Garfield School District Re-2 students excel at science |

Garfield School District Re-2 students excel at science

Re-2 News
Theresa Hamilton
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Students in the Garfield School District Re-2 continue to show they are involved both in the classroom through their excellent finishes in local and state academic competitions, and the community through their giving hearts.

Several regional and state competitions have found Garfield Re-2 students again at the top of the class. The regional DestiNation ImagiNation competition found 80 of the most creative elementary, middle and high school students on the Western Slope at Coal Ridge High School March 8. Of the nine Garfield Re-2 teams entered, five will be headed to the state competition in Denver April 26.

Destination Imagination is a team event. Teams are given a project to complete in an eight-week period, without any outside help, even from their challenge master or coach. As they prepare for the competition, teams can choose from one of five different scenarios, each with a slightly different focus, but all of which include creating a story line, creating their own props, and acting.

“I am so proud of the students of Garfield Re-2,” said regional DestiNation ImagiNation coordinator Karen Valenteen.

The teams headed to the state competition include Riverside’s Monster Mindz, Riverside’s Funky Monkeys, the Riverside DI Masters, the Kathryn Senor Zymergy Equinoxes Efflorescent Girls and Riverside’s And Then There Were 5.

Also competing this year were the Cactus Valley Shigalboomermyers, Highland Elementary Smarties, the Cactus Valley Invincibles and the Kathryn Senor Golden Dragons.

The Rifle High School science department has been quite busy over the past few weeks. In February, physics students designed and tested bridges made of balsa wood. The three most efficient bridges were then sent to the state bridge building competition sponsored by the Professional Engineers of Colorado, the Denver office of the Bureau of Reclamation and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado.

The annual Model Bridge Building Contest is a statewide program aimed at providing interaction and communication among practicing engineers, high school students, and other professionals. This year, Rifle High School sent three contestants to the competition ” Courtney Campbell, Katie MacGregor and Drew Blatchford. As a team, the trio of Bears finished fifth overall with Campbell’s 20.51 gram bridge finishing ninth overall in the region. Her bridge was able to hold 44,413 grams, or 2,165 times its own weight.

Students from Rifle High School competed for the first time in the Science Olympiad Northern Regional competition at Poudre High School on March 8.Although the team of six students was unable to compete in all events, they were able to chalk up a number of top-10 finishes, including Lance Donner and Chris Williams’ second-place finish in Write It/Do It, Chris William and Caleb Ziegler’s fifth-place finish in Health Science, and Scott Reed and Miles Blair’s eighth-place finish in Remote Sensing: Mars. The team consisted of Shea MacLeod, Miles Blair, Chris Williams, Caleb Ziegler, Lance Donner and Scott Reed and was coached by David Ziegler and Anthony Rossilli.

For the sixth consecutive year, Cactus Valley Elementary (aka Roy Moore Elementary) students participated in the Heifer International Read to Feed program. Heifer International helps families fight hunger by providing animals, plants and training so that they can be self-sufficient. Instead of providing hungry families with a nonrenewable source of food, Heifer International provides a “living loan” of an animal. The family benefits through the products the animal can provide. This might be milk from a cow or goat, eggs from poultry, meat from rabbits, draft power from water buffalo or wool from llamas. For 63 years, Heifer has helped more than 4 million impoverished families in 128 countries.

Students read books for pledges, and the money raised supports the Read to Feed program. Teachers integrate social studies lessons throughout the program so students learn about areas in their nation and their world where their donations will assist needy families. The students have also been known to perform odd jobs just to raise more money for the project. When Roy Moore began participating in Read to Feed six years ago, they raised $3,700. Every year, they have raised more money for the program and this year, the school topped out at $8,724.

“We not only teach you about reading, writing and math,” explained Cactus Valley teacher Jenny Zetah, “but through helping Read to Feed, you are learning about the world and our communities. We are learning about how we are really more alike than we are different and that we can help other people.”

Finally, the exceptional bus students for February were Cactus Valley Elementary student Brendon Tiffany from Jodie Steggall’s Route 14, Rifle Middle School student Deanna Hibpshman, from Sanja Morgan’s Route 6, and Rifle High School student Chris Williams from Sharon Frickey’s Route 9.

Also nominated were from Cactus Valley Conner Flaherty, Lane McCray and Brodie Tiffany; from Coal Ridge High School Flor Menjivan, Amber Pagni-Mugford and Robert VanPelt; from Highland Elementary Alexia Costanzo-Thomisee; from Kathryn Senor Elementary Eduardo Bedolla, Wyatt Cummings and Briauna Lyons; from Rifle High School Nina Boynton, Joe Closs and Mason Lange; from Rifle Middle School Stephanie Wimmer; and from Riverside Middle School Amber Sproul and Dana Zertuche.

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