HomeShamong NewsWeekly Roundup: AC in Schools, Making Space for new technology

Weekly Roundup: AC in Schools, Making Space for new technology

In other news, The Pinelands Preservation Alliance is hosting five single-day bike rides from October 4–8 that traverse across various scenic Pinelands sites.

Does AC improve grades in school? The evidence says yes.

At the 2005 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s national symposium, three students from Westview High School in Beaverton, Ore., won a Special Achievement Award for a study they conducted on how classroom temperatures affected school performance, according to The Council of Educational Facility Planners. They conducted the study by administering a test to three sets of ninth-grade students, one in a 72-degree room, one in a 61-degree room, and one in an 81-degree room. The test included how they would memorize shapes, recreate them, name basic shapes and colors, and solve basic math equations. The study yielded the following results:

The first set of ninth-grade students received an average 90 percent test score on a test when taken in a classroom that was set to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature was dropped to 61 degrees, the average score plummeted to 76 percent, and when the temperature was raised to 81 degrees, the students’ average test grade fell all the way to 72 percent.

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Temperatures at Indian Mills Memorial were even higher than that. On June 13, the school’s temperature records indicate classroom temperatures peaked at 87.4 degrees Fahrenheit at 2 p.m. At the same time of the day, the gym temperature reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit, according to records provided by the district.

Making space for new technology

Incoming 6th grader Jonathan McAveety experiments making electrical currents with Little Bits, which are a “platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks for creating inventions,” according to the company’s website.

As area school districts propel themselves further into the 21st century, they’ve adjusted by finding ways to implement new technology into the classroom. One of the most popular ways of doing this has been to implement rooms in schools called makerspaces.

Before getting too in-depth, you should know makerspaces can have a variety of names. Sometimes they’re called fabrication laboratories (or fablabs), iSTEM rooms (for integrating science, technology, engineering and math), iSTEAM rooms (the extra “a” stands for art), STEM Labs, imagitoriums, imagineering rooms and hackerspaces. For the most part, they’re all the same, with only a few exceptions.

Coming up with an ell-encompassing definition for makerspaces is difficult, since not each one is exactly like the other.

“A makerspace is whatever you want it to be in your school,” said Anastasia Hanneken, the librarian and media specialist at Shamong’s Indian Mills Memorial Middle School. “If you went to a 100 different schools with makerspaces, you’d probably see 100 different types of spaces.”

Riding Bikes in the Pinelands

From Oct. 4–8, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance will hold its 13th annual Tour de Pines, a bike ride on five loops in various areas of the Pinelands. Each day’s ride will be approximately 45–53 miles long and will feature various scenery spread across the Pinelands. Additionally, each ride will be a loop, so riders will end up back where they started.

The event costs $40 to register, which will get you into as many of the rides as you choose to participate in. The proceeds will go to benefit the PPA.

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