Blue Ridge, Ga – The first annual Blue Ridge Soap Box Derby raised $4,900 for Fannin County School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program on Saturday, April 27.
The derby race was created by locals to benefit the community, specifically the children. Co-founder Brian Higgins said, “We have festivals here almost monthly, but none of them are geared toward kids, so we wanted to do something for them, and the best part is all the money goes back to them with the STEM program.”
The founders chose to donate to STEM for a couple of reasons. According to Higgins, “[Science, technology, engineering, and math] is every bit a box car when you think about.” It takes each area to build and race a soapbox car.
Second, STEM doesn’t receive SPLOST dollars. STEM’s funding comes from the general school budget, which also pays for other school supplies.
STEM teaches students computational thinking and how to use scientific methods to solve real-world problems. The program helps children to develop technological skills to find highly-sought after jobs.
All the cars adhered to soapbox derby car standards, using only gravity as a propulsion system. Each car and driver were weighed during the race qualifying to ensure everyone had a fair chance during the derby.
Local businesses sponsored and helped the children to build over 26 cars for the derby. The participants brought their creativity to the cars’ design from that paint to the wheels.
49 drivers raced down the hill at Fannin County Middle School on a great day for it. The school even donated the cafeteria for the day, so the children and spectators would have a lunch area. Local vendors were on hand to provide food for everyone in attendance.
Broken into three divisions, drivers fell into either the 7-11, 12-17, or 18 plus age groups. The 7-11 bracket had to win two out of three races during the preliminary round. The winners from those races moved on to the single race elimination round. The 12-17 and 18 plus brackets raced only a single elimination round.
Winners for the 7-11 Division
First Place: Watson
Second Place: Pierce
Third Place: Williams
Winner for the 12-17 Division
First Place: Twiggs
Second Place: Higgins
Third Place: Preising
All winners received $250, $75, or $25, depending on where they finished in the race.
Derby organizers hope to expand the event in the future with participants from across North Georgia.
Last evening, April 2nd, the students of Fannin County Middle School participated in the Invent It Challenge. Winners were chosen for 1st and 2nd places, Most Original, and Best Seller. Below is a description of the Invent It Challenge for 2019.
The Invent It Challenge is an annual competition that inspires students around the world to unleash their inner inventor! The competition was created 8 years ago by Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center and Cricket Media, with the goal of educating, engaging and empowering kids across the globe to learn and use the invention process to make change in our world. Since then, thousands of kids around the globe have tried their hands at inventing through the Challenge, and many have gone on to patent their ideas!
Every year, students document their use of Smithsonian’s 7 step Spark! Lab Invention Process, to brainstorm new inventions to solve global problems. For the 2019 Dr. InBae Yoon Challenge, participants will focus their minds and talent on generating inventions that enhance and improve the daily lives and activities of older adults.
Often entire classroom of students enter either individually or as teams. Teachers and home school parents love it as their students get to apply their STEM skills in an engaging real-world challenge. The high-quality, free curriculum provided by the Smithsonian and Cricket Media make participating a smooth learning experience for students, educators, and parents alike.
Miss FCMS Maddie Denton and Junior Miss FCMS Annelise Hughes
(Left to Right) Junior Miss FCMS 2nd Runner-up Abby Chambers, Junior Miss FCMS 1st Runner-up Morgan Craine, Junior Miss FCMS Annelise Hughes, Miss FCMS Maddie Denton, Miss FCMS 1st Runner-up Dadrian Flowers, Miss FCMS 2nd Runner-up Abigail Baliles
From February 28 – March 28, the following Fannin County Middle School students had art work on display at Blue Ridge Arts Association for Youth Art Month 2019.
The theme was Your Art, Your Story!
Vanessa Medrano, Lexie Frabotta, Gracie Patton, Courtney Davis, Robert Washington, Kylee Linderman, Sydney Chancey, Jordyn Villa, Colin Bruce, Anna Beth Minear, Benjamin Bloch, Emma Pittman, Karis Hughes, Katherine Tamberino, Shaylee Jones, Reese Lindstrom, Jasmine Anderson, Emmaline Cochran, Mylee Clement, Daegan Moore, Silas Campbell, Chelsey Frye, Ethan Forbis, Kaitlyn Nelson, Blair Deal, Annabelle Noland, Sadie Thomas, Avery Henson, Caroline Young, Bailee Stiles, Kylie Davenport, Abby Ridings, Natalie Bottongino, Cheyanne Hasker, Reid Norton, Emma Buchanan, Isabel Espinoza, Callie Lewis.
(L-R) Gracey Greene, Gracie Stewart, Judd Watson
Students in Mrs. Pack’s STEM class at FCMS were asked to design a house that minimized heat loss. Once the framework of their houses is completed, the students will add different types of insulation to maintain the condition of the air inside. At the end of the project, the designs will be checked with a thermal energy device and the students will hear from an expert about saving energy.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County Middle School (FCMS) REACH Scholars participated in a field trip that included a visit to the University of North Georgia Blue Ridge campus where students learned about dual enrollment, a tour of the North Georgia Tech campus in Blairsville where students learned about the various programs offered as well as lunch catered by the Culinary Arts school, a tour of Young Harris College in Towns County, and a tour of the Fannin County Courthouse where the scholars observed court in session and participated in a voting simulation.
The students were, from left to right:
Aaliyah Green, Kaigan Mull, Ricardo Alvarado, Hunter DeMar, and Aubree Beavers.