The Start of Something New

Middle Schoolers have the opportunity to partake in three new electives

Entering into a new century, Hockaday is all about change. This year is the inaugural year for three new Middle School electives.

Under Construction

With 18 girls currently enrolled, Under Construction takes place in the new science building, and emphasizes students using the creative side of their brains to tackle unique engineering problems.

All Middle School students can take the elective, which is sponsored by Middle School math teacher, Sheri Le.

The rest of the school year entails a choice between three projects where students will have to build a 3D model of a home, keep a marble moving for two minutes, or make a marble follow a path, eventually causing a chemical reaction.

Right now, students are using recyclable items to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Throughout the year, Le hopes to see what works so that in future years, it can introduce girls to a new way of thinking. “Hopefully the IDEA lab will have more machinery that we can use so the girls can move from using recyclables to heavy metals and welding and woodwork,” Le said.

Culture in Action (CIA)

A new elective for students from fifth through seventh grade brings awareness to different cultures around the world.

Middle School Chinese teacher TeQin Windham decided to offer this club because “today’s society is so global that we have got to be understanding of different cultures and types of people,” Windham said.

In their first month, the students in CIA have already celebrated the mid-autumn festival and Mexican Independence Day.

“[The students] gave me an extensive list of countries they want to learn about,” Windham said.

Windham plans to include Chinese New Year, Russian New Year, the Brazilian Carnival, Cinco de Mayo, and touch on different holidays from every continent throughout the year.

Star Club

Using the facilities of the new science building planetarium, Star Club is an elective offered to sixth through eighth graders where they learn about different planets and stars.

Middle School Science Coordinator and teacher Peggy Cagle decided to offer this elective to introduce more students to the sky. “I want each student to actually get up and do a star talk,” she said.

Cagle used to work in at the Tarleton State University Planetarium from 2001 to 2005, so she decided to use her love for space and transfer it to her Middle School students. The girls come in with a ton of questions, and together they zoom into different stars and constellations, into a new world of space.

“We look at the stars that we can see that very night and discuss the important stars, planets, constellations and their mythology, and other astronomical features that a person going out to look at the sky that night would see,” Cagle said.

  • Ashna Kumar