Thursday, June 5, 2014

Regular Day and After School Program at Lyman Gilmore Middle School Take Student Learning to New Heights!


Everyone has heard of the Wright Brothers and their engineering feat of building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier than air human flight, on December 17, 1903. Have you ever heard of Lyman Gilmore? Do not feel bad if you have never heard of this gentleman before and his often questioned place in history. Not many people outside of Nevada County will know the answer to the question of "Who was Lyman Gilmore?"

Lyman Wiswell Gilmore Jr. ( June 11, 1874 Beaver Creek, Thurston County, Washington - February 18, 1951) was an aviation pioneer. In Grass Valley, California, he built a steam-powered airplane and claimed that he flew it on May 15, 1902. Due to the requirement of a heavy boiler and the dependency on coal as a power source, the flights would have been short. Proofs of his claim were lost in a 1935 hangar fire. There are photographs from 1898 showing Gilmore's machine, but none showing it in the air. The claims of the aircraft achieving flight are unconfirmed and given the weight evident by the grounded aircraft photos, the possibility of flight is highly disputed.

Gilmore is also known for the steam engines that he was granted two patents for in 1902, as well as, opening the first commercial airfield (Gilmore Airfield) in Grass Valley. There is now a middle school named in his honor on the site of the airfield.

On May 21, 2014 over 1,000 students from Grass Valley School District gathered at Lyman Gilmore Middle School to help celebrate the 112th anniversary of Lyman Gilmore's supposed maiden flight. The regular day staff, the after school staff, local businesses, and the community came together to put on the Second Annual Flight Day. The event not only included a fly over by roughly 15 local pilots, but it also included many hands-on, inquiry-based activity booths where the students were able to explore and learn about the principles of flight as well as engineering.

Here are a few photos from the day as well as a video of the fly over.



Lyman Gilmore Mural "Flying into the Future"

Students Learning about Lyman Gilmore.


Wooden Model of a Plane that Aerospace Museum loaned for Flight Day.


Phil Romig and Mark Drewes explaining the principles of flight.

Students were provided with a passport to get stamped at each booth they visited.

Junior Eagles Flight Instruction Program hosted a booth.

Students made RAFT Hoover Crafts.


Students making RAFT Parachutes.


Local engineers are on hand to inform students about possible careers.

Students checking out a fully functional eagle bike.


Students making their "Towering Towers" out of straws.





For more information on Grass Valley's Flight Day please email Carol Viola at cviola@gvsd.k12.ca.us.


Other STEM Expositions and Activities in Region 3 include:

Name of Out-of-School-Time Provider: Center For Fathers and Families / Roberts Family Development Center

Name of District: Twin Rivers Unified School District

Grade Level of Activity: K thru 8th grade

Number of students who took part in the activity: 300

Type of Activity: 2014 TRUSD ASES STEM Fair


Learning Outcomes- Students were able to: 


  • Students were able to explore scientific themes and topics based on their areas of interest 
  • Students were able to confirm or refute their hypothesis using the scientific method
  • Students were able to show case their findings at the district STEM Fair


The community came together to support the TRUSD ASES STEM Fair. 



Students exploring the STEM displays.

Students were able to ride a hover craft.




Students receiving their STEM awards.

For more information on TRUSD ASES STEM Fair please email Jeremy Combs at Jeremy.Combs@twinriversusd.org.



Name of Out-of-School-Time Provider: Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center


Grade Level of Activity: K thru 8th grade

Number of students who took part in the activity: 150

Type of Activity: Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center ASES STEM Expo

Learning Outcomes- Students were able to: 

  • Students were able to explore scientific themes and topics based on their areas of interest 
  • Students were able to confirm or refute their hypothesis using the scientific method
  • Students were able to show case their findings at the district STEM Fair
  • Students were also able to share the engaging STEM activities that they and their peers were exposed to over the 2013-2014 academic year
  • Students were also able to show case their STEM enrichment clubs (such as the Will C. Wood Middle School Lego Mindstorms Club)

Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center ASES STEM Expo.

Lego Mindstorm Will C. Wood display.

Students taking part in the interactive STEM booths.
Students explaining the STEM activities.
Students team up to take part in the Engineering Watercraft Challenge.

Students testing out the design of their water craft.


Awards were handed out for the Water crafts that held the most washers.


For more information on Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center ASES STEM Expo please email Josh Yang at josh@sccsc.org.

Name of Out-of-School-Time Provider: Wheatland School District ASES Programs

Name of District: Wheatland School District

Grade Level of Activity: 4th thru 8th grade

Number of students who took part in the activity: 50

Type of Activity: Ice Boats

Instructor Notes: The STEM activity is called “Ice Cube Boat Races”.  You start out by preparing the boats in advance (i.e.  fill cube trays with water, cover the trays with aluminum foil, place the toothpicks through the foil into the middle of each cube, and place in the freezer). In order to conduct the races you will need: ice cubes with toothpicks, construction paper, scissors, a tub/long container, tape, and water.  Have students make a sail for their boat (or their team’s boat) and tape it to their toothpick. Fill the tub/long container with water and put it on the table for the students to easily conduct their races.  Have students (typically two at a time) put their boats in the water, and have them blow their boat to the other side; the boat that gets to the finish line the fastest wins.  This type of activity leads to various discussions – we discussed the impacts of the size and shape of the sails (and no sail at all), the amount and direction of wind power needed, and what would be different if we raced in a different substance (other than water).  The students enjoyed the competitions as well as talking about the different variables that would affect their boats’ sailing successfully.  We will definitely do this activity again.



Students preparing to race their Ice Boats.
Students providing the wind for their Ice Boats.



More Ice Boat racing.

For more information on the Ice Boats activity please contact Caitlyn Spina at cspina@wheatland.k12.ca.us.


STEM and Other Pertinent Articles:


1) Tech Leaders Call on Gov. Brown to Increase K-12 Computer Education




STEM (and other Integrated Core Content) 
Activities/Videos/Websites/Podcast:




4) Science Centers: Power STEM Learning

5) Engineering is Everywhere (Free Middle School Curriculum)

6) Want to build a website or be more web savvy? Start with fundamentals.
    (Code Academy Lessons Free)

7) Want to build an app or a game?
    (Code Academy Lessons Free)

8) Targeted Reading Intervention Series (Grades K-3)
    (Free to check out from California After School Resource Center)

9) Playbooks Reader's Theatre Series (Grades K-12)
    (Free to check out from California After School Resource Center)

10) NASA Explorer Schools 
      (Free online Lessons, Videos, Activities, Chats)
      (Grades 4 thru 12)

11) Youth for Human Rights (Free Curriculum)


STEM / Misc. / Events / Grants / Contest:

1) Hungry For Music (Ongoing) 

2) Batters Up USA (Sports Equipment) 
    (Applications Accepted July 1, 2014)

3) ABC for Fitness (Activity Bursts for the Classroom) (Ongoing)

4) We Give Books (Online Digital Books for Children Up to Age 10)
    (Ongoing)



Thanks again for all that you do in the field. Please keep us posted about STEM events/activities in your area. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

Monica Gonzalez-William (SCOE: Region 3: After School Regional Lead)
@ mgonzalez@scoe.net

Phil Romig: (SCOE: Science Curriculum Specialist) @ promig@scoe.net

Mark Drewes: (SCOE: Project Specialist II: After School) @ mdrewes@scoe.net
















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