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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

Students Deliver Wealth Of Wisdom At Touch Of Button

‘Hello, I am a lemming,” said Matthew Gannon. His talk on the little Arctic creatures lasted about a minute and included the solution to that age-old mystery - why lemmings march into the sea: “Because we think the ocean is only a pond.”

Matthew and 70-odd other third-graders filled the gym at Progress Elementary School last week for a wax museum.

Third-graders taught by Lloyd Stallings, Michele Kent and Sharon Naccarato studied creatures of the Arctic and Antarctic. The wax museum concluded that project.

It’s a simple idea. Students produced five-page research papers, then boiled their knowledge down to five facts. They memorized their information, or were ready to read it aloud. With stickers or markers, the children created a “button” for one hand. Parents and grandparents were invited to come see and learn.

Anyone who approached a student and pushed his or her button was treated to a display of knowledge.

Cody Sherrodd, whose button hand showed some distinctly white knuckles, was a walrus. His listeners learned that walruses eat clams, fish and seals and weigh an average of 3,000 pounds. “Our babies are born without tusks, and twins are very rare,” he said.

Madeline Blodgett was a ptarmigan. “My scientific name is lagopus lagopus albus,” she said.

Katrina Branning, right next to her, was a gray wolf.

Some of the students handled the hubbub better than others. Kent carried a video camera around the gym, recording one “creature” after another.

Finally she aimed her camera at the two girls. “Ready, Madeline? Ready, Katrina? Go!” The two rattled off their spiels, side by side, simultaneously.

Dedicated to DECA

West Valley High School’s DECA Club is sending 18 students to state competition. That’s the most qualifiers the school has produced in nine years.

State competition for the Distributive Education Clubs of America will be in Bellevue, Wash., on Feb. 29-March 2.

Qualifiers from West Valley are: Tara Craig, Christina Scherr, Angela Cline, Holly Peterson, Leslie Jones, David McIvor, Abby Palmer, Jenny Grizzle, Gena French, Jason Calvert, Tim Fackenthall, Lisa Rounsly, Rachael Spivey, Will Herdon, Amy Gelhausen, Jan McIntyre, Carrie Koker and Ben Giraud.

Learning how laws are made

David Edwards, an eighth-grader at Greenacres Junior High School, recently saw state government in action, working as a page in Olympia. Republican Rep. Larry Crouse sponsored Edwards, 14.

Pages are responsible for delivering messages and papers to lawmakers as they work. During their two weeks in Olympia, pages also spend two hours a day on schoolwork.

Budding bridge champions

North Pines Junior High’s extended learning class mixed fun with numbers recently with a program on bridge. Extended learning is for students who are gifted in math and reading.

Ninth-grader Lynzee Mitchell won the mini-tournament played at the end of the program.

Bridge is a good way to mix math skills with team work, said Brenda Simpson, a physical education teacher at North Pines and president of the Spokane chapter of the American Contract Bridge League.

“It’s a team game. They need to communicate with their partners in ‘bridginese,”’ Simpson said.

Moon rocks in town

Fourth-grade teacher Dano Beal at Broadway Elementary School put on a Moon Rock tea last week.

His students shared cookies, punch and the ideas they’ve learned about the moon, with the loan of real moon rocks from NASA. The rocks will be on display at the school for another couple of weeks.

Winning in the arts

Students from across the CV district competed last month in literature, photography, music and visual arts in the PTSA’s Reflections competition. The contest is for elementary and secondary grades.

These children won outstanding awards for their work and will go on to state competition: Visual Arts Primary: Ivy Johnson, a second-grader at Opportunity. Cory Benton, kindergarten, South Pines. Codee Allen, kindergarten, South Pines. Victoria Loehlein, second grade, Adams.

Visual Arts Intermediate: Lorraine Anger, fifth grade, Adams. Christina Winkler, fifth grade, University. Shanna Stalwick, fifth grade, Adams. Stephanie Mikelson, fifth grade, University. Sara Myers, fourth grade, Keystone.

Visual Arts Junior High: Michelle Fleming, sixth grade, South Pines. Tana Depew, seventh-grade, Greenacres Junior High.

Music Intermediate: Tiara Urlacher, fifth grade, South Pines. Kendall Koehler, third grade, Ponderosa.

Photography Primary: Janelle Moore, second grade, Greenacres.

Photography Intermediate: Andrew Thurber, third grader, Chester. Ryan Mazzie, fourth grade, Ponderosa.

Photography Junior High: Ryan Jamieson, sixth grade, Chester.

Literature Primary: Daniel Reid, second grade, University. Nicholas Grigsby, second grade, Adams.

Literature Intermediate: Daniel Burke, third grade, Adams. Tori Nutsch, fifth grade, Greenacres. Kristyn Koehler, fifth grade, Ponderosa.

Literature Junior High: Sara Joynes, sixth grade, Adams. Aaron Grant, sixth grade, Chester.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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