Young scientists at St. Rose of Lima display results of their research


February 20, 2000|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ST. ROSE of Lima Catholic School has announced the results of this year's Science Fair competition, which had entries with titles as intriguing as some of the topics.

The first-place winner in second grade was Jacob Four, whose project title asked, "Can People Guess What Objects Are Without Seeing Them?" Second place went to Ashley Bloom for "The Growing of Philodendrons."

Third-grade winner Danny Endress wanted to know, "Does the Bunny Go Farther?" His consumer-oriented testing found that name-brand batteries lasted longer, but "generic" brands bought at a discount store had a better price-per-minute performance.

Other third-grade winners were Megan Ferrin for "Do Cut Flowers Need Water?" and Gary Smith, with this poetic-sounding entry: "Can You Make Colors Dance in the Water?"

Sarah Monroe took the honors in fourth grade with her project, "This Experiment Stinks." Enough said.

The seventh-grade winners were Alex Simmons for "Flourishing Florals: Dead or Alive?" Beth Lerie was also a winner with "Sink or Float?" as was Adam Paik for "Acids and Bases."

Eighth-grade honors went to Matt Goldberg for "Does the Color of Light Falling on Plants Effect the Rate of Growth?" Other winners were Lauren Mason for "Does Temperature Affect the Drying Time of Paint?" and Amy Casciolo for "Needed Nutrients for Seed Germination."

The school's grand-prize winner was sixth-grader Stephen Romey for "Can Freshwater Fish Survive in Salt Water?" He selected several types of freshwater fish and gradually introduced salt into their tanks.

Some didn't make it.

Stephen reported that the rate of survival depended on the type of fish.

"The mollies are still alive, and some are expecting babies," he saids. "The rainbow sunset fish died."

Higher-tech seniors

Senior citizens who hunger for computer skills need go no farther than the Brooklyn Park Senior Nutrition Site. A program sponsored by the county and Anne Arundel Community College offers training in basic computer skills as well as more advanced software applications.

Instructor Francis Ennels said there is no prerequisite: "We work with the basic operations. Most seniors aren't familiar with input devices like the keyboard or mouse. We start with Word and Notepad and work on how to use the mouse, clicking, justification, and them move up to formatting. Once this is finished, we look to other simple applications in Windows 95."

After students learn basic skills, the next challenge is mastering financial and word processing software programs.

The financial program Quicken enables seniors to enter data into a basic ledger or checkbook. After Quicken, the students take on Microsoft Publisher.

"They like this a whole lot. They make calendars, greeting cards and invitations. I think they like having something they can take home. This past year, they made holiday cards and calendars," Ennels said.

Senior program coordinator Carolyn Scurry said Brooklyn Park is the first senior nutrition site in the county to offer computer classes. "The seniors asked for it. They love it," she said.

"There is high interest among seniors for computers. They have children and grandchildren who talk to them about computers. Plus, they want to be `in the loop,' " Ennels said. "The response is overwhelming. Seniors who take the class are prepared to go out and buy a computer."

Ennels teaches computer science at Prince George's Community College and hardware maintenance at Anne Arundel Community College.

All seniors are eligible to enroll. The cost is $20 for registration, plus a $5 lab fee. The next session is scheduled to begin in early March, and the classes fill quickly.

The Brooklyn Park Senior Nutrition Site is at 5503A Ritchie Highway. Information: 410-222- 6869.

A Family Place

Parents and caregivers of children ages 1 to 3 are invited to attend the next session of A Family Place at the Brooklyn branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

The program provides an opportunity for families to spend quality time together and meet other families. Professionals will attend sessions to discuss speech, hearing, physical fitness, child development, nutrition and behavior.

Activities include games, crafts and reading. Siblings as old as 5 may also attend. Registration is required.

The library is at 300 E. Patapsco Ave.

Information: children's librarian Gloria Bartas, 410-396-1120.

Black History Month

The celebration of Black History Month at St. John United Methodist Church continues today with the Rev. Diane Dixon-Proctor of John Wesley United Methodist Church in Baltimore speaking at the 4 p.m. service. Her theme will be "Our Roots are Grounded in His Holy Name."

All are welcome to attend. St. John is at 6019 Belle Grove Road.

Information: 410-636-2578.

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