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MILLERSBURG -- Summer learning, these kids had themselves a blast. Summer learning, it happened so fast.
Thanks to the generous donation of time and expertise of the volunteer teachers, Summer Science Sessions at West Holmes High School were three days of hands on learning and experimenting.
"We are very grateful for the time these teachers donate to be here," said summer science program coordinator Bonnie Trubee.
From the Holmes County engineer to the county coroner to an inventor and several gifted young students, the science classes touched on bridges, electronics, computers, synthesizers and mind games, as well as making music.
Wyatt Conner, a River View Middle School eighth-grader, had a lot of fun at the three-day science camp.
"I enjoyed learning about the different strategies you can use when playing chess," he said. "I got to play against Dr. Anthony's wife. I was able to beat her once."
Holmes County coroner, Dr. Robert Anthony, taught a class on beginning chess logic and the strategies behind moves.
Conner also made some wind chimes, a project of which he was very proud.
"We took a 5-foot long electrical conduit and we had a little pipe cutter," he said. "We measured and cut the pipe to different lengths. Once we got it all cut out, we drilled a hole through the top of it. Then we tied a string through the top of it, and now we can hang them up as wind chimes or play music on them. It was really a lot of fun."
While Conner was making music with pipes in one class, Aaron Rennie, a recent West Holmes graduate who will be going to school at Akron University, worked with inventor David Bayer to teach a class on creating a synthesizer toy.
They helped students make a handheld electronic musical instrument that had many features of a musician's synthesizer.
"This is a toy-sized version of a synthesizer," Bayer said. "These embody the kind of features that are on official synthesizers, but it lets them play with it. It is a toy.
"This thing can play the game of melodies," Bayer continued. "I can vary the personality of a synthesizer, the sounds it can make. It can be played like a musical instrument, to sound like chimes or sound like a horn."
He explained that by messing with the harmonic content of a note, it can start doing chords for the notes, some good and some not so good. He can also change octaves.
Rennie developed the code that is in the processor.
"I think it is kind of advanced what he's doing with it," Bayer said.
Rennie says he worked with the kids on soldering pieces onto the board.
"My role was designing most of this," he said. "I think it would be kind of neat to start my own synth business, creating weird little things like this."
Other students learned about computer programing and others did an environmental field trip study of biology and geology.
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.