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    MD News

    Three Students pose as three states of matter
    Nicola Davies

    The 4th Annual Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math Fair.

    four pictures highlights from the STEAM fair

    Over 80 students showcased their work at the 4th annual steam fair held at Miller-Driscoll

    Students were invited to display their work in one of two categories – Counting Collections or Inventions and Models. As well as the traditional science fair board model, students were encouraged to express their thinking through art or to use technology to showcase their ideas.

    Along with the exploding volcanos, there were modern ideas about how to help giant pandas survive when their bamboo food source is endangered.  There were traditional ideas about the states of matter and how flowers grow, to more futuristic ideas about how to jet pack around the world and how to transport things to a parallel dimension.  Many things were counted, from shells and rocks to birthday candles and leprechauns.

    ‘It is fun to see the imagination and inventiveness of the children, and to hear how much they know about their projects’ said Mrs. Connell, Curriculum coach at Miller-Driscoll and passionate science educator.

    Principal Coon and Superintendent Smith also attended the fair and had a great time learning from the scientists and engineers of the future.




    Amerlia Earhart visits classroom
    Nicola Davies

    Famous women visit Miller-Driscoll for International Women's Day.

    Picture of women dressed up as famous figures for Women In History

    International Women’s Day was celebrated in style at Miller-Driscoll school with around 40 women dressing up as famous figures from past and present. Participation came not only from parents, but also from the Wilton Library Children’s librarian Lesley Keough reprising her role once more as the 'Unsinkable’ Molly Brown in what she calculates is her seventeenth year on the job.

    The program runs during National Women’s History Month in March of each year and is organized and supported by the Miller-Driscoll PTA.

    Some figures are famous household names – Sally Ride, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Some figures do not enjoy the recognition that their accomplishments deserve.

    Amanda Mitchell, co-chair says that after several years of being Eleanor Roosevelt, she wanted to be someone the kids didn’t know.  Speaking passionately about her part in the day she said ‘The suffrage era has always intrigued me, so I dug a little deeper and found Alice Paul.  I was amazed that I had never heard of her.  She was college educated and came from a very progressive Quaker family, she was part of the "night of terror." In 1917. An event when a group of women were arrested for campaigning in front the White House.  While spending many months in jail they were treated very badly, went on hunger strike, were force fed and then sent to an insane asylum. When she was released, she did it all over again.

    Another volunteer was Artie Rokkham, who spent the morning as Noor Inayat Khan. A Special Operations agent/spy who fought for the British Army in WW2. She was the first female wireless operator sent into occupied France in 1943.  Rokkham said of her experience “It’s so fun to learn of these women whose stories of bravery and sacrifice are lost in the annals of time,  Noor Inayat Khan voluntarily signed up to be deployed to a war zone and died at the young age of 30, having been a POW and not giving up any military secrets, despite tough interrogations.”

    The Children thoroughly enjoy and get caught up in their living museum experience One second grader today called out ‘Be safe out there!"  to Florence Nightingale when she bid her farewell and announced she was heading back to the battlefield to care for wounded soldiers. Another first grader offered sympathy to Alice Paul - "I'm sorry you went to jail so that we could vote for President!" 

    The event was made possible by the dedication and hard work of the co-chairs – Amanda Mitchell, Nicole Walberg, Mandy Dugan, and Marie Demasi. And the 40 volunteers who gave their morning to bring history to life for the students at Miller-Driscoll.

    MTDV Morning Show Splash Screen
    Nicola Davies

    The Miller-Driscoll Morning Show aired it's 500th episode on February 14th. 


    Students of MDTV in action

    The Miller-Driscoll Morning Show aired it’s 500th episode on Valentine's Day. It’s first show ran on Monday March 7, 2016 and it has come a long way since then. “In the beginning there were two go-pro cameras and two tripods donated from the High School, we bought our own lights at the hardware store and volunteers painted the green screen onto a wall’ said Mr Skip, one of the two advisors for the MDTV club.

    From humble beginnings a truly amazing, award winning, school phenomenon has been created. MDTV has its own dedicated studio space with space for the two teams to work to create each daily show. The birthday squad announces birthdays every day. The anchor desk crew cover lots of ground, from the weather, to what’s for lunch to motivational quotes and noteworthy things that have happened on this day in history.

    During their first full year of operation, the team showed determination and patience as they worked around the school renovation. ‘We had to put stuff up and take it down every day’ reminisces Mr. Skip ‘We were sharing our space with the staff lounge!’ During school year 2016-17 the team upgraded their green screen to a hand-made green felt screen and managed to secure a grant from the Wilton Education Foundation to buy their first professional camera. Wilton Continuing Education provided more lights for the group.

    Now in its fourth "Season" of operation MD-TV has 20 students in each before school club that runs 4 eight week sessions a year. Kindergarten and 1st grade alumni are even invited to come back and help get the first few weeks of programming done before school starts. Whether you are in kindergarten on 2nd grade, you are welcome to submit an application to the lottery. The crew does everything on set from directing, sound, anchors, prompter, lighting, sound, marker and camera director.

    Examples of the morning show can be found here

    Watching the first show and the 500th show highlights the amazing transformation that has been achieved in three short years. There are no more rustling scripts, the sound is perfectly recorded and the video is professional quality.

    MDTV was the vision of Skip Ploss and Bryan Ennis who came up with the idea of the Morning Show that would be in charge of announcements that were previously delivered over the school’s PA system.

    The show changes organically over time and has grown to incorporate inspirational quotes and commercials for events happening in and around the school. The show has even borrowed the idea of a Cold Opening and sometimes starts with visits to classrooms and enthusiastic greetings from 20 students.

    ‘The eight weeks the kids are involved in the show really boosts their confidence’ Said Mr Ennis ‘They leave here feeling that they really can do anything and that it’s OK to make mistakes’  

    The grown-ups are in charge of the scripts and editing the show but the kids do everything else. ‘The kids sometimes edit on-air if they don’t like the way something sounds’ said Mr Skip ‘We encourage ad-libbing’

    The show is driven by life in the building, the adults hope one day that the kids will edit more of the script. During their 8 weeks on the show, each student undertakes a range of roles. Everyone gets a chance to be a news anchor. Parents love to watch the shows and send the videos to proud relatives.

    There is also an after school club run through Wilton Continuing Ed called On Air.





    colored trash creates a mural of two fish, a sea turtle and strands of seaweed.
    Richard Ploss
    colored trash creates a mural of two fish, a sea turtle and strands of seaweed.

    By Tammy Thornton.
    Photo by MD Staff.

    Inspired by a similar mural in a NC Children’s Museum, MD Green Team Co-Chairs Tammy Thornton and Vivian Lee-Shiue, teamed up with MD Art teachers Jen Eyikan and Megan Putnick to create an art mural made out of unwanted items for our school. 

    Parents were asked to send in any small items such as old game pieces, lids, markers, crayons, Legos, etc  that may have just gone in the garbage throughout the month of October.  The MD Green Team then sorted and colored coded while the art teachers painted the mural onto the foam board.  Select second grade students had the opportunity during an early release day and art workshop to help glue the items onto the board with the art teachers. 

    The finished mural, now a permanent fixture, hangs in the hallway outside the school library.