Pupils get guided tour of Alaska via satellite and computer links


May 11, 1999|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

NORTH TO ALASKA is where pupils from Oklahoma Road Middle School headed Wednesday without leaving the comfort of their Eldersburg classroom.

Thanks to technology, 20 eighth-grade pupils participated in the school's first electronic field trip, "Journeys to Alaska."

Officials from the U.S. Department of Education and the Satellite Educational Resources Consortium were on hand to watch as the pupils were "transported" to the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Reserve in southeast Alaska.

Park rangers from the National Park Service and meteorologists from the Weather Channel led viewers through a former copper mine area as they discussed geological aspects of the Kennicott Glacier, climatic changes and weather patterns, and the formation of the copper ore found in the region.

The field trip was a combination of taped segments and a live satellite feed that was expected to be viewed simultaneously by about 600,000 pupils around the country.

Direct computer links made it possible for viewers' questions to be answered during the program.

"There was such a large amount of information, but we didn't have much opportunity to interact with the presenters," said teacher Jeff Fernandez. "The content and material was excellent. It allowed us to go to Alaska even for a brief while."

Fernandez and teacher Jen Rupert said they plan to obtain tapes of the program and use the material in several units of pupils' study of earth science.

Activities and information available on the program's Web site will also be used for lessons.

Pupils at the school will be able to e-mail their questions to the experts in conjunction with those lessons.

Pupil reaction to the experience was positive.

The program "was pretty jampacked with information," said Stephen Helm. "I learned more than I would on a normal field trip."

Music, music

If beautiful music is what you're seeking, you'll find it in two places this weekend.

ESCAPE Ministries Inc., a local aid organization, will hold its annual Ecumenical Sing at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul's United Methodist Church on Main Street, Sykesville.

In addition to several traditional choirs, a handbell choir, a duet and a youth band will perform. A free-will offering will be used to aid Carroll County needy through ESCAPE. The event has raised several thousand dollars in the past.

The folks at nearby Liberty Reformed Presbyterian church are joining with Northwest Baptist Church to hold a Music and Banner Celebration at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Presbyterian church, 11301 Liberty Road.

Joyful singing and beautiful banners will be included in the program "God With Us." The program is free.

For more information, call the church at 410-655-5466.

Basket bingo

Friends of area resident Karin Young are sponsoring a Basket Bingo to benefit the Karin Young Trust Fund on Friday at St. Joseph's Catholic Community on Liberty Road.

Doors will open at 5: 30 p.m. and games will begin at 7 p.m. In addition to 20 games of bingo, there will be door prizes and raffles for additional baskets.

Light dinner fare will be available. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door.

Karin Young is a young mother who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 1997. She and her husband, Scott, have two small daughters.

For advance tickets or information, call Wendy Haught at 410-549-0735.

Soccer registration

Final registration for the fall soccer league sponsored by the Freedom Optimist will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Freedom Community Center on Route 32.

Recreational teams for boys and girls entering kindergarten through 12th grade are open. Later registration forms will be available in the Eldersburg library. Late registrants are not guaranteed a team placement.

Information: 410-795-7697.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 5/11/99

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