Tasty tessellations project at Pau-Wa-Lu

Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School students Katie Coker, Khloe Swain, Karly Taunton and Narissa Dobbs.

Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School students Katie Coker, Khloe Swain, Karly Taunton and Narissa Dobbs.

 A tessellation is a pattern of flat shapes that fit perfectly together without any overlaps or gaps. Students at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School took the tessellation concept to a tasty new level during a recent collaborative assignment.

Three elective classes participated in a creative cookie-making project. Students in Debby Thompson’s Games and Puzzles class studied the art of tessellation and created their own designs on paper. Danita Anderson’s design and modeling students took the tessellation sketches and used a 3-D printer to craft custom cookie cutters. The cutters were given to food and nutrition teacher Peggy Faria and her students, who used them to produce dozens of sugar cookies that they then frosted and decorated.

The project culminated with the games and puzzles students each receiving a 3-D cookie cutter of their own unique design along with a homemade treat. Students in the other two participating classes also got to sample and enjoy the cookies.

“The tessellations were a great collaboration between classes,” said student Kalia Blumental. “I liked getting my tessellation (design) back and seeing how other classes used the skills they are learning and (how they) incorporated them into the tessellation.”

Student Melysa Booth said, “The tessellation project was truly one huge puzzle. The ability for the shapes to come alive as something that could be held was truly the finishing piece.”

Faria echoed the students’ enthusiasm and noted the popularity of this annual assignment.

“The kids love this project, and it fosters a nice sense of community among a large group,” she said.

Coat drive collection continues

Carson Valley Sertoma Coat Drive Co-Chair Eileen Behr provided an update on the group’s current coat drive effort.

To date, the organization has received and processed 1,523 coats and 3,733 items including mittens, sweaters, blankets, and scarves. A significant number of beautifully hand-crocheted and hand-knitted hats have also been anonymously donated.

Behr said there’s an increased need for kid’s sizes this year. She expressed gratitude to the Walmart Foundation, which gave Carson Valley Sertoma a $2,000 grant to purchase children’s coats, gloves, and other warm items.

Behr also thanked Costco Wholesale Corp., for donating $125 in shop cards, which were used to purchase new coats in children’s sizes. The coats were brought to the FISH Ranchos Family Service Center in support of their Winter Coat giveaway held in November.

Harveys and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe organize an internal coat drive each year and recently provided a “SUV-full” of items to Sertoma. Everything is checked and cleaned by hotel laundry staff prior to being donated.

Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School participates in a special site-based collection event and presented eight large bags of coats to Sertoma on Dec. 13. 

“These middle schoolers do a great job every year,” Behr said.

Students in the National Technical Honor Society at Douglas High School are coordinating their school’s participation in the coat drive. Students and staff can bring donations to DHS through the event’s last day on Jan. 31, 2022.

To contribute outer wear items to Sertoma’s coat drive, look for the blue donation barrels placed throughout the Carson Valley and Carson City. A listing of donation locations and local organization/agency recipients is available online at carsonvalleysertoma.org.

Amy Roby can be reached at ranchosroundup@hotmail.com.


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