Great classes – Interesting And Dynamic Learning
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Each month we spotlight an interesting and dynamic class at North Lawndale College Prep.  This is not your grandfather's high school ! Click on the date links below to jump to the stories.

October 2013 Mr. Horan and Mr. Kelly's Public Speaking Class.  This year NLCP sent 6 students to the Mikva Challenge.  The topic was: What Is The most Important Issue In Your Community

November 2013 Mr. Henry's Entrepreneurship Class Attends the Network For Teaching Entrepeneurship's 2013 Youth Summit

January 2014 Mr. Smiths Civic Action Phoenix (CAPS) Class Holds A Parent Peace Training

February 2014 Ms. Mathews Class Sees the Film Mandela

March 2014 Ms. Klonowski's physics class invades the hallways and stairwells in pursuit of scientific answers


October 2013

Mr. Horan and Mr Kellys' public speaking class.

The current topic is "Political Speeches",  and more specifically "What is the biggest issue facing your community?"  

Students will be competing to represent our school in the Mikva Challenge Project Soap Box Citywide Speech Competition on November 23rd.

The topics on November 1 included: 

1)  Gay rights

2) College funding v weapons funding

3)  Teenage depression

4)  Parents not doing their jobs

See below for students in action ! And book your calendars for the City finals -NLCP intends to be there !

Antonio Atkins makes a point during Soap Box competition

Khatiya Lewis: Carry on, in the face of teen depression.




November 2013

NLCP Entrepreneurship Students Attend NFTE Chicago 2013 Youth Summit

On November 6, 2013, twenty of our NLCP Entrepreneurship students joined over 400 Chicago Area students at the inaugural NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) Youth Summit. The one day event was held at the Chase Auditorium in downtown Chicago. NFTE’s mission is to provide programs that inspire low-income students to stay in school, recognize business opportunities, and graduate with a plan for success.

NFTE Summit


NLCP has partnered with NFTE for the past eight years to provide our students with the knowledge needed to start and operate their own businesses. The students prepare and present business plans that include opportunity recognition; market research; promotion and sales; and, business financials. Focusing on the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs – a positive mental attitude, the ability to recognize opportunities where others only see problems, and openness to creative solutions – creates valuable qualities in our NLCP students. Our goal is to help our students understand how to achieve financial independence and personal satisfaction.


During their classes, students develop business plans around ideas for products or services that they select. Since they own the ideas, this allows them to energetically apply the skills (research, reading, written and oral communications, math, science, and social studies) that they have been developing in many of their other high school courses. The students first develop a Written Business Plan and then convert the essential elements of that plan into an oral presentation. The NLCP student business plans are analyzed and evaluated by experienced business executives from the Chicago Area during classroom sessions. At the end of the process, NFTE sponsors a series of in-class business plan competitions that allow students to receive financial awards for outstanding work.


January 2014


Civic Action Phoenix Class




On December 18th, nearly 180 North Lawndale community members crowded into the Christiana campus of North Lawndale College Prep  for an active discussion about conflict and violence in the community - and the ways that Dr. King's principles of nonviolence might help.

NLCP students put Dr. King's nonviolence principles into practice each day at NLCP as they build our peaceful "beloved community."

Mr. Smith's CAPs class at Christiana decided earlier in the fall that teaching parents and families the principles they learn at NLCP might make a difference - and be the best way for them to help their community.

The students then went to work.  They planned the night.  They came up with incentives to spur participation.  They made 100s of personal calls to parents.  They checked parents in, answered questions, and led all the workshops for the evening.  They even wrote their own grant request to cover all the costs - and got it! 

On a cold December night, the students led some amazing and interesting conversations about conflict and alternative ways to address it.  Then they all sat down and broke bread together, as a community.  It was refreshing to behold - and particularly wonderful for the students to see so many families responding positively to what they had to share.

Overall - a heartwarming night and experience.  Nothing like intentional youth activism making some real hope in a gritty world.



February 2014

Mandela !

n Monday, Jan. 20th, Mr. Thorne, Mr. Smith, Mr. Becker, and Ms.Mathew took students from the Senior Civic Action Phoenix (CAP) and Junior World History classes at both campuses to a screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.


Honoring Dr. King by learning

This screening was  a  way to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Students could learn about the struggles during apartheid in South Africa, and make connections to the Civil Rights movement in the United States.  For the World History students, it was an introduction to a unit on Power, Revolutions and Resistance, where they will be examining case studies of Haiti, India and South Africa.  For CAP students, it was an opportunity to build on themes of peace and non violence. 

Now, whenever Ms. Mathew sees CAP Senior, Kendal Strickland in the hall, they both say "Amandla," which is a Xhosa and Zulu word for "power" that was used throughout the struggle against apartheid.

March 2014


The Halls Are Alive - with the Sounds Of Science !


Ms. Klonowski's freshman honors physical science class took their physics out of the classroom and into the halls (and stairwells) last week - conducting an array of experiments around the topics of force, work, power, and  potential and kinetic energy .Problem: Build a marble roller coaster with loops and hills.




1)   Marble must stay on track.


2)   Roller coaster must stand on its own without help from a person.


3)   Marble must be placed in track without extra force.


4)   Materials may not be destroyed.


The students created an initial roller coaster and tested their design by rolling a marble down the track.  Through observations of the marble's journey down the roller coaster, students were able to assess the viability of their design.  Problem areas were identified and the roller coaster was redesigned to fix those spots.  Students then analyzed the maximum potential energy and the maximum kinetic energy (ignoring friction) of their roller coasters.



Sharrell Hunt,  Jamie Carr, Kevin Harris and Donald Harris'  experiment measured potential and kinetic energy.    The students created a foam roller coaster that looped up and down  a hallway wall.  The marble that traveled through the roller coaster had to have enough energy to run from the head of the roller coaster down the hills and then up over the lower hills to its stopping point.  The students traced the conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy and back to potential energy.



Attalay Smith created a triple loop roller coaster.  She says she remembers thinking about the Chucky Cheese loops - which was her inspiration.




The physics of the experiment entailed calculating the maximum Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE) by multiplying the tallest height of the roller coaster by the mass of the marble by the acceleration due to gravity, and using that calculation to design the loops and length.





March 2014


The Halls Are Alive - With The Sounds Of Science !