A gentler August instead of usual humidity, heat

NEIGHBORS

August 12, 1994|By LOURDES SULLIVAN

I expected to be sweltering by this time of year. But instead the weather has eased into gentle warmth.

What a difference 10 degrees makes in summer. It makes less difference in winter. If I'm cold, I just put on another sweater under my jacket. It doesn't work in reverse.

If I'm too hot, I can only shed so many layers before modestly fleeing to the air conditioning in my bathing suit. I don't know how rabbits endure a year-round coat.

But all last week it was cool enough to go paddle-boating on the Columbia lakes. We have the county fair coming up, and I can go without melting.

I can even face back-to-school shopping. As long as the temperature stays below 95.

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This Sunday , the U.S. Navy band Country Current performs on the lawn of Devers Hall on Fort Meade at 7 p.m. Bring blankets or lawn chairs.

The hourlong concert is free, as is parking. Devers Hall is at the corner of Mapes Road an Cooper Avenue on the Fort.

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Bored on Thursday nights?

Come to the Savage Volunteer Fire Company's weekly bingo game. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with play beginning at 7:15 p.m. The schedule includes 28 games, such as early bird, bonanza, jackpot and regular games.

L Refreshments are available and smoking breaks are scheduled.

For more information, call (301) 776-0024.

The fire company's social hall is at 8925 Lincoln St. in Savage.

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South Columbia Baptist Church thanks Duane Clutts, Mark Ridenour, Tom Dufresne, Bill Stivers, Linden Mercer, Charlie Dematatis and John and Diane Jones for their generous help in building a new storage shed for the church's garden equipment.

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This is Lee Matheu's first year as director of the summer science workshops for 7- to 11-year-olds at Patuxent Valley Middle School.

She's a four-year veteran of the program, and works with Bob Kedell, the former director of the program who is now working with older students.

Ms. Matheu's students in the one-week course learn about science through simulation games, lab work and model-making.

The first class finished camp by constructing a giant map of Africa. The class ending today is building a model of the San Diego Zoo. It's 12 feet by 10 feet.

Ms. Matheu had some help in managing the more than 70 young scientists in camp. Members of the Science Advancement and Opportunity Program volunteered during these two weeks and earned high school credit toward the community service requirement.

The students helped maintain the animals and fish in the PINES area.

It's a lot of work as Patuxent Valley has more than 1,000 gallons of water in the various fish tanks in the building. Ms. Matheu thanks them all.

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Bob Kedell ran Envirotech, the science camp for older students.

The 17 students spent half their time at computers and the other half wading in local streams collecting samples.

The students were working on 10 computer projects about wetlands and water. Using information supplied by the National Aquarium among others, the students are creating dichotomous keys to the flora and fauna of the wetlands on computer.

The common English translation of that sentence (I had to ask, 'cause I didn't know) is that the students are creating a computerized field guide to the animals and the plants in wetlands.

Such guides already exist in book form. It's complicated work, as the students have to enter information into the computer, and draw accurate pictures of the items entered.

The students have used McPaint drawing programs and are creating Hypercard programs. They collected samples in the field (translation: went wading in streams) for the other half of their time.

Then, they classified the plants they brought back using their Hypercard stacks. All this is being done with the Maryland Instructional Computer Co-Ordinators Association.

After this project is finished, the programs the students wrote become "shareware." That means that teachers throughout the state will be able to use these dichotomous keys in their classrooms.

Mr. Kedell thanks all who have helped support the sciences at the school, including the Sanford companies who continue to donate to the maintenance of the reptiles and aquariums at the PINES center, the Reptile House of the National Zoo, who donated animals and expertise, to Lee Summerville of the

Howard County Public Schools, Bill Eckert of the Department of Recreation and Parks, to Patuxent Middle Math teacher Sherry Barr who helped write the grant proposals (more than $20,000 received so far) and to the Savage and North Laurel communities who send their children to these programs.

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