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Can Tabs Mean Happy Holidays for Sick Children

(Left to right) Caitlin Hunnicutt, Meredith Tart, Katie Stover collect can tabs

A group of students from West Johnston High School in Benson, N.C., collected aluminum can tabs for families staying at the Durham Ronald McDonald House. The facility provides food and shelter for families seeking medical treatment for their children.

“The girls worked with five local schools to collect all of the can tabs in the area to help local and national families to have a place to stay,” advisor Todd Thibault said.

The can tabs are traded for cash to cover a voluntary $10 donation from families who stay at the facility.

Students also collected gifts for children and teens staying at the house. Once a month, they serve meals to the families.

See local footage here. end of story

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Breakfast, letters and college

At Duncanville (Texas) High School, students, family and school, university and college representatives gathered for a letter-signing ceremony after SkillsUSA engineering/technician students were accepted into postsecondary programs. Students, many of whom received scholarships, signed letters of intent to their respective schools. Culinary arts students prepared and served a breakfast. end of story

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Construction for destruction

Researchers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Miss., are partnering with the Vicksburg-Warren Campus of Hinds Community College. High school students are building brick walls and safety supports for steel frames that the ERDC will then use to test munitions for the Army.

Hank McDevitt, chief of the ERDC Impact and Explosion Effects Branch, came up with the idea.

“ERDC has a partnership agreement with the Vicksburg-Warren School District that enables us to reach out to high school students and mentor them in the fields of engineering and science,” McDevitt said. ERDC provided the necessary supplies for the project, as well as the specifications for building the walls.

“This is an excellent project for my students,” said Allen Smith, brick masonry instructor at the high school. “They are having a chance to use real mortar, which they normally don’t get to do. In class, we use lime and sand, which they can use over and over.”

Welding instructor Joe Johnston added, “This is a great project for my first-year students. They have had the opportunity — in addition to welding — to do the rigging, lifting and moving of equipment and materials that goes along with this kind of work.”

Dereca McGraw, a senior at Vicksburg High School, said she was “proud to be working on the project.” She added that she enjoyed brick masonry because of its hands-on and creative work.

John Hogan, a senior at Warren Central High School, said, “Even though the work will be destroyed, I’m glad to be doing this (project). It’s cool to be doing this for the Corps.”

According to Ray Moxley, the research civil engineer in charge of the project, “Our intent is to transport the framed brick walls to one of our field test sites and detonate a small charge on the wall surface. We will then transport the walls back to ERDC and continue testing with larger munitions. Data from the penetration experiments will be used to evaluate and improve computerized prediction algorithms.” end of story

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Style for a cause

Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) cosmetology students hosted a “style-a-thon” at the school’s New Image Salon in Sewell, N.J. The event benefited the City of Hope, National Cancer Institute, in Philadelphia. Students served 164 clients with shampoos, haircuts and styling as well as basic facials, manicures and waxing. Sixty-five students volunteered their time and talents to raise over $1,100. Seven teachers and five advisory board members helped supervise the event. end of story

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Work first, then play

The SkillsUSA advanced auto service technology class from the Millcreek Center in Olathe, Kan., cleaned up litter at a local park (pictured, right), then enjoyed an afternoon picnic as a reward, reported chapter advisor John Collins.

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SkillsUSA Champions | Spring 2008 | Volume 42, No. 3
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