Clint's Weekly Update 3-15-17

posted Mar 15, 2017, 10:31 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Merren’s Science Fair Experiment

On Tuesday, SPICE Instructors Amelia and Tess returned to Rigeline to help Merren and his research team complete their science fair experiment to test whether or not “the type of material submerged in liquid nitrogen effects the shatter radius when hit with a brick, compared to the shatter radius of unfrozen materials?”

The entire class was able to observe (from a safe distance) the experiment.

The next steps for the team include analyzing the data and completing their write-ups for the poster board, which will be on display at the UofO SPICE Science Fair on April 22.

The seven other approved science fair projects should be entering the “conduct the experiment” phase before Spring Break.

Architects in School

Tina returned last week with building materials for students to experiment with.  

In the coming weeks, Tina will invite students to learn about the basics of architectural design by teaching about plans, sections, elevations, and bubble mapping.  Students completing the study will be asked to work for a fictitious client seeking to hire an architect.  

Touch Typing

A number of students still have not mastered the basics of touch typing and are really suffering the consequences.  Those students that have invested the time to practice typing without looking at the keyboard are experiencing the benefits that come along with this very important skill:

  1. If students are currently typing 20 words per minute (wpm) that means it would take on average about 30 minutes to type up a one page document.  By learning touch typing, students can boost typing speed to 40wpm or even 60wpm and drastically cut down the amount of time it takes to do even the most simple tasks.

  2. Every time a student has to look at the keyboard to find the right key it breaks their focus.  Touch typing relies on motor memory rather than sight to type, freeing students up to direct their focus on the screen instead of the keyboard.

  3. If students spend a significant amount of time in front of a computer and typing it can take a toll on on their body.  Achy shoulders, stiff neck and sore wrists are some of the side effects of poor posture and bad computer habits.  Students that have learned the proper way to sit and type, are able to relax their arms and shoulders, which reduces the risk of injury and provides increased comfort.

  4. By learning the basics of touch typing, students have found they are more productive than before they developed this skill.  Typing emails and reports at closer to the speed of speech allows these students to get more done during the day.

Exhibit Highlights Egyptian Textiles

Over the weekend I was able to visit the Eugene Textile Center Gallery for an exhibit called “Ephemeral Fabrics from Egypt and the Aegean: Before and After Tutan­khamun.” The exhibition is a dazzling display of reproduced fabrics worn by Egyptian pharaohs, and the gods and goddesses depicted in ancient paintings.  The work is by local weaver Nancy Arthur Hoskins, and the samples were part of a research, weaving and writing project.

The exhibition is timely because of our study of ancient cultures, with the clothing and textile suitcase scheduled to make its way to our classroom in the next month.  I encourage you to visit the free exhibit, which will be on display through March 27 at the Eugene Textile Center Gallery.   For more information, visit or call 541-688-1565.  The Gallery is open Monday - Saturday, 10AM to 5:30PM but closed on Sundays.

Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science

Another timely local event is coming to Eugene on Friday, March 24 at 8pm.  Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science show includes songs, multimedia presentations, talk-show antics, and potentially dangerous food demonstrations.  Brown has a knack for mixing together a perfect base of science, music and food into two hours of pure entertainment. Critics and fans alike have raved about the interactive components of Brown’s shows. He promises “plenty of new therapy inducing opportunities during our audience participation segments.”  He’s also contemplating more sophisticated protective gear for folks in the first few rows…just in case things get messy…again.

The show will be performed at the Silva Concert Hall with tickets costing $40-$68.  For more information, visit