News from the North Annals from the 2009-2010 sool year. By Luke C. Shorty, Mathemagician and Edutainer MSSM’s physics instructor Pierre Gervez was awarded a $5,000 grant “There and Back Again:” to purchase VEX robotics equipIt has been a jam packed and very busy, ment for the MSSM to compete in stressful, and rewarding year since I the annual VEX robotics competihave started teaching at the MSSM. tion. We did OK making it to the There has been plenty of comings and top 10 and we will reuse the equipgoings over this year and I’ll try to give ment again next year. you a brief overview of the activities that come to mind. If you have any Sm¨ org˚ asbord (Themed) Weekend questions please let me know, you can either: This themed weekend had three difreach me at email@example.com ferent activities going on: or Leave out a plate of cookies and dance the marcarana at two minutes to midnight and leave the door unlocked. “Thank you very much Mr. Roboto:” : This year we had an influx of Robotics material. Ethan Bagley (’98) worked with iRobot to donate 38 Roomba and Scooba robots to the MSSM all in various working order. We are working on getting them fully operational and hackable (yep, you can reprogram a Roomba) for the upcoming year and putting them to work in the dormitories and offices.
I. Climate Change. We had Professor Molly Schauffler from the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute come up and have students look at weather data from the last 60 years to try and determine if and how Northern Maine’s climate is changing. No conclusive pattern was found. II. Vermiculture We had Lowell Thompson’s (’05) parents, Brett and Sandy come up for a visit and demonstrate/help construct four Worm Composting Bins that have been breaking apart refuse for a good three months strong. We hope
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to expand the worm composting to a level that will handle most of the MSSM’s organic waste and include it in some of our future projects (see below).
J-Term courses ranged from Novel Writing, to Super Heroes and Super Villans, from History of Word War II to a trip to France and Rome, from Organic Chemistry to Genetic Analysis, from Geometric Adventures to III. Floating Wind Turbines Epidemiology. We also had roughly a third of our students intern at After seeing Dr. Habib Dagher of the various technology, engineering, and University of Maine talk about Off- medical firms. shore Wind Turbines right here in the State of Maine, I decided that a good “Hey, what’s your number?” activity would be for MSSM students to make scale models of the wind tur- Dr. David Brown had an alumni, bines in the sea. The students were bro- Chris Lemay (’10), and current stuken up into groups and had to design dent, Ted Armstrong co-author and self stabilizing floating wind turbine publish a peer reviewed computer out of 5’ long, 3” diameter PVC, bal- science and human interaction artilast, foam, and duct tape. The assem- cle making them the 37th and 38th blies were tested in the swimming pool MSSM student co-authors of scien(students had to make waves trying tific articles. to knock down the assemblies). This event actually impressed Dr. Dagher so much, that we have some plans for “Who Likes to Rock the Party? it in the future (see below). We Likes to Rock the Party.” J Term and Extra-Curriculars There were a ton of J-Term (used to be May Term) and Extra Curricular Activities this year. There is the ever so popular Boffer Club! It is so popular, in fact, that the picture on the Wikipedia Article “Foam Weapon” is three MSSM students brandishing their weapons! Math Team did well this year and had three of our Mathletes win medals at the State competition. Our Youth in Government Team was awarded the Best Bill Award (the highest award at the event) and Science Bowl was very close to having a MSSM vs. MSSM play-offs.
There were two costume parties/dinners held for the third year in a row. The medieval feast served food and drink of the time period and had court jesters and tournament style entertainment and the Gatsby Ball was enjoyed by all the students, dressed as the 1920’s characters they created and was a sweet time had by all!
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MSSM on Tour The MSSM took a field trip this fall to the University of Maine to take part in two events. The first was a Climate Change Summit where the students went to the different labs of the Climate Change Institute and discovered what type of research they were doing there. The second was a tour of all the engineering labs at UMaine. Students got a full tour of the AEWC Advanced Composites Lab and then broke into smaller groups to look at Electrical, Mechanical, BioChemical Engineering labs.
Shorty is Going Down!
What would a year at the MSSM be with out a little friendly competition. The Advisory groups at MSSM (small groups of students who are paired with a Faculty Advisor) got into a little competition about Advisory Flags and I might have talked some smack to David Dougan, the chemistry teacher. So Mr. Dougan took the final assembly of the year to put on a End of the Year Sensational Extravaganza and put on the play ”Shorty’s Going Down” part 1 of a trilogy of such events! There “The Sun is a Mass of were dance numbers, gospel songs, Incandescent Gas candy thrown left and right, Pirate A Gigantic Nuclear Furnace” Flags flown all over the place, a processional, and two wild Guinea Fowl! MSSM Alum, Michael Fabio, was ex- It was truly a spectacular event for tremely helpful this year in hosting a all to see! If we can get some footage mini-thermal dynamics and home ef- of it, look for it on MSSMAVISION! ficiency workshop one weekend and showing students how to winterize a Partnering with JAX Trafton House (it just so happened to be the one I was living in). He also was The MSSM continues to offer an oninstrumental and essential to building line course in partnership with Jackand designing two SOLAR HOT AIR son Labs where the MSSM students HEATERS that were used to help heat get to work with Jackson Laborathe house I was living in this summer. tory’s post-docs on their individual They will be put to good use in the fu- projects for credit. MSSM instructure as well (see below). tor Deb McGann has set up this relationship and it is a great opportunity MSSM-A-VISION for our students to work with actual scientists on actual real life genetic MSSM now has a Youtube Channel, and medical research! MSSMAVISION. Currently the channel hosts the Calculus Music Videos Page 3 of 5 made by this years Calculus classes, there will be more videos as time goes on, so please stay tuned for more to come in the upcoming year (Hopefully we could even set up a Roomba Cam!)
III. J Term in Bahamas “To ∞ and Beyond!”
Dr. Debbie Eustis-Grandy and I will be going to the Bahamas from JanAs I look towards the oncoming years uary 5th to January 19th with 16 of the MSSM, I see a couple of very students to do research on the reexciting opportunities both on campus mote island of Eleuthera. We will and off. I would like to take a second to be working with the Cape Eleuthera inform you of some of the opportunities Institute on research that they are that our students will hopefully have in conducting on Aquaculture and Mathe upcoming year. rine Ecology and Biology. Should I. Hydroponic Garden on Trafton be a blast! Learn more by going to That’s right! Kate Reilly (’97) and http://www.ceibahamas.org/ myself have been working on a Fast Track Grant from the Maine Community Foundation (Bethany Murry (’99) works there) for starting a Hydroponics Garden on 43 Trafton to grow fresh produce year round for the MSSM community. If the grant is successful, data will be collected from the hydroponics system to be analyzed by our AP Statistics class. We will also incorporate both the Solar Panels made by Mike Fabio (’98) and the worm bins built and designed by Lowell Thompson’s (’05) parents to help feed the plants in the nutrient solution. This is truly a project that could not have been possible with out the help of these Alumni! So thank you all! II. Robotics Themed Weekend We will be partnering with iRobot next April for a very exciting Themed Weekend and hopefully by then we will have some Roombas hacked and ready to roll! Ethan Bagley (’98) will be coming up North as the one of the iRobot representatives and it will definitely be a blast!
Help Wanted! This year we have seen our share of roll over and as such we have various openings that you may be able to help us fill either by applying yourself or letting someone you think would do well at the MSSM know about the openings: Physics Instructor We are currently looking for a Physics Instructor who would teach three levels of Physics (Conceptual, Algebra Based, Calculus Based) VERY IMPORTANT URGENT Computer Science OR Robotics Instructor MSSM is looking for someone who is passionate about CS or Robotics or Both and can bring their own curriculum to the table. This is an opportunity for a visionary and excited individual to come and educate students in whatever their expertise and knowledge base is. Page 4 of 5 (continued)
Dr. Brown was into publishing research, Dr. Innis was interested in programming competitions, what is it that you are interested in and would like to teach highly motivated and intelligent young minds? There is only one seat in this department if this is not filled the MSSM CS CURRICULUM WILL BE VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT!!!! Executive Director The search goes on! We are looking for a figurehead to lead the MSSM. If you know anyone who is an educational visionary and leader who can synthesis a group of Educators to provide the best educational product in the state of Maine and can be the face of the MSSM to both private industry and the legislature in Augusta, let us know! Please contact Kate Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us some names! Residential Interns Looking to figure out what to do with your life? Be an RI for the Maine School of Science and Mathematics. Be able to tell the students: “Back when I was a student here...”. If interested contact Dale Dintaman at email@example.com. Mad Props! Finally I want to thank all of you for stepping up to the plate and leading the Alumni Association. I think we can all agree that the friendships and bonds we made at the MSSM were special and unique. That we are in different places in our life because of the MSSM.
So thank you all for what you have given back to the MSSM whether it be your money (BTW we met the Maine Community Foundations challenge grant and a large chunk of that is due to invested alumni!) or your time (I know it is a long ride up to the county!) I would also like to acknowledge the Alumni that have given time this year in donating or being on the Board of Trustees or the MSSM Foundation, they are as follows: • Catherine Reilly (’97), Director of External Affairs • Erich Hunter (’96), Member of the MSSM Foundation • Ethan Bagley (’98) Donating tons of Robots • Prasanth Prasanna (’96) Getting the Alumni Association Up and Moving • Christine Voyeur (’98) Member of the Board of Trustees • Jeremy Usher (’98) Member of the Board of Trustees • Michael Fabio (’98) Donating Materials and Time for Solar Hot Air Panels • All of you serving as officers on the Alumni Association.
End of Communique. -Shorty Page 5 of 5
Newsletter documenting the 2009-2010 MSSM School Year with our own embedded field coorespondent, alumnus, and current edutainer Mr. Luke Sho...