HARTFORD — “This is something they’ll never forget.”
Most can look back at their schooling career and clearly remember at least one interactive activity and the time period or subject that went along with it, a thought one Cornerstone Academy teacher alluded to with this phrase. Over the last several weeks, Cornerstone Academy students have been doing just that and have created a variety of special projects.
Beginning with the kindergarten, first, and second grade students who, along with help from their teachers Jenny Fackler and Pam Fisher, built an igloo to go along with their winter themed lessons. Fackler said the igloo is constructed out of 561 and a half milk jugs and 70 glue sticks, and took about eight hours to build.
Fackler said they first began gathering milk jugs on Jan. 9 and sent word out to parents and every one they knew to save their milk jugs. She said the students now gather in the igloo for their reading time and is big enough for all the students to fit inside at once and is even tall enough for an adult to stand up inside.
Next up is the third and fourth grade students, with their teacher Teresa Davis, who constructed a cardboard castle in their classroom and have been learning about knights, castles, and the feudal system. The castle featured several functioning windows, a working drawbridge, as well as other additions from students including drawings of rats and spiders. Students had also made armor, which the students were encouraged to design and decorate as they seemed fit, some of which included rainbows, turtles, and West Virginia themed designs.
Along with the castle and armor, students also worked on lapbooks containing information on topics including the code of chivalry and other equipment knights used, as well as reading about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Following the visit to medieval times, the fifth and sixth grade students shared their civil war themed robots with the Point Pleasant Register. These students, with assistance from teacher Patty Asbeck, created robots out of recyclable materials including pizza boxes, toilet paper rolls, and plastic jugs.
Students explained the construction of their robots, saying after they built the robot itself they had to figure out the proper wiring and programming any of the movements and sounds it made, as well as the lighting of any LED lights included. The robots, activated by a motion sensor, performed a variety of tasks including lighting cannons and yelling “Fire!,” a drumming robot solider, as well as one confederate soldier robot who waved the confederate flag.
Asbeck said the materials for the robots were provided for via a grant from the Marshall University Harless Center. Asbeck, who is also the principal of Cornerstone, said she has been involved with the STEM program, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, which helped inform her knowledge of these robots, which in turn helped her relay the information to the students. The students are also creating a PowerPoint presentations to go along with their robot and they may also have the opportunity to show their robot at Marshall University.
Last but not least were the seventh and eighth grade students who were studying the scientific aspect of combining Diet Coke and Mentos, and created a rocket skateboard with the help of teacher, Julie Harper. Harper and her students said they had visited a website, www.eepybird.com, and watch several other experiments involving Diet Coke and Mentos and based off those experiments, devised one of their own.
The students placed six Mentos in a plastic tube, which were held in place by tape. The tube was then attached to the bottle of Diet Coke, which was then attached to a skateboard. Once outside with the students watching, Harper broke the tape holding the Mentos in the tube and the skateboard traveled several feet across their basketball court from the propelling power of the Diet Coke.
The students explained why the experiment works best with Diet Coke because the sugar in regular Coke affects the reaction to the Mentos differently and other types of soda don’t have as much carbonation as Diet Coke, which is essential to the experiment. Harper said they had previously performed this experiment without using the skateboard and they had used 20 Mentos mints and they estimated the Diet Coke shot around 15 to 20 feet in the air. They explained why their rocket skateboard didn’t travel farther, noting they only used six Mentos this time and they had the added weight of the skateboard.