School Notes: Drama Club Auditions, STEAM Night

Local students participate in robotics competition, audition for musicals, and more.

STEAM Night at Elwood Middle School

The Elwood Union Free School District hosted their annual K-8 STEAM night at Elwood Middle School on Jan. 17. For this year’s theme, Read It, Dream It, STEAM It, students were invited to bring the worlds of storybook fantasy to life through experimenting with science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

“We were looking for a way to integrate literacy and our typical science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) themes together,” said Technology Instructional Specialist Krista Albrecht, “and we thought it would be interesting for students to participate in activities related to some of their favorite
picture books and also to be exposed to some new titles.”

Students and parents journeyed through the school holding a map of the available stations that each contained a different activity. Students had the opportunity to use engineering skills to build a “campsite” for a family that got lost in the woods of a storybook, experiment with heart-rate monitors that tracked resting and active heart rates in real-time, experience augmented reality using “Merge Cubes”, enter a digital star lab and much more.

At one of the stations, “If I Built a Car,” students were hard at work building rubber band propeller cars that ran on stored energy. Parents stood by, marveling at their children’s innovation and commented on the refreshing nature of STEAM- focused events.

 Spring Drama Club Musical Auditions Set

Auditions for the Huntington High School drama club’s spring musical production of Thoroughly Modern Millie will be held on Monday-Thursday, Jan. 28-31 at 2:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The audition is open to all students in the school.

Michael Schwendemann, the high school’s drama club advisor, said those auditioning for a role in the musical should prepare a one minute comic monologue and 16 bars of a Broadway show tune.

Schwendemann, a veteran director, actor and English teacher, believes audiences will flip over this spring’s musical, which will feature outstanding acting, singing, dancing and impressive set designs. The pit orchestra is expected to be exceptional as well.

Rehearsals will kick-off on Monday, Feb. 4 at 2:30 p.m. The curtain will go up on the show on Friday, Apr. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Saturday, Apr. 6 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door.

For more information, visit ://


Harborfields Students Aid “Operation Railroad”

Students enrolled in AP World History at Harborfields High School recently stepped up to make a difference in the world.

Groups of students who worked together to research non-governmental organizations presented and promoted humanitarian organizations to their classmates. The class that raised the largest amount of change chose to give the combined $400 to Operation Railroad, a non-profit that seeks to end human trafficking. Additionally, a local community business offered to match the classes’ donations.

Washington Ways Awards Presented

Washington Primary School students were honored for their performances during December  2018.

Students being awarded different color tickets based on their classroom and overall school performances. White tickets are awarded weekly for good behaviors and actions in the classroom. Red tickets are presented to individuals for notable good behavior outside of classrooms, including in hallways, buses, the playground and the cafeteria.

Entire classes can earn blue tickets for positive group behavior out-of-the-classroom. Blue tickets are also awarded to the two classes within the building with the most tickets overall.

Principal Michelle Richards presented Washington Ways Awards to a group of students who were cited for their exceptional efforts throughout December. The honorees include Avery Merlin, Dylan Portillo Gamez, Angelina Fischer, Glendi Miranda Raymando, Andy Velasquez, Gabriella Zielinski, Paul Aguilera-Ramirez, Khloe Bedell, Fabian Martinez Umana, Ethan Hobbi, Cristian Diaz Obando, Angelica Cunningham, Geselle Chavez-Quantanilla, Jefferson Interiano, Christopher Diaz, Spencer Sturges and Samantha Martinez.

Blue Devils Robotics Team Begins 2019 Season

The Huntington High School robotics team recently kicked off their 2019 competitive season. The Blue Devils gathered in the auditorium on Jan. 5 to watch a broadcast revealing this year’s first Robotics game and related rules. Within minutes, team members had begun working on their newest challenge.

Teams across the globe now have six weeks to design, build and program a robot meeting this year’s game requirements. A series of competitions will follow culminating in the world championships in the spring.

“The technical team has been hard at work on a new t-shirt canon as a workshop for our new members to learn mechanical, electrical and programming skills,” said junior Jennifer Low, who heads business operations for Huntington Robotics. “We hope it will be used at school events like pep rallies and football games. Our business team is also hard at work on our Chairman’s Award application and beginning to write the essays and create the video required for the award.”

Visit the team’s website at for more information or send a message with questions to [email protected].


Leave a Reply