CCSD news: Robotics, Western Day, and lots of hats

Lahontan Elementary School had its “hat day” to support the Churchill Animal Protection Society.

Lahontan Elementary School had its “hat day” to support the Churchill Animal Protection Society.
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Churchill County High School

Students on the CCHS First Tech Robotics team attended the First Tech league meet no. 3 and no. 4 last weekend at Virginia City High School. Students went as spectators in preparation for their upcoming league meet.

“My co-coach, Aaron Holt, and I wanted our team to get a good idea of what robotics league meets look like,” said robotics coach Stephanie Kille-Reese.

Currently, there are six students on the First Tech Robotics team but Kille-Reese and Holt are hoping to build an even bigger team for next season.

“We are going to have a robotics class next year as this year's season is almost over,” Kille-Reese said. “We encourage any students who are interested in robotics to be on the lookout for the robotics course as they sign up for their classes for next year.”

The CCHS First Tech Robotics team has been working hard on their robot and will be headed to McQueen High School to compete against other teams Feb. 10-11.

Churchill County Middle School

Before the beginning of the year, students get to pick a club based on something they are interested in when they are signing up for classes. Then the club they pick becomes their advisory class.

“Students do advisory activities Monday through Thursday that are primarily academically driven. Then on Fridays, they have an extended time period, 40 minutes, for advisory which is dedicated to club time,” said CCMS Principal Robbie Wickware. This year teacher Angie Heck chose to have an escape room club where students get to hone in on their communication skills, fine motor skills, leadership skills, social skills, and problem-solving skills.

“They must analyze clues to solve puzzles, which requires analytical skills and encourages them to think on their feet, and at the end, if they escape, they uncover a treat in their locked chest,” Heck said.


Students in Vanessa Burch-Urquhart’s class have been studying the different ways energy transfers through heat, sound, light, and electrical currents. They learned how to power a light bulb with a battery and wires and the role magnetism plays in this.

Recently students had to come up with their own demonstrations to show how energy transfers with heat. Burch-Uruhart felt it was important for her students to come up with the demonstrations because when the teacher demonstrates all of the models, it's harder for students to apply what they've learned to the real world.

“In order to reach that higher depth of knowledge, students need to be able to show how the concepts they learn work,” Burch-Urquhart said.

They came up with some very creative demonstrations including heating a wire with a battery to melt a balloon.

“It's so amazing to see how they're applying what they learned to demonstrate other targets we're studying as well,” Burch-Urquhart said.

The students have enjoyed being able to own their learning and come up with demonstrations for the class.

“At first, I was a little nervous to present, but then it was great,” student Piper Humphrey said.

 Humphrey’s group had a slide presentation ready to go but they were thrown for a loop when they heard they had to do an act to physically show what they were demonstrating.

“Our topic was heat transfer so we did a demonstration on hot air and ice and the reaction between the two using a girl in red to represent hot air, and the boys on the other side to represent ice. I felt like we did great and we passed, it was so fun," Humphrey said.

E.C. Best

Students at E.C. Best participated in Western Day last Friday. Students and staff all showed up in their western apparel for a fun-filled day. This is one of the many spirit days ECB hosts to help create a sense of camaraderie and community between students and staff.

“We like to pick a fun theme every month because dress-up days are fun and help bring all of us together,” said Principal Keith Boone.


Students at Lahontan raised money for Churchill Animal Protection Society last week in their annual Caps for CAPS fundraiser. Students wore their hats to school and were encouraged to bring in a donation for CAPS. Together, LES families and staff raised $516.46 which was directly donated to CAPS.

This is just one of the cause-driven fundraisers LES hosts throughout the year.

“It is important for these young students to learn how to make a difference from a young age,” said Principal Kimi Melendy.

Each time these dress-up days come around, teachers speak with their students about the cause and why it is important. Students then get to go home and share that lesson with their parents.

“When the day finally comes and the teachers begin to tally up the total amount their class raised, these young students get to actually see the results of just bringing in a dollar or even a couple of cents,” Melendy said. “Then they get to experience that feeling of fulfillment for what they have accomplished as a young class - working together to raise money for a good cause.”


Last Wednesday, Northside invited their 4-year-old prekindergarten families to join them for an activity day.

Activities included counting stew (number recognition, counting, and following written directions), igloo building (position words, fine motor skills, and following a diagram), mitten roll and cover (number set correspondence and turn taking), snowman letters (students found letters to match those their snowmen were holding), and making ice cream (exploring the chemical reaction behind the process).

This is one of several family engagement activities that NELC hosts throughout the year. The staff at NELC believe so strongly in these events because families are children’s first, longest-lasting, and most important teachers.

Strong family engagement is central to promoting children’s healthy development and wellness. This includes social-emotional and behavioral development, preparing these young students to seamlessly transition from Pre-K to kindergarten, and supporting academic achievement in elementary school and beyond.

Families’ engagement in their children’s learning and inviting them into the school can impact the lifelong developmental and academic outcomes of students, which is why it is so vital to host events like these early on.


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