Bringing Science Alive CARROLL COUNTY

March 10, 1993

Whether building a bridge over a threatened stream, conducting an insect census, constructing a wind tunnel or planting trees, the students in Robert L. Foor-Hogue's science classes at South Carroll High School have learned to become intensely involved outside of the classroom.

His projects and presentations have earned the teacher a string of accolades and more than a few grants. (In one powerful demonstration on the effects of cigarette smoking, for example, he infused smoke into a fishbowl, which caused the fish to act disoriented and its circulation to drop.) This week, Mr. Foor-Hogue will be one of four Marylanders to receive the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics at a White House ceremony.

"Your only limitation is your imagination," the 41-year-old science teacher has told his pupils since coming to the Carroll County school system after six years in Baltimore. "Teaching is a hard job," is another favorite maxim.

But platitudes won't pay the bills, and Mr. Foor-Hogue takes an eminently practical approach to scientific research. "Good ideas are expensive," he repeats. To that end, his students learn to write applications for project grants and have been awarded nearly $50,000 for their proposals. Pizza kit sales and other fund-raisers have also helped.

It was typical of him to jest that he applied for the award and its $7,500 prize only because he had already spent the money on projects, for monitoring 300 acres of wetlands behind the high school and for the wind tunnel his classes designed and built.

He's already preparing for next year's students to write a federal grant proposal for $40,000 to $100,000 to build a model wet-dry retention pond to prevent runoff into the stream that passes into Piney Run. Mr. Foor-Hogue and the high schoolers have worked for several years to restore the purity of the stream in an effort to re-stock it with brown trout. A 75-foot wooden bridge was erected to keep runners and all-terrain vehicles from traversing the fragile waterway.

We salute Mr. Foor-Hogue for his national recognition. We also congratulate another winner, Judy Bruchey of Keymar, who teaches math at Green Valley Elementary in neighboring Frederick County. Carroll County can be doubly proud that two of the four state winners live here.

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