School Board hears educational benefits of Six Flags trip

by Dave Cary
Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH — Not many scholastic subjects lend themselves very well to an amusement park.

But, as described by high school physics/engineering teacher Paul Krzyzaniak, the school’s annual Physics Day outing to Six Flags in Gurnee, Ill., is not only an exceptional teaching event, but a day whose combination of interest, serious education and plain fun — shared by students and onlookers alike — is certain to be remembered for a long time to come.

Kryzaniak said that Six Flags hosts its own version of the event but that PHS holds its own version because the Six Flags version ‘floats’ during the month of May and he has to fit the day in among various other school activities with minimal conflict.

Not just a ‘fun’ outing, Physics Day has a solid educational basis, Kyzyzaniak said. One reason he holds the event is to give students some incentive to take physics. The rides, he said, embody most of the forces studied in physics and gives some real life experience of them. They also offer an outside-the-lab opportunity for data collection and measurement, where things are not laid out for the students in a readymade fashion. They must work to obtain accurate measurements.

Their tools are few though not simple. A clinometer (a device that measures the angle between an object and the horizon), some string, and a stopwatch. That is all.

But enough, if one applies them properly, to calculate the amount of G forces (one G equals the pull of Earth’s gravitational field) affecting a rider on the circular spinning ride like The Orbit. Or the speed one may attain in downhill runs during a Raging Bull roller coaster ride. Or the free-fall velocity attained in yet a different ride — the Giant Drop — that drops one straight down for a couple hundred feet or so in a chair before braking to a stop. He added that this is one of the extremely rare places where one can actually experience weightlessness. No student, he said, is forced to ride one of the rides if they are not willing.

The students use their data to write a science report. Krzyzaniak said he expects accuracy within ten percent and added that the leeway given reflects the in-the-field variations in conditions in which students gather their the data. Students develop their own plans of attack in data gathering, rather than following a prescribed course of action.

Krzyzaniak said that he emphasizes the students gather all their data in three hours, then put their materials on the bus, have lunch and have the final three hours of the day for fun. Science projects are due later.

As a conclusion, he asks whether the students feel the day is worthwhile and if they would recommend the day and the course to others.

• • •

With little discussion the board passed a list of revisions to the 2016-17 elementary, middle and high school student and parent guides. The revisions were presented by the principals involved.

The board also approved bids for milk and bread for next year.

Engelhardt Dairy was awarded the milk contract, being the only dairy supplier who returned a bid. Business Manager Jon Miller said this was probably because besides chocolate milk, two and one percent, the bid specifications included supply of six milk coolers, which only Engelhardt would agree to.

Four companies sent in bread bids on multiple items. They were Alpha, HPS/Aunt Millies, Bimbo Bakery and Pan O’ Gold. Pan O’ Gold was awarded the contract both because of a seven percent lower cost figure and more flexible ordering procedure that should allow reductions in waste.

The board accepted two gifts:

• $78.22 from Sheboygan Human Rights Development for student field trips.

• $2,204,74 from Horizon PATH for student transportation.

• • •

In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation requests of:

• PHS counselor Sam Scharinger, effective at the end of the present school year. Scharinger has been with the district. five years.

• Horizon Elementary School counselor Joanna Williams, effective at the end of the present school year. Williams has been with the district three years.

• Riverview Middle School science teacher Sara Rupp, effective at the end of the present school year. Rupp has been with the district fourteen years.

• Part-time physical education teacher at Fairview Elementary School David Rosenau, effective at the end of the present school year. Rosenau has been with the district one year.

• Fairview Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Lisa Little, effective at the end of the present school year. Little has been with the district five years.

The board also approved 100 percent teaching contracts for:

• Kathleen Barrows to teach fourth grade at Fairview Elementary School starting this fall. Barrows holds a Bachelors degree from UWMadison and Masters Degree from Cardinal Stritch University. This will be her first year of teaching.

• Jessica Prusow to teach first grade at Fairview Elementary School starting this fall. Prusow received her Bachelors Degree from UW-Green Bay and this will be her first year of teaching.

• Ashley Holler to teach fourth grade at Parkview Elementary starting this fall. Holler received her Bachelors Degree from UW-Stevens Point and this will be her first year of teaching.

In support staff matters:

• Lauren Ehr, special ed aide at Parkview Elementary, has resigned after seven months’ service.

• Elizabeth Lau, Parkview Elementary food server, has resigned after two years service.

• Bonnie Belsha, special ed aide at PHS, has resigned after serving six months.

• Scott Bunyea has been hired as the new network and computer technician.

• Samuel Schmitt has been hired as the new electrician for the district.

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