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The goal of the Geosphere this year is to provide students with opportunities to both learn and demonstrate learning within the community, with peers, and on an individual level.  Students will be challenged with a Rube Goldberg project, in addition to a variety of field experiences.  This year we will visit Skyline Drive and meet with the man who designed and implemented the bear-proof trash bins and coordinates the recycling throughout the state park. We will drop off shoes at the Frederick County Landfill and tour their facilities, tour Skyline Caverns, and TREX Decking.  .  We will also do community service at Belle Grove Plantation.  Last, but not least, all spheres this year will learn to work together in the food collection contest. Unlike years past when spheres worked against each other, this year we are joining forces!  As a whole-group we would like to collect canned food to benefit Restore Hope House.   So let’s work together and reach our goal

JUNE 20th – June 30th            ARRIVE @ 9:30      DEPART @ 3:00






20  Orientation 

-Get to know each other


-Cell Phones

-Computer Labs for Website & Rube Goldberg

****Remember: We will be outside a lot most days.  Please wear sunscreen, appropriate shoes, bug spray if needed, and water bottles*****

21 Skyline Drive 

-Drop off Rube Goldberg materials in classroom

-Meet with Charlie Newton:

Safety Engineer  of Skyline National Park

-Hiking to waterfall for lunch

*****Remember to bring ICECREAM money for tomorrow

Remember Sport Day tomorrow: Sports Team****

22  Landfill &

Ice Cream 

-Drop off Rube Goldberg materials in the classroom

-Tour Landfill & go out for ice-cream.

-Sports Spirit  Day

****Tomorrow: Remember to wear old shoes, work gloves, bug spray, water bottles, sunscreen

23  Bellgrove Plantation 

-Drop off Rube Goldberg materials in the classroom

-Meet with Dennis Campbell and work at plantation

****Tomorrow: Remember to wear old shoes, work gloves, bug spray, water bottles, sunscreen, any sports equiptment for park, card games, bathing suit, money for pool****

24 River Walk Community Service 

-Clean up Strasburg Park   


Whole group lunch @ Strasburg Park


****Remember to wear long pants and closed toe shoes for TREX  Monday****


27  TREX 

-Tour TREX

****Tomorrow: Remember to wear old shoes, work gloves, bug spray, water bottles, sunscreen ***

-Canoe Talk in Forum at 2:30

28 Canoe Trip 

Remember SPIRIT DAY tomorrow: Sci- Fi Day****

****Monday: Remember to wear jacket; it gets cold!!!!!!!****

29 Skyline Caverns

-Tour Caverns

-Sci fi Day

30  Final Day 

1:00-2:00 student/parents complete survey and students present to parents

-Opportunity to show parents what you have learned over the past 2 weeks.  Present Rube Goldberg and Website.


Best wishes!

Hope to see you next year! 

Carrie Redcay

Mary Alice Crew

6/21/16 - Today, we went to Shenandoah National Park and learned all about the steps being taken locally at
Skyline Drive to help keep the environment safe and healthy! We were accompanied by wonderful park ranger Regina Cardwell, who played some engaging games with us and shared many interesting facts not only about the park's recycling policy but about so many other things in nature that we never would have known otherwise! We were scheduled to go hiking as well, but sadly, got stormed out so instead we went back to SKMS and worked on out Rube Goldberg projects!

6/22/16 - Today, we got a tour of the landfill that intakes the trash of Winchester City, Frederick County, and Clarke County. The tour was captivating and educational, helping to rid each student of the 'out of sight, out of mind' feeling they get when they throw their trash away. Afterward, we stopped at Pack's and got some delicious ice cream!

    Today we went to Bellgrove Plantation and did some community service while we went in groups to tour a historic house they have on the property. We learned about the history of the plantation and what their future goals were for the house. We cleared boxwood bushes to create a more "historic" look. By clearing the bushes away from the house, not only did we help to restore history, but we contributed to what Bellgrove calls a 'Community Preservation Project' meaning that instead of hiring companies to restore the site, the plantation is relying solely on community volunteers! Helping was such an honor! We ate lunch and headed back to Signal Knob to work on Rube Goldbergs.

6/24/16 - Today was community service day for the whole program. Our sphere went to Strasburg Park a few hours earlier than the rest of the bunch to pick up trash around the area. One of the students, Rocket, said "Helping out like this feels really good!!" He was right! He also had the great idea of filling a separate bag with recyclables, so that they didn't get thrown away with the trash. We picked up multiple bags worth of trash and filled the recycling bag to the brim to provide the Strasburg community with a litter-free park!

6/27/16 - Today we went to the TREX factory where we learned about the processes which are used to make composite decking. We learned that TREX is a very environmentally friendly company that creates almost no waste, which supports our theme of cradle 2 cradle. After the tour, we stopped at Jim Barnett Park for lunch. After lunch, we returned to Signal Knob to work on our Rube Goldbergs. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the TREX factory, but we still managed to snap a few before the tour!

6/29/16 - Today, we got a tour of Skyline Caverns. During the tour, we learned all about how the different formations are made and how the caverns were discovered. We were all very intrigued by the fact that Skyline Caverns is one of four places in the world to have Anthodites, an ultra-rare calcite formation. There is also a beetle that has never been discovered outside of the caverns, the Pseudanophthalmus Petrunkevitchi Valentine Beetle. After the tour, we ate lunch and returned to Signal Knob to work on Rube Goldbergs.
Carrie Redcay,
Jun 1, 2016, 9:27 AM