On Monday, Northern Tier Schools’ students in grades 5-8 attended a High Ability Learner (HAL) Day in Neligh. The Northern Tier Schools include Chambers, Elgin Public, Ewing, Lynch, Clearwater-Orchard/Verdigre, Niobrara, Stuart, West Boyd and Wheeler Central. Four different sessions were organized for these students to rotate through.
Dean Jacobs was the keynote speaker and presented a session on “What does it mean to have a dream?” Mr. Jacobs was born in Wahoo, Nebraska and grew up in Fremont, Nebraska. He is an author, photographer, traveler and speaker who travels the world and shares his experiences through school presentations and keynote speeches.
Dr. Kelly Lechtenberg, a native of Butte, Nebraska and a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Agriculture presented another session. Dr. Lechtenberg serves as a consultant helping manufacturers of animal health pharmaceuticals and vaccines to improve the health of food animals and increase the safety of the nation’s food supply. He spoke to the students about coming back to rural Nebraska and still working for corporate America.
Heidi Rethmeier, ESU 8 Staff Developer, presented a STEM session on Wind Energy. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Focus is put on these areas together because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. Rethmeier had each student build and test a small version of a wind turbine.
For the fourth session, the students walked to the Pierson Wildlife Museum where Gloria Christiansen, a former ESU 8 Media Consultant, presented animal facts. Her information included the definition of taxidermy, the difference between horns and antlers, the difference between a buffalo and a bison, and the importance of preserving a rare animal collection like this one donated by Dr. Kenneth Pierson.