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Sherman students assist NASA through GLOBE program

November 30, 2016
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

SHERMAN - Sherman School board of education members learned at their meeting on Nov. 21 that school students are collecting and recording data for the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program (GLOBE).

Sherman Science teacher Mrs. Traci Thompson told the board that the GLOBE program is linked to NASA and scientists will use data gathered by students to help them with their studies. "The students' findings are going to be published," she said.

Thompson said that students in her Earth Science class, Science 8, and Forensic class are collecting and recording data. Measurements taken by the students using the GLOBE Calitoo sun photometer can be used to accurately measure aerosol concentration in the column of air above them, she said.

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Photo by David Prenatt
Sylvester Cleary of the Chautauqua County School Board Association speaks to the Sherman Board of Education at their regular meeting on Nov 21.

"We need a new weather station at our school, so I'm applying for a grant to get one," she added. Scientists will use the Calypso satellite to measure aerosol optical thickness, as well as the data gathered by students to determine what is really happening to the aerosols in the atmosphere, she added.

In other business, District Superintendent Michael Ginestre noted the steady use of the new outdoor classroom, particularly during the warm weather. He said Jared Oehlbeck designed it and worked with his crew to build it. "It's a phenomenal job they did on it," he added.

Sherman principal Bryna Booth told the board that the district is giving special attention to college and career readiness. She said Guidance Counselor Robert Minton will take 8th Grade students to Vo-tech, 9th Grade students to Jamestown Community College, 10th Grade students to a four-year college, and 11th Grade students to the Buffalo National College Fair.

"Bob has set up several webinars through distance learning. One was with a biochemist who is manipulating RNA," Booth said. Another was with George Curos, a leader in innovation and author of The Innovator's Mindset, she added.

Board member Gary Delellis told the board, "Kids got to work with their hands. They're not all going to be doctors and lawyers and school teachers. Why aren't they going to places like Alfred (Alfred State college - SUNY) and Detroit Diesel?"

"I agree. We need to show them all the possibilities that are out there," said Booth. She told the board about two new courses that they are planning to offer at Sherman. We hope to offer an SAT prep course for a half semester, including working on such skills as completing scholarship applications, writing college entrance essays, honing interview skills, Booth said.

We also want to offer a one semester course in Communications and Technology Booth told the board. Ginestre noted the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in educating students. "We do really well with our Science and Math part, but we need to expand Technology and Engineering," he said.

Board members were also given a presentation by Sylvester Cleary of the Chautauqua County School Boards Association. Cleary told board members that he believes it is necessary to diligently start educating taxpayers and parents.

Cleary said there are several things local school boards should be doing on a consistent basis: writing newspaper articles with positive stories, using social media, inviting legislators into the schools and building relationships with them, and building liaisons by talking to every club in the school district.

Cleary told the board that he grew up on the east side of Buffalo with terrible socio-economic conditions. At one point, I lost all hope and I gave up," he said "but I have a teacher to thank for turning me around."

A sixth grade teacher gave me a trumpet and told me to play every time I felt frustrated, every time I felt trapped, every time I felt discouraged, he said. So I played all the time, and when I joined the Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, I was asked to play Taps at the ceremony which was held there when President Kennedy died, Cleary told the board.

"The one teacher who gave me the trumpet made a difference in my life," Cleary said. That's why I make videos pushing public education. "The kids in Sherman are gonna get the best education because of what you do," he added.



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