Monday, April 30, 2012

Hanes Magnet and the Amazing Underwater Robots

On Saturday, students from Hanes Magnet School had big fun trying out the underwater robots that they built with help from students and professors at Wake Forest University. To read the story that Wake Forest wrote about the event, go to

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Southwest Students Save Principal from Roof

By raising more than $1,000 for books, students at Southwest Elementary School rescued Principal Matt Dixson from the roof.

To raise money for the libraries in the individual classrooms, students were invited to start bringing in their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters on Monday. Dixson agreed to “hit the roof” on Tuesday morning if students hadn't raised at least $1,000 in change by the end of the day on Monday.

They didn’t and he did.

The students added more change to the collection buckets on Tuesday, and, by the end of the day, they had raised more than $1,000. The people at Southwest hoped that, along the way, students learned such lessons as "a little bit of change can go a long way," "every little bit counts,” "small amounts can add up to lots,” and "no amount is too small" (to save Mr. Dixson).

Dixson was able to come down in time to judge the Multiplication Tournament and participate in other events at Family Night at the Book Fair/PTA Meeting.

The event was held in conjunction with the school’s Book Fair, and all money raised will go to help teachers add books to their classroom libraries. 

Information provided by:
Lori Clark, a Southwest parent and member of the PTA board

YMCA Holds Healthy Kids Day

On Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina will host Healthy Kids Day at its branches in Forsyth County. The free community event will feature fun, educational activities for families to improve health and well-being such as Zumba classes, healthy snacks, bounce houses, and more. The Y is holding Healthy Kids Day to help parents begin to think about ways to keep their kids healthy and sharp when out of school, particularly during the summer.

Following is a list of activities at Forsyth County branches or you can visit more information.

Fulton Family YMCA
385 West Hanes Mill Road, Winston-Salem
Activities include Bounce House, Relay Races, Mobile Health Truck from Winston-Salem State, Fire Truck, summer swimming safety info.

Jerry Long Family YMCA
1150 S. Peacehaven Road, Clemmons
Collecting canned good donations to benefit the Clemmons Food Pantry. Activities will include Family Zumba & Sh’bam, Fun Run for Children, Bounce Houses, Games, Music and Fun for the Whole Family! Free T-shirt to the first 500 who complete the Healthy Kids Expo Challenge.

Kernersville Family YMCA (begins at 9 a.m.)
1113 West Mountain Street, Kernersville
Exercise classes, Games, one-mile fun run with all runners receiving a free t-shirt.

Robinhood Road Family YMCA (9 a.m. to noon)
3474 Robinhood Road, Winston-Salem
Group Exercise classes, Family Boot Camp in the new state-of-the-art Training Center, Field Day activities and healthy vendors.

William G. White Jr. Family YMCA
775 West End Boulevard, Winston-Salem
Hosting the
Fit Family 5, which benefits Girls on the Run

Winston Lake Family YMCA
(10 a.m. to noon)
901 Waterworks Road, Winston-Salem
Activities for the whole family will include Kids Zumba, Jump Rope activities and demonstrations, healthy snacks, arts & crafts, and Field Day activities.

Odyssey of the Mind at Brunson

The two Odyssey of the Mind teams from Brunson Elementary School that went to state finals at Wingate University on March 31st placed fourth and eighth.

Fifth-grade teacher Chris Webster coached the teams.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international program that helps teach creativity by challenging students with problems that can have many right answers. Students learn to think on their feet solving quick problems called Spontaneous Problems.

At the regional competition in Boone on March 3, Brunson students competed on four teams that won two first places, one third place and one fourth place.

At the meets, (Regional, State, World) teams must score in three areas:  Long Term problem presentation (200 points), Spontaneous Problem (100 points) and Style (50 points). 

At the regionals in Boone: Weird Science (Sam Pomper, Liam Sherman, Ben Smith) finished fourth; To Be or Not to Be (Corinne Miller, Taylor Hall, Yasmin Horner, Zavera Basrai, Meredith Robbins) won first place. You Make the Call, a technical problem, (Tate Stephenson, Aaron Petty, James Slawter, Beau Marlette, Hunter Marlette) won first place. Odyssey Angels (Kaley Wood, Asha Gandhi, Ella Dunham, Alice Carroll, Lily MacLachlan, Lizzie Young) won the trophy for 3rd place.

Parents helping out included Wes Stephenson, Gus Miller, Stacy Mayhew, Blane Sherman, Whitney Stephenson and Marnie Marlette. Brunson’s media specialist, Deb Schultz-Fidali also provided support to the teams. 

More information is available at and

Information provided by Chris Webster, Brunson Elementary

Hanes Students Build Underwater Robots

On Saturday April 28, students at Hanes Magnet School will running final tests on the underwater robots that they built with help from students and professors at Wake Forest University.

A grant from a U.S. Navy program called SeaPerch made it possible for Hanes students to work with Wake Forest students and professors to build underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) from kits. From 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, they will test the robots in the pool in Reynolds Gym on the Wake Forest campus.

Members of the public are welcome to come see what they have done. 

SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an ROV in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. SeaPerch provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM) while building a ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications.

Building a SeaPerch ROV teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering principles. It also teaches basic science and engineering concepts and tool safety and technical procedures. Students learn important engineering and design skills and are exposed to all the exciting careers that are possible in naval architecture and naval, ocean, and marine engineering.

One of the most important aspects of SeaPerch, and one that differentiates it from similar programs, is that it includes training for teachers.

After the SeaPerch robot is constructed, students are encouraged to test their vehicles, deploy them on missions.

For more information about the event on Saturday, get in touch with Andrew Kraft at Hanes Magnet School. His email is  His phone number is 336.399.6364. 

For more information about SeaPerch go to

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Art Students Recognized by Piedmont Federal

Yessica Tellez Santiago of North Forsyth High School received first place and Tony Jenkins of Reynolds High School received second place at the Gala Level in the annual Artizens art competition sponsored by Piedmont Federal Savings Bank of Winston-Salem.

As part of the program, two area high schools were assigned to each of the bank's branches in Forsyth County, and the schools set up an art exhibit at the branch. At each branch, a Branch Winner and a People’s Choice were chosen. All the works at each branch then advanced to the Gala Level, where other judges make their selections.

Here are winners at the branches and their schools:

Peace Haven – Briana Nave (Mount Tabor), Branch Winner; Kelsie Cummings (Mount Tabor), People’s Choice.

Hanes Mill – Joseph Miller (Carver), Branch Winner. A student at West Stokes High school won People’s Choice.

Stratford – Tony Jenkins (Reynolds), Branch Winner; Annie Tyner (Reynolds), People’s Choice.

Clemmons – Katie Elliot (West Forsyth), Branch Winner; Israa Wajih (West Forsyth), People’s Choice.

Kernersville – Carol Ann Tucciarone (East Forsyth), Branch Winner; Chastan Swain (East Forsyth), People’s Choice.

Students received monetary awards. Santiago won $500, and Jenkins won $300. Each Branch Winner received $100, and the People’s Choice won $50. All participants received $25, and the art departments at the schools received $250 or more.   

You can see the students work by visiting Piedmont Federal’s Artizens page at

Monday, April 23, 2012

Teacher at Parkland Honored

Jonathan Sidden, who teaches at Parkland High School, has been named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by The National Society of High School Educators (NSHSS). Student Gaired E. Jordan nominated Sidden for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the classroom.

Students members of NSHSS are invited to nominate the educator "who made the most significant contribution to their academic career." Named after Claes Nobel, who founded the society, the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction award recognizes teacher role models who have made a lasting difference in their classrooms by encouraging students to strive for excellence. 

More information about NSHSS is available at