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Eggs Away

KINGSTON — Most people enjoy them over-easy but a handful of Gordon Elementary Options students prefer them dropped from 65 feet.

In the parking lot of Premiere Rentals, a blue crane basket rose up and up above the tree tops until it was silhouetted in clouds and blue sky.

Four boys gawked upward and squealed excitedly as they stood 35 feet below the basket, as two Premiere Rentals employees dropped a hodge-podge parachute to the ground. Second-grader Nolan Pate, 7, his body quivering with anticipation, broke away from the bunch, picked up the parachute he made out of PVC piping and a recycled bird seed bag, peeked inside the tube and exclaimed: “It didn’t break!”

The egg inside, that is.

“I thought the egg was going to survive,” Nolan said after the fact. “My mind said, ‘Well then check it,’ and I won.”

On Wednesday afternoon seven kindergarten through eighth grade North Kitsap School District Options students reveled in the culmination of their “Egg Drop” mini class, as the chickens’ bounties were dropped from 35 and 65 feet in the air.

While learning about gravity, velocity, weight, air friction and kinetic energy, the seven class participants made a device of their choosing and design with the hopes of keeping an egg “safe” inside. Over the course of four class sessions, the devices were dropped from six, 12, 35 and 65 feet.

Nine parent-led mini classes were offered this fall for Options students, including egg drop, weather, poetry, gardening, beading, cooking, meditation, drawing and ice skating. Another round of mini classes will be offered sometime after the holidays.

Irene Garcia taught the egg drop class and she’s also an Options Curriculum Committee member. She said the egg drop class was all about teaching the students the “science behind the fun.” And then she explained the benefits of having parent-led mini classes to compliment what’s being learned in the classroom.

“If you have a pool of parents teaching different subjects, they’ll have more opportunities to try different things they otherwise wouldn’t be able to try,” she said.

On Wednesday high-fives and cheers were in wild abundance as all the egg-toting devices were dropped. The eggs were let go from such a height one little observer proclaimed he didn’t want to look up so high as he might get “looking-up sick.”

Three junior high Options students, Jennie Lemay, 12, Ravenna Iquay, 13 and Gabbi Garcia, 12, combined their brain powers to develop perhaps the most successful of all the designs present.

It was a parachute made out of a thin plastic bag attached to a wad of towels wrapped in bubble wrap and Duct-tapped together. The egg, appropriately named “Lucky Jr. Jr.,” (named after the previous two “Luckies,” which weren’t so lucky) was placed in the wad. When it was dropped from 65 feet up, it gracefully fluttered to the ground.

The trio came up with the parachute through trial and error experimentation.

“The mini classes are fun and you get to learn about something you want to learn about,” Gabbi Garcia said.

Kristen Chandler whose son Morgan, 6, participated in the egg drop mini class, was ecstatic about her son having to create his own devices based upon his own ideas.

“I think it’s great they had a project they had to come up with on their own, and they got outside the classroom,” Chandler said. “I think they learn so much more when they’re outside the classroom walls.”

Once all the devices had flown, next came target practice, which pretty much consisted of a round of eggs splattering on the ground. Even then the cheers didn’t diminish.

“The kids just had a blast,” said Jimmy Camden, a Premiere Rentals employee who dropped the egg devices from the crane. “I think they enjoyed it more when it broke than when it didn’t.”

The Options Program opened its doors at NKSD in 1990 after a group of parents worked together with the district for two years to develop the program. The program is based on several highly successful parent-involved “alternative” programs in Washington. To learn more about the Options Program visit www.nkschools.org and click on the “Learning” tab.

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