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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

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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