The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Fayette physics students create mousetrap-powered vehicles 10.8

Written by David Green.

Pretty good on mileage, but not too dependable in the long run.

That’s what Fayette High School physics students might have concluded from a project last week.mousetrap.measure.jpg

The assignment was a classic one: Transform the energy stored in the cocked spring of a mousetrap into motion. More specifically, create a device that travels as far as possible using that stored energy.

The information sheet students used points out that all three of Newton’s laws of motion are involved in the project.

Students were allowed to spend no more than $5 for materials, excluding the mousetrap. Anything manufactured to serve as a wheel was forbidden, and CD/DVD discs were also not allowed—a violation by one team.

Each entry was given three runs on the hallway floor and grades were determined by the best of the three.

The rules forbid consulting an outside source for ideas, and that proved frustrating for the class, said teacher Kristina Newman.

“It is hard for kids not to go to the internet for answers right away,” she said. “They are so accustomed to doing that. Looking at the problem and working through failures is an important part of the engineering process and it is also what I really want my students to learn.”

She was encouraged to hear students talk about their dissatisfaction and how they could have improved on their design.mousetrap.adjust.jpg

“To me, just hearing them say that let me know that they were successful,” Ms. Newman said. “They are already showing me a desire to improve and I hope this desire continues to grow. I can’t wait for them to start the next project.

The class will be challenged with more elaborate contraptions through the school year and she expects to see improvements in students’ problem-solving abilities.

“As they get more practice, I hope they come out with a real sense of how to build on what they learn through a trial-and-error process and to expect more from themselves and not to go for the easy answer.”

That mousetrap spring could help launch a career in engineering.

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