Explorers, state officers make presentations

SCRANTON—The USD 434 Board of Education hosted presentations from fifth and 11th grade students during its Feb. 8 regular meeting.

Students in Cindy Moulin’s fifth grade class spoke on top of PowerPoint slideshows with questions they asked and answered through a weekly research project called Explorers.

“Every Friday we spend exploring some profound question,” said Moulin. “They’re fantastic, they love doing it. I brought them along to show you some of the things they come up with.”

Preston Koger led off with an emphatic presentation on the history of the trampoline.

“Who invented the trampoline?” he asked.

He answered with George Nissen, nationally ranked tumbler form the University of Iowa.

“He got the idea when he was 16 years old at a traveling circus, where acrobats would swing into a net and then rebound into summersaults,” Koger said.

The “bouncing rig”, as he called it, got its name on a tour of Mexico. There, locals dubbed it El Trampolin, Spanish for springboard.

Classmate Carolyn Chiddix contrasted the three ticket classes of the passengers of the Titanic.

“I noticed there were more third class passengers, but only a small number of them lived on,” There were a total of 2,228 passengers including crew, and only 706 of them lived.

“Third class was poor, and they were treated poorly; first class was amazing, and was compared to a floating palace,” Chiddix said. “More people could have lived, if they had taken more precautions.”

Moulin reviewed the origins of the idea.

“I wanted to utilize the chrome books we had,” Moulin said. “They always have these questions about things. We had ‘why don’t major league baseball players used metal bats?’ and ‘Can you make a cake out of soda?’ I get asked something about explorers every single day. They’re engaged and it’s fun.

“We had a great cake made out of mountain dew,” Moulin said. “So there’s perks.”

The board also hosted presentations from the three Santa Fe Trail High School students.

“We’re really trilled at SFT to have three state officers that are juniors, representing two CTSOs (career technical and student organizations),” said Connie Lindell, business education instructor.

Carson Strumpff and Kelsey Hug represented SFT’s Future Business Leaders of America program.

“FBLA has been a great experience for me,” Strumpff said. “I have experimenting with different business skills, to discovering what I want to pursue after high school.”

Hug said she’s traveled many places for FBLA conferences and competitions, including Topeka, Emporia and Atlanta.

“I hope to travel to Anaheim, Calif., to compete in the nationals this year,” Hug said, also recalling a visit to Dallas. “At this conference, I was able to learn new things, and make connections with new people, which is one of my favorite parts of FBLA.”

Wynter Ziegler, vice president of Skills U.S.A., a program available to students enrolled in college technical courses, spoke about her organization.

“More then 6,000 students compete in 100 leadership and technical areas,” Ziegler said. “The framework makes members more knowledgeable of the expectations future employers will have on them.”

Ziegler said she would be competing in a carpentry competition in Kansas City later this year.

“We build a model house,” Ziegler said. “You put plumbing in it, framing and drywall – anything you would do to a house.”

The three students also made presentations to the state school board last month.

In other business, the board:

• approved a five-year replacement plan for school busses, which includes 15 2018 71-passenger busses, three 2018 65-pasenger busses, 2 2017 29-passenger busses, and 1 2017 19-passenger buss with a lift. The board approved also optional cameras and airfoils for each bus, and will consider GPS tracking of students on the busses at the March meeting.

• heard a request from Steve Pegram, superintendent, that the board members each choose 10 possible capital outlay projects from a provided list.

“Compile those and I’ll have them for you at the next meeting,” Pegram said.

• updated the schools technical policy to include devices brought by students.

• approved a request from Brenda Dahl for the softball team to host a Tupperware fundraiser to purchase new bats.

• conducted a 10 minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel

• briefly discussed possible budget cuts to state schools.

“I sent you the deal where we could loose $370,000,” said Pegram.

Zach Anshutz, board member, said the district could lose more as much as $800,000. Pegram said it was still early in the budget process.

• approved hiring Terry Hittle as high school custodian, Megan Pena as high school head volleyball coach, and Ann Fawl as assistant high school softball coach, pending adequate participation. The board approved the resignation of William Theodore, middle school technology instructor.

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The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

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