour that allows the viewer to become a part of the model and truly experience how lunar phases work to develop a deeper understanding of the concept.