Grant helps students think, design, print in 3-D

Boys watch as 3D printer works

Students watched eagerly to see the 3-D printer begin to form their design. Once complete, their project had to be evaluated and possibly redesigned. The process of designing, evaluating and redesigning is one of the valuable lessons students learned in the Technology Education class. Photo by Marlene Colgan

Three-dimensional printers are changing the way scientists and inventors solve problems. They can be used to create prosthetic limbs, replacement parts for many types of equipment, and build small models. Some of the young inventors being impacted by 3-D printers are at Mission Trail Middle School.

Students in Richard Hinderliter’s Technology Education classes got their first taste of 3-D printing this fall thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Olathe Public Schools Foundation. Only one other middle school has a 3-D printer at this time.

“I’d read about the technology of 3-D printing and seen cool projects that students were doing with the printers elsewhere,” Hinderliter said. “The more I found out about them, the more I wanted one for my students.” Continue reading

Nine Olathe teachers are semifinalists for statewide awards

A district committee has chosen nine highly qualified educators as semifinalists in two statewide award programs. The educators are being considered as district nominees for the 2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year Award and the 2015 Emporia State University Master Teacher Award.

Elementary Kansas Teacher of the Year semifinalists: Lyndsay Cast, fifth-grade teacher at Bentwood Elementary School; Gayla Posch, fourth-grade teacher at Tomahawk Elementary School; and Betsy Prestridge, fourth-grade teacher at Countryside Elementary School. Continue reading

Olathe news briefs for the week of Sept. 30

City Council
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, October 1, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website). To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at OlatheKS.org.  For a recap of the previous Council meeting, visit the City Clerk’s webpage.

Community and Accessible Community Awards Program October 10
The public is invited to the 10th annual Community and Accessible Community Awards Program and Reception Thursday, October 10 in the Commons of Olathe North High School (600 E. Prairie St.).  The event, sponsored by the Olathe Human Relations Commission and the Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board, recognizes individuals and entities for meritorious service in the pursuit of fostering accessible communities, promoting cultural diversity and advocating human rights which benefit all Olatheans.  Continue reading

Olathe family survives Boston Marathon attack

Boston Police look at blown out windows at the scene of the first explosion on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston Police look at blown out windows at the scene of the first explosion on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images website)

Olathean Tom Kearney and seven members of his family, including his two grandchildren, were sitting in The Forum Restaurant on a sunny afternoon Monday, April 15, two floors above the street overlooking the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Copley Square. Less than an hour earlier they had been down by the barriers to watch his son-in-law, John Kohler, cross the finish line.

And then…

“John said he thought someone was setting off a cannon,” Tom said. “It was like everybody just stopped and looked; people thought somebody was celebrating Patriots’ Day. But in my mind, I was thinking, ‘That doesn’t sound like somebody firing a canon and that this would be the kind of place for somebody to pull some stuff.’

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, that can’t be a bomb.” Continue reading

Olathe runners stunned by marathon blasts

Two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via website Getty Images)

Two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via website Getty Images)

Several Olatheans were among the 27,000 runners from more than 90 countries in Boston for the Annual Boston Marathon and were shocked by the two explosions that killed three and injured more than 130.

There were participant Patrick Wackerla along with his wife Jennifer, a student teacher at Mission Trail Middle School, runner and Mission Trail School teacher Stacey Sperry, and 1998 Olathe North High School graduate Matt Gronniger, who now lives in San Francisco.

Read the account of an Olathe family relaxing in a restaurant just above where the explosions took place.

Jennifer Wackerla stood at the 25-mile marker of the race, about a block away from the finish line, and then made her way to the family waiting area after watching Patrick run past.

“He ran a 3:30:00, it was his second time in the Boston Marathon,” she said. “He ran last year in that terrible heat and I was so elated when I saw him; he was so excited and we were on cloud 9, honestly. He did great and I was so excited that I got to see him this year; it’s hard as a spectator to see one runner in a whole bunch of runners.”

After the two found each other in the family area, they went to the nearest train station and went back to their hotel. Continue reading

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