Anyone who stops at the Sapp Brothers truck stop on Outer Road can see the colorful piano that was designed and created by students at McEowen Elementary School in Harrisonville.
The piano is the 11th to be donated to the Keys to Community program, which places decorated pianos around the city so people can connect by viewing and playing them. The pianos remain in their respective locations indefinitely.
McEowen art teacher David Jefferies said he wanted the project to be a collaboration involving every McEowen student. So all fourth- and fifth-graders designed at least a quarter of a circle, and several designed more than one. Jefferies said he did little but present the idea, and his students took it from there.
“Several students glued the circles to the piano and sealed it with Modge Podge … like a giant decoupage project,” he said.
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The small dots resulted from an artistic problem: leftover designs that didn’t fit the remaining spaces. A discussion among a few of the students produced the solution.
“We cut smaller circles and started filling in the negative space. Voila! A dotted motif began to appear. We should call it ‘Dotted Notes.’ ”
This was the second decorated piano created by Harrisonville schools. Several months ago, Harrisonville Elementary students painted a piano that remains in the school cafeteria.
Collecting school supplies for Ray-Pec and Cass Midway
Through Aug. 6, the Community Bank of Raymore is collecting school supplies for its 10th annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign. The donations will go to the Raymore-Peculiar and Cass Midway school districts.
Community members can drop supplies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Community Bank of Raymore, 801 W. Foxwood Drive, or the Community Bank of Peculiar, 300 C. Highway. Apple Bus Co. is providing the buses parked outside.
Belton student gets a taste of space
Belton High School sophomore Cassidy Freeman recently attended the Advanced Space Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, a weeklong program designed for students interested in space exploration.
Freeman spent the week training with a team that flew a simulated space mission to the International Space Station. Once “aboard” the station, the crew participated in experiments and completed a spacewalk. Freeman and crew returned to Earth in time to graduate with honors.
Space Camp operates year-round in Huntsville, Ala., and uses astronaut training techniques to engage young people in real-world uses of the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble the space station, and they train in simulators like those used by NASA.
More than 750,000 trainees have graduated from the Huntsville camp since it began in 1982, including several astronauts.
Soap Box competitor is moving on
Harrisonville High School senior Hunter Hawkins concluded a 10-year Soap Box Derby career at the world championship this summer. Racers from around the world competed July 15-21 at the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio.
Hawkins started racing in 2008 at age 8 in a stock car. In 2013, he moved to a super stock car, and this last year, he moved to the masters division. He got into racing through his grandfather, who has been his crew chief throughout the years.
Hawkins qualified for the World Championships in 2015 as a super stock local champion. He qualified in 2016 and 2017 as a rally super stock champion and this year as a rally masters champion.
Cass County educators bring ideas to national conference
Jeanette Flanner, director of Cass Career Center in Harrisonville, was a co-presenter for a mid-July session at the National High Schools That Work Summer Conference.
The presentation was titled “Helping Industry Professionals Become Successful Classroom Instructors.” She worked on the presentation with Gina Smith, former career center director and current Harrisonville school board member.
Standout vocalists from Harrisonville
A dozen Harrisonville High School students performed in mid-July at the Missouri Choral Directors Association Conference.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to the Democrat Missourian