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Enrichment programs highlighted at GBMS
new slt school board-robots
Great Bend Middle School students prepare to demonstrate how a robot can be programmed to follow a marketed path, Wednesday during the Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education meeting. - photo by photos courtesy of Jennifer Schartz/Great Bend USD 428

Meeting at a glance

These items were on the agenda for Wednesday’s Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education meeting:
• Approval of contributions
• Accepting retirements and appointments of new teachers
• A building report from Great Bend Middle School Principal David Reiser, staff members and students.

Some Great Bend Middle School students have been learning computer coding and robotic programming during enrichment periods at the school, instructors told the USD 428 Board of Education on Wednesday.
The school board held its monthly luncheon meeting at the middle school, where GBMS Principal David Reiser, staff and a few students shared information regarding the academic programs and school improvement efforts.
STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) instructor Amber Lucchesi had students explain the work that went into programming a robot to roll along a pre-set path drawn on the classroom floor. They set the robot on the path and watched it attempt the task. On the first attempt, the robot sometimes went outside the lines. Then the students discussed where their program needed adjustments, sometimes by as little as five microseconds.
Science teacher Joseph Bliven said some seventh graders have been learning to write code using the computer programming language JavaScript. His students showed 42 lines of code they had written on their own.
They also made items using the school’s 3D printer. Students can make anything they can write the program for but they can’t just “cut and paste” a ready-made item, he said. One student made a model of a hydrogen atom that doubles as a fidget spinner.

In action items, the board approved the following contributions to the school district:
• Riley Elementary received a $50 from Ron and Delma Miller for the lunch program.
• Six businesses donated money to the GBHS Hall of Fame event: $250 each from Farmer’s Bank & Trust, Marmie Motors/Marmie Ford, and Stueder Contractors; and $100 each from Tatum Dunekack DDS LLC, Mark’s Custom Signs and Spectrum CPA Partners LLC.
• GBMS received a donation of $306.60 for the purchase of 20 headsets for English instructor Jason Drouillard’s classroom.
The board approved the appointments of two new teachers: Teresa Frieb, teacher of Special Education at Great Bend High School; and Kyle Vierra, fourth-grade teacher at Park Elementary School.
Retirements were approved for Nancy Schuetz, teacher of English Learners at Eisenhower, Lincoln, and Jefferson elementary schools, and Katherine Homolka, physical education teacher at GBHS.