By: Trista Crittenden
Right now, times are very hectic and crazy. We are going through an epidemic that will
forever change our lives. We have switched to remote learning for the rest of the year, we
are stuck inside unless we go somewhere essential, and the number of deaths due to COVID-
19 are increasing. It is very hard to look at the positive things in life, especially when the
world is being affected by something so negative. But in any situation, there will always be
a light at the end of the tunnel. Speaking for myself, quarantine has been very boring. I have
been losing my mind trying to keep myself busy and entertained. But I am very fortunate for
my family, especially during this time. So far (thanks to the epidemic) I have realized many
things. For instance, my parents always tell me that at the end of the day your family are
truly the ones that are there for you and care about you the most. I never truly understood
what they meant until I was sent home from school and stuck inside a house with them. At
school I think I have many people that I am close with (other than my 3 close friends) that
actually care about my well-being. During this time, I have not talked to a single one. By no
means are these bad people. We all have dreams and aspirations that we are set on and each
and every one of us has our own life and our own life problems. So, at the end of the day,
when I sit down at the table I look around at the smiling faces and I think to myself “I am so
thankful to have such an amazing family.” So far, in my family each family member has
had a day where nothing seems to go right. They question, why this is happening? Or Why
can’t I get out of the house? Or Is this ever going to end? We all look at that person and we
assure them that everything is soon to be okay. Ever since schools have shut down and the
lockdown was sent in place, I have done many things with my family. We have all went out,
(shovels and rakes in hand) and we work all day cleaning up the yard. We get closer to the
person we aren’t as close within the family- for me my brother. We have played games
together and watched movies and cooked together. Things we normally wouldn’t have time
to do. Nobody knows when things will get better, we can all sit here wondering why this
happened or when it will stop, or we can make the most out of this negative situation. I am
so thankful that I have a loving family that I can get through this with. So, when you lay
your head down tonight. Who or what are you thankful for during this time?
By: Kayleigh Larkins
For my virtual field trip at the Smithsonian Museum, I decided to explore the Butterfly Pavilion.
As soon as I open the site and started reading just the names of the exhibits, I was curious to know more about them. Ones such as the Butterfly Pavilion. Seeing them do so many different categories was incredible. I thought it was very interesting though because the Butterfly Pavilion and the Hall of Fossil Deep Time, which is the dinosaur exhibit, are two completely different thing but can make one person curious about both.
I started going through the Butterfly Display and I was amazed! I found out that the Giant Hawk Moth, could have an eight-inch-long tongue, and the Madagascar Star Orchid has an eight-inch-long throat! And honestly that pretty terrifying if you think about it. I also found out how freakishly similar a hummingbird and a butterfly are. A hummingbird and a butterfly both have evolved long mouth parts, making it easier for them to get plant nectar. Both the hummingbird and the butterfly pollinate the plants on which that feed. Not only is the hummingbird have related characteristics and abilities but also bats, bees, and a variety of unrelated animals. The process that all these animals have experienced is called Convergent Evolution.
The number of butterflies over the years have increased by about 20,000. 170 million years butterflies didn’t even exist, today there is 135,000 moth and 20,000 butterfly species. And some of the ones that were alive 20 million years ago, have disappeared and new ones have come into existence. The Smithsonian has the quote, “Butterflies and plants interact with each other – sometimes as friends, sometimes as foes.” demonstrating that it just depends but butterflies and plants co-exists.
I think the Smithsonian Museum was a great place to pick for a virtual field trip. I think that it was a great experience just to look around and using our online resources. Most of us probably won’t get the chance to visit the Smithsonian in person so I think the fact that we got to online was amazing. And I really enjoyed this experience learning about things we talk about in everyday life but know very minable about.
By: Amairani Chacon
For my virtual field trip at the Smithsonian Museum, I decided to explore the Bone Hall in the museum’s Current Exhibits.
As soon as the first part of the tour appeared, it was already fascinating. In front of me were multiple skeletal figures of marsupials and their history as well as why they are featured in the exhibit.
As I continued to venture around, the skeletons never ceased to amaze. There were skeletons of so many animals. From monkeys to deer, to giraffes, and even a gray whale! Along with the skeletons, was a small description of each animals’ origin and ancestors, as well as what makes their skeletal structure so unique and how it helps them survive in their habitats.
Different parts of the hall showed different jaws, skulls, and teeth in different animals and how they benefit the animal. A diagram also showed how the skeleton is motion works, and how different functions of bone perform certain actions.
A whole area of the hall was dedicated to different types of birds and their skeletal figures. The exhibits included Running Birds, Underwater Swimmers, Terrestrial Birds, and many more fascinating displays. Each display showed different types of birds according to that category and what job they served in nature.
The next exhibit displayed several types of animals such as turtles, snakes, and crocodiles. One display that caught my attention was the Leatherback Turtle. This skeletal figure is not only eight feet in length, but its shell is broken up into small plates set into its leathery skin. The other displays of turtles show them according to category and how they function and if they are aquatic or land animals. The next display was an alligator and crocodiles. These skeletons took up almost a whole wall to show how massive these creatures truly are. The last display was of snakes that were labeled as venomous or non-venomous. The body structure of the snakes only was fascinating and being able to see how each snake had its own small uniqueness to them.
The last section of the Bone Hall contained aquatic animals being mostly fish. The largest display was a Sword Fish. This animal was featured in the Perciform Fishes display. This display contained many fish that were considered to be an advanced type of fish. This section also included skeletal figures of Flatfish and seeing the outer part of their skeleton can be viewed similarly to that of a snakes' skeleton. A smaller display was about sharks and their jaw structure. Lastly in the exhibit, we have Rays. Seeing the skeletal structure of a way was very odd and it is not what was expected. Yes, looking at it, it can be inferred that it is a ray, but it is overall the most unexpected skeleton.
I believe that the Bone Hall was an amazing choice for a virtual tour and being able to see the different types of animals and their body structure was stunning. My favorite display was the Blue Whale mostly because of its size. The size and structure of the animal was mesmerizing and unbelievable.
Overall, this virtual tour was a spectacular thing to experience and I believe it was something that would be breathtaking in person.
By: Erica Moore
The Smithsonian Museum put up an online virtual tour for students to get the opportunity to tour the museum at home. I think this is important because it gives people a fun and interactive activity while they are staying safe in their homes. Students have the ability to choose between hundreds of exhibits to tour. I chose to tour the Ice Age Extinction exhibit. I chose this exhibit, because I’m very interested in the subject. First, I went to the Ice Age Extinction 1. Here I got to see the extinction wall that had all the animals that have been extinct for several years. On the screen, students can hit different arrows to view up, down, left, and right. After leaving the ice age extinction I went to the next room and got to see a mammoth duplicate. It’s was really amazing to be able to see these images.
By: Angelina Romo
Pueblo County High School has done it again! DECA has set up a fundraiser and helped little Jayzon’s wish come true. Jayzon’s wish was to become a Jedi therefore, the goal was for Pueblo County High School to raise enough money to send Jayzon to Walt Disney World to become a Jedi. He was diagnosed with a tumor behind his right eye and him being only 5 years old, Pueblo County High School has taken it upon themselves to help this little boys’ wish come true. DECA starts by asking local businesses and setting up an online fundraiser. DECA also set up penny stalls, students would bring as much pennies as you can and give them to their third hour teachers. Teachers would not be allowed to start class until all money was counted, and finally we had the Miracle Minute. The miracle minute happens at the Make-A-Wish assembly, students try to put as much money as they can into baskets, in hopes of making the most money between the four classes. Before the assembly, DECA and student council helps set up some games, for the student body to have a little bit of fun. Unfortunately, Jayzon and his family did not make it due to COVID-19. So DECA has sent out a video of the students chanting “WE LOVE JAYZON” and received a video back of Jayzon thanking Pueblo County High School. In the end Pueblo County Highschool raised $15,295.86 to send little Jayzon to Walt Disney World and make his wish come true. Granting wishes is just something that Pueblo County High School does!
By: Kileen McKinsey
A world made of nature in its purest form. A world of authenticity crafted from the hands of God. Undisturbed by mankind. This is the Smithsonian. From deep undiscovered sea life to the precious stones found far below the Earth’s surface, The Smithsonian has it all. I began my journey at the Kenneth E. Behring’s Family Hall of Mammals. I was immediately surrounded with copious amounts of species ranging from small sloths to enormous elephants. I’ll be honest and say that as an animal lover, it was a little eerie to be in a room with so many dead, taxidermized animals. This hall was categorized by regions which transported you into the mammals’ natural habitats. The entrance into this exhibit housed a variety of animal species from all parts of the world, giving you a taste for what was to come. After the entrance, I trekked to the warm and wild Africa, greeted by the world’s tallest mammal, the giraffe. Africa displayed its theme of survival of the fittest through its scenes of vicious lions pouncing on their next meals which happened to be the unfortunate water buffalo. Speaking of water, ‘The Watering Hole’ was quite an amusing display, showing the magnificently tall giraffe stooping to the water to parch his thirst thanks to the African sun. I hiked over to North America and upon arrival I immediately felt at home. Buffalo, bears, and raccoons enveloped me, making me feel like I had hiked into the mountains of Colorado. I then climbed my way into the green South America, pleased to see many tree inhabitants such as sloths and numerous monkeys and lemurs. To end my furry journey, I found my way to Australia and sought kangaroos, koalas and even a tree kangaroo. I then transitioned from dirt to the deep and dove into Sant’s Ocean Hall. The deep blue hues, the countless shells and the endless alien-like marine life constituted the hall. I was enlightened by all the new sea species information. In fact, a sign reading, “Tiny male seadevils attach to females as parasites and get all their nutrients from them,” is quite a good metaphor for dating in the real world. My expedition concluded with sayonara from a snow-white polar bear and a vast whale. The Smithsonian broadened my gaze to the beautiful creation that is the world formed by the hands of our God.
The COVID-19 outbreak has stressed everyone out. From trying to buy toilet paper to maintaining sanity while being forced to stay at home. Sure, school isn’t the easiest to manage digitally for students, but what about teachers? How are they managing anything? Zoom. This virtual conference room provides the education board with the connection that COVID-19 has robbed society from. Of course, everyone is subject to their own opinion and English teacher, Dave McKinsey portrays this in his interview.
“ I am uncomfortable with it because it is easily hacked.”
“I think art teachers, woods teachers could benefit more from Zoom. Teachers who have more visual content.”
“I believe it creates the opportunity for more distraction”
“I don’t feel more connected with Zoom. I feel less connected and limited.”