School news: A physicist, Dr. Seuss and award recipients

March 14, 2014

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, Ph.D., a NASCAR scientist, speaks to Calvert Hall College High School students as part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival and Book Fair’s effort to increase public awareness of the importance of science and to encourage youth to pursue careers in science and engineering. (Courtesy Calvert Hall)


(Compiled by Catholic Review Staff writer Elizabeth Lowe)


Calvert Hall College High School hosts physicist

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, Ph.D., a physicist and author of “The Physics of NASCAR,” spoke at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson Feb. 27 about the science of speed and why driving fast is more difficult than people realize.

“One of my professors in grad school told me that the single most important attribute you need to be a scientist is what he called the ‘pit bull gene,’ ” Leslie-Pelecky said in a statement. “That’s the gene responsible for a person getting a question in their head and not being able to rest until they have an answer.”

Leslie-Pelecky is among the scientists to visit Baltimore schools as guest lecturers, providing insights about their careers as part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival’s Nifty Fifty (times 3) Program, according to information from the festival’s website. The program sends more than 150 top scientists and engineers to area schools in advance of the festival to ignite students’ passion for science and engineering.  

The third annual festival culminates April 26-27 at the Grand Finale Expo at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.  

For information about the festival, visit usasciencefestival.org.


Sixteen Dr. Seuss books are in the bracket for a reading contest at Resurrection-St. Paul School in Ellicott City. (Courtesy Resurrection-St. Paul School)

Resurrection-St. Paul School kicks off Seuss-madness

Inspired by NCAA Tournament basketball brackets, Resurrection-St. Paul School students have completed brackets with Dr. Seuss books in a book battle to be named the school’s most “Seuss-tastic” book, the Ellicott City school has announced.

Sixteen Dr. Seuss books are in the bracket, according to the school. The activity, which began earlier this month and is expected to end the week of April 7, was inspired by the Read Across America challenge.

For the first four weeks, four books will be read to students in pre-kindergarten to second grade each week, according to the school. Students will cast their picture ballot weekly to advance their favorite story to the next level.

After the winning book is announced, there will be a Seuss Madness activity in honor of the favorite book, according to the school. The reading incentive works with the curriculum by focusing on basic skills for beginning readers, such as phonemic awareness, identifying sight word vocabulary and developing motivation to read. 

“Dr. Seuss has inspired children to read for years through his clever rhymes and whimsical characters,” Laura Williams, the school’s media integration specialist, said in a statement. “Our March Madness inspired Seuss Book Battle is a creative way to promote reading and writing, motivates students with a bit of fun competition and encourages collaboration amongst teachers with cross-curricular reading-themed activities.”


St. Mark School student wins third place in Maryknoll Student Essay Contest

Julia Wall, an eighth-grader at St. Mark School in Catonsville, recently won third place in the Maryknoll Student Essay Contest.

Wall placed in Division I, which is for middle school students. She won $150. She will receive her award and prize on Friday, April 25. 

Wall was one of six middle and high school students from across the country to have winning submissions in Maryknoll magazine’s 25th annual essay contest. The magazine is published by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

The 2013 theme, “The Pope, The Poor AND YOU,” asked students to consider the call of Pope Francis to follow Jesus in serving the poor and explain how they see this occurring, or not occurring, each day.

To read Wall’s essay, visit maryknollsociety.org.

Essays written by first place winners will be published in the May/June issue of Maryknoll. All winning essays will be published online. Visit maryknollsociety.org/winners


Archbishop Spalding receives athletic training and safe sports awards

Archbishop Spalding High School recently received awards that recognize achievements in athletic training and providing a safe athletic environment, the Severn school has announced. 

TJ Morgan, Archbishop Spalding’s athletic trainer, received an award from the Mid Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association, which recognizes qualified MAATA members for exceptional service and contributions to athletic training, the school announced. Morgan received a second award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, which recognizes member contributions to the profession as a volunteer at the local and state levels. 

Archbishop Spalding received the Safe Sports School Award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, which recognizes efforts in and maximizing student athlete safety, according to the school.

“I believe Spalding leads the way in its commitment to student athlete safety, professional leadership and service,” Morgan said in a statement.


Trinity School’s physical education director inducted into alma mater’s Hall of Honor

Frank John, physical education director at Trinity School in Ellicott City, was recently inducted into Baptist Bible College and Seminary’s Hall of Honor, according to information from the school. 

John was among the former student athletes from the Clarks Summit, Pa., school recognized for their contributions to BCC’s athletic program, according to Trinity School.

At BBC, John was named a National Christian College Athletic Association Division II All-American in 1987 and 1988 and finished first at the NCCAA East Regional Meet in 1990 and 1991, according to the school.

John, who earned a bachelor’s in physical education and biblical studies from BBC, has served at Trinity School since 2003.

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