Educational fun for area pupils

School will be out in a few short days, but some interesting programs took place over the past week that made it fun and educational for the elementary students from around the county.

Schools participating in the annual program to educate and entertain fifth-grade pupils about the great outdoors were Buckeye Local, Karaffa, Hills Elementary, Diocese of Steubenville, Harding, Wayne Elementary, Jefferson Christian School and home- schooled pupils.

It was interesting to see the fascination that an enclosed hive of bees generated. The students passed around the trays from inside the hives that had the honey-making process in different stages.

Joe Rodak had a round block of bees wax on display, and showed how a smoker pot could quiet the bees so the hives could be inspected.

Cindy Rodak took a picture of Tyler Calhoun from the Buckeye Local schools who was fascinated with holding a drone bee, which can’t sting.

I had written earlier that the drones are the workers in a hive but was corrected by beekeeper Norman Black. Drones do not work – it is the females who do all that. The only job of the drone is to mate with the queen bee, where she can produce up to 1,500 eggs per day.

There were seven rockets selected to compete in the rockets-away event at the start of each program. The Harding School winner was the team of Xander Costlow, Mia Pierro, Myla Gulan and Emmanuel Ware. Ryan Wood, a 4-H camp counselor, was pumping up the apparatus for this team to launch their rocket, shaped and designed like a bumble- bee.

Tom Macy, Fernwood forrester, and Luke Walters, intern, said that they enjoyed working with the youth, and it could be challenging as well.

Haleigh Savage was digging up wetland soil and putting her heart into it as she had the auger used to remove the soil almost full of the moist dirt.

The other session of interest was the Jefferson County Farm Bureau promotion and education women’s agriculture-related session put on for all the classes at Adena Elementary.

Some first-grade pupils learned how to shake sweet cream in a small jar until it turned to butter. They then were given crackers to try out their butter. There were many murmurs of “This is really good.” Monica Wetherell, Farm Bureau young farmer winner, and her husband, Duayne, were in charge of the session in the class of Lacey Brannon. Sorry, Lacey, I forgot your married name. I have known her since she was very young, and her dad was mayor of New Alexandria.

Jennifer Barnett and her daughter, Rachel, were in charge of the fruits and veggies segment of the class. She had students color the produce it should be and to name a few fruits and vegetables in those certain colors.

They discussed whether a pumpkin is a fruit or a vegetable, and it was determined by the dictionary that it was a fruit because it has seeds.

The students were even more fascinated to see Jennifer Barnett dishing up some really attractive strawberry shortcakes for them to enjoy. One young man, Jacob Berry, was very busy eating his berries.

Jeannie Roberts was in charge of the ice cream making segment. Students lined up to get a Zip-lock plastic bag filled halfway with crushed ice and ice cream salt. Then they moved to another location and had another bag partially filled with half-and-half, sugar and vanilla and then kneaded or shook the two bags together until it turned into delicious ice cream.

Liz Matthew was in charge of the class called cookies and milk, but I did not get around to that class in time. Sounds pretty appetizing to me.

Mary Ellen Grafton had a scavenger hunt for the sixth-grade students.


The Piney Fork American Legion is holding its Memorial Day service today and there will be many around the county tomorrow. They are moving memorials to those who gave their all for their country and others who came back to try to carry on with their lives after all the wars.

Try to attend one and thank a veteran for what he or she has done for our country.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily times. She can be contacted at