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Building a Better Boat … from Cardboard?

November 5, 2013

On Oct. 30, about 100 students from Springbrook High School used methods from their science classes to build, float and race boats made entirely out of cardboard. The students are part of teacher Jacob Abrams’ Integrated and Applied Physical Science class and are learning how to use science to solve everyday problems. The students have been studying Newton’s three laws and investigating how force, acceleration and mass are related.

resizedspringbrookboats2 They spent a week building the boats. Graeves Appliance Store in Olney donated 12 refrigerator boxes for the experiment. There were a total of 12 teams in the race. Each team had six to eight participants, and each boat held two racers. The race was one length of the pool (25 yards), and there were three rounds of races. Some of the boats lasted and some … did not.

Wheaton High School Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony

School and community leaders joined staff and students on Oct. 30 to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Wheaton High School. The revitalization/expansion project will replace the current school, which was built in 1954, and will increase the school’s capacity by more than 250 students. The new school is slated to open in 2015.

Strathmore Classical Concerts Thrill Fifth Graders

resizedstrathmore1More than 11,000 MCPS fifth grade students attended classical music performances by the National Philharmonic at the Music Center at Strathmore Oct. 22–25. The student concerts were led by the National Philharmonic’s Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski. MCPS has partnered with Strathmore to present the concerts since 2004. All MCPS second graders will attend similar performances in November.

resizedStrathmore2 The concerts included music by composers Benjamin Britten (Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra) and Astor Piazzolla (Oblivion), as well as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, a thrilling finale that included spectacular cannon fire effects and student participation. The concerts reinforced musical concepts that students had been learning in school.

Scientists for a Day

Hundreds of 7th grade students from A. Mario Loiederman and Gaithersburg middle schools participated in fun-filled, hands-on science activities during the 5th annual Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day on Oct. 25. Frontiers in Science is a partnership among MCPS, Johns Hopkins University and local science and biotech industries that helps raise student interest in science.

Students spent part of the day at Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus, where they enjoyed science and medicine activities. They also visited a local laboratory or hospital to experience what doctors and scientists do each day. Lab activities included looking at brain specimen under a microscope; learning how DNA is used in forensics; watching mosquitoes feed on blood to learn about malaria; and learning about proper techniques for making intravenous preparations.

DuFief ES Celebrates “Ability Awareness Week”

DuFief Elementary School celebrated its 2nd annual Ability Awareness Week from Oct. 21–25. The program taught students that each person is special, despite differences or disabilities. The week’s activities included speakers, readings and a performance by the Kids on the Block, a group that uses puppets to address various disabilities, and educational and medical differences.

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