Every year, Messalonskee Middle School celebrates the winter season with Winter Wonderland. For over twenty years, the week before break, students at Messalonskee Middle create lots of wonderful holiday books, obstacle courses, dance/movement activities, face painting, ornaments (wooden), bake cookies for decorating, and decorate halls and rooms. Our band and chorus play holiday music, too! For the past two years, we have added a competition to create a photo frame for the buddy photo open to our seventh and eighth graders.
On the day of Winter Wonderland, a middle school student is partnered with a kindergarten student from one of our district kindergarten classrooms. The mentor brings their buddy through all of the stations; mentors step up to their responsibility and look forward to it every year. Many of them still have their buddy photos from when they were kindergarten students in the district which they proudly pull out every holiday season.
All of our seventh and eighth graders have an opportunity to learn how to create things on TinkerCad, a computer-aided design application, through their science teachers and Kim Fish, the Technology Integration Teacher at MMS. Other opportunities for learning about creating things for the 3D printer also came from being involved with the Gifted and Talented program at the three elementary schools, and our own middle school teacher, Tamiko Paquette, who offered a STEAM project with Thomas College last year.
The point of this article is to highlight our two Winter Wonderland Holiday frame winners. Due to timing issues and printing, we decided upon two winners this year. Both winners are from Team Evergreen. Audrey Mihm created a snowman frame that has its own personality. The snowman wears a scarf, a top hat, and even mittens! This design went through many revisions and Audrey was eager to make adjustments for printing efficiency. The second winner is Charlee Stubbert who created a frame with snowflakes and stars on it. Charlee also worked through adjusting her model for printing efficiencies. It takes time and patience to design and create these ornaments/frames. These students perfected their designs after seeking critical feedback to ensure printing efficiency without compromising their creative license. Along with congratulating our 2019 Winter Wonderland Design winners, please help me acknowledge the efforts of our runners-up: Madison Wills, Erin Kalback, and Alex Wyatt.
“I made this ornament mainly for the fun of it. We were instructed to create a draft of what we thought a good Christmas ornament would be for all of the kindergarteners, so I thought with the holidays comes snow and with snow, comes the fun of making snowmen! I wasn’t entirely expecting mine to get picked, but I’m very glad it did! I would definitely try this contest again next year, and I think this activity was so fun!” said Audrey Mihm.
“I made this ornament because I thought it was something that looked fun to do and it got me into the holiday spirit. My thought was tons of people would do this, but when I heard that only Audrey and I got ours picked I was super excited. I would do this next year. It also improved my skills in Tinkercad. Overall, I think it was a great experience.” said Charlee Stubbert.
Special thanks go out to Ken Hine, Belgrade Technology Integration Teacher for printing many of the Winter Wonderland frames to meet our quota and Rebecca Cobban for troubleshooting 3d printer errors, giving additional feedback for designs, assisting with printing of frames, and coordinating the printing and photo placement with student workers on the day of the event!
Written by Kim Fish