Around Town 19

Local Elementary Students Win First Place in National Invention Competition in Washington DC

This Spring, Smyrna 5th graders Riley Davis and Jonathan Fairgrieves, competed in Georgia Tech’s Inventure Challenge. Their second place finish in the elementary division, as well as winning the People’s Choice award, earned them a ticket to compete in Washington DC on the national level.

Through their research, these young scientists from Nickajack Elementary, were shocked to learn that 1.8 billion people in the world suffer from lack of access to clean water. Inspired, the duo was driven to find a cost-effective, green, renewable solution to this problem. Their solution has the potential to help people world-wide with limited access to clean water!

Riley and Jonathan, along with their advanced learning teachers Amanda Wood and Dana Zhun, traveled to Washington, DC on May 19th to present their solution in the STEMIE Coalition National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE). This is an annual celebration of K-12 inventors and entrepreneurs from across the U.S. In addition to competing against other teams from across the nation, participants visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and attended a lecture led by a NASA engineer and others.

The judges in Washington DC were rightfully impressed with this team’s project. They won the First Place Award for the Fifth Grade Inventor For Best Overall Grade 5 Invention! Great job!

Provident Village at Creekside Opens in Smyrna

Provident Village at Creekside is a new assisted living and memory care community which recently opened in Smyrna on South Cobb Drive. It is designed to make it easier for seniors to live vibrantly in a variety of private or semi-private apartments. They feature a holistic approach to working with their residents while offering a high level of care and personal attention.

The 3-story building that makes up Provident Village at Creekside is just the first phase of a three phase senior development community at this site. This current building features 108 rooms and a designated memory care wing for those dealing with dementia or other memory-related issues and may need more support.

The second phase of this senior adult community project was approved in March by the Smyrna City Council. This next phase will include a 10-story, 200-unit building that will be built on nearly five acres of land adjacent to Provident Village at Creekside off South Cobb Drive near Interstate 285. This building will accommodate seniors who wish to live independently yet within a senior community. The second phase is expected to be completed by Fall 2017.

Russell Elementary Spaceteam Goes to ‘Space’

Twenty-two students and one teacher from Russell Elementary School in Smyrna participated in the school’s 18th simulated space mission on May 12 & 13, 2016. This unique, one-of-a-kind program, was started by Mr. Chris Laster, a former USA Science Teacher of the Year during the 1997-1998 school year.

Since September, selected 4th and 5th grade students have been studying to complete their eight month course of training which includes learning 160 acronyms and 100 abbreviations, designing and programming the mission payload, completing an EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity, otherwise known as a spacewalk), and planning for seven different abort scenarios. Four student astronauts and a teacher, who will surpass over 200 hours in the simulator during this mission, entered the simulator on a Thursday morning and exited Friday afternoon.

Mission time was spent in the 164 square foot Intrepid Simulator. This is roughly the same amount of space in the real Space Shuttle’s crew compartment. While the astronauts were conducting experiments in ‘space’, the rest of the Spaceteam students manned their very own Mission Control by tracking data, telemetry, and solving any problems that occur. The mission was successful!

Local Author Releases New Book, Wins Awards

Texas Review Press recently announced the publication of “Low Country, High Water,” a book of poems by Vinings resident Sally Stewart Mohney.

Low Country, High Water is the recipient of the Texas Review Press Southern Poetry Breakthrough Prize: North Carolina as well as the recipient of the Jesse Rehder Writing Prize from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and of the First Prize Award in Excellence from the Georgia Poetry Society. Her new book is now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as other book sellers.

Ms. Mohney is hosting her official book signing on Sunday, July 17th, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Buckhead Barnes & Noble located at 2900 Peachtree St NW #310, Atlanta, GA 30305. Everyone is invited to attend.