D211 Post: Fremd Says Thank You to Health Care Workers

            Members of William Fremd High School’s sophomore class executive board wanted to say thank you to area health care workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.  To do this, they collected more than 100 cards from students which were delivered to AMITA Health St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates.

            Fremd High School Science Department Chair Karl Craddock said the idea came out of a brainstorming session among the 54-member board.

            “They wanted to help raise the spirits of the students and outside community during this difficult time,” he said.  “While they came up with many great ideas, the one that they kept coming back to was Thank You notes for the frontline health care workers that are battling the COVID-19 crisis.”

            He said the student who led the planning and organization of the card drive was sophomore Manaswita Kodali.  She said her inspiration came from her own family.

            “I was inspired by the health care workers’ resilience and sacrifice during this pandemic,” she said.  “My uncle is an MD doctor on pulmonary medicine in India and he is also risking his life and my grandparent’s lives for the sole purpose of serving his community. Every day is full of fear for my entire family.”

Fremd Science Department Chair Karl Craddock (left) and sophomore Manaswita Kodali (right) deliver cards to Cate Osterholz at AMITA Health St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates.

            As part of her preparation for the drive, Kodali designed the cards and coordinated a plan for delivery to St. Alexius.  Craddock said that once the drive was started, students from a variety of groups pitched in to help.

            “We had students from clubs like the Red Cross Club and Student Council along with teachers and support staff contribute,” Craddock said.

            In only two days, the group had created more than 100 cards which were then delivered to St. Alexius where they were met with appreciation from the medical staff.

            Kodali said that she hoped this would not only uplift the front-line medical providers but teach her fellow students.

            “I want my fellow students to know that even the smallest form of appreciation towards the health care workers can make a big difference in their hearts,” she said.

            Craddock added that he hopes this sends a message of both unity and appreciation.

            “We hope that it sends the message that we are all in this together, and that during this holiday season, it is important to take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe,” he said.  “In addition, take time to give thanks for our community front line workers who are working around the clock to keep us safe.”

In the Classroom: AP Biology, AP Chemistry Students at Fremd Participate in Unique Scientist March Madness

Mad Scientist Madness bracket

Mad Scientist Madness bracket

A unique assignment for students in AP Biology and AP Chemistry at Fremd High School has students representing 64 different historical scientists and dueling it out to be at the top of a March Madness bracket. However, the assignment has nothing to do with basketball.

The Mad Scientist Madness assignment allows students to rally behind an randomly assigned scientist from the areas of Earth Science, Chemistry, Biology, or Physics. Students research the scientist, defend why their scientist should be tops in the bracket, and vote for a winner on Schoology, an online classroom portal.

“Sometimes in AP classes the fun that science really is can get lost while preparing for AP tests. This is a reminder that we are there to have fun,” said FHS science teacher Brad Graba. “The depth of knowledge students gain is much greater when they take ownership in a project like this. When they are finding the information and synthesizing it into a presentation, it helps stick with them for a longer time.”

Graba created the assignment with science teacher Karl Craddock. The two combined their AP Chemistry and AP Biology courses through Schoology, and students are in the first round of voting. As students’ scientists get voted out, students will be required to continue commenting on their peer’s posts and participate in the discussions. Graba said next year when they present this assignment, they will focus on more female representation in the bracket. He wants to reflect how the gender stereotype is changing in the scientific field.

Read a humorous sample debate of scientists Watson and Crick vs. Norman Borlaug below (click to enlarge).