By Ian Adler
With almost 170 projects submitted, Red Lion managed to take home 24 of the 59 awards available at the York County Science and Engineering Fair Mar. 7-8, including the awards of Grand and Reserve Grand Champion.
YCSEF Fair Director and science teacher Mr. Ben Smith attributes Red Lion’s wide range of success to a team effort from both students and staff.
“We’ve had the (county) science fair for a long time, but this is the second year that we’ve had a Red Lion fair,” Smith said. “So I think what we’re seeing is the fruits of the labor from the Science Fair Club and Mrs. Stone and some of the other science teachers who have really worked to try and get students to raise their level.”
The Red Lion fair scored and placed projects roughly a month in advance, allowing students to improve and adjust their projects before the county fair rolled around. Not all of the Red Lion fair projects advanced on to the county fair, but those that did drew lots of attention.
Juniors Mickayla Smith and Levi Jones earned the title of Grand Champion(s) and seniors Tristan Schluderberg and Olivia Tarman brought home the title of Reserve Grand Champion(s), Red Lion’s two highest awards earned at the YCSEF.
“We looked at what people find attractive in different faces and then how that perception of attractiveness can affect how they perceive you otherwise,” Tarman said. “In the first part, we had people look at different faces and just pick which one they thought was the most attractive and in the second part, we looked to see if there was a match between what people found as being attractive and what they also found to as being trustworthy.”
Tarman and Schluderberg ended up sorting the data of 377 50-question submissions in Microsoft Excel and displaying results and observations on their tri-fold board in typical science fair fashion. Their project was called “Face to Face.”
Other multiple award winners included juniors Jason Bernhardt and Jessica Sun, sophomore Anthony Migash, and freshman Austin Kutcher.
“We see a great enthusiasm about science at Red Lion and we think that that’s finally starting to show up at the county science fair,” Mr. Smith said.
While the projects are required for certain science courses, several voluntary projects found their way into the county fair, including Schluderberg and Tarman’s. Although their project was voluntary, several incentives were still offered, such as bonus points on their final and midterm scores.
Schluderberg gives credit to the “unique projects” for much of Red Lion’s success in the county fair.
“I think it’s just going to keep building and progressing,” Tarman said. “Before these two years, it had been awhile since Red Lion had done that well in the fair, I think maybe Red Lion’s making a comeback.”
By Helen Zeidman
Hostages have been taken. Insults have been thrown. Promises have been broken. The fate of Pennsylvania’s education system hangs in the air. The battle to approve the Pennsylvania State Budget for 2015 has evolved into a war, and the amount of casualties has been rising.
Public schools are scrambling to find funding. The Pennsylvania School Board Association has filed a lawsuit against Governor Tom Wolf, claiming that the schools are not getting the financial support that is promised to them in the Pennsylvania state constitution. Public universities, such as Temple University and Penn State University, are lacking the funding that they are supposed to receive annually.
“What it forced schools to do is to create austerity budgets, where you cut spending to the bone,” Principal Mark Shue said. “I know this year we have cut back spending.”
During all of this chaos, Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Senate and House of Representatives are stuck in a deadlock over the provisions of the 2015-2016 state budget.
Governor Tom Wolf has been using his power of the line item veto, which is a specific authority given to governors that allows them to reject certain parts of a bill, to turn down proposals from the Republican dominated legislature.
Tom Wolf’s original budget contained policies consistent with Democratic ideals that were not initially approved of by the Republican majority of the State Legislature. The discrepancies between the Democrat governor and the largely Republican legislature have made the state budget difficult to pass. This led to the current predicament of Pennsylvania going over 200 days without a solid state budget.
The priorities of Governor Wolf’s gubernatorial campaign are “schools that teach, jobs that pay, and government that works,” according to his website, Governor.pa.gov. One of the main changes in the original budget, which was proposed back in March of 2015, was an increase in education funding. This would include more funding for basic education, special education, early education, and secondary education.
The increase in funding for schools could help keep taxes in the school district down.
“Pretty much what happens in Red Lion is that we have an operating budget. What the state doesn’t cover, the tax payers will,” Principle Shue said.
If the school district receives more funding from the state budget, then that money could be used to maintain the current tax rate and possibly prevent tax increases.
While the rewards could be great, the delay of the state budget has caused obstacles for many schools in Pennsylvania, including tightening the budget for the Red Lion Area School District. Without an approved state budget, Pennsylvania school funding will not be the only casualty in the war to approve the budget.