Cuivre River Trust awards $21,000 in scholarships
Forty-two students from Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties received a total of $21,000 in scholarship awards from the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust.
St. Charles County students receiving scholarships included Kenady Bickel, Tanner Bross, Abby Diederich, Annie Drummond, Adam Eisenbath, David Fowler, Eric Fowler, Brooke Glore, Sydney Gooch, Madison Grumich, Kylie Jones, Kathryn Koenig, Christine Lentini, Heather Mallinckrodt, Andrew Mangrum, Audrey Mills, Mackenzie Richards, Caroline Schmidt, Emmett Wilmes and Eleanor Wilson.
Scholarship funds are donated by Cuivre River Electric members who participate in Operation Round Up by rounding up their electric bill payments each month to the next highest dollar. Since the program began in 1997, more than $860,000 has been awarded to help over 1,810 area students achieve their academic goals.
Students are eligible if they live in the Cuivre River Electric Cooperative service area and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 while attending undergraduate courses at an accredited university or technical school. Applicants also are asked to provide an official transcript and two letters of recommendation, write a narrative to highlight their academic achievements and state their career goals, and demonstrate a financial need. Scholarships also may be used for adult continuing education courses in career fields.
Operation Round Up applications are available online at www.cuivre.com. The next scholarship deadline is May 1, 2015.
Students, counselor help children in Haiti
Greg Vest, a counselor from Becky-David Elementary, had planned to participate in the Haiti Orphan Project during fall break. It was a personal trip, not a school-sponsored one. But when word about his trip got out, Camelia Johnson and her Becky-David first-grade class joined the cause.
Johnson’s students surprised Vest with items they had gathered for him to give to children in Haiti. Students from Jill Gentry’s fifth-grade class also collected boxes of items for the families and kids in the village.
Students design sign-in system for library
Students used to wait in long lines to sign in for library time at Fort Zumwalt West High, but now students can do so by typing a few keys.
Last spring, Librarians Nina O’Daniels and Shannon Grieshaber turned to the school’s Intro to Computer Programming class for help in getting rid of the school’s paper and pencil check-in system.
“Students were losing time waiting in line to sign the check-in list,” O’Daniels explained.
The request for help was presented as a competition of sorts, offering students the chance to design a system that would make it faster for students to sign in at the library.
“They left it very open, which was good and bad,” said West High senior Grant Broadwater. “It allowed me to be flexible, but it was intimidating (to be) creating something people were actually going to use, not just something I might get a B on.”
Broadwater said students could elect to work alone or in teams. He reached out to classmates Chayse Henke and Rebekah Blatt.
“We each had a role and worked together as a team,” Broadwater said of his team’s winning design.
Having played with code as a hobby for years, Broadwater took the introductory course and ran with it. He combined tools that were already in place with Henke’s graphic designs and Blatt’s presentation skills.
“Each of them had experience with programming, so I could bounce ideas off them and they would offer feedback,” Broadwater said .
The result is a tool that can be used by all Fort Zumwalt high schools.
“The district already gives each student a unique ID so when they key that in it tells you who was (at the library),” Broadwater said. “And it’s a computer, so it tells you what time they were there. You can cross that with their schedule if you need to.”
Instead of filling out a clipboard, students punch in a few keystrokes. At the end of each hour, the system checks all students out of the library. The librarians then have anyone staying re-enter their PIN.
There are added benefits to the system, which takes into account the unique quirks of high school scheduling, such as adjustments for finals or half days. Administrators can access the system to see if a student has checked in at the library. Grieshaber and O’Daniels also have a more accurate accounting of who is in their classroom. And students no longer try bypassing the line because there isn’t much of one.
“It’s so much better than the clipboard,” said senior Gabrielle Oehmke. “We used to have to fill all that (identifying information) in on the clipboard, now we just type our PIN.”
The system has changed the mood of the library.
“Grant says it cuts check-in time in half, but it did more than that,” said Grieshaber. “Students are coming in with a more positive attitude because they aren’t standing in line for three minutes getting annoyed. Three minutes is a long time to a teenager.”