- Middle School
- Student Spotlight
In the third grade at my very good old school, we learned that cells are the body’s building blocks, the mitochondria are the cell’s powerhouses, and the nucleus is the cell’s command center. While this was and is all correct, and I was excited about learning this at the start, memorizing facts was actually pretty boring.
That’s why in seventh grade, here at Stanley Clark, when we mastered the functions and structure of each organelle in the cell, we studied it in a much different way! We dived into the topic thoroughly, covering cellular respiration and photosynthesis. At the end of the unit, we had a huge, challenging project: We had to “campaign” for a particular organelle to be voted President! My partner Elizabeth and I were assigned the nucleolus. The assignment was to write a brochure, create a poster, and give a campaign speech to the class.
At first, I was intimidated by how rigorously the Clark kids researched. At one particular moment, all I heard was the clacking of keys as the class was already looking for scholarly articles and other resources to help them learn about their organelles while I was still organizing my thoughts. Not a second later, the room erupted into vibrant chatter as partners discussed what they had found and how to create the projects. Elizabeth had also already started brainstorming slogans and other ideas for the poster. We continued to gather information together, then started working on the poster. At that moment and throughout the entire project, my classmates seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the project.
This moment really exemplifies for me what it has been like to be at Clark. The work was going to be challenging but fun. Later in the project, I really enjoyed making “Vote Nucleolus” pins out of cardboard, hot glue, and safety pins to give everyone, along with other goodies, like decorated chocolate! I vividly remember the day of voting. Elizabeth and I gave our speech second to last; hopeful everyone would remember ours and vote for us. Mrs. Kurnyak finished tallying the votes a few minutes later, and everyone was on the edge of their seats, waiting to see who had won. Finally, Mrs. K said: “Team Nucleolus wins!” It was a huge surprise! Overall, I certainly enjoyed this project and learned a great deal—both about the biology material and my classmates.
- Class of 2023