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Saturday, March 4, 2017

School news: Rocket science

Students at Luther Jackson Middle School teach art to classmates with disabilities. [FCPS]
An occasional series highlighting programs and activities at schools in the Annandale/Mason District area. The information here is from Fairfax County Public Schools and individual schools.

Annandale High School students are taking part in the Team America Rocketry Challenge, one of the world’s biggest rocket-building contests.

Student teams design and build a rocket, then must complete four qualifying flights by April 3. The top 100 teams will be announced April 7. Their captains will be invited to a rocket convention at the White House and will have an opportunity to present their projects on national television.
The Annandale team – Nazrawit Tamrat (captain), Chioma Okah, Long Nguyen, Anthony Tang, and Alex Banks – also plans to compete in the team outreach category. which focuses on helping younger students with science, technology, and engineering.

Optimistic students – Two students from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Canterbury Woods Elementary School competed in the district round of the Optimist Club’s Communication Contest in Fredericksburg on Feb. 25. The competition provides an opportunity for students to showcase their writing and public speaking skills.

Fifth-grader Michal Gouin and fourth-grader Maggie Smallwood presented speeches on “What the World Gains from Optimism.” Gouin won a $2,500 college scholarship.

Adaptive art – Students in Janet Lundeen’s art extensions class at Luther Jackson Middle School created adaptive art lessons for students with intellectual disabilities. They interviewed special education teacher Andrea Mayer to determine the skill levels of her students and worked with them on a one-to-one basis to create giant flowers.

Mr. Annandale winners [A-Blast]
Mr. Annandale crowned – Annandale High School senior Brahim Bangora won the prestigious Mr. Annandale competition, beating 11 other students, the A-Blast reports.

The contest, hosted by the leadership class, gives students a chance to strut their stuff. Danyom Beyenes made a memorable entrance as a prince of Africa, for example. This year’s theme was “toddlers and tiaras.”

Senior Othmane Kerfal, the winner of the Mr. Muscle category, appeared with bunnies on his weight bar instead of actual weights in an attempt to mimic a famous “Spongebob Squarepants” episode. Micheal Nguyen flipped pizza dough as his talent.

Liam Conroy was named Mr. Elegance, Michael Nguyen was crowned Mr. Intelligence, Matthew Vogus was Mr. Spirit, and TJ Ullah was named Fan Favorite. The acceptance of a transgender student, Katana Negley, in the Mr. Annandale contest “helped contribute to the growth of acceptance and diversity in our school,” the A-Blast reports. Although he didn’t take home any crowns, his color guard flag-throwing performance got loud cheers.

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