Visiting the National Constitution Center

         On October 9, the students of Explore 2000 took a trip to Independence Mall in Philadelphia to visit the National Constitution Center. It is the first and only institution in America established by Congress to “disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people.” After a day of interactive exhibits, historic artifacts and lessons on the Constitution, some of the students wrote about their appreciation of the experience.


 Dear Constitution Center,
         Thank you for having us as your guests at the Constitution Center. We had so much fun there. I thought it was so cool that there were life size statues made of copper in Signer’s Hall. In the beginning of the trip we did a quiztrivia. Which was my favorite part of the time being there. Overall everyone in our school loved the field trip so much. It was great!!!!!!!!
Reagan – 6th Grader Explore 2000 Middle School
I am really thankful to go to this trip. I say it is amazing. We were involved in a lot of things during this field trip. First, my class did went to a auditorium to learn about the amendments. This part was interactive, which made it fun! Next, we got to go to a place with statues of our Founding Fathers of America it was about 36 statues. I was amazed because they looked life-like. After, that we got to see the writing of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. We then saw a play about “We the People.’’ It was a beautiful presentation about our Founding Fathers and the sacrifices and battles they fought for our freedom. I wish we can go back soon, because I really enjoyed this field experience. Thank you!
Youssef – 6th Grader Explore 2000 Middle School
     We really appreciate you guys for letting us tour the Constitution Center. I never had an experience like this before. It really showed how much you care for students’ education. I learned many things. One thing I learned is of course the Bill of Rights. I’ve learned more about the amendments than just sitting in the classroom and discussing the amendments. Before I went to this trip, I barely knew anything about the amendments. When I say that, I mean the number of amendments. There are 27 amendments, however the first 10 are called the Bill of Rights. I saw statues of people in the past such as, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson etc. This field experience led me to a better education than I already had. I loved this experience better than I’ve expected. It was awesome!!

Ruqiya – 6th Grader Explore 2000 Middle School

The Constitution Center was an absolute blast! No doubt about it. My class went to the Constitution Center, and it was so much fun. We learned about the Constitution’s purpose and importance. We also saw some realistic statues of most of the delegates that attended the Constitution Convention and signed the actual Constitution document. Then we saw an (almost) exact replica of the Constitution. We also looked at about 12 or more Bill of Rights Amendments that weren’t added to the Bill of Rights. I have learned a lot from this trip, and I hope others will too.

Amy – 6th Grader Explore 2000 Middle School
On October 9th, Explore 2000 went on an exciting field experience to the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Let’s just say it was a historical “ball.” We got to see life size statues of what the men who signed the constitution might have looked like. It sort of looked like a scene from the movie Night at the Museum. We also had to take a mini quiz, which tested our knowledge on the bill of rights. We sat in a theater and had clickers in our hands. We used the clickers to input our answers to the questions on the screen. It was actually a fun quiz. At the end of the day, we realized how important our Constitution is and how chaotic our country would be without it.  

Lorey – 6th Grader Explore 2000 Middle School

Explore 2000 Reflects on New Beginnings

        On October 7, the Explore 2000 community gathered to reflect on the school’s history, mission and move to their new building. The student leaders for each group presented original speeches about their personal views of Explore 2000. The speakers shared their experiences and how the differences between their former schools and their current school have influenced them and helped them find new ways to succeed.
         Willie Montanez, one of the second year representatives, spoke of his feeling of being accepted and the increased enthusiasm for learning that Explore 2000 has given him. His fellow students responded to his speech enthusiastically.

        Representing the third year class, Christopher Casavechia spoke of the place that Explore 2000 has in his life. He spoke of the privilege of attending a school with interesting field experiences and educational experiences and of how it helps him to picture his future as he starts his final year at the middle school.
        All of the presenters shared their appreciation of the learning experiences they have each day and of the welcoming atmosphere they enjoy together. They expressed the excitement of having a building just for their school and how they look forward to the expansion and adventures they will see.

Celebrating the Week of Respect at Explore 2000

The first week of October was the Week of Respect and Explore 2000 celebrated in several ways. Each day, students and staff wore a color to show one of the pillars of respect.
Monday was purple day to remind the Explore 2000 community of Citizenship. On Tuesday, red showed Caring. Wednesday was orange day for Fairness and Thursday everyone wore green and/or yellow for Responsibility and Respect.

On Wednesday, the students spent the morning on a group project with the theme “What respect means to me.” The groups worked to create skits, poems, songs, stories, demonstrations and other presentations to show aspects of respectful behavior. Third year students split up to work with the first and second year students as leaders on their projects and to take part in the presentations. At 10:15, the school met in the gym for the presentations.

As performers and as audience, everyone participated energetically, supportively and very respectfully.

HCSTF Supports STEM Family Night Activities at Explore 2000 Middle School

October 16, 2015 (North Bergen, N.J.) –The HCST Foundation provided grant money to support Explore 2000 Middle School—a STEM Education school that is part of the HCST Foundation and located in Downtown Jersey City—as they invited students and parents into their facility for an evening of engagement, announced Linda J. Quentzel, Executive Director of the HCST Foundation.

The Family Connection Event, which included resources and leadership from STEM Education, LLC, engaged participants in three distinctive activities: Building a Hovercraft; Racecar Competitions; and Puffmobile Races. According to Explore 2000 Principal Amy Lin-Rodriguez, the evening “Served as enrichment for students, parents, and even as professional development for our facilitators.”

Mrs. Lin-Rodriguez continues, “Our hope [for this event] is to create after-school programs, and eventually offer a summer camp for STEM Education.”

HCST Superintendent Frank J. Gargiulo elaborated on the importance of the STEM movement at the Middle School level. “Trends come and go, but the heart of STEM is problem-solving. No matter what technologies become available in the future, every industry needs problem-solvers, and this evening helped get these students closer to that skillset.”

Daniel Gans, President of the HCST Foundation, adds, “This kind of family-style even not only helps the students, it brings the classroom to the community and allows parents a glimpse into—not just the products of learning, but the learning process at work for our youngest students. The Foundation is proud to help bring these new approaches to learning into the community.”

Linda J. Quentzel, Executive Director of the HCST Foundation, says, “The Back to School Family Night was an opportunity for us to continue our efforts at incorporating the community, whether that means bringing in parents or experts or alumni—or all three—we’re happy to support any endeavor of this kind.”

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A Visit to the Birth of America by Bus

For the first trip of the fall,
All our students went to Independence Hall.
And we thought and thought, 
About the ones that fought.
They wrote the Constitution,
They started a revolution,
At first they were small,
And then they grew tall!
We had a bloody war,
 Because freedom is worth fighting for.
Up on the battlefield
Hear that? Sounds like victory!
So after this great event,
They created the dollar and the cent.
So our nation was born, and our first President was born.

             The first field trip is always the most memorable of the bunch. This year the students took a trip to one of the most famous places in America, also known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To say it’s significant is a huge understatement. IT was the place America was born. IT was where our predecessors once stood. On that field experience we beheld the exact same room in which those thirty-nine men signed one of the biggest “historical disruptions” yet. IT is still standing, from 1738 to today.

On this field trip we saw the original drafts of the Declaration of Independence. Not only did we see the rooms and the documents, we also learned a lot about it too. For example, we learned that the Independence Hall was built around the time George Washington was born, in 1738. We also witnessed the courtroom they used. The accused citizen would stand in a cage until the jury has made his decision.
            In conclusion, our school had a great time learning about the Constitution and the history of the country in which are living in. This was truly an amazing experience for my peers and me.
Roxolana Hreb