116 Volney St.
Phoenix, NY 13135
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News and Articles for Phoenix Central School District.

EJD students build hovercrafts

  1. Matt Chase, executive director of the Hovercraft Project, provides instructions to Emerson J. Dillon Middle School students.
  2. Matt Chase, executive director of the Hovercraft Project, provides instructions to Emerson J. Dillon Middle School students.

Phoenix fifth-graders recently built hovercrafts as part of a lesson in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The full-day immersive program, led by Matt Chase of The Hovercraft Project, provided students with an opportunity to work together, solve problems and build a hovercraft that carried riders from one end of the gym to the other. Sixteen teams began the day with materials to measure, cut, assemble and power the low-friction “vehicle.”

Each student had their own role to fulfill, ranging from analyzing data to serving as test pilots. They worked as a team to troubleshoot issues and apply classroom knowledge using limited resources.

Once the teams made their crafts, they lined up at one end of the gym, powered on the vehicles and with one push they were propelled across the floor.

“This is awesome!” fifth-grader Cole Bailer said as he rode his hovercraft across the gym.

“Our philosophy is learn to love to learn,” Chase said. “They are having fun and learning a ton at the same time. The math, engineering and learning pieces are right at their level. It encompasses all the learning standards.”

The Hovercraft Project was brought to the Phoenix Central School District through the Arts in Education program at the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation.

MAM students learn about police K-9s

First-graders at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School embraced the giving spirit this holiday season and raised money for area law enforcement efforts.

The students collected more than $400 for the New York State Troopers Foundation, which will be used to purchase safety equipment for a police K-9. To show their gratitude for the students’ contributions, two NYS Troopers and their four-legged companions recently met with the first-graders inside the intermediate cafeteria.

Troopers Kevin Conners and Kylie Black talked about their dogs, the training they experienced and the qualities that make for a good police dog. Black’s K-9, a German shepherd named Rudd, demonstrated his powerful nose as he successfully sniffed out a fake explosive device. Students clapped and cheered as Rudd and Schini, a Bloodhound, showed off their skills.

After learning the value of employing police K-9s, the students were happy that their contributions will help bolster the force. The money the first-graders raised will go toward equipment for the newest K-9 recruit, who will be based out of the Fulton barracks.