Students take the Technology Challenge


April 04, 2001|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SHOUTS OF triumph as well as groans of defeat were heard in the Wilde Lake High School gym Saturday, as more than 400 students competed in the seventh Technology Challenge.

Students in grades two through 12 spent weeks designing and building their entries for the competition, which was sponsored by the Technology Education Department of the Howard County public school system.

"The challenge here is to get the kids involved in Tech Ed," said Roy Rosnik, organizer of the event and a technology education teacher at Hammond Middle School. "The kids work hard solving problems, making changes to projects, and now they are showing what they've done."

For the Tractor Tug-of War competition, high school students were challenged to design and construct an electrically powered vehicle capable of pulling an opponent across a defense line. Other high school challenges included building an electrically powered cargo plane that could carry the most weight and designing a model house built to a quarter-inch scale.

Middle school children built model road bridges from soda straws, constructed electrically powered vehicles designed to travel the farthest after jumping a ramp, and built carbon dioxide-powered dragsters.

Elementary school pupils designed airplanes, race cars, cranes and model amusement-park rides.

A team called the Eggbert Nurses from Clarksville Elementary School won first place in the Safe Racer challenge for third-graders. The girls - Kate McFee, Cara Fisher, Hannah Jefferson and Kirsten Fry - built a race car from Styrofoam and wood to hold and protect their passenger from destruction, as the car crashed into a wooden barrier. Eggbert, a raw egg, nestled securely in the vehicle's cockpit with rubber bands and cloth mesh, emerged unscathed from the ordeal.

Swansfield Elementary School children Katarina Svensson and Marie Warner won third place in the Adventure Kingdom challenge. The challenge for fifth-graders was to design and construct a model theme-park ride based on a grade-level reading.

The girls took their inspiration from the book "Afternoon of the Elves" by Janet Lisle to create a working Ferris wheel made from Tinker Toys, clay and yarn. After some initial problems with their wheel, Marie and Katarina increased the friction on the main axle to get it to move. Katarina said that one of the most important lessons she took from the Technology Challenge was that "[it] doesn't always work the first time. You have to keep trying."

Women's Hall of Fame

Sharon Bedke, president of the Dorsey Search Women's Foundation, was inducted into the Howard County Women's Hall of Fame on March 15. A community activist and children's advocate, Sharon and her husband, John Bedke, have been foster parents to 183 children since moving to Howard County in 1985.

"It was quite a shock," Sharon Bedke said upon learning she had been selected for the Women's Hall of Fame.

"I figured it's great publicity for foster care," she added. "I'm hoping we'll get more people interested in helping. Howard County needs more foster parents."

She is also involved with the Head Start Program, has served on the Parent Policy Council and helps raise funds for scholarships for single mothers to attend Howard Community College.

She is working with other members of the Dorsey Search Women's Foundation to organize its biannual Children's Consignment Sale, to be held from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. April 21 at Dunloggin Middle School.

The group's first sale was held 22 years ago outside the Dorsey Hall pool and raised $200. Last fall's sale raised $4,000, which the group donated to charitable organizations.

Information about the consignment sale: 410-465-1980.

Bull roast

The Wilde Lake High School Boosters will sponsor its third Bull Roast and Auction from 8 p.m. to midnight April 27 at Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center. Tickets are $45 a person and may be ordered by calling Jack Schreck at 410-997-9308, or contact Jerry Yetter at


Howard Community College's Student/Alumni Performing Arts Group will present a Coffeehouse at 8 p.m. Friday in the college's main dining room. The event showcases students, alumni and guest artists in performances of music, comedy, dance, theater and poetry.

Admission is $3 at the door and includes light refreshments.

Information: 410-772-4515.

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