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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Pioneer Science Students Are Masters Of Invention

(From Valley Voice, March 12, 1998): Oops, it was U-Hi’s ASB University High School’s associated student body leaders organized their school’s involvement in a recent competition with Central Valley High School to raise money for the March of Dimes. An earlier article in the Valley Voice failed to mention their role.

The young inventors at Pioneer School’s Physics Fair rattled through their explanations with amazing speed.

First-class levers, inclined planes, movable pulleys, what-have-you’s. Their compound machines lit lightbulbs, rolled dice, dipped teabags and dropped M&Ms into a cup. The physicists had run tests on their machines 50 times, “a lot of times,” “a bunch!”

Newton would have been proud.

“It works!” yelped fifth-grader Michael Parkes, as he debugged a contraption that propelled a marble through tubing so that it dropped into a hidden jar.

Certainly, Pioneer teachers Jennifer Chase and Heather Moore are proud of their students.

“They’re at the point where they say, ‘Physics is cool, electricity is cool.’ Now if they can just keep that thought when they head off to high school!” Moore said.

The inventions made liberal use of cardboard boxes, flexible foam tubing, masking tape, pennies, marbles and string. One student who had won the Big Bang Award included an oversize rat trap in her machine.

Some sort of prize was taped to each entry: Most attention to detail. Most ways to use a penny. An uplifting invention.

“I’ve been having a little bit of technical difficulty,” admitted another fifth-grader. “This part has been a big variable for me.”

Sixth-grader Keely Maher was used to seeing one or two M&Ms lost outside the cup. The hardest part for her, though, “was if I messed up something while I was making my machine, it took a long time to take it apart again.”

For every technical difficulty was a project that worked with an enviable 90 percent accuracy.

Take Nicole Sandvig’s bright-idea invention. Nicole, a fifth-grader, combined this year’s physics with what she learned last year about electricity and created a gizmo that used a marble to turn on a light.

Last year’s focus was electricity. Next year, the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at Pioneer will learn about chemistry, before the threeyear cycle of science material starts over the following year, Moore said.

Pioneer School, on Sullivan Road, focuses on education of gifted children.

Wall Street, here we come

West Valley High School juniors Angey Donovan and Jessalynn Sander may be on their way to promising careers on Wall Street.

The two won second regionally and third statewide in a stock market game sponsored by the the Washington Council on Economic Education.

The two increased their mock $100,000 portfolio to $120,951 by selling and buying of stocks. More than 250 high school teams played in the 10-week competition.

One million is a lot

Two written announcements arrived to tell about a penny drive at McDonald Elementary School. One, from McDonald volunteer Marcia Ausmussen, was written with refreshing candor: “McDonald Elementary started a penny drive to collect a million pennies in 1997. Our progress was not as predicted, so we decided to cash them in.”

The students collected 130,000 pennies so far and will collect more.

Last month, the 130,000 pennies were transported in buckets to the Spokane Teachers Credit Union. The money will help buy additional technology for McDonald.

Money for the March of Dimes

Students at Central Valley and University High School raised $3,600 for the March of Dimes.

Last month’s campaign was a contest between the two Stinky Sneaker rivals, coordinated by Future Business Leaders.

Central Valley students and staff raised more than $2,200. U-Hi raised $1,400. Both schools surpassed their goals. March of Dimes raises money to help fight birth defects.

Jazz players win at Moscow

Horizon Junior High School’s jazz band won the sweepstakes award at the recent Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at Moscow.

The 23 musicians had to win their own division of nine bands to be able to enter the sweepstakes. Then they competed against more than 60 other groups from junior highs, middle schools and grade schools.

Horizon’s success stems from extra practice time all year long and the development of a select wind ensemble, said band director Steve Jydstrup.

“The way I look at it is, winning is simply a just reward for working hard,” Jydstrup said.

The award, a set of several cymbals, is worth about $1,000.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: The Education Notebook is the spot The Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com

The Education Notebook is the spot The Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com

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