A Bloomer High School family and consumer sciences/health teacher has been named a 2021 National Merit Finalist by a national organization, according to a UW-Stout article.
Charlene Kelley says she enjoys teaching life skills.
“Everything I teach is practical,” Kelley told UW-Stout. “They will be able to use it every day. It’s one thing to choose to buy food that is already premade or to eat in a restaurant, but I want them to have a choice and have the skills to make a meal at home. It is practical knowledge I know they are going to use in their future.”
Eleventh grader Madelyn Davis, a student at Wildlands Science Research School, researched and created a project about Vel Phillips, the first African American woman to graduate from the UW–Madison law school. Davis’ work is one of 51 nationwide featured in a Smithsonian online showcase.
Davis told the newspaper she was looking for a Wisconsinite who made a difference in civil rights through nonviolence.
“I was interested in Vel Phillips because she worked tirelessly to change the living conditions for Blacks living in the Inner Core in Milwaukee,” Davis said. “Vel Phillips used peaceful protests and her platform as a council member to change rights for Blacks in Milwaukee for future generations.”
Wildlands Science Research School is a charter school authorized by the Augusta Area School District.
The program is a partnership between Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, the Luxemburg–Casco School District and local businesses.
“It really is meeting an industry need by doing something creative,” Superintendent Glenn Schlender told the TV station. “This is the first ever program in cooperation with a technical college, where kids can earn a technical diploma in diesel shop mechanics, along with their high school diploma.”
Alexis Fleegel and Veronica Diercks took first for creating a speaker system for smart phones that does not require batteries. Tahtankka Damm and Logan Searles took second for making a sliding and folding truck bed accessory to help people retrieve hard-to-reach items safely and quickly.
The first-place team receives a $4,000 scholarship and the second-place team receives a $1,000 scholarship; both receive funding for new product development assessment by the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center
Their teacher is Tracy Swedlund.
Project Lead the Way Engineering says it “empowers students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers.”
BURLINGTON — A team from Wheatland Center School earned a second place finish in a national STEAM design challenge, according to a story in West of the i.
Students from Wheatland’s personalized learning academy, PATHS, participated in the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge, which asks middle and high school students to design solutions to the climate crisis.
Team members receiving recognition were Jaini Beck, Mason Biehn, Safyire Guthrie, Gavin Heriford, and Ronan Bacle. Students were awarded $750 to be spent on future school projects.
The students created “Reef Guard,” which protects coral reefs from UV radiation and rising ocean temperatures. They created a floating underwater shade structure inspired by giant lily pads and the UV-reflecting properties of spiders’ webs.
Judges said praised the team’s choice of topic and approach.
“I actually learned how the bleaching process works from their research and had not realized the algae connection. Their research is commendable, and the engineering they applied and the testing they did was very impressive.” said judge Scott Randall.
THREE LAKES — Though the Three Lakes School District’s fab lab has had to pause its hands-on STEAM education during the pandemic, it continues helping its local community.
The fab lab (short for fabrication laboratory) has created 95 face shields for the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, 12 for a local grocery store and 10 for another local business, fab lab director Nate Koch says. Face shields are believed to be an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as detailed in this April article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It’s far from the first time the fab lab has helped its local community. Other projects have included the design and creation of magazine holders for the local library and models for the local railroad club.
WILLIAMS BAY — The Williams Bay History Club has been designated as one of the top 10 in the nation by the National History Club, according to a story in the Lake Geneva Regional News.
Robert Nasson, president of the National History Club, said the Williams Bay chapter was chosen because of its outstanding community involvement in activities such as maintaining Frost Park, hosting fundraisers, coordinating field trips and participating in the annual History Bowl competition.
“Williams Bay’s club is very active in the community,” Nasson said. “They’re just consistently spectacular in what they do.”
Williams Bay History Club adviser Deb Soplanda said she was proud the club was chosen out of hundreds of chapters t
ughout the nation, and she was glad that students’ work was being recognized.
“It’s great for the kids to see what they do and how they do it really does make a difference, and is noticed on a national level,” she said.