What's the Nation Talking About?

In our efforts to prepare students for 21st Century learning, the Byram Hills School District is committed to engaging our students in critical thinking in all curricular areas. In the classroom, we prepare students in critical analysis by helping them learn, discuss and evaluate important issues.

To that end, we invite parents, teachers and administrators to discuss with our students the events that are “the talk of the nation.” Each month we post a current events topic on our website to invite a conversation around important issues, promoting analysis and synthesis from multiple perspectives. The current and past topics are listed below.  

May 2012

Searching for Natural Energy Resources
Recently, the topic of "fracking" has been in the news.  Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique used to draw gas or oil from below the earth's surface.  Some argue that fracking is a reasonable and wise "next step" to obtain resources needed for our industrial world.  Others argue that it is a short sighted energy policy that is dangerous to our communities.
Discussion questions:
What are the benefits of fracking?  What are the dangers of this technique?  Should fracking be allowed to move forward in our country? In New York State?  What additional questions do you need answered to help you decide what you think about hydraulic fracturing?
Here are some resources to help you learn more:

March 2012

The Middle East is an important area of the world.  Recently, countries in this region have experienced revolutions, conflict and change. Presently, many countries around the world are concerned with the violence in Syria.  The links below explain some developments in Syria.
Resource 1:  http://www.reuters.com/article/video/idUSL5E8DB0BH20120227?videoId=230854305
Resource 2:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/27/us-syria-idUSL5E8DB0BH20120227

Syria Undercover - Frontline is a companion web site on PBS that has investigative journalism that many teachers utilized. Click on the link below to find many informative pieces about Syria's current crisis. One suggested piece is "Syria Undercover".

Resource 3 (link)


After learning more about Syria, here are some questions to consider:
For Elementary and Middle School students:
  • Why is it difficult for other nations to stop the violence in Syria? 
  • What are other times in history when other nations have tried to or should have protected citizens from the abuses of their government?
For some middle school students and high school students:
  • How is Syria an example of the struggle that arises in history between a nation's sovereignty and the protection of individual (human) rights?  What is the best way to resolve this present issue?  What seems to be the obstacles?
  • What are other times in history that this tension has existed?

February 2012

The current events topic for conversation this month follows our U. S. Regents curriculum. Join in the learning by discussing this month’s current events topic:

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was our country's first Republican president?

As the Republican primaries begin, who are the candidates and what are their ideas about government, the economy and our country?

The link below provides an overview of the upcoming Presidential Election in 2012 with information about the Republican primary candidates.

Current Event link: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2012/

Byram Hills Central School District | 10 Tripp Lane, Armonk, NY 10504 | (914) 273-4082