James and the Giant Peach

May 21, 2022.  In the culmination of more than a year of preparation, students in grades 3 through 8 presented the full-hour play, James and the Giant Peach, based on the story by Roald Dahl. Siblings, parents, grandparents, and teachers packed the school courtyard in the warm late afternoon sunlight. The actors hit their marks and delivered their lines, costumed engagingly and supported by elaborate set.  In all the many hours of work-up to this evening they were guided by teacher Elizabeth Brasher and supported by many LCA families who sewed costumes, provided materials, and constructed and painted sets. After the performance the actors and the audience mingled with conversation and refreshments. The program here gives the credits, condensing so much work.  The two carousels of images capture some of the memorable scenes. Vince Gutschick recorded the play and post-processed the recording to put it on YouTube.  We’ll all recall this event warmly.

Graduates visit us!

May 18, 2022.  We had a very welcome surprise visit by three of our LCA alumni/-ae!  Louis Pate, Alegra Reinhold, and David Flores all showed up in their graduation gowns and mortarboards from Las Cruces High School, including their drapings showing their academic honors. Head of School Lou Ellen Kay and Board Chair Vince Gutschick met them as they arrived. It was a joyful reunion all around. Louis, Alegra, and David toured the school, saw their old classrooms, met their former teachers and new teachers, and listened to young students sing in Chinese as they once did. They were pleased to see on the walls the cultural items and educational postings new and old, and even the scientific art they had created back when. Louis and Alegra were happy to see the light-up periodic table of the chemical elements that they helped create – they had programmed the Raspberry Pi computer and the Python program, constructed parts, wired the logic board interminably, and recorded narrations about the elements. We look forward to a big reunion party if we can gather their colleagues soon, before they all disperse to universities around the nation.

Market day in grades 1 & 2

May 19, 2022.  First- and second-graders put their learning about markets and the economy to use.  With the guidance of teacher Arielle Evans, they learned to be entrepreneurs, made products, and ‘sold’ them to kindergarteners.  Here are images of their stands.

Discoveries in the math club

May 18, 2022. Third-graders Alden and Emily dove into real details of arithmetic excitedly with CA parent Wei Tang. They learned the intricate patterns by which we can tell if a number is evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4, …. 13, 14, …, just by looking at the pattern of digits. “Whoops” of discovery tumbled out.

Metal that’s hot and “cold” at the same time

“Cool” experiment in science grades 6-8: Vince and 6 students took 3 pieces of aluminum, one coated with clear nail polish (A), into the bright sunlight. Of course, the bare metal (B and C) gets hot… but looks quite cold in thermal radiation, which we measured with our FLIR One Pro thermal imaging camera.  The bare metal reflects a lot of “cold” sky radiation, so that it looks cold. The piece with nail polish absorbed as much sunlight but dumped the energy by radiating away a lot of thermal radiation.  We also looked at the radiative temperatures of tall shrubs, the sky itself, hot soil, and an anonymous student.  All the phenomena popped out of Vince’s past scientific research, which he is always eager to share.  Here are three photos, with color-coding for the temperature, from white as high to yellow to red to blue to black as cold.

Earth Day posters 2022

April 25… a bit of delay to avoid the ferocious winds on the 22nd!

Our students in grades 3-8 created their individual posters during the week of Earth Day.  They’re passionate about the environment, rightly so. They put a lot of thought and work into their posters.

The students  and their teachers walked down Avenida de Mesilla to the front of the Town Hall right after lunch, to catch the eye of the passing drivers and passengers.  They succeeded, with lots of positive reactions.  We’ll have several posters up in the Town Hall shortly.

All the individual posters are in the full post. Here are some highlights of the action.


Animals, more animals, and ice cream

April 21st, 2022: We just finished 3 half-days of the Iowa Assessment tests, so it was time for a break – a trip to Landmark Mercantile in Mesquite.  What’s there? For one, a lot of interesting animals, goats, an ostrich, three emus, a pot-bellied pig, longhorn cattle, guinea fowl, a camel, pygmy goats, donkeys, peacocks, turkeys… animals you just don’t see in our area, even a wide area.  A score of parents, grandparents, and teachers transported our 46 students the 8 easy miles to Mesquite, where we were met by Michelle McClure, co-owner of the Mercantile with her husband, Jason, whom we met shortly. Michelle gave us generously of her time to introduce the animals and their unique characteristics.  She passed around huge emu and ostrich eggs for students to hold… carefully. We all entered the capacious store to peruse saddles, baby chicks, mechanical bulls for roping practice, feeds and animal meds, cowboy hats, and so much more. Michelle and Jason then treated all of us to ice cream cones that we relished outdoors before heading back to the school.  Many, many thanks to them and their staff!

Click on any image in the carousel below for a bigger view.

Marble mazes by young students

April 1, 2022. Engineering club for grades 1 & 2: students made marble mazes out of Legos, in clever designs.  Here two students navigate theirs with a marble. Shades of the 1950s! Thanks to our engineer club volunteers Elizabeth Brasher, Jessica Houston, Erin Palazzolo, Bo & Kimberly Cichuniec, and Michele Woodbury.