Education

After science fairs canceled, one school invites professor for sweet visit

Darrell Iler, chemistry department chair and professor of chemistry at Greenville College, Diana Gravot, fourth grade teacher, and sixth grader Joyce Moorleghen make some “dry” ice cream during the family STEM night event, which took place on National Pi Day, at Douglas Elementary. Students and their families had a chance to play futuristic games and participated in other science-related activities.
Darrell Iler, chemistry department chair and professor of chemistry at Greenville College, Diana Gravot, fourth grade teacher, and sixth grader Joyce Moorleghen make some “dry” ice cream during the family STEM night event, which took place on National Pi Day, at Douglas Elementary. Students and their families had a chance to play futuristic games and participated in other science-related activities. znizami@bnd.com

A Greenville College professor recently came to Belleville to make a treat for some elementary school students with a special ingredient — dry ice.

Darrell Iler’s chemistry demonstration was part of Douglas Elementary School’s first family STEM night — new events in Belleville District 118 to replace the annual science fairs. The district-wide fairs were canceled this year because declining student participation.

Since then, each of the 11 schools in the district have been designing their own after-school events with interactive activities related to science, technology, engineering and math. District officials believed events at the individual schools would see more participation.

Roosevelt School Principal Craig Hayes, who used to run the district’s science fairs, previously said that event had declined from 300-plus student projects to 50 or 60 at most. Cheryl Walker, a reading specialist, said Douglas School’s first family STEM night drew 300 people, including families and staff, to the building.

Iler is the director of STEM programs at Greenville College and the chair of the chemistry department. He had some help making ice cream with the dry ice at Douglas from sixth-grader Joyce Moorleghen and fourth-grade teacher Diana Gravot.

Because Douglas’ family STEM night took place on National Pi Day — March 14 for pi’s first three digits, 3.14 — some of the activities were pi-themed, like one called Sir Cumference. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference, or the distance around, to its diameter, or the distance from edge to edge, according to piday.org.

Metro-east students compete in Pi Day contest

Also celebrating National Pi Day were students from 11 area schools who competed in Gibault Catholic High School’s annual junior high math contest.

Among the schools represented were St. Joseph’s in Freeburg, Saints Peter and Paul in Waterloo, St. James in Millstadt, Immaculate Conception in Columbia, St. John the Baptist in Red Bud, Saints Peter and Paul in Collinsville, St. Agatha’s in New Athens, Queen of Peace in Belleville, Millstadt Consolidated, Red Bud Elementary and Smithton Elementary.

During the contest, about 135 students in sixth through eighth grades had 30 minutes to complete a 35-question test. Because the contest took place on Pi Day, math teacher Carrie Laur said many of the questions were about circles or the digits of pi. Laur runs the contest every year.

One student, Kinzie Carr, won a special contest for reciting the most digits of pi. She memorized 193 digits.

The following are the rest of the contest’s winners.

Small school winners in sixth grade:

▪  First place Abby Eichenseer, second place Tyler Wahle, third place Trey Fabie, fourth place Kaitlyn Warden, fifth place Andrew Feldker

In seventh grade:

▪  First place Noah Newton, second place Jacob Whitworth, third place Austin Watson, fourth place Elayna Hermanns, fifth place Autumn Ramey

In eighth grade:

▪  First place Drew Ysursa, second place Jacob Feldker, third place Jake Buettner, fourth place Katie Grawitch, fifth place Anna Buescher

Large school winners in sixth grade:

▪  First place Owen Stallings, second place Thomas Friess, third place Evan Dressel, fourth place Gavin Major, fifth place Shannon Riley

In seventh grade:

▪  First place Allison Colvis, second place Will Weck, third place Aiden Cauble, fourth place Piper Brown, fifth place Kinzie Carr

In eighth grade:

▪  First place Riley Knapp, second place Josh Merz, third place John Murray, fourth place Adelle Hill, fifth place Jordan Sinkler

You can watch a winning high school play

Belleville West High School’s production of “The Shadow Box” won the sectional title at the IHSA Drama and Group Interpretation Contest on Saturday.

Cast members Kaylon Brown, Julius Catchings, Wade Cook, Cassidy Farrar, Janae Robinson and McKenzie Slack were all named to the All-Sectional Cast. Lighting technicians Bailee Schobert and Megan Zaiz, as well as sound technicians Chloe Schobert and Carmen Wilder, were named to the All-Sectional Technical Crew.

The cast and crew will go on to compete in the IHSA State Drama Contest at the University of Illinois in Springfield from March 24-25.

There is an opportunity for the public to attend an encore performance of the show at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Belleville West Performing Arts Center.

High school picks its Wall of Fame inductees

Belleville West has chosen nine alumni to induct into the school’s Wall of Fame for achievements in their careers. Also being inducted are five individuals who will be recognized for their service to Belleville West.

The alumni inductees are: Audrey Marsh King (Class of 1938), Donald Houston (Class of 1952), James Hascall (Class of 1956), Roger Mueller (Class of 1963), Phillip R. Silsby (Class of 1965), Roger Schlueter (Class of 1970), Wayne Huebner (Class of 1978), Glenn McCoy (Class of 1983) and Lynne Nowak (Class of 1988).

The individuals being recognized for “Distinguished Service” are: Robert Dosier, Richard Hunsaker, K. Lane Miller, Charles Rodman and Dale Van Blair.

For more information, contact Principal Rich Mertens at 618-222-7610 or at rmertens@bths201.org or Diney Strayhorn at 618-222-7604 or at dstrayhorn@bths201.org.

An induction ceremony will take place in May.

Junior ROTC cadets receive leadership awards

Cahokia High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets have recently been recognized for their leadership potential.

The organization had its annual JROTC Ball on March 4 at Cahokia High School. During the event, 18 cadets received awards from representatives of regional organizations. Among the cadets honored were:

▪  Distinguished Cadet Award for Scholastic Excellence: Ashley Harris

▪  Superior Junior Cadet Decoration Award: Dajah Jones, Stephen Owens, Ronnekia Little, Danielle Jackson

▪  Academic Excellence Award: Christiana Crosby, China Wair, Nautica Young, Mya Gilmore, Dajah Jones

▪  National Sojourners Award: Latia Graham

▪  Sons of the American Revolution Award: Breon King

▪  Military Order of the World Wars Award: Jakob Powell

▪  Veterans of Foreign Wars Award: Anna-Marie Jenkins, Travis Syedullah, Christiana Crosby

▪  Daughters of the American Revolution Award: Danielle Jackson

▪  Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War JROTC Award: Darrick Johnson

▪  U.S. Army Recruiting Command Award: Travion Cole

▪  American Veterans Award: Brandi Willyard, Angel Jenkins

Before the military ball, the JROTC Battalion’s Brigade Command Sergeant Major Brett Waterhouse visited to award brigade coins to three cadets, including Ashley Harris, Stephen Owens and Alejandro Gomez.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

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