PARENTS OF PUPILS at Shiloh Middle School recently saw firsthand how invaluable computers are as teaching tools.
At the Hampstead school's Technology Open House, parents saw pupils maneuver online resources to collect images and data for presentations. They composed music and explored three-dimensional images.
Sixth-grade pupils of social studies teacher Kyle Walker showed PowerPoint slide shows about Egyptian pharaohs, with information found on the Internet.
"In history, if we have a question or a debate, we go to the Internet. We can be sure our facts are correct," Walker said. "This is the wave of the future."
Walker lauded the easy access to computers at the school. In Walker's room, as in the other classrooms, the teacher's computer was linked to a large-screen television visible to pupils, who each had a personal computer.
Pupils of Philip Stephenson write music on the computer. A mouse click places a note on the staff, and the computer plays the sound, rhythm and orchestration.
"The computer is really another tool," said Jacklyn Moore, assistant principal, "Not to replace other things, but to enhance" the experience of the pupils.
Enhancement seemed an understatement when viewing a program about the human body. A three-dimensional color video showed viewers organs, systems and tissues, down to the microscopic level.
At the eighth-grade door, the rapid clicking of computer mice signaled this grade's proficiency with finding and compiling information on the computer. This science class was paper-free, with projects and tests stored in a main database accessed by the teacher.
"We use technology wherever it fits into the curriculum. The kids love it, and we love it," Moore said.
Meet an azalea expert
Emile Deckert will give a free slide show and talk about azaleas and rhododendrons at 10 a.m. Saturday at Pine Valley Nature Center, 3400 Wilhelm Lane. Parking is available at Manchester Elementary School, adjacent to the center.
Deckert, a native of France who lives in Hampstead, is founder of the American Rhododendron Society, Azalea Society of America, and the American Hosta Society. He breeds and collects the plants, and was former curator of azaleas and rhododendrons at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton.
The program is free. Flowers may be purchased.
Travel to Brigadoon
"Brigadoon," the romantic musical set in the Scottish Highlands, will be performed tomorrow, Friday and Saturday at North Carroll High School. Doors will open at 7 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. performance. Tickets are $5, in advance only from the school on Hampstead-Mexico Road, Hampstead.
Directed by English teacher Tom Scanlan, the play features a ballad by Katie Murphy as the Scottish Fiona and Joshua Hunt as the American tourist she falls for. Comedy is provided by Amy Barcroft as Meg, whom she describes as "a sex-crazed dairy maid."
At least two dozen thespians will be on stage. All participants except the director are students. Assistant director Jenilyn Anderman, with Brandi Malachowski has designed and painted mural landscapes of the Highlands.
Stage managers are Sara Myers and Krystel Feeser. Justin Cole has provided piano accompaniment for rehearsals, and will be part of the 17-piece orchestra.
Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.