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Samuel Hoffman | Journal Gazette
Teacher Abby Meyer, center, shows eighth-graders Marcus Mandley, left, and Hope Haste the details of a paper helicopter during science class at Heritage.
Education Notebook

Teaching gravity with paper

As science teacher Abby Meyer stood on a chair in the middle of her Heritage Junior-Senior High School classroom and dropped her paper helicopter, students began offering questions to use for the basis of their scientific method.

“Why does it spin like that,” one student asked as the copter whirred quickly downward, spinning in circles.

“Why does it fall that fast,” another questioned, wondering whether shortening the paper blades might change the speed of the fall.

The eighth-grade students spent the first part of the week learning about the scientific method, including the steps from starting an experiment to recording results, Meyer said.

On Thursday, the students planned to test out copters of their own to use in the experiment. They would then analyze the results, draw a conclusion and discuss their method, Meyer said.

Hope Haste and her team members Emily Taylor and Marcus Mandley discussed dependent and independent variables, studying how the length of the paper copter’s “wings” affected how quickly it fell to the ground.

“It’s supposed to teach us about gravity,” Haste said. “We’re learning about how it works and then we’ll use these investigative questions to explain it.”


•Eight high school students will each receive a $500 scholarship for their 2013-14 college year from the Central High School Alumni Fund. Students selected for the scholarship are Steven Buuck, Matthew Gumbert, Alysha Helmrich, Rivka Baker Keusch, Nicholas Noe, Clayton Ostermeyer, Austin Starke and Chad Whitman Jr.

•Homestead High School counselor Amy Hamilton recently received the Yale Educator Award presented by Yale University. She was also recently awarded the Coca-Cola Educator of Distinction Award.

Benjamin Slone of Kendallville was recently recognized at the 2013 WorkINdiana Summit on Aug. 16 in Indianapolis as the recipient of the Student Achievement Award for Northeast Indiana.

Saint Francis

•The Just Peace organization of the University of Saint Francis will join the Peace and Justice Commission of Fort Wayne and Allen County, members of the Plymouth Congregational Church Peace and Justice Committee and Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren to host an event at 11:30 a.m. Saturday on the plaza at the Allen County Public Library, 900 Webster St. The theme for the year is “Who will you make peace with?” and the public is invited to attend.

Huntington University

•The Forester Lecture Series will welcome Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Huntington University. The first lecture of the year will be “Scripture in the Monastic Studium and the Rise of the Liberal Arts.” The lectures are free and open to the public.

•“Faces of Haiti” will be the topic of the Fall Women’s Breakfast sponsored by Huntington University Women’s Auxiliary. The breakfast will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, and Rebekah Hubley, a professional photographer, professor and mother of several children with special needs, will be the featured speaker. Reservation should be made by Wednesday, and tickets are $7.

•Ji-Young Jeoung and Elizabeth Smith, Huntington University music professors, will give a free concert playing piano and violin at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Longaker Recital Hall of the Merillat Center for the Arts. They will be performing Sonata No. 1 in G by Johannes Brahms and Sonata A by Cesar Franck.


•The Rose-Hulman Homework Hotline has reopened for this school year. Tutors are available from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday to answer calls at 1-877-ASK-ROSE or online at

Listings appear on Mondays. To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne IN 46802-0088; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.