Local Matters

Community Sponsors

byron-bergen school

December 12, 2018 - 3:46pm

Byron-Bergen STEAM students, pictured from left: Logan Fregoe, Noah Clare, Adam Piper, Ian Pulcini, Kendall Pape and Carter Kuipers.

Submitted photos and press release:

On Nov. 9th, a team of Byron-Bergen STEAM students broke the world record currently posted on the Guinness website for distance traveled by a rubber-band-powered car.

Many people dream of joining the ranks of record-holders in the Guinness Book of World Records. Though most of these dreams go unrealized, Craig Schroth’s students are using engineering skills to earn Guinness recognition.

Schroth, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) lab teacher at Byron-Bergen Elementary School, challenged his sixth-grade students to use simple machines -- a wheel and axle -- to build vehicles powered only by a wound up rubber band. Students used three class periods to methodically make changes and improve their designs.

“We moved the rubber band further forward,” explained sixth-grade student Adam Piper. “Then we added more rubber bands because the more we could wind it up, the further (the car) would go.”

In addition to the number of rubber bands, the design team added bigger wheels wrapped in rubber bands for increased road friction and elongated the distance between axles.

On Nov. 9, the team of Noah Clare, Logan Fregoe, Ian Pulcini, and Adam Piper broke the standing World Record with a run of 1,071 cm. According to the Guinness website, the current record for distance traveled by a rubber band car is 895 cm and was set on July 13, 2015.

“This STEAM design challenge not only involved real-world problem solving within the physical sciences, but it also included improving their design by collecting data through trial and error,” Schroth said. “Most groups were able to improve on their personal best of distance traveled by utilizing the engineering design process. All of the participating classes did a great job.”

Inspired by the sixth-grade success, the fifth-grade team of Carter Kuipers and Kendall Pape surpassed the previous winning distance by an additional 228 cm on Nov. 15, making 1,299 cm the longest distance achieved.

Schroth has contacted the Guinness organization to have the distances submitted for official approval. All of the participating students eagerly await a response.

Below: Adam Piper, Ian Pulcini, and Noah Clare prepare their rubber-band car for a test run.

Below: Sixth-grade team tests their rubber-band car in the hallway outside the STEAM lab.

Below: The fifth- (left) and sixth-grade (right) teams prepare to race head to head.

November 23, 2018 - 12:43pm

Above photo, local paleontologist/geologist Richard Hamell taught the students about the history and uses of wampum.

Submitted photos and press release:

On Nov. 8 the Byron-Bergen Elementary School fourth-grade classes celebrated the fourth annual Haudenosaunee Day. This day came at the end of their English Language Arts (ELA) and Social Studies units based on the Iroquois people, history and culture and included art and cultural-themed activities and special guests.

In the morning, students joined Byron-Bergen High School music teacher Lawrence Tallman in the cafetorium for an interactive presentation of Native American music, stories and dance. Tallman is descended from the Onondaga and Tuscarora tribes and studied Native American song and dance while traveling around the country with his grandfather who was a musician.

The students joined him in several songs and dances including the Rabbit Dance and the Partridge Dance, historically used to teach counting to children.

In the afternoon, Byron-Bergen parent Michelle Caballero shared the story of the vain doll whose face was taken away by the Great Spirit. Caballero then showed the students how to make their own corn husk dolls. Caballero is a member of the Seneca Nation and enjoys having the opportunity to share her culture each year with the fourth-grade students at through this activity.

Local Paleontologist/Geologist Richard Hamell taught the students about the history and uses of wampum and shared with them his collection of wampum and Native American artifacts. Finally, retired Byron-Bergen teacher Rick Merritt shared stories and legends around an indoor “campfire.” Each of the special guests has taken part in Haudenosaunee Day since its inception in 2014.

The following day, the fourth-grade students closed out their study of Haudenosaunee culture by presenting projects created by the students to the other grade levels who visited their classrooms. Projects included longhouse dioramas, wampum, flags and the history of the Three Sisters.

The goal of each annual Iroquois celebration is to help the fourth-grade students develop an appreciation through understanding of the Haudenosaunee people.

Photo below: retired Byron-Bergen teacher Rick Merritt shared stories and legends around an indoor “campfire.”

Photo below: Byron-Bergen High School music teacher Lawrence Tallman led an interactive presentation of Native American music, stories and dance.

January 26, 2011 - 2:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron-bergen school.

Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s Playground Committee is close to receiving funding in Pepsi’s Refresh Contest.

It's a monthly online competition in which nonprofit groups compete against each other for grants ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

Currently, the Playground Committee is ranked ninth in the online competition. The top 10 ideas receive funding. Voting ends Jan. 31.

To learn more about this local project, or to vote on the Pepsi grant, visit http://refr.es/bb. Voting can be done through the website or by texting 105424 to Pepsi (73774).

“We need to develop healthy activities for children,” said Andrea Stasko, a member of the Health and Wellness Committee. “Our current playground is not large enough to accommodate the number of students for its usage, and it does not fulfill the physical fitness components that could benefit our students.”

The playground committee has been working for more than a year to raise funds to update and enlarge the school's old, much used playground. The new playground will be handicapped accessible so students with varying needs are not sitting on the sidewalk watching others play.

The committee hopes to win a $50,000 grant for the project. Of that, $40,000 would be used for equipment, $6,500 would be spent on resurfacing, and the remaining $3,500 would pay for concrete and excavation work.

Plans call for the playground to have play space and activities for the newest population of students, 3- and 4-year-olds who come from Pre-K. It will have lots of activites to exercise students' bodies in many different ways.

To improve students' physical and social development, they need to be able to climb, crawl, swing, slide, jump, balance, hang, push, pull, bounce, stomp, spin, run and play.

The small, rural school district is the center of the community and many families use the playground as a source for exercise, play and a meeting place to gather and socialize, according to Stasko.

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button