First Lego League Robotics

The Hay Springs robotics team competed on Saturday, January 28th in Gering at the First Lego League qualifier. The team had a great day of sharing what they learned with judges and running their robot program. The “Bionic Hawks” put in a good showing, but not quite good enough to advance on to the state competition.

Their project build idea was a robot to clear ice from power lines. They interviewed with Craig Housh from Northwest Rural Public Power District to learn more about the problems power lines face during winter weather and Craig Z. from University Nebraska Lincoln to learn about what approaches are being taken currently to keep power lines in working order. The last few moths have been spent studying how electricity is made and delivered to houses. When not busy with that they’ve been building and programing their robot to accomplish the tasks they were assigned.

The “Bionic Hawk” team members are Preston Kelly, Elly Reimann, Grant Wellnitz, Riggen Binger, Jacob Dorshorst, Jax Cuny, and Jayna Cuny.

First Explorers Robotics Teams

Snowy weather and conflicting sports schedules prevented most of the Hay Springs First Explorers robotics teams from attending the First Lego League qualifier on Saturday, January 28th in Gering. The one member of the robotics team who was able to make it did a wonderful job of presenting his teams project to the judges.

Gus Reimann proudly showed what the “Farm Town” team has been working hard on for the last few months. With a motorized and programed windmill, along with houses, cars, and tractors they had completed quite the project. Other members of the “Farm Town” team were Harper Langford, Laila Stock, Brenna Diers, Jailyn Jancik, Cali Janssen, and Wyatt Palmer.

Unfortunately none of the “Super Power” team were able to make it to Gering. They had made a very impressive build with a windmill and a carousel built together and powered by one motor. This was above and beyond the instructions and intent of the original design. Members of the “Super Power” team were Brecken Starke, Addison Heiting, Bentley Palmer, and Josephine Kendig.

The children learned how to work together, follow complicated directions, and how to program(code) in order to make the windmill spin, stop, and change directions. They also delved into belt and gear driven designs as they expanded their builds or made their cars drivable. Robotics is a 4H sponsored group of second and third graders who build Lego models and then program them to perform.

Mexico Presentation

Sam Orr, a Hay Springs Public School alumni, was our guest speaker today as we explored the culture of Mexico. Sam shared a presentation which covered the following topics: flag, location, size, travel requirements, weather, food, language, Mariachi music, money, homemade fireworks, and the crafters market on wheels. Mexican dishes start with these main ingredients: tomato, onion, peppers, and garlic. One of Sam’s favorite traditional foods is “Elote” (street corn). The students received the book, P is for Pinata, and Churros for their snack. After the presentation, the 2nd graders enjoyed making Mexican Mirrors. Thank you Sam for taking the time to share with the students. Thank you also to Snow-Redfern Foundation for your generosity that makes these cultural programs possible.

Girls On The Run

3rd-5th Grade Girls – Please let us know if you are interested in restarting the Girls on the Run program here at Hay Springs!

It runs from mid-March-May with a celebration 5K for all panhandle teams in Chadron in May. This program promotes healthy habits through exercise, social emotional well being, and building friendships. The team meets twice a week after school (we would work around youth volleyball schedules during April). There is some running but it is so much more than that and it is worked into games and activities!

3rd-5th grade parents, please contact Mrs. Heiting ASAP if your daughter is interested so we can get things set up!

China Presentation

On Monday, January 23rd, Bev Wellnitz was at Hay Springs Elementary to give our students a presentation about China. Accompanying Mrs. Wellnitz as an observer was Mrs. Jeanie Snyder, who taught for 28 years before retiring. Bev read the kids a book about China, passed around some chopsticks for the kids to look at, and spoke about the Chinese zodiac. Each year of the 12 year Chinese Zodiac cycle is represented by a certain animal and many Chinese believe that a person’s personality traits are determined by that animal. The students also learned about the Chinese New Year which is on January 22nd and how this year is the year of the rabbit. Several short videos were shown to the kids as well, the first about “pinyin”, the art of paper cutting. The second video was about how about silk material is produced from silkworm cocoons. The last video was about Chinese shadow art or shadow puppetry. And what presentation about China would be complete without forturne cookies for the audience?  Thank you Mrs. Wellnitz and Mrs. Snyder!

Trout In The Classroom

On Thursday, January 12th, the fifth grade class received our Rainbow Trout eggs! We received approximately 100 eggs from Nebraska Game & Parks as part of the Trout in the Classroom program. We will raise them in our classroom tank until April when we will release them at the pond at Chadron State Park.

Equine Therapy

To the Lakota people the Sunjkawakhan(horse) is a four legged friend and companion that provided transportation, friendship, and pride. The horse is revered in Sioux culture for its grace and courage. On Thursday, January 19th, Hay Springs Elementary students had the opportunity to learn about the impact the horse has had on Lakota culture and the impact the horse is making today in the area of mental health. Patty Coleman, an equine therapy specialist with St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota, developed the school’s equine therapy program from scratch and has enjoyed watching the program grow and positively impact youth of all ages. Patty discussed with students a horse’s ability to listen and make no judgments which allows students to make a deep connection, process their emotions and become much more productive in and out of the classroom.


Busy Kindergarteners

Kindergarten is exploding with excitement! We are adding, subtracting, working on our shapes (2D and 3D) as well as reading CVC(consonant vowel consonant) words and writing stories. Each week we study new spelling words and learn 3-5 new vocabulary words. So if you see a Kinder please ask them what they have been learning and be prepared to have a great conversation! Ms. Meeks is super proud of all of her Kinders!

First Grade Receives Grant To Study Food Sources

First grade applied for and was awarded a $100 grant through the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation to study where our food comes from and where it is produced in Nebraska. Our first lesson this week was about milk. We learned about a dairy farm and milking machines in Diller, Nebraska. Locally we also were fortunate to have community member Megan Reimann send us a video about how to care for and milk a dairy cow! She also sent us fresh cows milk. It was very interesting to see the difference between fresh milk and store bought!

We also used some of our grant money to buy the ingredients to make homemade ice cream in a bag! Our main reading story this week was “From Cows to You.” We are able to tie in our Agriculture in the Classroom activities to include reading and social studies content as well!

Our curriculum has 10 different food items raised and produced in Nebraska so be looking for more updates!