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Compass Program reflects on a busy October

October was a busy month for the Compass Program at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, as students not only found themselves indulging in the arts, but actively participating in the sciences as well.

On Oct. 4 2017, 12 students and two teachers from the Compass Program traveled to Syracuse Stage for a viewing of “The 3 Musketeers.” According to the Syracuse Stage’s description, “It’s all for one and fun for all when Alexandre Dumas’ legendary tale comes to life on the stage. When a young man arrives in Paris to join the King’s musketeers, he soon finds himself caught up in political plots, romance, and of course multiple swordfights. Robert Hupp makes his Syracuse Stage directorial debut in swashbuckling style. En garde!”
An 8th grade student reported that she enjoyed attending the play with Mr. Keegan and Mrs. Wall, because "it was more interesting and more exciting than watching a show on TV.”
Metric ExperimentsOn Oct. 10, 2017, Compass Program students competed in Metric Olympics, a competition that challenged their minds to conceptualize the differences in scale between the metric and imperial systems of measurements. Students participated in events such as the Paper Plate Discus, Paper Straw Javelin, Cotton Ball Shot Put, Right Handed Cube Grab, and Left handed Sponge Squeeze. Compass Middle School STEM teacher Mrs. Senn was very pleased with the students’ ability to work together and make estimations as they familiarized themselves with the metric system of measurements.

Competition Winners:
First Place: Gage Rosekrans
Second Place: Aaron Swigonski
Third Place: James Jacob


On Oct. 13, 2017, Compass Program students had the opportunity to apply their creativity to the engineering problem of building a “vehicle” that would protect an egg from a 30-foot drop. The experiment recalls the real-world application of this problem: NASA planning space missions that require delicate instruments to land safely on other planets!

Students researched some different options before getting to work, and utilized a variety of the materials that were available (along with additional materials that they requested based upon their research).

A special thanks to the Applied Electric Technology Program for allowing the Compass Program to borrow their lift.

The following students were successfully able to construct a drop vehicle that protected the egg during its descent:

Tucker B. | Patrick A. | Emma D. | Ciarah W. | Patricia H. | Terry E. | James J.

Also taking place on Oct. 13, the Compass Program organized its second Pinewood Derby. Middle school students worked on the design and production of their cars since the start of the 2017-18 school year. In that time, students transformed blocks of wood into sleek pinewood derby cars that had to meet specific requirements in order for the racers to be track-ready.

At the outset, Pinewood Derby kits consist of little more than a block of pine and four wheels. Under the guidance of teachers, racers will then began to carefully modify the wood block to form something more aerodynamic. From there, it was up to the student to finish crafting a sleek racer that weighed less than 140 grams. This process required to students to focus not only on the aesthetics of a cool-looking car, but also pay mind to overall design and race regulations in order to produce the fastest car possible.
This year's winners: 
First Place: Patricia Harris
Second Place: James Jacob
Third Place: Zach Smith

To learn more about CO BOCES’ Compass Program, click here.





Brian K. Hartwell, Ed.D.
District Superintendent of Schools

1879 West Genesee Street Rd.
Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 253-0361

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