Pupils point and click their way to membership in social studies society


May 19, 2002|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BROOKLYN PARK Middle School pupils Krystina Engel, Danielle Evans, Jessica Horton, Richard Rebstock, John Cosner, Emily Fador, Scott Mauller, Victoria Vykol, Crystal Marion and Patricia Wood were inducted last week into the school's Society for Social Studies Scholars.

The society is a program designed by Brooklyn Park teacher Jan Meaney to reward and encourage pupils in the study of history, geography and other social studies.

To achieve this honor, the pupils were required to successfully complete a study of ancient Egypt and present their findings in a PowerPoint slide show with animation and sound effects. Meaney said that the project involved library and Internet research and knowledge of presentation software programs.

"This was very time consuming," she said. "They had to leave class but were still required to make up the class work that they missed.

"The class was involved in another project, so this was really a double whammy - two projects at the same time, plus a lot of work and planning had to be done at home. This was in addition to their regular homework. But they had fun with this, too."

Those who met the society's admission standards gained more than knowledge of the ancient world.

"They learned how to set goals and how to meet them, the correct way to do research, how to meet deadlines and how to prepare appendices," Meaney said. "Too often the focus is on the lower achievers. At times, it's easy to forget about the bright kids. Teachers need to be tuned into their needs, too. This program raises the bar for our top students.

"These kids know PowerPoint backwards and forwards, and they see the pride of turning in something that is a nice piece of work. Others see their projects, too, and it inspires them to do well, too," she added.

Other members of the society are Ashley Riley, Kurt Hadaway, Carissa Hare, Ashley Jones, Samantha Parsons, Jaime Burkhead, Corinne Guzik, Lindsey Hall, Kristen Hill and Ashley Walker.

Meaney's program has won accolades from the school and from parents.

"Everyone at Brooklyn Park has been so supportive. Kay Campbell, our media specialist, taught them how to do research and Johanna Esy, our computer technician, trained them on PowerPoint," Meaney said, adding that the school principal, Brenda L. Hurbanis, would like to see the program extended beyond sixth grade.

"And the parents are so positive," Meaney said. "These kids have always done well, but this let them leap ahead. These kids are so sharp."

Cleanup day

Residents of Brooklyn Heights can make a clean sweep through their neighborhood Saturday. That is the day that the Brooklyn Heights Improvement Association has chosen for its annual cleanup day.

Trash bins will be available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Ballman Court. If residents are unable to transport bulk items to that location, they can call 410-636-9611 no later than Tuesday to arrange for pickup. Pickup items must be placed at curbside.

Information: 410-636-9611.

Blood drive

St. Athanasius Church, 4708 Prudence St., will hold its spring blood drive from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday in the church hall.

Donors must be at least 18 years old. The Red Cross has simplified the registration process to make it easier for those eligible to donate. Refreshments will be served.

Information or to schedule an appointment: Bill Shenton, 410-792-2481.

Association meeting

The Olde Brooklyn Park Improvement Association will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Brooklyn Park Elementary School, Morgan Road and 14th Avenue.

Joan Casey of the county Department of Planning and Zoning will speak. She will provide information on zoning regulations in the community.

Information: 410-636-3269.

Church presentation

A drama presentation, Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames, will be performed at 7 p.m. today through Wednesday at Maryland's Church on the Rock, 900 Church St.

A nursery and children's church will be provided for each performance. Admission is free.

Information: 4410-355-5922.

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