8th Grade classes are exploring what it means to be an urban farmer. Our school is 'borrowing' a nearby neighborhood site via urbangardenshare. This cooperative relationship benefits both parties with an abundance of local food production--those wanting to farm without land and those with extra land to share. The overall goal is for students to gain an intimate knowledge of food production and urban agricultural techniques and to draw communities and neighbors closer together by establishing gardens rich in food production. When neighbors come together and co-operatively to grow food, dirt flies and great things happen!
Billings robotics club participated in the Washington First Robotics regional tournament on January 13, 2013. Over 40 teams from the Seattle area spent the day at this challenging event, combining robotics programming, engineering, design, research and working with a community partner to create a solution for a real world problem. The team was nominated by the judges for exhibiting exemplary teamwork and gracious professionalism during the tournament. Way to go Billings! More photos of the event can be found on the Billings Middle School Facebook page.
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Right now in Science, Billings 8th grade students are studying the impact on Green Lake of a long dry season and the current algae problem. Blooms of blue-green algae have closed the lake to swimming (for both people and dogs), for health reasons. The lake was last treated with aluminum sulfate to bind phosphates to the lake sediments. Phosphates nourish algal blooms. The efficacy of the treatment is almost at its end point. Our students act as stewards of Green Lake, monitoring the water quality throughout the year. Here's the link to the recent KING 5 News coverage (watch for our teacher Bert Abbott and Billings kids at the end.)
Special thanks to Julie Maher (landscaper and project organizer) and her son Gabriel (class of 2012), who were joined on June 2, 2012 by Amie Bishop and her son Ben (2012), Ray Robinson (father of Skye 2014) and Lyle Bicknell (father of Cora 2013). This team planted two new Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry trees along Maple Leaf Place in front of the main building and West Hall. They also planted the raised garden beds that were built in the courtyard outside West Hall. Facilities director Brian Hanners expressed our gratitude: “This project would not have happened without Julie Maher’s great help! She organized and selected the plantings, picked up all of the plants and trees, delivered them, and provided the direction for the project volunteers.”
For the second year in a row, Billings Annual Fund has achieved 100% participation across all grades. This significant accomplishment means Billings receives an additional $5,000 in challenge gifts! Thank you to all of our families, stellar faculty, and dedicated Board of Trustee members who have once again demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the Billings mission!
The Billings Middle School Diversity Leadership Team joined more than 90 seventh and eighth grade students from sixteen schools on February 10-11 for a conference aimed at developing leaderships skills, community action plans, and personal awareness of diversity issues. The theme of the conference this year was "Is There a 'Me' in Media?" Team members included Kallie, Darin, Elena, Genisis, Rebecca, and Enzo. They will play a leadership role in introducing new diversity activities to the school community.
Seventh grade student Rachel H. just earned a Silver Key in the Short Story Category for grades 7-12 in the Regional Scholastic Writing Contest. Only 10-15% of submissions receive a Silver Key, and we congratulate Rachel for achieving this high honor as one of the youngest students in her category. Last year, there were 185,000 submissions and 15,000 won one of the awards. Submissions were judged on originality, technical skill, and personal voice/vision. For more information please visit http://www.artandwriting.org/Awards
Save the Date: The Winter Performing Arts Festival will be on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at the Bathhouse Theater. Students will show off their skills by singing, playing musical instuments, and presenting their own creative compositions. These talented kids will blow you away!