Balance, function, form, and symmetry are all things that the sixth grade math class at Jesuit Academy is learning about, courtesy of an architectural project facilitated by Jesuit Academy teacher Mr. Dan Kennedy, nSJ. Jesuit Academy students have been designing a building, working on everything from the first sketches, creating a blueprint, and organizing a budget sheet for the project. The new Jesuit Academy building on the Boys and Girls Clubs campground in Council Bluffs inspired the project.
As the school was going through the design phase for a new building, students in teams of two learned how to think like architects to design a building for a client. Not only did students draw out their layout with fine detail, they also worked to calculate the perimeter and square footage for each room to assemble a construction budget. The final phase of the project was for teams to present their designs to a selection team to choose the best design.
In the midst of the building design competition, the sixth grade class visited Creighton Prep’s architecture lab, facilitated by Mrs. Candace Thompson. In addition to Mrs. Thompson, two Creighton Prep students currently enrolled in classes in the architecture program assisted the Jesuit Academy students in designing an exterior structure utilizing the architecture software used at Creighton Prep. This software is the same software used in architecture firms around the world.
Jesuit Academy students had the opportunity to build a structure that included doors, walls, windows, and exterior features. The software used by Creighton Prep includes both 2-D and 3-D features, which allows the students to see their designs from multiple angles and adjust when necessary. Combined with a tour of Creighton Prep, the visit to the architecture lab offered another perspective to Jesuit Academy students about possible career options, something Jesuit Academy is committed to ensuring is available for all students.
Students are the reason that Jesuit Academy exists! We think it's important that you meet them and learn about the things Jesuit students are accomplishing in the classroom and in their communities. Look forward to a student feature each month.
This month, we introduce you to 7th grader Gordon. Gordon has been at Jesuit Academy since fourth grade. He enjoys being at Jesuit because the teachers spend time with the students. He also likes the field trips the school takes, such as to the zoo and to The Rose for the play Jackie & Me.
Gordon is a black belt in Taekwondo. He started participating about five years ago and first became interested through his father, who likes Bruce Lee. Gordon had to earn eleven belts in his quest for the black belt. He enjoys that he has learned focus and discipline through Taekwondo, which he applies to his school work.
Gordon is also a volunteer at the Henry Doorly Zoo. For a few hours every Saturday during the summer, Gordon is part of the Zoo Crew assisting zoo visitors. As part of his volunteer duties, Gordon is able to see the new animals.
Being involved in these activities is helping to provide Gordon experience as he considers his possible career ambitions as a Sports Agent, Doctor, or Zoo Keeper.
Beating the buzzer on test day or game day occupies the thoughts of student-athletes. The month of March not only holds the NCAA tournament, but also the C.Y.O. Basketball Championship for area private grade schools. During this season’s CYO Basketball Championships, three Jesuit Academy basketball teams advanced to the championship games for their grade levels. The fifth grade team won the league championship, with the sixth and eighth grade teams taking second place titles.
Along with a strong academic program, Jesuit Academy offers a robust athletics program to provide students the chance to learn the virtues of teamwork, persistence, and having fun while playing. In the winter, students have the opportunity to play basketball. In the spring, students can participate in track. Jesuit Academy’s philosophy is that a student does not need to make a choice between excelling at a sport or in the classroom. A student can be good at both, with Jesuit Academy emphasizing success in all areas.
The fourth academic quarter and the track season begins Monday, March 17, giving Jesuit Academy students another chance to demonstrate what real students can do when they set their minds and heart to a goal.
The Jesuit Academy sixth grade class visited the Creighton University School of Law on Wednesday, March 5 to participate in a mock trial. As part of a collaborative effort with the Street Law program through the Creighton Law School, mock trial is the culminating project of the partnership. For the past four weeks, Creighton law students Arielle Balyeat and Patrick Tarr, both enrolled in Street Law, have visited Jesuit Academy to speak to the class about the law profession, as well as assist with their preparation of the trial.
This is the third year Jesuit Academy has participated in mock trial. Mr. Mike Mansour, sixth grade teacher, incorporates the project into his reading class. Based on student strengths and with the assistance of the Creighton law students, Mansour selected students for each role necessary for a successful mock trial. Students created statements and questions for the trail, which were refined during class time with the assistance of Balyeat and Tarr. Several additional Jesuit Academy faculty members also assisted with the program.
This year’s scenario involved a complaint brought against a principal by a family whose son had his cellphone confiscated during a school assembly and searched after a threatening message appeared on the screen. In question was the principal’s right to search the phone, given that he did not call the family for permission. His team argued that as the confiscation occurred during the last period of the day and the threat of violence was to occur after school, swift action was needed to assess the threat.
Students representing both the plaintiff and the defense began the mock trial with opening statements, following by the questioning of witnesses. Closing statements were also presented. Family members of Jesuit Academy students, as well as Creighton Law students, served as the jury.
In the end, the jury found the principal’s actions to be justified, given the responsibility of safety of the school and the students. Following the verdict, Professor Mangrum, the Creighton law professor who served as the judge, reviewed with the class how this type of case would be tried as a civil action suit.
Mock trial and the partnership with Creighton Law School provide Jesuit Academy with experiences aimed at challenging both student thinking and their understanding of the world. Jesuit Academy would like to thank the Creighton University Law School, Dr. Strand of the Street Law Program, Professor Mangrum, and law students Arielle Balyeat and Patrick Tarr for their assistance in making this opportunity possible for students.