Eastport Elementary Students To Get A Taste Of Space Program


April 21, 1997|By Lyn Backe | Lyn Backe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ONE OF THE BENEFITS of living in the belt buckle of the East Coast is the wealth of things to see and do: the Smithsonian and other museums in Washington; the Inner Harbor and the Walters Art Gallery and such in Baltimore; and the people from various agencies and high-tech businesses who generously share their expertise with us laymen, in understandable terms.

As an example, I had the fun of hearing and seeing astronaut Ron Pirese give an informal slide show at an area trade show recently. Beside having my breath taken away by extraordinary photographs of Earth from one of his two space missions, I learned important "real life" things. For example, it took him longer that day to get from National Aeronautics and Space Administration headquarters in Greenbelt to College Park than it did for him to get into orbit (8 1/2 minutes, for the latter). And astronauts must relearn how to brush their teeth. Leaning over the sink with your mouth open doesn't work when you are weightless in space!

Such space stories will likely abound at a NASA assembly tomorrow at Eastport Elementary School. It's being presented twice, at 9: 30 a.m. and 10: 30 a.m. Parents are welcome to attend.

The assembly can give the kids something to reach for, however: NASA still is recruiting astronauts, with a new class every two years.

`Dark and Stormy Night'

For most children, however, flights of fancy are more earthbound. My outlet as a child and teen-ager was the stage. Happily, the drama department is still alive and well at many area schools.

Annapolis Area Christian School is presenting "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night," a murder-mystery spoof directed by Gil Nadolny, at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the school on Bestgate Road.

True to the genre, characters' names often telegraph their characters: Arabella Saltmarsh is played by Pam Kirchner, a 10th-grader from Annapolis; Smiling Sam is played by 11th-grader Tomio Daumit, also of Annapolis. Other Annapolis students in the show are Tami Bartemus as Dorothy Blake, Jeff Beans as Ed Perkins, and Brian Dennstaedt as Snell.

The production is in the school's Athletic and Performance Center.

Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for high school students and $4 for students in eighth grade or lower. Information: 410-266-8251.

Odyssey winners

A group of fourth-graders from Georgetown East Elementary School took first place in the state Odyssey of the Mind competition for a play on the theme "Heroic Proportions" it wrote and produced. The group will represent Maryland at the World Competition on June 6 at the University of Maryland College Park.

The play is about a princess who saves the world with her "tremendously big, huge, humongous, mongo, 100-percent fat toe," explained Anna Holland, a member of the winning team. "On days that my own big toe gets in my way, I'll remember that it might have a use!"

Anna is the daughter of Louise White and Jeff Holland. Others on the team are Carter Simmons, son of Mary and Jay Simmons; Katie Gooding, daughter of Tom and Wrenn Gooding; Lauren Cohen, the princess in question and daughter of JoAnn and David Cohen; Alec Cronin, son of David and Carol Cronin; Natalie Williams, daughter of Jan Hendra and Stuart Williams, and Kristyn Colasuonno, daughter of Marilyn and Robert Colasuonno.

Mary Simmons was the children's coach.

Even though the competition in June isn't half a globe away, expenses are involved in getting there. Donations will be happily accepted at Georgetown East Elementary School, 111 Dogwood Road, Annapolis 21403.

Send congratulations as well to the Georgetown East fifth-grade team, which won second place in the state competition. Team members were Genna Davidson, Daniel Hackner, Michael Stellabotte, Steven Howe, Jaime Howe, Tara Ladiconia and Madelyn Cady. They were coached by Bill and Judie Davidson.

Anti-smoking advocates

Another area student in the public eye these days is Bobbi Sue Luther of Lothian. Bobbi Sue is one of 13 local teen-agers starring in anti-smoking commercials on local cable television.

Along with Michael Taylor, Lesley Rauch and Michael Nichols of Annapolis and Cara Martinez of Millersville, she is promoting the Quit Kit, a self-help kit for teens who want to quit smoking. The ads are running on MTV and Nickelodeon through the end of this month.

To give me leads on your school or organization's activities, call 410-626-0273 or send electronic mail to Lynbacke@aol.com.

Pub Date: 4/21/97

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