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Cascades Blog: STEM Share Day at Rolling Ridge

The summer learners at Rolling Ridge Elementary School now know how long animals can hold their breath underwater—and that humans can hold their breath underwater for up to 22 minutes, thanks to a dedicated group of educators and engineering professionals.

The students also learned about the engineering behind roller coasters, confetti cannons and submarines, as well as how not to build a leaning Tower of Pisa.

These and other unique looks into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects came their way in celebration of STEM Share Day on July 28, through efforts launched by Summer School Principal Jackie Bagwell and English Learner teacher Paula Culvyhouse.

In all, 11 engineers and technical consultants from eight companies and organizations visited with the 65 summer students at Rolling Ridge: Marcella Casper of Elenchus Technologies; Nick Meloy of Engineering Consulting Services; Anne Cirillo King of the MITRE Corporation; Gabriel Grajeda, Kimberly Hernandez and Tim Paz of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers; Kenyon Larsen and Rebecca Zvoleff of Tetra Tech; Michael Sawyers of Triad Engineering, Inc.; Linh Mai of TTM Technologies and Roger Schaffer of the U.S. Navy.

The science professionals enjoyed their time with the youngsters, according to reports received after the event.

One year later: The Nokes Boulevard/Gloucester Parkway extension remains a driving danger zone, one year after it opened to the public. While heading west from Nokes Boulevard, drivers continue to consistently make the left turn onto Pacific Boulevard from the lane clearly labeled for straight-through traffic. When making the left turn from that straight-ahead lane, these drivers are running the red light for their lane of traffic and ignoring the driving directions clearly posted above that red light. About the only lucky thing about the intersection is the fact that it’s one block away from a fire station staffed with emergency medical personnel.

Eating hot chili: The Loudoun County Senior Center at Cascades presents a chili cookoff on Aug. 30 from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free for those who donate a pot of chili. Participants should sign up at the center’s main office by Aug. 28 and indicate if their chili is meat or vegetarian and mild or spicy. Advance tickets for chili sampling are $5 for members and $7 for nonmembers. A panel of judges will award prizes to the top chili chefs. Transportation is available after the event for senior center members.

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