JMU Community Calendar, Fall 2012 : Page 3

Building blocks of learning T here’s nothing like Lego to bring out the budding scientist, engineer or mathematician in children. The evidence is the 900 FIRST LEGO League competitors aged 9-14 who con-verge — along with 2,000 coaches, parents and spectators — each December at JMU for one huge internationally recognized championship weekend of math and sci-ence challenges. Middle schoolers around Virginia and the District of Columbia begin preparing for these hands-on, interactive robotics competitions through teams coordinated primarily through school systems — including Harrisonburg City and Page County Schools, says JMU’s Dominic Swayne, head of the Virginia–DC FIRST LEGO League and Harrisonburg City School board member. Teams begin forming in the summer and can practice programming, work on design concepts and conduct general research. “The real competition begins when the details for the research project and robot missions are released worldwide on Aug. 28,” Swayne says, “so other than general experience there’s no specific advantage to teams that can start early.” Because the competition involves equal consideration to three judged areas (robot design, teamwork, research) as well as the robot competition, new teams can be just as competitive as experienced teams, Swayne explains. “Performance of the robot may vary greatly among teams, but the judged events are the great equalizer.” Forming a Lego League Team Harrisonburg City Schools: Contact Amy Sabarre at asabarre@harrisonburg. k12.va.us Page County Schools: Contact Shirley Weak-ley at shirleyw@pagecounty.k12.va.us Registering teams Participation is highly structured. Teams are registered through the national organization at www.usfirst.org. Registration is required to compete in any sanctioned competition and to acquire the current year’s field setup kit for the actual robot competition. Since 2007, JMU has served as the state headquarters for the Virginia – DC FIRST LEGO League. It is the largest Lego league in the world with more than 500 middle-school teams and 21 tournaments. Approximately 25 percent of the top teams from the regional events advance to December’s championship tournament at JMU, where 96 teams compete for the Champion’s Award. Learn more at www.jmu.edu/link/ lego. M www.usfirst.org. National registration is required to compete in sanctioned competi-tions and to acquire the current field setup kit for the robot competition. Central Virginia Regional Qualifying Tournaments Spectators welcome; admission free. Nov. 3 Harrisonburg, at JMU, College of Inte-grated Science and Technology Nov. 3 Martinsville, at Martinsville MS Nov. 10 Lynchburg, at Timberlake CS Nov. 17 Staunton, Location TBA FIRST LEGO League Tournament Spectators welcome; admission free. Dec. 8 and 9 State Championship Tourna-ment at JMU Give a Break and Take a Break! Community Caregiver Network Are you interested in becoming a trained volunteer who can step in to give overworked caregivers a break? The nonprofit Caregivers Community Network trains volunteers to provide in-home respite for family caregivers of frail elders and persons with demen-tia in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. If you are a family caregiver and would appreciate this service, you can count on well prepared visits to offer you support. Fee subsidies/ scholarships are available and deter-mined at time of enrollment. Enroll-ments accepted on an ongoing basis. Call (540) 568–6682 for more information. Also: www.socwork. jmu.edu/Caregivers leGo le aGu e PhotoGr aPhs By holly marCus (‘03) Congratulations to Cub Run Elementary’s Super Teacher Margo Jantzi (’01M), a media center teacher at Cub Run Elementary School, has been selected to receive the Super Teacher Award from the Virginia Lottery. Rebecca J. Poma (’97M), Margo Jantzi (‘01M) Parent-Teacher hosted an “Out of this Association presi-World” family reading dent, nominated event, one of Cub Run’s Jantzi because “her most successful school functions with over 600 energy, creativity participants. and caring nature are contagious.” Read more about Jantzi and her award on the Be the Change blog: www.jmu.edu/ link/ superteacher. Fa l l 2 012 3

Building Blocks Of Learning

There’s nothing like Lego to bring out the budding scientist, engineer or mathematician in children.<br /> <br /> The evidence is the 900 FIRST LEGO League competitors aged 9-14 who converge — along with 2,000 coaches, parents and spectators — each December at JMU for one huge internationally recognized championship weekend of math and science challenges.<br /> <br /> Middle schoolers around Virginia and the District of Columbia begin preparing for these hands-on, interactive robotics competitions through teams coordinated primarily through school systems — including Harrisonburg City and Page County Schools, says JMU’s Dominic Swayne, head of the Virginia–DC FIRST LEGO League and Harrisonburg City School board member. Teams begin forming in the summer and can practice programming, work on design concepts and conduct general research.<br /> <br /> “The real competition begins when the details for the research project and robot missions are released worldwide on Aug. 28,” Swayne says, “so other than general experience there’s no specific advantage to teams that can start early.”<br /> <br /> Because the competition involves equal consideration to three judged areas (robot design, teamwork, research) as well as the robot competition, new teams can be just as competitive as experienced teams, Swayne explains. “Performance of the robot may vary greatly among teams, but the judged events are the great equalizer.”<br /> <br /> Participation is highly structured. Teams are registered through the national organization at www.usfirst.org. Registration is required to compete in any sanctioned competition and to acquire the current year’s field setup kit for the actual robot competition.<br /> <br /> Since 2007, JMU has served as the state headquarters for the Virginia – DC FIRST LEGO League. It is the largest Lego league in the world with more than 500 middle-school teams and 21 tournaments. Approximately 25 percent of the top teams from the regional events advance to December’s championship tournament at JMU, where 96 teams compete for the Champion’s Award.<br /> <br /> Learn more at www.jmu.edu/link/ lego. <br /> <br /> Forming a Lego League Team <br /> <br /> Harrisonburg City Schools: Contact Amy Sabarre at asabarre@harrisonburg. K12.va.us <br /> <br /> Page County Schools: Contact Shirley Weakley at shirleyw@pagecounty.k12.va.us <br /> <br /> Registering teams <br /> <br /> www.usfirst.org. National registration is required to compete in sanctioned competitions and to acquire the current field setup kit for the robot competition.<br /> <br /> Central Virginia Regional Qualifying Tournaments <br /> <br /> Spectators welcome; admission free.<br /> <br /> Nov. 3 Harrisonburg, at JMU, College of Integrated Science and Technology <br /> <br /> Nov. 3 Martinsville, at Martinsville MS <br /> <br /> Nov. 10 Lynchburg, at Timberlake CS <br /> <br /> Nov. 17 Staunton, Location TBA <br /> <br /> FIRST LEGO League Tournament Spectators welcome; admission free.<br /> <br /> Dec. 8 and 9 State Championship Tournament at JMU<br /> <br /> Congratulations to Cub Run Elementary’s Super Teacher <br /> <br /> Margo Jantzi (’01M), a media center teacher at Cub Run Elementary School, has been selected to receive the Super Teacher Award from the Virginia Lottery. Rebecca J. Poma (’97M), Parent-Teacher Association president, nominated Jantzi because “her energy, creativity and caring nature are contagious.” Read more about Jantzi and her award on the Be the Change blog: www.jmu.edu/link/superteacher.

Read the full article at http://browndigital.bpc.com/article/Building+Blocks+Of+Learning/1166995/125088/article.html.

Give A Break And Take A Break! Community Caregiver Network

Are you interested in becoming a trained volunteer who can step in to give overworked caregivers a break? The nonprofit Caregivers Community Network trains volunteers to provide in-home respite for family caregivers of frail elders and persons with dementia in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. If you are a family caregiver and would appreciate this service, you can count on well prepared visits to offer you support. Fee subsidies/ scholarships are available and determined at time of enrollment. Enrollments accepted on an ongoing basis. Call (540) 568–6682 for more information. Also: www.socwork.jmu.edu/Caregivers<br /> <br />

Read the full article at http://browndigital.bpc.com/article/Give+A+Break+And+Take+A+Break%21+Community+Caregiver+Network/1167007/125088/article.html.

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