The Rocket Flame

Inventing the Future: One Mouse Caddy at a Time

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Erin Martin

Maggie Strawoet (12) and Jade Wolfe (11) stand by their table presenting their invention at one of the competitions.

Students from Mrs. Erin Martin’s (Faculty) classes have put their brains together to hatch up a plan for an invention. They will then compete in a competition for entrepreneurship and inventions. During these competitions, many different ideas and inventions are competed for a prize. The “Mouse Caddy” has gotten Jade Wolfe (11) and Maggie Strawoet (12) through many rounds of judges and more to come.

 

“We created the Mouse Caddy, which is a device that attaches to the backside of your laptop screen to hold your cordless mouse,” said Strawoet.

 

Their invention has been exhibited at a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Competition in New Oxford, PA. Also, Wolfe and Strawoet put together a business plan which explains its purpose and expenses of the Mouse Caddy. The business plan has gotten through the first step at Lock Haven and will be sent higher up to state-level.

 

“We started brainstorming idea for our product and beginning the planning period around the end of September,” said Wolfe. “We really started to focus on designing and building since November and have continued to work on it since then.”

 

The work that goes into this project reflects the students’ creativity and how to make their ideas come to life. Students had to not only invent their creation but also formally express it and put it into words.

 

“We have created 2 display boards, a PowerPoint, a video or commercial, and a 1,000 word paper,” said Strawoet. “We also created multiple prototypes of our Mouse Caddy out of silicon, thermoplastic, and a 3D printer.”

 

Erin Martin

 

A panel of judges then grades the invention which determines if it advances on to the next level in any of the competitions.

 

“It depends on what competition it is, but usually the judges grade us off of some type of rubric,” said Wolfe.

 

On top of impressing the judges, they also face the competition from students from other schools that compete with their inventions. It gives them a chance to see what they are competing against, and what other cool inventions are being created.

 

“My favorite I’ve seen would have to be this magic mirror a group did,” said Strawoet. “It was basically a smart mirror because it had the time and the weather and all these cool features.”

 

Putting their heads together has helped them improve and continue to get better as they attend more and more competitions to compete with their inventions.

 

“Jade and I also have been able to work very well as a team. We know our deadlines and when things need to get done, we get it done,” said Strawoet. “We have worked well together throughout these competitions. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and that is something that will help us win these competitions.”

 

By using their skills to work together and successfully present their ideas to judges, these competitions have given the students plenty of opportunities to open up and get out of their comfort zone.

 

“I’ve really learned public speaking and also problem solving,” said Wolfe.

All the way since September, Strawoet and Wolfe have perfected their prototypes and ideas, but what is the end result? What is in it for them?

 

“Prizes depend on the competition we’re going to. Some are Amazon gift cards, and some are just money,” said Strawoet. “Normally there is some type of trophy or plaque”.

 

Wolfe and Strawoet are using their skills to continue competing in various other competitions. On March 28 and 29, Wolfe and Strawoet travel to Bloomsburg and then the State College.

 

They also have the opportunity to go to Harrisburg to the State Capitol where they will just present their products and try to sell them. Wolfe and Strawoet will continue to compete with the Mouse Caddy at many other competitions in the future.

 

Paint Party: Pumpkin Edition

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To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

A chilly autumn breeze blows an ombre of orange, red, and yellow leaves across the grass. Anywhere you go, you are bound to smell a mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin. Porches are decorated with scarecrows, leaves, and pumpkins just waiting to be decorating. Following along with the seasons holidays and traditions, James Buchanan’s Art Club gathered up pumpkins to decorate for fall.

 

Club members got together to decorate pumpkins after school on Thursday, Oct. 25. Some members did a classic jack o’lantern face, while some others branched out to do anything from a monogram of their initials to a peacock with feathers.

For a while, the Art Club has not done any parties that have to do with making art; the events have usually been

While Maggie Strawoet (12) shares a laugh with members of her table, Lizzie Pittman (12) centers her attention on painting her monogram on her pumpkin.

centered around food and activities, such as Secret Santa or tea parties. This year, however, the club is trying to change that.

 

“Normally, our regular Halloween parties are just a breakfast during Activity Period,” said Vice President Maggie Strawoet (12), “so we wanted to do something more elaborate and artsy since this year we are really trying to change up Art Club and do more art instead of just parties.”

The Art Club advisor, Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty), really wants the members’ creations to do more for the school. Whether it is made with a group or individually, Chambers-Matulevich thinks that art should be able to hang around the school and make a lasting impact. To do this, the club needs to step out of its old habits of throwing parties centered around socializing.

 

“Art club should make art. We should be making art, not wasting time. It’s not a socialization club, it’s an art club,” said Chambers-Matulevich.

 

While getting more art out into the school is a main goal of the club, they also hope to raise community awareness of the art being created inside room 305.

As Olivia Harmon (12) paints a haunted house against a nights sky on her pumpkin, she shares a laugh with Amber Clark (12) who paints a scary face on her pumpkin.

“We want to host paint nights for everyone to come, not just for the school, but [for] the community,” said President Lizzie Pittman (12). “Also, we want to do something at the Mercersburg tree lighting ceremony to get the little kids involved.”

 

Taking their first step towards this new goal for themselves, the members have taken to decorating pumpkins. Whether they painted something scary or sweet, or if they used different 3D elements to enhance their designs, the members put their own spin on their pumpkins.

 

“I made a peacock pumpkin,” said Trinity Myers (12). “I thought it would be really fun to use blues and greens. I actually put feathers in the back to make a tail, because peacocks have big tails. Then,…I made a beak out of orange

paper.”

 

With a new aspiration and a motivation to get there, James Buchanan’s Art Club is working towards becoming more involved with supplying art to the school and community.

Girls’ Pre-Season Basketball

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Pre-Season Basketball

Stoner’s Haunted Corn Maze is All the Craze

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During the Haunted Hayride at Stoner’s Dairy Farm, one of the volunteers roams and creates fear amongst visitors. “There are a good amount of scares,” says Owen Stoner (11), “We have a lot of people in the maze.”

During the Haunted Hayride at Stoner’s Dairy Farm, one of the volunteers roams and creates fear amongst visitors. “There are a good amount of scares,” says Owen Stoner (11), “We have a lot of people in the maze.”

Picture yourself with your jacket zipped up, hands in your pockets, and a hat on your head. It is dark out, and you can hear the corn rattle as the evening wind whistles by. The weather is chilly, but tolerable. You are warm, with beads of sweat forming on your brow as your body gets warmer and warmer with anticipation; the anticipation that has been building up as you hear the screams of people, just like you, who you cannot see because they are hidden behind the many rows of corn. Will you be the next person to scream?

 

Local business, Stoner’s Dairy Farm, hosts a fun fall activity for anybody looking to have a good time. The Stoner’s Corn Maze is a weekend pleasure, which also offers a Haunted Corn Maze. There is also several other add-ons besides the haunted maze, which is only available on particular nights, the next one being Nov. 3.

 

The Stoner’s Haunted Maze is a fairly new addition to the fall attractions, such as their regular and flashlight maze nights, available at the Stoner’s Dairy Farm.

 

“The haunted corn maze is more exclusive, and has been going on for more like five years now,” said Owen Stoner (11), who is part of the family business.

 

Stoner himself admits that he enjoys helping out, but he also takes out time to be a victim of the maze.

 

“Sometimes I dress up and help scare in the maze because that is pretty fun for me,” said Stoner. “I also like just walking through just for the thrill.”

 

As the years have gone by, the maze has continued to pull in frequent visitors to the haunted attraction.

 

“I was there last year,” said Maggie Strawoet (11), “I thought this year was a lot better than last year, and I thought there were a lot more people in it that were scarers.”

 

As the amount of actors has increased, the maze itself has continued to get more frightening.  

While waiting in line to enter the Haunted Corn Maze at Stoner’s Dairy Farm, Maggie Strawoet (11) and Drew Devotie (11), laugh off an unexpected scare from one of the actors.

“I was scared when you were walking through the maze awhile, and then somebody would pop out of nowhere,” said Strawoet.

 

There is more to the ticket than just the corn maze, though. Stoner’s also includes another frightening experience: a haunted hayride.

 

“Personally, my favorite part is the haunted hayride.The corn maze is pretty scary itself, but the hayride, after you go in, kind of adds to the whole entire experience,” said Stoner.

 

The hayride is filled with actors prepared to scare just like the corn maze.

Along with the Haunted Corn Maze at Stoner’s Dairy Farm, there is a selection of other activities. “There is the hayride, a petting zoo, a bunch of food, hot chocolate, milkshakes,” says Owen Stoner (11).

“The scarers still come out, but it is pretty freaky whenever you are on the ride,” said Stoner.

 

If you are not really into the scare, and you just come along to hangout with your friends, you do not have to worry, there is more to do!

 

“There was the haunted hayride, which was pretty fun, too, where there was people who would like walk around the hayride, like the little cart in the back, and scare you,” said Strawoet, “There was a campfire, a petting zoo, and stuff like that.”

 

Don’t forget, the cult classic throughout Mercersburg during Halloween time will be available on Friday, Nov. 3 , for its last debut during the fall of 2017! Tickets are seven dollars, for the haunted corn maze, haunted hayride, and all the amenities that come along with it.

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