Brockway Students Light Up Little Houses

Clara Keith, Alexis Bassetti, Jade Whitehill, Soraya Manno, Riley Mills, and Eric Decker at the school board meeting.


BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) – Members of Sue Olsakovsky’s fourth grade class lit up the December school board meeting.

Olsakovsky brought six students to the school board meeting and had them set up little wood houses. Those houses were wired with simple connections to lights in different areas. The students had the wires connected to batteries with paperclips allowing the students to complete the circuits to light up the lights.

“One of the science kits purchased by the district was circuits for the fourth grade,” Olsakovsky said. “There were very basic components. We threw them at the students, told them to get this lightbulb to light, and they did very well.”

Superintendent Jeff Vizza invited Olsakovsky because he saw what they were working on in class.

“The students did a great job, and I wanted them to come here and show the board what they have been learning,” Vizza said.

The houses were made by Kyle Norman’s shop classes and wired by the fourth graders. The fourth graders made the flashlights.

Olsakovsky said that the students also had to reassemble the projects. They had done the work and torn it down by the time they were invited.

The students also made little flashlights to show off at the meeting.

The houses the students wired were made by high school students in Kyle Norman’s shop class. Sue Olsakovsky was surprised by the high-schoolers’ turnaround time.

“We were short 25 houses,” Olsakovsky said. “I asked the high school at noon on a Tuesday and they were delivered by one o’clock the next day!”

Vizza was not surprised, responding with, “That’s Mr. Norman.”

Olsakovsky said that this was the first part of the project. Gradually, they added onto their knowledge. The class did multiple types of circuits, adding wires and cells, connecting bulbs and clips, learning how to put a switch in.

“It’s really quite simple what they’ve done, but they really got into the design of it,” Olsakovsky said.

Olsakovsky thanked the board for putting money into science education in the schools and allowing the students to have this kind of educational opportunity.


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