School's Enrichment Fair lets pupils show talents


May 27, 1999|By Diane B. Mikulis | Diane B. Mikulis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GLENWOOD MIDDLE School held its annual Enrichment Fair on May 20. More than 300 pupils exhibited projects related to classroom work on topics in science or social studies, and participation in service groups, peer mediation, outdoor education and school bands. They also exhibited projects involving independent research and problem-solving.

County Executive James N. Robey was one of the hundreds who visited the displays and talked with pupils. Priscilla Geisler, the fair's organizer, said, "The kids were just ecstatic that Robey was there."

School board member Sandra H. French also attended.

Geisler is the school's Gifted and Talented Program resource teacher. She said she organized the fair as an opportunity for parents to see the talents and hard work of faculty and pupils.

"It's so good for the parents to come in," she said. "They see their children showing off what they've learned. I've heard lots of comments about how impressed the parents were."

One of the most popular exhibits at the fair was a working model of a magnetic levitation -- or maglev -- vehicle.

Eighth-graders Ralph Hepperle and Brian Lawson worked with their teacher, Tom Tucker, to research state-of-the-art maglev trains in Japan and Europe.

Maglev trains use a track composed of huge magnets that, when charged, enable the train to float about a centimeter above the track. Because friction is almost eliminated, the vehicles can attain speeds of well over 100 mph.

The boys examined the need for such a system in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

They carved their vehicle out of wood and constructed an 8-foot magnetic track for it to run on.

In another part of the school, Robbie Rynarzewski manned an exhibit on the pupil-created school newspaper, Cobra Columns.

Robbie explained that the 15 pupils on the staff cover activities in each grade, review movies, report on sports and write editorials.

Glenwood also has a pupil-run television station. Each morning, pupils read daily announcements over the closed-circuit TV system and often interview guests.

At the fair were pupil television writers Kristi Ellingsworth, Kristen DeIluliis and Lindsay Minnema, and pupil TV technician Jennifer Mehalko.

More than 100 science exhibits were at the fair.

Eighth-grader Heather Cole examined the safety of food packaged in metal cans. Her research included using a micrometer to measure seams where the top is attached to the cylinder of the can. She related the tightness of the can to the country of origin.

Glenwood's concert band, jazz ensemble and spirit squad performed during the evening.

Geisler said she was very pleased with the fair and the number of pupils and faculty who participated.

Her goal, she added, "is to have every student and every teacher involved before I retire."

Books for Oklahoma

If you shop at the Giant Food in River Hill, you've probably seen the box near the exit with a sign announcing a book drive for the town of Mulhall, Okla.

The book drive was the idea of Kirstin Shipp, a fourth-grader at Clarksville Elementary School.

Several weeks ago, Kirstin was watching news reports of the devastation in Oklahoma and decided she wanted to help.

"The library at the school in Mulhall was absolutely flattened," she explained. "That's when I thought of doing a book drive."

With enthusiastic support from her mother, Roberta Shipp, Kirstin made up the boxes and placed one at her school and another at the Giant. She hopes to add boxes in other schools and grocery stores.

New and used textbooks, children's and adult literature and reference materials are accepted.

"It's a K-to-12 school," Roberta Shipp said, "so they need everything."

Because of transportation and storage considerations, Roberta was hesitant about making the project too big. After several weeks of phone calls and inquiries, she has located a moving company in New Mexico that will send a van to Clarksville, load the books and deliver them to Mulhall for free.

Betty Swigleson, owner of J'Tabs Inc., affiliated with North American Van Lines, regularly donates her vehicles and drivers for national emergency situations.

"We'll take as many books as we can get now," Roberta Shipp said.

The 2,500 books collected so far are stored in the Shipps' garage, but Roberta and Kirstin hope a storage company will donate space soon. They also are looking for sturdy cardboard boxes for packing.

Monetary donations are also being accepted so the school can buy books needed for classes. Make checks payable to Kirstin Shipp and on the memo line write "Oklahoma Book Drive." Checks should be sent to Kirstin's Oklahoma Book Drive, First National Bank of Maryland, 8640 Guilford Road, Columbia 21046.

Children helping children

Children at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School contributed their allowances and snack money to a fund to help the children in Kosovo a few weeks ago.

Sande Hesse, PTA community outreach chair, said $322 has been donated to Save the Children for aid to victims of the war in Kosovo.

"I really think the money came from the children themselves," Hesse said. "It was all in coins and small bills. If it was from the parents, there would have been checks."

Women's self-defense

Howard County General Hospital is offering a Women's Self-Defense class from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. June 5 and 12 at its Wellness Center at Inwood village center.

The cost is $40.

Information or registration: 410-740-7680 and enter code 3889.

Pub Date: 5/27/99

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