FAIRBANKS — The machine is deceptive. It looks like a metal cube with little wheels mounted around the outside edges. A pushover, right?
What competitors didn’t see, though, helped a Lathrop High School’s robotics team go all the way to the world championship Division II finals at the 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition last week in St. Louis, Mo.
The Lathrop team, dubbed ICY (short for “I see why”), included Heather Parsons, Jaguar Kristeller, Rohan Weeden and Aven Bross.
They set their multi-wheeled creation loose on a 12-foot-square mat, where it competed against other robots to put the most batons in goals, climb small hills and balance on teeter-totters. To earn the most points, robots competed in alliances, allowing one robot to score goals while the other pushed other robots around, running interference.Read full article
Administrative Secretary Tracie Gray at Ryan Middle School thinks of Drecar Delcastillo, 13, like an onion.
“Every time you talk to him, there are deeper layers to be discovered,” she said.
The eighth-grade student is a wrestler and a budding breakdancer. He also wows people with his magic tricks.
“Drecar comes into our classroom with magic tricks,” Gray said. “Some of his tricks are intellectual puzzles and some slight of hand. Sometimes his anecdotes require physical feats.”Read full article
FAIRBANKS — Holding a large stuffed Canada goose in the air, Patricia Reynolds, a wildlife ecologist, used the fabric replica to display some of a goose’s numerous behavior postures from preening to alert, to resting or threatening.
“When a goose is threatening, it’s neck will be stretched out like this,” Reynolds demonstrated. “Sometimes its wings will go up too,” she added.
The lecuture to two fifth-grade Woodriver Elementary classes was held at the Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge off College Road.
Reynold’s followed the demos with instructions on how to fill out a bird activity and behavior study card, similar to those used by wildlife researchers in the field.Read full article
FAIRBANKS — Students milled around Lathrop High School’s library looking at the displayed works of fine arts, journalism and engineering on Wednesday April 27. It was the annual showcase of honors and AP art students and of Lathrop’s two academies — the Fine Arts and Communication Academy and the Engineering Academy.
Although the academies are new to Lathrop, interest in their subjects is not new to students.
“I’ve been doing art since I’ve been able to do it,” said senior Dorian Granger, 17. His sculptures and other three-dimensional works took up a large area of the library.
With an art teacher mom, Granger said, “I’ve been raised with it since a young age.”Read full article
FAIRBANKS — Diligence in the weight room is one of the reasons Daryn Colledge was an All-American left offensive tackle during his career at Boise State University and helped the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl this past January.
During an assembly Friday afternoon in the North Pole High School gymnasium, Colledge was honored by his alma mater for a donation to improve that school’s weight room.
The Packers’ left offensive guard and 2000 North Pole graduate contributed about $20,000, which will fund three weightlifting stations.
At the end of an assembly to introduce the school’s spring sports teams, the 29-year-old Colledge spoke to the 730-member student body in the gymnasium, about a dozen yards from the weight room, then signed autographs.Read full article
FAIRBANKS — Ten West Valley High School students are heading to Charlotte, N.C., this week to compete in the U.S. Academic Decathlon. The West Valley team recently took the state’s overall winner title, beating Lathrop High School.
The students were quizzed on 10 different academic categories. Students on the team were of A-, B- and C-grade averages for balance.
Beginning April 27, the West Valley team will compete with schools from across the nation. Last year, Lathrop took fourth place in Division II. Robin Feinmann and Coby Haas are coaches.Read full article
FAIRBANKS — On desert islands, hurricanes are hard to predict.
That’s why on April 19, Ken Brown, Two Rivers Elementary kindergarten and first-grade teacher, was the only one who knew a hurricane was coming to his desert island classroom.
For the past several weeks, Brown has been teaching his students with the Scottish Storyline Method, a technique that incorporates school subjects in an interactive story.
“One of the reasons (the curriculum) is so successful is that kids are really engaged and feel ownership of the storyline,” Brown wrote in an email. “Unlike other experiential methods (such as the popular ‘Oregon Trail’), it is not scripted. The teacher has an overall plan, but the students have a role in determining how the storyline plays out.”Read full article
FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly took its first crack at a potential $61.8 million bond proposal by the school district during a finance committee meeting Thursday night.
“We understand how big $61.8 million is. We do have projects that are creeping up on us fast ... and it’s our obligation to let you know that,” said Dave Ferree, assistant superintendent of facilities management for the school district.
But the school district may only ask for half as much if the state budget, in its current Senate version, passes. It is unlikely the final budget would contain funding for all the projects, which incudle septic upgrades, roof renovations and engineering and design for a new elementary school in North Pole, Ferree said. Though a $9 million grant for the renovation of Barnette Magnet School looks good, he said.
The Borough Assembly would have to approve the proposal in June for it to be ready for October elections. The assembly questioned school district leaders about the structure of a bond package and a new school in North Pole, which is estimated to cost $30 million.Read full article
FAIRBANKS — Chris Carlson’s first- and second-grade students at Joy Elementary School know that one of their classmates, Abigail Rice, is in a hospital in Portland, Ore.
They know she’s been there since February and is being treated with chemotherapy.
They know that her treatment makes her tired and that she’s starting to lose her hair.
They know all this because once a week on Wednesdays, the class has a video conference with 8-year-old Abigail via Skype.
But this week’s Skype call was a bit different than the others.Read full article
At Crawford Elementary School, Emily Donovan, 12, is into music and art and proving to her teachers that she’s a conscientious student. Sixth-grade teacher Jean Lewis finds Donovan an excellent student with a good attitude.
“She grasps new ideas quickly, and is always willing to help others when needed,” Lewis said. “She never complains about any work that has been assigned to her. Her work is always done neatly and handed in on time.”
Donovan enjoys mystery novels and lessons involving building pyramids out of sugar cubes. The reason she succeeds may be because she finds the fun in school. Lewis called Donovan friendly, responsible, happy and well-adjusted.
“I like music, gym and all the great teachers,” she said. “It’s made me a better person.”Read full article