McNicholas offers students chances to learn outside the classroom

All students learn differently; some are visual learners, while some are kinesthetic, and others are auditory. Due to this, it is important that students are offered the opportunity to learn through different ways. Luckily, McNicholas offers students many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. Below are some examples that have allowed students to venture beyond the campus to learn through experience.

Photography teacher Ellyn Whiteash’s Photography II class participated in the Artists Reaching Classrooms Program, in which they visited the Taft Museum in search of inspiration. Their goal was to choose a piece of photography to recreate. Their tour guides reviewed the replicas and chose six McNicholas students’ photos to enlarge, professionally mat, and frame. These photos were then displayed at an art exhibit at the Public Library of Cincinnati.

“I enjoyed learning about the relationship between art and society and practicing new techniques as I tried to recreate the photo I chose,” senior Kathryn Scheidler said. “I like learning out of the classroom because I get more experience and I can see how my classes apply to my life down the road.”

AP US Government teacher Michelle Semancik’s classes had a chance to participate in the Close Up Program. Based on essays they wrote, six of her students were chosen to travel to Washington, D.C. for a week in March. Throughout the week, the students learned about the opinions of other students across the nation through daily debates, how the government works by holding a mock Congress session, and the roles that government leaders play by having discussions with Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Representative Brad Wenstrup.

“I liked how instead of just reading the information, we were actually seeing it,” junior Kristen Rehl said. “We weren’t just reading about the Senate; we saw it and experienced it.”

Each year, two journalism students are invited to participate in the Reds’ High School Media Day. The event, which usually takes place in late April or early May, gives students the opportunity to tour the Reds’ press department. Senior Maddie Scott and junior Hayley Coldiron, attended this event on May 6, along with Journalism teacher and Director of Communications Angie Noble. They learned about the importance of internships and tips for advancing in the media field through a student-led interview with Reds’ Assistant Director of Media Relations Larry Herms in the official Reds’ press room. Herms advised the students to stay up to date with social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and to remember what they learned in foreign language classes because being media savvy and bilingual will give them an edge in the interviewing process. The students were also taken on a tour of the Great American Ball Park press box and scoreboard control room, where they learned about the behind-the-scenes work that takes place during each game.

“Going to the Reds’ High School Media Day was really fun, but I also feel like I learned a lot too,” Scott said. “As a Reds fan, it was exciting to see part of the batting practice and meet one of the actual players [Todd Frazier], and as a journalism student, it was interesting to talk to professionals and see the press box. I now have a much better understanding of everything that actually goes on in a media-based job.”

Regina Goines’s AP Biology classes attended an annual Genetic Update Conference. The speaker, Sam Rhine, discussed the future of genetics and recent discoveries. One topic Rhine covered was the discovery that 99% of each DNA sequence, which geneticists previously believed had no significant function, has had a purpose in organisms this whole time. Students also learned about various biotechnology techniques and theories that geneticists are currently studying.

Junior Andrew Pearson found the presentation to be very enlightening. “It was interesting to see a more in-depth look at how genetics is applied in modern medicine and treatments,” Pearson said.

Surgical Procedures
Five students attended a live surgery viewing at The Christ Hospital in October. They watched the stomach surgery on a projector, listened to the surgeon explain his techniques and how they affected the patient, and asked him a series of questions afterwards. Senior Nicole Moser, who aspires to be a nurse in the operating room, enjoyed the event. “It was cool to actually see a live surgery. I liked seeing the different techniques the surgeon used so I’ll be familiar with them when I learn them in college” Moser said. “It helped me to know what to look forward to and what I’ll be doing in the future.”

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