Spotlight On: Butte Creek

Student Leaders Value Service

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Butte Creek principal Kevin Palmer and special education teacher John Howard cook up pancakes and bacon with help from leadership students who helped coordinate a holiday food and toy drive for Butte Creek families in need.

Students from the Butte Creek Student Leadership class hosted a pancake breakfast for Mrs. Michael’s 1st grade and Mrs. Johnsen’s 4th grade classes. The two classes collected the most donations during the school’s annual Holiday Giving Tree and Food Drive which took place between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

According to Principal Kevin Palmer, The Holiday Giving Tree and Food Drive has been around for many years, but the pancake breakfast is a more recent tradition to celebrate the classes that collect the most items.

“Every year, we put out word for families to sign up to either adopt a family in need, or to be adopted. It’s all very confidential and is carefully managed by our secretaries, Sheila and Susan,” said Palmer.

In 2015, Butte Creek students, teachers and families donated food, clothing and toys to 22 families in need of assistance.“If we have more families ask for help than we are able to adopt, we put the extra families on “ornaments” on our Christmas tree in the cafeteria, and other families can pick an ornament and provide a specific gift.

“We do this for Butte Creek families who need a little extra help during the holidays,” said Butte Creek Student Leadership member Kalina Rodgers, grade 8.

The Student Leadership class plans and coordinates school events and community service activities.

Summer School to be Held at Marquam Church

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Marquam Church

Thanks to our community partners at Marquam Church, Butte Creek School will be able to offer summer classes during construction for seismic upgrades. The Marquam Church will host summer school to ensure that students don’t miss a beat during the summer months.

According to Principal Kevin Palmer, the Butte Creek campus is scheduled to be closed during this time while the cafeteria and other parts of the school are under construction.

“We thought we were going to have to cancel summer school, but our friends at Marquam Church agreed to share their facilities so we can keep our summer program open. “We are so fortunate to have the support of our neighbors.”

The Butte Creek upgrades are part of a statewide Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program to ensure the future safety of students and staff in the event of an earthquake. Butte Creek was awarded $1,477,882 for the cafeteria and other selected areas of the school, and Scotts Mills received $996,976 to upgrade the school gym. Silver Falls is the only school district in the state to receive two grants from this program.

General contractors were interviewed in January and the selection process is underway reported Palmer. The target date for completed construction is scheduled for September 2016.

“Summer school is so important for academic success,” said Principal Kevin Palmer. “We are very happy we were able to form this partnership with the church and continue to make it available this year.”

Model Roller Coasters Provide Lessons in Physics

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(From left) Butte Creek students Trenity Beard, Jacob Haskett and Ryan Gilkison test a roller coaster they built to learn how energy works.

Butte Creek sixth graders in Stacie Watts’ class are building model roller coasters to help them understand the laws of physics. Paired up into teams, the class engineered, designed and built the roller coasters out of cardboard tubes, pipe insulation and duct tape. The models are as tall as the kids themselves.

“They are learning about the fundamental laws of physics including conversions between kinetic and potential energy, frictional effects and gravity,” said Watts. “They faced many of the issues that real-world roller coaster designers address.”

Marbles were used to test the models. The teams had fun naming and decorating their coasters with monikers such as Oompa Loompa (with Donald Trump hair), Manicorn, Cake Boss, The Antagonizer, The Indominus (from the Jurassic World movie), and The Big Foot Hunter.

“I was surprised that it worked!” said Sydney Harrigan when asked what most amazed her about the project.

See below for more of the student roller coasters.

 

Students in Stacie Watts’ class show off their roller coaster project “The Antagonizer.” (From left) Neil Efimov, Natalia Frolov, Micah Larson Schweickert, and Sarah Ackerman.

Students in Stacie Watts’ class show off their roller coaster project “The Antagonizer.” (From left) Neil Efimov, Natalia Frolov, Micah Larson Schweickert, and Sarah Ackerman.

 

Butte Creek Teacher Stacie Watts helps students test their model roller coasters. (From left) Emilian Larionov, Zach Kuenzi, and Mayra Torralba

Butte Creek Teacher Stacie Watts helps students test their model roller coasters. (From left) Emilian Larionov, Zach Kuenzi, and Mayra Torralba