February 9, 2012
Have you ever wondered as I, what happens to the tax monies we pay to our local education system? Well, I have. I no longer have children in school, but do have grandchildren and great-grandchildren who attend public schools. I often wonder what they are learning?
I enjoy going to the high school sport games. I truly like listening to the high school students perform their musical concerts. It has been over 15 years since I retired from a school district. I wonder what is happening in our local classrooms.
I was asked to volunteer a day at Minden Elementary School helping judge their invention convention. At first, when asked, I hesitated. How do I qualify as a judge? What can I contribute? Nevertheless, I was assured I would have a great day for myself as well as be helpful in judging. I felt perhaps I would learn something about what is happening in our local classrooms, so I said yes.
I was surprised. About 100 students grades 2-6 were involved in an invention project that I would help to judge. I would look at their projects and then interview the inventor. I would make some judgment based on certain criteria that was thoroughly and clearly explained to me. I would enjoy the company of fellow residents and enjoy a well-prepared luncheon sponsored by the Parent Teacher Organization. I gained knowledge into what was happening in the classroom and how creative these young people are. In the interview, I became aware how vocal they are and how knowledgeable they are about their project and how well they can explain it. It was a very pleasant day with these young minds. I came away very pleased that, in spite of some news headlines around the country of negativity with youth, here I was feeling very proud of these students and their capabilities. This is the sixth year Minden Elementary School has participated in the invention convention.
There will be 12 projects sent to Reno’s Lawlor Events Center to compete in the Lemelson Young Inventors Challenge at the end of March along with the Western Nevada Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
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Mr. Jerome Lemelson was an inventor, engineer and patent holder who came to live at Lake Tahoe in his later years from the East Coast. Through contributions made by his widow Dorothy to the Lemelson Education Assistance Project, these fairs are possible. This gentleman is a very interesting fellow who is second only to Thomas Edison as an American inventor. He only found success in later years and wanted to see that young people’s inventive minds would find an avenue by creating his foundation.
There will be a science fair judging Thursday, March 1 and you can be part of it. Do yourself and your community a favor by volunteering your day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help judge this science fair. What an insight you will be given into the minds of our local young people. You will also enjoy a day of good company and good food. So don’t hesitate to volunteer by calling Minden Elementary at 782-5510 and leaving a message for teacher Lauren Spires.
You can see in the local newspaper, The Record-Courier from time to time, requests for judges for speech contests, poetry contests and other events that you should take note of. I learned a lot and you will too. Take time to see what wonderful things are taking place in our local classrooms.