DuBOIS — DuBois Area High School students taking a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics course designed and then participated in a 3D-printed boat race Friday.
“We began the project before winter break,” said physics and STEM teacher Jennifer Keith. “Students had to use CAD (computer-aided design) software to design a boat smaller than 8 inches by 6 inches that could be powered by a paddle or propeller with rubber bands.”
After 3D-printing their boats, they held a tournament racing the boats in the classroom. It was a double elimination tournament so students could make some adjustments and try at least two races, Keith said.
The first boat to cross a 6-foot long channel of water won the race.
“But because some of the boats cannot make the full 6 feet, we have also added a time limit of 30 seconds,” Keith said. “After 30 seconds, the boat that has drifted the farthest is the winner.”
The boats also had to carry a passenger, a small 3D-printed robot. If the passenger was lost off the boat during the race, that boat automatically was disqualified and lost the race, Keith said.
The winners of the race this year were sophomore Isaiah Seyler and senior Evan McDowell.
“This was our first year running the STEM lab class,” Keith said.
The school received $1,500 from winning the Simulink contest during the BEST Robotics season last year and that helped purchase one of the new 3D-printers for the classroom use, Keith said. The award was for the best programming design at the Northern Plains Regional Contest in Fargo, N.D. The high school has two 3D-printers.
“It was to be used to purchase equipment to improve the team and STEM program at the high school,” Keith said.
BROCKWAY — Throughout the United States, schools have worked to find ways to keep food in the bellies of students while growth in the economy fails to reach those in poverty.
Many schools in this area have a large population of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, and while this may seem like a joking matter for some, some children only get to eat what the school puts on the table during the week.
According to a USDA study reported by CNN, 13.1 million children in the United States live in homes that are considered “food insecure.” This means that, aside from the food they get from school breakfast and lunch programs, they are not guaranteed a meal in the evenings, weekends, and school vacations. And while it is easy to imagine that this problem is isolated to cities, the USDA estimates that more “food insecure households” lie in non-metro areas.
Areas like Brockway or DuBois or St. Marys or Ridgway.
Brockway Area Junior-Senior High School Counselor Heather Anderson is spearheading the expansion of a Weekend Backpack Program that is already in full-swing in the elementary school. She gathers donated food items and puts them in red, drawstring backpacks for students in need to take home over the weekend. She hopes to gradually expand the program based on donations and level of need.
“Other schools in the area are doing this already,” Anderson said. “Kristen Sholes at the elementary school has actually started this in Brockway, so (High School Co-Principal) Jeff Vizza and I met with her to see how she got the program at the elementary school up and running. Once we saw what we needed to do, we started collecting donations.”
Anderson sent letters to local churches and businesses asking for donations. As expected, the community came out to help, providing food and money to the program. She also asked the staff of the high school to donate, which was a huge success.
But this is an ongoing process. Anderson at the high school is helping 10 families. The elementary school handles their own families.
“We don’t really set a goal, but want to help as many families as we can,” Anderson said. “I just want to make sure we continue to have enough food!”
Every family that has participated is extremely grateful. The students leave Friday with their backpacks and bring them back Monday so they can be ready for the next weekend.
“There are many families that struggle to make ends meet in our district,” Anderson said. “If we can help just a little with food over the weekend, then it’s worth it.”
Anderson is thankful that Vizza set up the meeting with the elementary school and got the program going at the high school.
“Our administration here is supportive when it comes to helping our students,” Anderson said. “And I’m amazed at how generous our community and staff are in providing donations.”
If donations stay steady or even grow, Anderson hopes to help families through difficult times until they can get back on their feet.
“It truly seems like the Weekend Backpack Program will help our families,” Anderson said. “As the program continues, and donation continue to come in, we hope to help more in need. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that we’re able to help feed students in our school. It was neat and exciting to pack the bags last week and I look forward to doing it again and again!”
For more information on children going hungry in America, www.nokidhungry.org and www.feedingamerica.org have detailed statistics. Many local school districts have programs like Brockway’s and are looking for donations.
WEEDVILLE — A Weedville man died while riding his side-by-side in a wooded area in Jay Township over the weekend.
According to Ridgway-based state police, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, members of their station responded to a wooded area off of Apple Street to search for Scott Elton Winslow, 54, of Byrnedale Road, Weedville, after he did not return home after a side-by-side ride on Saturday.
Elk County Search and rescue were notified and helped with the search.
Upon arrival to Winslow’s last known location, state police members found a man deceased. He was confirmed to be Winslow.
Upon further investigation, it was determined that Winslow had died of apparent hypothermia combined with a medical condition while riding his side-by-side.
He was pronounced deceased on scene by Elk County Coroner Michelle Muccio.