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School News

May 9, 2017

GreenRibbon-Schools-wLogoWilliam Tyler Page Elementary School and John Poole Middle School have been selected as recipients of the 2017 U.S. Green Ribbon Schools Award. They are among 45 winning schools from across the nation.

The Green Ribbon Schools Award program, established in 2011, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.

“This award is a reflection of our commitment to foster healthy and productive learning spaces for all students and reduce the impact we have on the environment,” said Superintendent Jack Smith. “Congratulations to the staff, students and community members whose efforts have led to this national recognition.”

At Page Elementary School, each classroom has a representative from the green team who acts as a Green School leader for their peers. Their responsibilities are to ensure lights are off, blinds are down at the end of the day, and computers are shut down properly after using the computer lab. Team members ensure there are stickers next to light switches, and that others are recycling in classrooms by posting signs in bins about what can be recycled. Third to fifth grade green team ambassadors monitor breakfast and lunch recycling procedures. The Green Team has been in existence since 2005, and has grown from five students to 100 students in a school of 410 students.

For 13 years, John Poole Middle School has completed environmental projects that have been supported by several organizations. Key partners include: Snitzer Landscaping, Lowe’s, Clean Air Partners, Audubon Society, Chesapeake Bay Trust, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which helped complete a series of erosion prevention gardens and the creation of an outdoor classroom. Poole students have come to expect regular outdoor learning, with opportunities to improve the schoolyard and building sustainability. From water conservation to energy reduction, John Poole students are involved in stewardship. For example, students painted signs over four storm drains on school property to remind community members that what goes into the stream goes into the Bay, while others created designs that surround light switches to remind staff and students to turn the lights off. The school has fostered environmental awareness since its doors opened in 1997 through a tradition of completing environmental stewardship projects every year, with students taking an active role in problem solving and suggesting solutions for issues in the schoolyard.

Bread Baking Event Teaches Math, Science Concepts

JHU bread baking

What better way to learn about the changing states of matter than by baking bread?

Mixing water, flour, sugar and yeast, MCPS fourth graders learned about the science and math behind bread baking—and got to eat their homework.

Over the course of three days, nearly 700 MCPS students were introduced to the King Arthur Flour Bake for Good Kids: Learn Bake Share program. Students from Diamond, Capt. James E. Daly, Wilson Wims, Goshen and Sequoyah elementary schools visited the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Montgomery County Campus for the presentation and a hands-on science exhibition. JHU and King Arthur Flour staff members visited Rock View Elementary and offered a similar presentation there.

The initiative is an effort to teach students at a young age the practical applications of what they learn in the classroom. JHU hosts the event to expose students to science at an early age and to spark an interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

During the presentation, King Arthur Flour instructor Amy Driscoll taught students that yeast is a fungus that eat sugar by absorbing it through the cell wall. She explained about “volume” and “estimate” and the importance of fractions in baking. She discussed the role of carbon dioxide in bread baking, how gluten forms and why bakers must make sure the water temperature is just right.

The lessons aligned with the fourth-grade science curriculum on the changing states of matter, properties of matter and the differences between mixtures and new substances.

The bread donation will benefit multiple programs of Interfaith Works, a nonprofit that helps more than 16,000 Montgomery County residents in need annually.

JHU bread, science fairAfter students learned the chemistry of bread baking, they continued their hands-on science exploration. Scientists, nurses, students, teachers and others from several local companies and educational institutions led the students through activities, including how to extract DNA from strawberries, how to prepare a plate of healthy food and the ins and outs of radiology and robotics.

High School Students Participate in Java Programming Contest

The 2017 Java Programming Competition was held last month at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus.

High school students were challenged to analyze programming problems and find solutions in the Java programming language. Student teams were scored by a panel of judges made up of Montgomery College professors and other universities.

The Engineering, Physical and Computer Science Department of Montgomery College, Maryland is proud to host the 2017 Programming Competition.

Winners were named in two categories—Introduction Teams and Advanced Teams.

Introduction Team winners were:

  • First place, Thomas S. Wootton High School
  • Second place, Richard Montgomery High School
  • Third place, Seneca Valley High School

Advanced Team winners were:

  • First place, Thomas S. Wootton High School
  • Second place, Thomas S. Wootton High School
  • Third place, Poolesville High School and Thomas S. Wootton High School


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