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.
(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.
Two members of the Fannin County Band program earned positions in the 2019 Georgia All-State Band. This elite group was selected from the top musicians from across the entire state of Georgia. Potential members must pass two rigorous auditions which include scales, two prepared selections, and playing a short example on first sight. Emma Barnstead (junior – french horn) and Brenna Harper (eighth grade – euphonium) were both selected based on the final auditions help in January.
The students who passed the final audition were placed by grade level into fully instrumented bands of 120 members each. These bands meet in Athens, Georgia for two and a half days the first weekend in March to rehearse and prepare an exciting program of innovative and challenging music under the direction of world class conductors from all over the country. The event concluded with stunning performances by each of the groups in the Classic Center.
Congratulations again to the outstanding young musicians on their tremendous accomplishment!
Mae Tidman spoke to our ALPHA students at West Fannin Elementary on Tuesday, March 5th. Mae is a makeup artist for the filming industry in Atlanta. This will tie in nicely with ALPHA’s field trip to The Atlanta Movie Tour on March 21st. The students thoroughly enjoyed hearing her share her story. She has worked on the set of Goosebumps, Creed 2, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, and many more. Mae is a product of the Fannin County School System. She attended West Fannin Elementary and Fannin County Middle, graduated from Fannin County High School, and attended Georgia Tech. She also worked at Turner Broadcasting with the Cartoon Network.
Fannin County Middle School 8th grade teams have announced Students of the Month for February. Students are chosen by their academic teachers for this distinction. Qualifications for this honor include outstanding citizenship, good attendance, respectfulness toward faculty and peers, and a good academic standing.
Students chosen for February are: Simone O’Neal, daughter of Gregory & Kimberly O’Neal of Blue Ridge; Lucus Hanson, son of Kevin & Kandi Hanson of Mineral Bluff; Lexus Brannon, daughter of Tim & Kimberly Brannon of Blue Ridge; and Lucas Whitaker, son of Tabetha Whitaker and Corey Whitaker of Blue Ridge.
Pictured Left to Right:
Lucas Whitaker, Simone O’Neal, Lexus Brannon, and Lucas Hanson
Fannin County Middle School 8th grade teams have announced Students of the Month for January. Students are chosen by their academic teachers for this distinction. Qualifications for this honor include outstanding citizenship, good attendance, respectfulness toward faculty and peers, and a good academic standing.
Students chosen for January are: Gracie Patton, daughter of Randy & Bethina Patton of Morganton; Daniel Gibson, son of Crystal Greer of McCaysville; Brianna Hulsey, daughter of Willie & Tina Hulsey of Blue Ridge; and Cadan Williams, son of Eric & Holli Williams of Mineral Bluff.
Pictured Left to Right:
Gracie Patton, Cadan Williams, and Brianna Hulsey – Not pictured Daniel Gibson
ELLIJAY, Ga – The Appalachian Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney, Alison Sosebee, began her campaign today in Fannin Middle School and Gilmer High School with presentations for students about the rising trend of vaping in all forms.
Speaking to the students she shared some of the responses that authorities have begun included harsher penalties for vape devices in general, not to mention the felonies possible with controlled substances. Using drugs in the vape devices like the popular Juul brand devices is only a part of growing concerns as authorities and administrations fear for students who expect non-nicotine flavored water vapor in devices they may find friends with when in reality these devices could contain anything from Heroin to Synthetic Marijuana.
Sosebee also invited Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Dustin Hamby to speak about the Bureau’s involvement. Hamby noted that almost 90% of his cases tied to drug usage in some way. He goes on to note that he’s had three murders in his career directly related to drug usage.
Sosebee recalled the story of a case she and Hamby shared about a guy who had taken drugs with a close friend. Under the influence, he grew greatly agitated at his friend and violently murdered him without full realization. He spoke further about how little it takes to blow up into major consequences in situations like vaping unknown substances.
Sosebee also noted that they are finding that many students and users of vape devices believe them safer than regular cigarettes. She noted that not only is there zero research to support his claim, but there is also no research or regulations on vaping devices right now. No one can tell you everything that is in Vape Juice, nor if people at smoke shops are adding extra ingredients. She called the students this generations guinea pigs for testing if vaping as they would be the cases that doctors study thirty years from now to determine the actual effects that Vaping can have in both short-term and long-term effects.
Only the first day, Sosebee is expected to travel to Fannin High, Pickens High, and Pickens Middle schools in the next two weeks along with possibly adding Gilmer Middle as well.
Ellijay, Ga. – An incident report from the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office confirmed reports of a student “blacking out” and suffering seizures after inhaling a substance from a SMOK Vape device.
The male student was hospitalized from the incident and later released. The incident, however, did prompt officials to call in K-9 units to search for other drugs. Authorities found two additional SMOK Vapes with one testing positive for containing marijuana. While the
original vape has been tested, no official response is available identifying the substance in the original device.
However, according to the incident report, it was reported that the student was told by a fellow classmate that “there was a vape in the boy’s restroom and he should go smoke some of it.”
With the investigation in Gilmer CID’s (Criminal Investigations Division) hands, no names of the students nor additional information is available.
However, FYN spoke with Gilmer County Charter School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs who confirmed the incident is part of a larger problem facing the schools today. She told FYN that last year, the school system confiscated eight vape devices over the course of the entire year. This year, they have already collected 25 devices since the beginning of school a few weeks ago.
Each instance results in disciplinary action for the student as it is a violation of the code of conduct, according to Downs, but as the rise in using other substances in the devices continues, the charges against students get far more serious as they deal with controlled substances.
Downs went on to say that she has spoken with other Superintendents to see if Gilmer is alone in the rise of vape usage. Though she declined to name which counties she had spoken with, she did confirm that Gilmer was not alone.
Confirming the rise in popularity of these devices in several counties, the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee made a press release stating, “Within the last week, several teens in Pickens, Gilmer and Fannin counties have experienced medical emergencies as a result of “vaping,” by use of electronic cigarettes. These medical emergencies necessitated treatment by both EMS and treatment at hospitals.”
Many of the vape devices found being used are very small handheld devices easily concealed within one’s palm or bag, like a purse or book bag, or even in one’s pocket as several designs become thinner and shorter. Downs confirmed they have found Juul brand vapes and last weeks incident report confirmed the males vape was a SMOK brand. Sosebee notes, “Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some look like USB flash drives, pens, and other everyday items.”
As the use of vapes themselves are intended to be used with nicotine for adult smokers, the rising concern is the ability to swap out the common “juice” for homemade cocktails or drugs. Downs confirmed that reports have been made of students crushing Adderall and other things to make the “juice.”
According to Juul’s website, “These alternatives contain nicotine, which has not been shown to cause cancer but can create dependency. We believe that these alternatives are not appropriate for people who do not already smoke.”
Sosebee also commented on other substances that have been found in the devices saying, “The liquid that is inhaled, known commonly as “vape juice,” can contain any number of substances: it can contain flavoring; it can contain nicotine; it can also contain drugs and illegal substances such as THC oil, fentanyl and LSD. Of great concern, the user may or may not know what they are inhaling, what their reaction will be to the substances, what they are exposing others to and may erroneously believe that they are simply inhaling “harmless water vapor.” There is nothing harmless about what is occurring.”
Downs went on to say that some parents may have purchased vapes for their kids not knowing that they are swapping out the contents. The feeling was echoed by Sosebee as she called for parents to “be aware of the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.”
With concerns rising from parents, administration, and law enforcement alike, investigations are continuing as programs and events are attempting to educate the community about the devices and their popularity.
Downs said the Gilmer Administration is stepping up efforts in educating and building awareness in their staff about what to look for and also to educate our parents in the community saying, “I feel like there is a real lack of knowledge and lack of understanding among our community in relation to this… This has blown up overnight to the point that I feel like its almost epidemic.”