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ST. BRENDAN SCHOOL Computer lesson and chip challenge



Published: Thu, May 17, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Troyers bested Frito Lay, chocolate beat white milk, and Jolly Time provided a jolly time, these kids said.

VINDICATOR STAFF

YOUNGSTOWN -- Pupils at St. Brendan School have spent the past several months researching life's burning questions:

UDo people prefer white or chocolate milk?

UWhat kind of chewing gum lasts the longest?

Pupils researched and conducted surveys and tests on more than 80 household items as part of a program to help them learn how to do research on the Internet.

Ohio grant: The school, at 2800 Oakwood Ave. on the city's West Side, received an $8,000 telecommunications grant from the Ohio Department of Education for new computers with the stipulation that St. Brendan's must conduct some type of schoolwide project involving the Internet, according to Mary Danus, the school's computer teacher and technology coordinator.

"We polled the teachers as to what they think would be interesting and what they would like to teach but cannot get to in the classroom -- what's missing in the curriculum?" Danus said. They came up with the idea of the Consumer Fair.

Pupils at the school, which includes kindergarten through eighth grade, chose a product they wanted to research and came up with a question they wanted to answer. They also compiled nutritional or other product information from the Internet.

The pupils could break into groups of two or three or choose to work by themselves, though the kindergarten and first-grade classes worked together as classes.

Chip brands: Kindergarten children chose to survey themselves and their families as to what brand of potato chips they liked the best. Troyer Farms beat Frito Lay and others, they said.

Several kindergartners said they enjoyed the project and hope to do similar ones in the future. There was, however, one problem:

"It made me hungry," said Jessica Gobel, 6.

Danus said the pupils found that companies' Web sites vary widely. Kindergartners were able to take a virtual tour of a potato chip factory at the Troyer Farms' site.

Patrick Cummings, 6, said he and his classmates drew pictures simulating the Troyer Web page in art class for their posterboard.

Maggie Shaughnessy, 6, said her favorite exhibit was "the diaper one," in which a group of fourth-graders tested the absorbency of several brands of diapers.

Third-graders Derek Dell, 9, and Tim Bodo, 8, asked which kind of microwave popcorn their classmates liked best. The third-graders had a jolly time with Jolly Time popcorn.

Fourth-grader Peter Sahagun found nearly everyone in his polling audience preferred chocolate milk to white milk.

One project found that Winterfresh gum's flavor lasts 82 minutes, and Big Red's lasts 68.

Danus said she thinks the project was worthwhile for the pupils. The school plans to apply for the grant again this year and possibly do another fair or some other project next spring.

Editor's note: A portion of this story did not appear in Wednesday's paper. We apologize for our error.




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