Education

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | Alexander Hamilton and the renaissance of Catholic education

Kurt Nelson

The musical "Hamilton" has captured the attention of most of the nation and the Nelson household hasn't been exempt. As a lover of history, I didn't need much convincing. My high school daughter first brought it to my attention and we began playing tracks as we were driving around town. The music is catchy and the lyrics clever, but I think one of its greatest achievements is the ability to tell us a story we thought we knew from a different perspective.

‘Dedicated educators’ | Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awardees focus on serving their students

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was well-represented at the recent Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award ceremonies, with recipients at all levels of education. Seven Catholic schools teachers — two each at the elementary, middle school and high school levels, and a college professor — were among 100 local educators honored for their achievements and dedication to teaching.Emerson executive vice president Patrick J. Sly called the winners "an inspiration," describing them as "dedicated educators ... who are striving to create bright futures for all of their students."

St. Ferdinand Thanksgiving Dinner is about building community

Kindergarten student Lily Talbott colored a placemat recently for a community dinner on Thanksgiving. For 17 years, St. Ferdinand and other north St. Louis County churches have sponsored a Thanksgiving dinner for the community. The project, inspired by Pope John Paul II’s visit to St. Louis, brings people together who are in need of physical and/or spiritual nourishment. St. Ferdinand school children decorated placemats in advance of the dinner.

When you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner for more than 500 people, it's best to keep things streamlined.

That's what volunteers have learned from hosting the St. Ferdinand Thanksgiving Dinner for 17 years. The annual event provides a free meal on Thanksgiving Day and helps build community in the process.

STEM Scouts’ lab lessons redefine what’s fun

Lucas Kenniston and Maggie Niemeyer secured wires into the “MaKey MaKey” control board which, when connected to pieces of conductive clay and a computer, made a piano keyboard. STEM Scouts is a new program sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Area Boy Scout Council for elementary and middle-school groups.

Nico Balassi, a fourth-grader at Assumption School in south St. Louis County and a Cub Scout, talked about a STEM program and gave an example of what's "cool" and "fun."

It involves a MaKey MaKey, an electronic invention kit that turns everyday objects into computer touchpads and interfaces them with the Internet as computer programs.

"You use wires and hook it up. If you touch something it will go off," Nico explained.

Governor gives Borgia High an A+ during his visit

Madelyn Tuepker, a senior at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School in Washington, was nervous before meeting with Gov. Jay Nixon, but quickly gained her bearings.

"We started talking, and I told him what my plans are. The A+ program is huge for me because I want to go to community college first. So I definitely will be using it," Tuepker said of being among 10 students who met with Nixon during his visit there Nov. 8.

St. Peter students help NASA scientists via data collection program

St. Peter School students Danny Schneider, Katie Kruse and Brenton Lanteigne took notes as they observed clouds as part of the NASA GLOBE Project. The students charted clouds on an overcast day and found no contrails, but a sky filled with high cirrostratus, altostratus and low stratus with nimbostratus (rain-filled) encroaching on their position.

Jack Schellingerhout and Shane McKelvey craned their necks as they observed a tapestry of clouds.

The St. Peter School eighth- graders referred to their worksheet to determine what they were seeing. The large grey blanket hanging low in the sky consisted of stratus clouds, they agreed. A debate ensued: were they nimbostratus — the rain-producing type?

At that moment, a smattering of fat raindrops hit the pavement.

"Wetness!" shouted one student.

"It's definitely nimbostratus," science teacher Travis Coleman said. "OK let's go in."

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