Global Studies and our steps along the Nelson Mandela trail: TTS18 has had an amazing week regarding our studies and travels. As we traveled into the Eastern Cape Province, we stopped in the town of Umtata, where we visited the first stop of the Nelson Mandela Trail, the Nelson Mandela Museum. The first museum built for a living person, students were toured through the exhibit by a local tour guide. They examined the turning points within Nelson Mandela’s life that led him to become one of the most known and successful leaders in our history. With this knowledge as their base, we then traveled to the town of Qunu, where Mandela grew up. From the Nelson Mandela Youth Heritage Center, the students went on a walking tour of the original places where Mandela went to school, herded cattle and played with his friends. Through the lens of museums, exhibits, village tours and articles read, the students began to really piece together the rich history of South Africa.
Meeting Nelson Mandela’s Family…
To top off our time in Qunu, students visited the third piece of the Nelson Mandela trail, his birthplace at Mvezo. Our guide to this remote site, was none other than one of Nelson Mandela’s grandsons! Through contacts at the Heritage Center, word had spread to the Mandela family that there were visitors (TTS) at the Center. Zuko (Nelson’s grandson) was sitting with Nelson Mandela that evening, when word came about our visit. Nelson Mandela told Zuko, “You must go and welcome those people on behalf of our family.” Zuko came and spent the evening – telling about Nelson Mandela today, how he is doing and let the students ask questions about the living legend. Zuko guided us to Mvezo the following day where we learned about traditional Xhosa culture. The students created a letter that Zuko hand delivered to Nelson Mandela that same evening. This was truly one of those mind blowing, beautiful experiences that make the Traveling School what it is. Our education is built upon place, experience, and connecting with people we meet. Although we all have hopes to meet Nelson Mandela some day, spending time with his family was truly spectacular!
Algebra 2: The students in this class continue to work diligently as they have completed all the sections on Chapter 2: Linear Functions. Students learned to solve linear equations and graph linear functions. This study also included solving and graphing inequalities and absolute value functions. With this knowledge practiced and studied, they completed their Chapter 2 test this past week.
Natural Science: After studying the savannah biome in detail, we spent the past few weeks examining population ecology in terms of how energy flows through an ecosystem. Students completed a thorough study of trophic levels within the savannah ecosystem and created a trophic pyramid with a partner. With field journals in hand, students have examined two new biomes that we have encountered in the past few weeks: the mountains of the Drakensburg and the coastal plains of the Indian Ocean. We’ve examined what formed the Drakensburg mountains and will build upon this as the students travel to Cape Town and hike up Table Mountain. Their first visit to the Indian Ocean was built up through a examination of ocean currents. As we will be traveling along the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean during the semester, the students now understand the defining characteristics of each coast line and what makes these two oceans distinct. We will finish up our population ecology unit with a detailed study of biodiversity, on a genetic, species and ecosystem level.