Monthly Archives: September 2011

Writing Contest for Duke TIP 4th/5th Grade participants

Duke TIP offers 4th/5th Grade Talent Search participants the opportunity to enter our writing contest with cash prizes awarded to the winners and their school. Students must be enrolled in the 4th/5th Grade Talent Search and currently be in the fifth or sixth grade.

The 2012 topic: In Quest for a Mythical Hero 

Every culture develops a set of beliefs about the world and the things that happen in it: the rising of the sun; the moon and stars in the sky; earthquakes and volcanoes; weather, hurricanes and tornadoes; and much more. Over time, one people’s beliefs may become another’s mythology—a collection of stories or tales belonging to a people addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes.

The challenge:

Write a story about a being celebrated in mythology. The being may be from any tradition—not just ancient Greece or Rome, but from Egypt, India, or Babylonia. You might choose from the Norse, Mayan or Aztec cultures. You will craft a plot that occurs in the present, but you will bring the characteristics from the past into the present day. You will describe the origin of the being, the powers, as well as descriptions of personality, appearance, and attire. You will make the choice of a conflict or a problem that needs attention, and this being will use powers and skills to solve the problem situation.

As you develop your story, consider how to incorporate into the plot: 
  1. What is a real problem I want to solve? What conflict would I want to bring to a conclusion?
  2. Where did this being come from? Of whom a relative or descendant? From the beliefs of what ancient culture or tradition?
  3. What powers does the being have? Over what objects does the being have control?
  4. Who is the opponent? Is it a nemesis or archenemy, or is it something in the world of nature, or perhaps the supernatural?

Submission deadline: Jan. 3, 2012


Writing contest winners are announced in Duke TIP’s Navigator newsletter and on this Web site. Winners also receive:

  • 1st place: $250 to the fifth grade winner; $250 to the sixth grade winner and $250 to each of their enrolling schools
  • 2nd place: $100 to the fifth grade winner; $100 to the sixth grade winner and $100 to each of their enrolling schools
  • 3rd place: $25 to the fifth grade winner; $25 to the sixth grade winner and $25 to each of their enrolling schools 


2011 – 2012 Math Olympiads Contest – Will You Come?

The “Kansas Shiny Gems Math Olympiads Team” for 2011-2012 will have contest prep sessions by Mr. McCalla in the following date and time:

Session 1    Sept. 26, Monday, 7:45pm – 8:30pm
Session 2    Oct. 10,   Monday, 7:45pm – 8:30pm
Session 3    Oct. 24,   Monday, 7:45pm – 8:30pm
Session 4    Nov. 7,     Monday, 7:45pm – 8:30pm
The contest date and time are:
Test 1        Nov. 21,    Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
Test 2        Dec. 19,    Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
Test 3        Jan. 16,     Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
Test 4        Feb. 13,    Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
Test 5        Mar. 12,     Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
The location for all sessions and tests is
Kansas City Christian School
4801 W. 79th Street,  Prairie Village, KS 66208

Cell Phone Day – the best day ever

 OMG, I GOT A CELL PHONE TODAY!!!! Oh my gosh, pinch me, I’m dreaming! This is soooo cool! My cell phone is purple with flowers and you can text on it. I still think I’m dreaming! This can not be happening. I can’t believe the parent who says “no” to almost everything would get me a cell phone! Oh, just to give you a heads up, I’m going to be using exclamation marks a lot from now on. This is just……I can’t explain it! I feel like jumping up and down and waveing my hands around like a maniac! Please don’t tell me I am a maniac. I loooove my cell phone! It’s very pretty and useful. So, obviously I’m very, very excited about this but, I’m also very nervous about this. I mean, my first cell phone! This has to be a dream!

9/11: My story of Alis and Philip 1

It was a bright clear morning while a private tourist was leading us around the top of the North World Trade builing. Each of our eyes were following the tourist’s index finger. Sorry. When I mean each of us, I mean my sisters and brother’s eyes.

There was Alis, Phillip, and Baby Cisi, whom was born a week before mum and pop vanished. I mean, you would probably think thats sad, but we manage. Oh yes and there’s me Riquey. My favorite color is orange, I’m half Albino,( with a guide dog, Corn Cob), and yes, I am addicted to tissues.When Alis gets mad, she calls me Reeky Wreck.

Any ways, the tourist was boring, but the building was really interesting. I kept bumping into walls, and Corn Cob kept snoring.

At about 8:50, we got news that a plane was hijacked by terroristsand crashed the South trade building. Alis squeaked, and the tour guide with an urging voice, skittered down 32 flights of steps, and because I was half Albino, it took longer. By then it wwas raging in the lobby. Old ladies sprinting, flip flopped teens darting outside, texting OMG WEER GONNA DY!! But Why?

Then The next airplane had crashed at 9:03. this was the bloody part. Firefighters who were just then in the corner sprang into action. I fell. I don’t remember what happenned next, but I heard vicious barks and me being slowy dragged along a tile floor. Then someone had picked me up, I was asumming Philip, but he was a stick! He wasn’t meaty like my father had been.

I regained consciousness right before it happened. I looked out the window only to see chunks and particles of debris falling, trapping people, andcitizens on the top floors having no choice but to jump!
This was terribble! I rushed out, but before I could get to the exit, Corn cob ran out and a cinder block compressed his tail, wailing and squealing. Alis ran to the beefy firefighter next to the restroom, and

Mid-Autumn Moon Cake Recipes


Makes 2 dozen
1 can (17-1/2 ounces) lotus seed paste
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2-cup non-fat dried milk powder
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar 1/2 cup solid shortening, melted and cooled
1 egg yolk , lightly beaten

1. Mix lotus seed paste and walnuts together in a bowl; set aside.

2. Sift flour, milk powder, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs on medium speed until light and lemon colored. Add sugar; beat for 10 minutes or until mixture falls in a thick ribbon. Add melted shortening; mix lightly. With a spatula, fold in flour mixture. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board; knead for 1 minute or until smooth and satiny. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a log. Cut each log into 12 equal pieces.

3. To shape each moon cake, roll a piece of dough into a ball. Roll out on a lightly floured board to make a 4-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Place 1 tablespoon of lotus seed paste mixture in center of dough circle. Fold in sides of dough to completely enclose filling; press edges to seal. Lightly flour inside of moon cake press with 2-1/2 inch diameter cups. Place moon cake, seam side up, in mold; flatten dough to conform to shape of mold. Bang one end of mold lightly on work surface to dislodge moon cake. Place cake on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat to shape remaining cakes. Brush tops with egg yolk.

4. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool.


The Legend of the Moon Festival 嫦娥奔月

Originally named the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays celebrated by Chinese communities around the world.

Traditionally, it is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month in observance of the bountiful Autumn harvest. Although old rituals are no longer followed, families continue to gather for a day to relax and eat moon cakes. Upon this occasion, the legend of the Moon Goddess, CHANG-O, is often told to children.

Once upon a time there was a famous archer, Hou Yi, who with his arrows was able to slay mankind’s worst enemies, ferocious beasts that inhabited the earth. Yi was married to Chang-O, a beautiful but inquisitive woman who had been an attendant of the queen mother of the west before her marriage. Now at this time, there were 10 suns that took turns circling the earth-one every 10 days. One day, all 10 of the orbs circled, together, causing the earth’s surface to burn and threatening mankind. The wise emperor of China summoned Yi and commanded him to kill but one of the suns. This Yi proceeded to do. Upon the completion of his task, Yi was rewarded with a pill, the elixir of life, and advised: “make no haste to swallow this pill, but first prepare yourself with prayer and fasting for a year.” Being a wise man, Yi took the pill home and hid it under a rafter while he began healing his spirit, In the midst of this, Yi was summoned again by the emperor.

While her husband was gone, Chang-O noticed a beam of white light beckoning from the rafter. She followed it and a fragrant perfume, discovered the pill and swallowed it. Immediately, Chang-O found she could fly. Just at that moment her husband returned home, realize what had happened and began to reprimand his wife. Chang-O flew out the window into the sky. Yi sped after her, bow in hand, and the pursuit continued halfway across the heavens. Finally, Yi had to return to the earth because of the force of  the wind.

His wife reached the moon and there, breathless, she coughed and part of the pill fell from her mouth. Now, the hare was already on the moon and Chang-O commanded the animal to take pestle and mortar and pound another pill so that she return to earth and her husband. The hare is still pounding.

As for Yi, he built himself a palace in the sun as Yang (the sun and the male principle), Chang-O as Yin (the moon and the female principle).

Once a year, on the 15th day of the full moon, Yi visits his wife. That is why the moon is full and beautiful on that night.

Story by Thomas W. Chinn, Historian