Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


February 25, 2014

Junior high students study the Renaissance


She said the students enjoy learning about Nicolaus Copernicus, who promulgated the heliocentric model of the solar system; Galileo Galilei, sometimes called the father of modern science; and English author Williams Shakespeare — but the students enjoy learning even more when it involves some type of activity, such as building models or staging a play.

Linville said that some of the students in a class Thursday morning dressed up in costumes and performed some of Shakespeare’s verses.

“It’s just a great way to learn,” Linville said.

Walker Taylor, 12, used wood and popsicle sticks to craft a couple of miniature buildings based on Da Vinci’s ideal city design, which included canals and stables that allowed people to quickly get in and out of the city.

Walker found the project inspiring.

“One day I’d actually like to invent something,” he said.

Zavier Harrison, 12, and Alexis Byrd, 11, combined their efforts to create small models of a movable bridge and a triple-barrel cannon, made out of popsicle sticks and even incorporating wood flooring that Zavier’s family had left over.

Zyan Sweet, 12, a student in social studies teacher Justin Tucker’s class, built a wooden catapult that reaches nearly five feet high — taller than Zyan.

He worked with his father, D.J. Sweet, using circular saws, drills and screws to build a sturdy catapult with which he launches paper balls.

Putting the catapult’s pieces together took only about an hour, Zyan said, but designing the apparatus took much longer.

Lane Wilson, 11, got help from his uncle to build a model of Da Vinci’s triple-barrel cannon, made with a wooden base that holds three barrels made of aluminum.

He saw a photo of the cannon online and thought it would be interesting and challenging to try to build a model.

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