|Kenneth Culbert Assistant Principal Carolyn Clement (left) keeps an eye out for incoming eggs, while Principal Jackie Brownell speaks with a Purcellville firefighter. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Andrew Sharbel|
As most of Loudoun students were preparing to go on winter break Dec. 19, elementary school students at Kenneth Culbert Elementary were outside watching their protected eggs get launched across the school's front lawn.
Culbert held their annual “eggperiment” event with the help of Wegmeyer Farm and the Purcellville Fire Department.
Firefighters launched each contraption from a homemade catapult at hay bales designed to look like the game Angry Birds.
“This is an annual event and it is a part of our science fair activities here at Kenneth Culbert. Last year we invited the fire station to come out and we dropped our eggs from the 105-foot truck,” Special Education Teacher Jessica Halterman said. “At that time we decided we would catapult it this year. We always have a science activity that relates to teaching science. We want our children to be hands on and involved, and so this was force in motion.”
Emceeing the launch of objects was fellow Special Education Teacher Brittany Cummings, who looked the part – dressed as a chicken.
Culbert's science committee, which Halterman and Cummings are a part of, was in charge of planning the event.
Tyler Wegmeyer, owner of Wegmeyer Farms, donated the Angry Birds hay bales to the school after he had used them for his annual Halloween Corn Maze.
Wegmeyer built the hay bales with his 7-year-old son.
In this particular event, every classroom was challenged to wrap an egg to be catapulted without breaking. Grade levels competed against each other so the furthest package within a grade level would earn points, and classes received extra points for not breaking their eggs.
“We as a science committee decided to do Angry Birds as a theme to make it a little more fun for the kids,” Halterman said. “We wanted an obstacle for the kids and the Angry Birds idea kind of evolved.”
Culbert Principal Jackie Brownell and her counterpart Assistant Principal Carolyn Clement also got into the act, dressing up as Angry Birds and placing themselves in the line of fire on a hay bale as a target.
“One of our mottoes here at the school is we want the kids to have fun as they are learning, so we got the principals involved,” Halterman said.
Their method of teaching has proved to be successful as teachers have noticed an extreme increase in science fair participation.
“We have more than 80 children participating in our annual science fair event,” Cummings said. “Our first year had 20 participants.”
“We put an egg in a bottle and all kinds of things so we can demonstrate the scientific method and let them go back to their classrooms and practice,” Halterman said. “The culminating event is them taking time during the winter break to create their own experiment that is a part of our science fair in January.”
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