Blog Posts

Student Reflections


Evan’s Blog Post – Trip to Washington, D.C. 

Near the end of last August, my classmates and I took a school trip to Washington, D.C. to learn more about American history in a real life setting. We visited many monuments, museums, landmarks, and historically important places, including the National Archives where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are kept, the U.S. Capitol where Congress is held, and the Arlington National Cemetery where President John F. Kennedy is buried.  Another memorable part of the trip was getting up at dawn to take sunrise pictures when we went to see the Lincoln Memorial. We also got to see Ford’s Theater, the place where Lincoln spent his final moments before he was assassinated.
We got to visit many museums while we were in D.C., including the Native American Museum, Air and Space Museum, American History Museum, and the Holocaust Museum. Each of these places taught us something distinctly different. Two of the most interesting places we visited were Mount Vernon, where Washington lived, and Monticello, where Jefferson lived. Both places gave us a glimpse into the personal lives of these great historical figures. The whole trip took a week, but in that time we learned countless amounts of information, not only about American history, but also about each other.


Kamilla’s Reflection on Cooking at the Hillsboro School

Being in the Kitchen

This year has already been a lot of fun for the Hillsboro Secondary class. We have taken a school trip to Washington D.C., we go on hikes to help us train for the trails that we will be on in the Grand Canyon and other trips that we take, and we are learning how to play different musical instruments. However, my favorite activity has been all of the cooking that we are doing in our Life Skills class. This year we have been learning about how to shop for food, how to cook, and how to prepare food. All of the secondary students like eating food, but we have not really had much experience actually preparing and making food for ourselves.

I think that it is very important for us to be learning these skills because when we get older we are going to be cooking for ourselves, most likely. I have really enjoyed these classes because I have been getting more interested in cooking as I have gotten older. I would like to be a stay at home mom when I get married and have kids and  it is important to know how to cook if you are a mother. Cooking is an important life skill for anyone because cooking is a big part of life, it’s a lot of fun too.

I think that all of the students have really enjoyed trying each others food and getting to see the differences between what we have all cooked. Our class is somewhat competitive so we sometimes turn it into a game which helps us work more efficiently so we have the best meal. Cooking is a fun way to spend time with people and an important life skill to have, and it is now one of my favorite past times.  


Marissa’s Reflection on Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit Reflection

One of the things I have enjoyed learning about this past nine weeks is Fahrenheit 451, which we are currently studying in literature class. I like this book because its mysterious and how it’s a warning about a possible future for our world, where books are illegal. If you own a book it gets burned, if found. This story centers around a person named Guy Montag. Montag is a fireman. Firemen in this book are people that start fires instead of putting them out. Montag is a 30 year old fireman and Fahrenheit 451 is talking about his life and what a crazy future we can have.

The book is set in 2053, which is only 34 years from now. This book could easily become our future in this world. As we get so caught up in watching TV and not reading books anymore, technology has become so popular to the point we don’t pay attention to books or libraries. Books could become a thing of the past, and I don’t want that.

Fahrenheit 451 can be a true story one day, but we can stop it from happening if we read books more often and avoid having a TV parlor with TVs on every wall. Maybe if we all spent fifteen minutes each day reading instead of looking at our phones, we can get out of the habit of always using technology.

Caleb’s Reflection on his Grand Canyon Project

Our entire secondary class is going to the Grand Canyon in November, and we are all completing research projects on various topics about the Grand Canyon. Our research topics range from photography and the first explorers through the Grand Canyon to studying its geology and wildlife. My project is focused on the geology of the Grand Canyon, and how it was formed from  the Colorado Plateau. I’ve enjoyed this project because of the history and geology research involved, and how my project involved a lot of hands on preparation and planning.

I decided to make a slideshow and a visual representation of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau. The slideshow is going to answer many questions that could be asked about the forming and creation of the Grand Canyon in relation to the Colorado Plateau. In the visual representation, I made the Grand Canyon out of clay. I showed the gradient of the plateau and I showed the altitude difference between the North and South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I also showed some of the vegetation surrounding the canyon and some other minor details.

I started on the visual representation thinking it would take the longest, and it did. I used terracotta clay to give form and shape to the canyon. I made the North Rim much bigger, so as to not use so much clay, I used a box to give support to the North Rim half. After having put down all the clay, I proceeded to smooth it all over using water to make it more malleable. For added effect I cut green pipe cleaners into pieces, and since the surrounding area around the Grand Canyon are pine trees, I stuck the cut pipe cleaners into the clay to represent the vegetation.

Claire’s Reflection on her Grand Canyon Project

Reflection: Grand Canyon project

Our class is going to the Grand Canyon on November 4th in order to learn about the Grand Canyon. Two of the projects that we are making in preparation for the trip are our personal research projects and presentations on the Grand Canyon, as well as a working model of the Grand Canyon. We have all picked a topic to talk about and present to one another and the Elementary students. Some of the topics include Photography, Animals, Geography and History.

Our research projects will help us learn more about the Grand Canyon before we go on our trip. Since we all have different topics we will be teaching each other along the way. The Grand Canyon Model that we made and are currently observing consists of two types of clay that we layered to create strata, and are circulating water through it to model the erosion of the Colorado River. The purpose of this experiment was so that we could understand how the Colorado River formed the Grand Canyon.

I have really enjoyed creating my research presentation, as it is fun learning about all of the different animals, but sadly I can not fit all 50+ of the animals in the Grand Canyon into my slide show. I also enjoy making the slideshow, I rarely get to make slideshows in my free time so it is nice getting to work on it when I have nothing to do and it is also kind of like a break from other things. In my presentation, I am talking about the longevity of animals, the size of animals, and interesting facts about them.