Bomb squad does GHS robotics demo; Scholarship established for music; OC students tour the trades; GEF invests in school innovations; Symphony quintet performs at local elementary

Students from Gladstone High School's robotics, PHOTO COURTESY: LESLIE ROBINETTE - Gladstone High School seniors Billy Siegle and Josh Skinner ask questions about a bomb squad robot strong enough to lift a human body. engineering technology and construction technology classes got a close-up look at three robots used by the Oregon State Police Explosives Unit. The robots play various roles, from bomb surveillance and containment to deployment of water cannons or transporting an injured person to safety.

"This was an amazing opportunity to show students real world applications of robotics," said robotics coach Steve Stewart. "This definitely got them thinking about career possibilities."

Scholarship established for music

Thanks to a generous $10,000 contribution from the Leo Lester Browne Memorial Fund, the Rex Putnam Band and Kingsmen Drum Line was able to purchase a trailer to transport their instruments to competitions. The trailer has been on the band's wish list for years, and they are thrilled to have a consistent way to safely transport their instruments.

The trailer was put to quick use with the band's spring break trip to Southern California. Leo Browne was a long-time private music teacher in the Oak Grove area. The Leo Browne Memorial Fund also established a scholarship for aspiring musicians from Rex Putnam and Milwaukie High Schools. Applications are open for the scholarship that will award $8,000 to a student pursuing an instrumental music major. Visit NCEF's website to learn more,

OC students tour the trades

Back in 2017 Tasha Bell, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant coordinator at PHOTO COURTESY: MICHAEL CLARK - Jasper Stites and Ella Ferguson practice welding during a plumbing trades tour.Oregon City Service Learning Academy (OSCLA), reached out to leaders in various trade industries. Her goal was to create a network of industry partners that would be willing to provide in-depth, interactive and hands-on learning opportunities for students, and the Trade Tours program was born.

Every Friday, all students at OCSLA are exposed to various service learning opportunities. Trade Tours are scheduled February through April and include a total of nine separate off-site trips. Each visit includes a class lecture and hands-on learning opportunity that lasts for at least an hour.

Through the tours, students visit and learn from area electricians, insulators, plumbers, tree trimmers, masons and carpenters. Since these tours offer a wide array of trades, the students are able to learn whether any of them spark an interest, or if they could see themselves performing the jobs in the future.

"I've liked the plumbing the best because welding things makes more sense to me than wiring circuits, and I'm not interested in climbing trees," said Ellie Blythe, a freshman.

"These trips have been so cool. Everyone says you should go to college, but this has opened my eyes to other options. Other schools don't have opportunities like this. The trades are really cool, and you can make good money not sitting at a desk," said MJ Albers, a sophomore.

The program has been a big success for the students, as well as the experts in the trades who have a high demand for the next generation of trade workers.

"This program and these tours are great at showing students the great jobs that are available to those who are interested in the trades," said Bethany Taft, a teacher at OCSLA. "Many of the trade industries greatly need additional skilled workers and the wonderful students from OCSLA could be the perfect fit for many of these jobs."

For families interested in learning more about OSCLA, a 6 p.m. open house is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, at 995 South End Road, Oregon City. Call the school at 503-785-8250 to RSVP.

GEF invests in school innovations

PHOTO COURTESY: LESLIE ROBINETTE - Gladstone sophomore Jacob Moore chose a classic at Clackamas Bookshelf's recent giveaway. Funded by the Gladstone Education Foundation, the local nonprofit has now given away a book to every student in the Gladstone public school system this year.The Gladstone Education Foundation awarded more than $10,000 in grant funds to support six projects in three schools.

"I'm pleased about the range of students who will benefit, and the variety of activities that can now be offered," said GEF board member Bill Stewart.

Funded projects include:

? John Wetten Elementary: After-school science classes

? Kraxberger Middle School: Chromebooks for study-skills course

? Kraxberger: After-school mentor program

? Gladstone High School Robotics Team: STEM Diversity Summer Program

? GHS: Shakespeare performers workshop

? GHS: Digital Classroom Library

Symphony quintet performs at local elementary

Is a bassoon taller than a fourth-grader? What's the difference between a double reed and a single reed?

Last week, John Wetten Elementary students in Gladstone learned these things and more during a performance by the Oregon Symphony's wind quintet.

The group performed several pieces, including Beethoven's "Quintet for Piano and Winds" and Prokofiev's symphonic fairy tale "Peter and the Wolf." The performance was part of the symphony's youth outreach program to inspire children to study and enjoy music.

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