Category Archives: Reflection


Popcorn and… Autonomy!

November 16, 2012, by

You went to the International Children’s Film Festival, organized by Facets, the largest festival of films for children in North America.  As a member of the GCE community, you learned a lot.  Now, it’s time to share a bit.

FACETS Film Festival logo

FACETS (2012) International Children’s Film Festival – logo.

At the end of today, one of your film critiques shall be shared as a comment to this post.

Please follow the steps below to share your film critique.

  1. Locate the 2 Film Critiques you have produced: the group & the individual one.
  2. Choose your favorite of the two.
  3. Revise its text, considering that it will be shared with the world (as a suggestion, type it on a google doc to work on it).
  4. Add a intro to the Critique, following the prompts we use for blog posts:  The purpose of this piece was… I am proud of… I learned that…
  5. At least 1 peer and 1 teacher must give you feedback before you post your critique.
  6. Make sure you have your text somewhere else (Google Drive or Offline Doc), in case the Internet fails you before the comment is submitted 😉


Why do we dissect frogs to better understand medicine?

May 10, 2012, by


For the global health cure course, students examined internal organs of a frog to better understand medicine/treatment.

Why frogs?

Frogs and humans are vertebrates with similar organ systems. Although all the organs are not similar in both frogs and humans, it’s useful to learn about the anatomy through dissection. We compared the frog’s anatomy to our own while investigating treatment/medicine for diseases effecting certain organs. The slide show below show students working on their frog.

Robot Project Completed!

February 22, 2012, by

gce robot

Congratulations GCE students, staff, families, friends and partners! It has been an amazing journey as we built our robot together. This was a post on from Feb. 2005, from an engineering mentor on a team in Florida. I could not have said it better, so I am forwarding these words to you:

Dear Rookies – It only gets better….

I wanted to send out a note to all the rookie teams who are asking themselves today…what just happened???

If you packed and shipped a fully functional robot that does everything you originally planned for it to do – you did better than 99.9% of all the teams in this competition.

For the rest of you…….

We are very proud of you. Your robot may not be able to move, or maybe that’s about all it does, but you followed the rules, you gave it your best, you learned a lot of stuff along the way. Some of you had no engineering mentors, some had no machine shop support, some had little or no financial support, some had to fight school board policy to compete, some of you had no-one with software experience. A lot of things went wrong in the past 6 weeks, but you are about to find out how cool it is to be part of the FIRST family.

This year is a 3 on 3 competition, as in the past we will be paired with some great teams, some average teams and some BLT’s through qualifying. We will carry some teams, some teams will carry us. We will try our hardest to win every match, and we have a strategy for every type of robot. If your robot won’t move, your job is to not move. If our robot stops moving, your job may be to push us back. There’s a lot of luck involved. Sometimes you’ll do more than asked, sometimes less. All I can say is, we want you on the field with us. We want to see the excitement in your eyes when your plywood shoebox keeps the other alliance’s powdercoat painted, precision machined, fully automatic mega-arm from scoring a game piece.

Please don’t act embarrassed if your designs didn’t work out, join the club. You are learning and will get better every year. When you get to the competition you will find somone will have a small lathe and mill in pit if you need a part made, software guys just itching to help you debug your code, we’ve got extra bolts and nuts and whatevers for you to use, and we’ll probably have to stand in line behind all the other veteran teams who are already helping you.

GCE Robot Project Completed



Japanese Consulate

October 22, 2011, by



The goal of each GCE’s Field Experience is to enhance each learning unit and bridge classroom and real-world learning. Field Experience offers students a chance to explore cultural affairs and activities, businesses, social service organizations, and hone the skills required to build personal and professional networks. In this experience in particular, we would love to have the opportunity to discuss with a representative from the Consulate of Japan, some of the country’s culture, history and traditions. Pictures from the trip are provided below:











Windows on the War

September 30, 2011, by


GCE students visited the Art Institute collection showing World War II-era Soviet propaganda posters. The posters utilized art to mobilize the masses to fight invading Nazis. Students picked and studied several posters for their art courses with Hiu To and Leslie Speicher. Students were also challenged to make connections from the art into other courses (stories, population and economics). They also identified the importance of the poster’s message and its relevance in their humanities or math/science courses.










Maryland in joint effort to change science education

September 23, 2011, by


Maryland has joined a multi-state campaign to improve science education — a move that will lead to a greater emphasis on analytical and conceptual thinking.

The new science teaching will encourage students to examine concepts that cross the boundaries of physics, biology and chemistry, said Stephen Pruitt, vice president of content, research and development at Achieve, a nonpartisan, nonprofit that is coordinating the effort. More engineering will be infused into lessons and students will be asked to use the concepts rather than just memorize facts.

Students and parents will see a greater emphasis on writing and thinking more analytically, said Mary Cary, assistant state superintendent for instruction. In addition, teachers will cover less material in their courses but require students to think more deeply about what they are learning.

“The reason we are excited is that we want our voice at the table” in decisions about how science will be taught, Cary said. Maryland already has a science curriculum, but it will be revised after the initiative is completed in a little over a year. It will likely be several years before students see a difference in the classroom.

Maryland public school students are already taught evolution and global warming, and that will not change when the move is made to the new standards.

Much of the state’s economy is driven by its large research universities and biotech, technology and aerospace companies. But critics, including college presidents and teachers, have emphasized the need to improve science teaching in public schools, particularly for elementary school students and high-achieving high school students.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Cary. “We can see it on our [state test results]. We can see it with the amount of time that is being devoted, particularly at the elementary level.”

Teachers have given science and social studies lessons fewer minutes in the school day since the federal No Child Left Behind Act dictated testing of reading and math from grades three through eight. Science is tested, but the results don’t count toward the rating of schools. Maryland began testing students on their science knowledge several years ago.

On the most recent round of national science tests, Maryland scored in the middle of the pack of states — a relatively poor outcome when compared with its reading and math results.

While 40 percent of the state’s eighth-graders scored proficient or better in math, 28 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient or better in science on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a rigorous test given to a sampling of students in a variety of subjects. Baltimore students had some of the worst scores among 17 urban districts in the nation.

The other states involved in the science initiative are Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

Development of the new standards began some time ago in conversations among education policy-makers and scientists who saw the need for improvements in science education. In July, the National Research Council, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, released a framework of ideas and practices in the sciences and engineering that should be taught to students by the time they graduate from high school.

The core ideas were put together by a committee of scientists and educators.

Those ideas will be put into a grade-specific list, detailing what should be taught as students move through their school years. States involved in writing the standards have committed staff time and promised to provide feedback on ideas. Maryland must also consider adopting the standards.

Maryland already has adopted the common core standards, a similar national effort for math and language arts.

Please look at GCE’s 4 year scope & sequence and consider the relevance of a multi-state effort to improve current, outdated science curriculum. GCE’s 4 year course sequence is listed below:

Freshman year: water, food, fuel (Global Resources)
Sophomore year: population, disease, cure (Global Health)
Junior year: light & sound, design & engineering, urban planning (Global Design)
Senior year: economic fundamentals, organization models & business foundations, student enterprise/entrepreneurship (Global Enterprise)

Our curriculum encourage students to examine concepts that integrate the boundaries of mathematics, statistics, physics, biology and chemistry. We focus on concepts rather than memorizing facts; common core standards provide practical knowledge that crosses into the real world.

GCE New Student Orientation

August 31, 2011, by


GCE welcomed students and families today for orientation. The atmosphere at GCE became very vibrant. The GCE staff is very excited to start the school year. Pictures from the orientation are provided below:














Economic Fundamentals?

August 19, 2011, by


Our staff has been collaborating with professional economists to plan the Economic Fundamentals curriculum. We all came in with different visions and perspectives on how this course should be conducted. It was my vision to teach the course with an “Ecological Economics” prospective. We had some interesting conversations of investigating an econ class from an environmental or ecological view. We discussed whether we should provide a specific perspective on a course.

What does an ecological or environmental economics course mean?

National Bureau of Economic Research: “[…] Environmental Economics […] undertakes theoretical or empirical studies of the economic effects of national or local environmental policies around the world […]. Particular issues include the costs and benefits of alternative environmental policies to deal with air pollution, water quality, toxic substances, solid waste, and global warming.” (

Also, ecological economics integrates the interdependence and coevolution of human economies and natural ecosystems. It is different from environmental economics, which is the mainstream economic understanding of the environment,and maintaining natural capital.

After some discussion, we concluded that the course should be presented in a fundamental basic form. The students should be given freedom to decide the importance of ecological/environmental impacts on the economy. We finalized the course with some great guiding questions and project ideas. I’m very excited to see this course come into fruition this coming term.


Board Game Projects:

eco3 eco2 eco

Mock Class Reflection

August 5, 2011, by


We had an amazing mock class session here at GCE. It was great sharing activities and experiencing lesson plans together. This was a good opportunity to reflect and learn more about myself. After some discussions, I learned that I’m naturally hard working and supportive to my team members. I have a tendency to be less outspoken and argumentative. This reflection challenges me to improve myself. I need to communicate more my feelings and thoughts. I would categorize myself with a myers briggs as “ENFP”.

Using the ENFP category website at:
I can highlight some characteristics which I can identify myself:

-ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential.
-Able to relate to people on their own level
-Can become very passionate and excited about things
-Often suffer from muscle tension (I’m glad GCE offers Yoga sessions to staff and students.)

The Sound of Math

July 30, 2011, by


“Numbers rule the Universe.” ~Pythagoras

pi = 3.14159265

Are you hungry for some apple pie? Possibly some pumpkin pie? I can’t lie, I have no pie. But, I rather talk about pi. This pi, you observe every day.  It’s a math constant whose value is the ratio of any circles diameter. Sounds cool? Better yet, ever wonder how pi sounds like? Please watch this clip on the music of pi:

For more information, you can go to the link at:

Future projects I like to work on includes creating sound of other mathematical constants.
What does “e=2.71…” sound like?
How about the golden ratio “1.61803…”?
Or the Pythagoras constant?
The possibilities are endless.