Drama Festival

cat and chris at dramaOn Wednesday, November 8, TGS took a school-wide field trip to The Sumter Opera House for the SCISA State Drama Festival after sweeping the regionals in October. Our hosts, Lyndi Bonnette of SCISA and the drama team from Wilson Hall, welcomed the three winning middle school and the three winning high school teams to the event.
Our middle school drama team presented Robyn Hood and Her Merry Women third in the morning line-up. We soon found out that Logan had received Honorable Mention in the middle school Best Actor contest.

dramaLunch was Chik-Fil-A, and everyone had fun running around in the lobby, the terrace, the sidewalk and the side area as the temperature outside began to drop precipitously. Nick built a sculpture with super glue.

Again, after lunch, the high school was third in the line-up with French Toast. We watched anxiously as Stoney, Nanette, and Nancy worked out their relations. When the curtain came down and the judges gave their judgement, Chris won Best Actor and Cathryn won Best Actress. The school rejoiced.

best actors 2017Our ride home was light-hearted and went by quickly, Chris’s cheek still smarting from where Naomi slapped him. “My shoe had a bigger role than I did,” joked Eli, who had thumped his show backstage for the sound effect of someone knocking at the door. We had a great time at the Drama Festival, and we would do it again, because Kingfishers are troupers!

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Halloween at the Theater

On Halloween, the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades went to see the classic To Kill a Mockingbird onstage at the Dock Street Theater in Charleston. The theater was completely filled with students from different schools. Most people seemed excited to see this popular book performed onstage. The play showed older Scout was narrating the story and reflecting on her childhood. “I liked how they had a young actor play Scout and the way it was staged,” Jesse commented. Eli added, “It was fantastic, but the audience was disrespectful at some times. Like, the girl in front of my row was playing games and checking Instagram!” It was sad to see the number of students playing on their phones, which proved to be a distraction to others. Though not everyone liked it, overall the play was excellent, with wonderful actors who were able to portray the story very well. It was a fun trip, and we hope to return to the Dock Street Theater for future field trips!

By Naomi

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Second in State Quiz Bowl!

An hour before the start of school on Tuesday, October 24, the high school quiz bowl team piled into the Green Machine. After sweeping the regional competition, Chris, Isabella, Avery Rose, Avi, Ryleigh, and Eli were off to Summerville to compete in the team’s third consecutive SCISA state High School Quiz Bowl competition.

Eager to win after last year’s narrow loss to Pinewood Prep, team members spent the drive in a mock quiz bowl, focusing mainly on art and literature. The girls in the front seats emerged victorious over the boys in the back seat. Confident in their preparations, the team marched into the semifinal, where they would compete against teams from John Paul II and Augusta Christian.

The semifinals were filled with more laughter than expected at an academic competition, as our team struggled with questions involving a variety of flightless birds (“Is it an emu this time?” Isabella asked the moderator, after giving that answer for three out of the four bonus questions), Shakespearean phrases (“That’s a commonly used phrase?” Chris asked incredulously), and various princes. Despite the difficulty, TGS handily won their semifinal, allowing them to compete in the finals after lunch.

The team watched nervously in the first match of the finals as Pinewood Prep lengthened their lead over Wilson Hall as they answered question after question. TGS performed similarly in the next match, beating Wilson Hall by a large margin. The last match began with bated breath – this would decide the 2017 SCISA High School Quiz Bowl champions.

The match was neck and neck. TGS began to pull ahead, making the team think they’d managed to win. Suddenly, Pinewood surged back into the lead after answering a series of questions about jelly beans, eventually winning the match by a margin of only one question. The final score was 185 to 220. “It was so close!” Chris lamented.

“Second place in state is amazing!” Avery Rose said. “I wish we could’ve won, but we did really well!” Exhausted after a long day, the team ate victory pancakes at Lil Pappy’s in Moncks Corner before driving back to the school. Congratulations to the quiz bowl team on their fantastic performance!

by Isabella

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Discovery on the Water

DSC_1023Kingfishers know Hobcaw very well indeed—sunlit pines, dusty roads, muddy marshes, and familiar and friendly faces of the staff. But each visit brings new and amazing experiences.

DSC_0976On Thursday, October 5, we piled into various cars and crossed the bridges over to the 16,000-acre nature preserve.  In the Discovery Center, Julie of DNR and Beth of Hobcaw welcomed us and explained a little about our upcoming boat trip down Winyah Bay on the DNR’s education vessel Discovery.

Plumes of yellow dust filled the air as our caravan rattled down the narrow dirt road to Hobcaw House. Captain Tom, Julie, and Hannah of DNR met us on the dock, where a nice stiff breeze was blowing. After donning our life vests, we were soon underway. The crew let down a type of net that would drag the bottom of the bay and capture some sea life, then they brought up a large water sample in a Plexiglas aquarium. Now it was our turn to work!

DSC_1007Using specially-prepared kits, groups of three to five Kingfishers performed a series of tests on the water sample, gauging its temperature, salinity, pH, nitrites, phosphates, and turbidity. We recorded our results like real scientists.

DSC_1015Then Julie and Hannah pulled up the net and dispersed its contents into buckets for each group. Using a field guide, we identified such species as anchovies, perch, croaker, flounder, gar, and three types of shrimp. One gar was too big to fit in a bucket so he stayed in the aquarium but some kids got to touch him and pronounced him “very slimy.” Annika said, “I liked it when we got to see what we pulled up.”

Lunch back at the Center was a quiet affair, until Ian noticed a red-waisted wasp dragging a fat green caterpillar to a spot in the sand. Efficiently, it dug a hole, then dragged its prey down inside. When the wasp was finished, it covered the hole back up with sand. Dr. Neubauer was able to record this miracle of nature on her phone.

DSC_1035Our visit to Hobcaw ended with a quick walk to a mostly freshwater pond, where we did some more water testing and learned to use a refractor. Back at the Center, we cooled off and enjoyed the interactive exhibits in the classroom. Many kids were taken with seeing the animal skulls and using the microscopes. “My favorite part was when the leader took out the snake,” said Ella. Kids crowded around to touch and hold the (very much alive) reptile.

After leaving Hobcaw, we visited the fishing pier and did some impromptu foot races. Then we were off to East Bay Park to swing on the swings and enjoy the sunshine. Finally, the chaperons headed to IP for a quick rinse at the car wash. The dust of Hobcaw was gone but not our memories of this awesome day.

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Up, Up, and Away!

IMG_2641[306]IMG_2647[305]IMG_2648[304]“We wanted to do something for the 100th anniversary [of the Wright brothers’ flight],” Dan Drost explained. That something? Give young people free flights in small planes to spread the joy of flying. The Young Eagles organization, formed in 1992, recently flew their 2,000,000th student. TGS students had the opportunity to fly with the organization Thursday, Oct. 5.
Mr. Drost spoke to the school at Open Forum the day before, so as soon as students arrived at school they were buzzing with excitement. The 8th, 10th, and 12th grades rushed to the Georgetown County airport, where they met Mr. Drost and our two volunteer pilots for the day, Mr. Alan and Mr. Charlie. Two groups of three could fly at a time, and the rest of the students eagerly awaited their turn.
“It was awesome!” Margaret exclaimed as she climbed out of the plane. Students in the front seat were allowed to fly the plane for a short time while students in the back seats nervously held onto their seat belts and looked at Winyah Bay almost 2,000 feet below. Communication was possible only over headsets, which crackled with static. “I was so scared when [Mr. Charlie] asked me if I wanted to fly the plane,” Isabella said, “but it was so much fun!”
After everyone had a chance to fly, Mr. Drost showed the school his personal plane, a 1952 Royal Air Force training biplane. He opened up the engine and the cockpit, happily explaining the mechanics of the plane. Just as we arrived back at the terminal, a helicopter touched down. The pilot volunteered to show us the helicopter, which was currently engaged in pipeline monitoring, as it refueled. Before heading back to school, we stopped by Morgan Park to eat lunch. Most students wound up eating at East Bay, as the trail to Morgan Park was almost impassable. We had a great field trip and a wonderful time flying with the Young Eagles program, and hope to fly with them again soon!


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Marsh Sweep 2017

Twice a year, the NNorthInletMarshSweepGroup2017SM_P1210763[218].jpgorth Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve at Hobcaw organizes a marsh sweep in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy International Ocean Cleanup, where volunteers help to record and remove debris from the marsh. These sweeps help keep the marsh healthier as well as provide valuable information about pollution to caretakers. The TGS Environmental Science class takes a field trip to help out in the fall sweep, which was Sept. 15, 2017. This year, volunteers collected 12 bags of trash, weighing about 180 pounds, as well as an additional 150 pounds of construction materials. Though past TGS trips have found crazy things out on the marsh, such as a hobo logger and an entire floating dock, this year’s team didn’t find much out of the ordinary. After Irma, they expected unusual debris, but were instead confronted with the usual-excessive amounts of plastic bottles, fishing line, and Styrofoam pieces.
On the day of the field trip, the Environmental Science class geared up to go, dressed in old t-shirts, pants to protect them from sharp marsh grass, and rubber boots. They gathered in the marsh across the street from the USC lab in preparation, as the usual spot of Clam Bank had been flooded out by Irma, and forged ahead into the spartina grass. Their three hours under the hot sun were spent filling garbage bags full of debris, recording every piece of debris they found, and narrowly avoiding getting sucked into a patch of pluff mud. By the end of the day, everyone was covered in sweat and mud. The class returned to school tired but full of stories. Nearly everyone saw the shark’s tooth they brought back, hailed as the coolest find of the day.
Last year, volunteers collected 3,969,553 pounds of garbage in the United States alone. Worldwide, over 18 million pounds were removed from over 25,000 miles of coastline.

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Congratulations Isabella and Chris!


On Wednesday, Sep. 13, Isabella and Chris were named as National Merit Semi-Finalists – the only students in Georgetown County to be given that honor. Semi-Finalists are determined by their performance on the PSAT, which is given in October of students’ junior year. Less than 1% of seniors are named Semi-Finalists – only 16,000 out of the over 1.6 million juniors to take the test. At Open Forum this week, Dr. Gates expressed how proud he was of Isabella and Chris, adding that all students at TGS see their scores improve over their high school career. Doing homework and participating in class is key, he said. “Isabella and Chris are among the hardest workers in the school and are both deeply deserving of this national honor.” We wish them the best as they continue the college application process!

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