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'Amazing Bugs' sparks McKee Elementary students' imagination

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Kristie Linden | The Jeannette Spirit
Jon Doctorick of the Carnegie Science Center prepares to launch a remote control dragonfly into flight during the 'Amazing Bugs' program at Jeannette McKee Elementary.
Kristie Linden | The Jeannette Spirit
Hannah Nichols strapped on a pair of 'moon boots' with the help of Jon Doctorick of the Carnegie Science Center to demonstrate how a grasshopper is able to use potential energy to spring high into the air.
Kristie Linden | The Jeannette Spirit
Trent Marciniak crouches to gather his potential energy before leaping as high as he can in his best grasshopper impersonation.
Kristie Linden | The Jeannette Spirit
Nathan Boettner demonstrates his super strength — much like an ant's super strength in lifting 20 times its body weight.
Kristie Linden | The Jeannette Spirit
Brianna Boettner wears an insect costume to show how many arms and legs a bug has and how it uses its compound eyes to see. Jon Doctorick of the Carnegie Science Center's 'Amazing Bugs' program helped Brianna get into the costume and demonstrated how difficult it can be for an insect to see long distances.

In the midst of Pennsylvania System of School Assessment testing, Jeannette McKee Elementary School students got a chance to take a peek into the world of insects.

Jon Doctorick of the Carnegie Science Center brought “Amazing Bugs” to the elementary gymnasium. Students who attend the district's after school program sponsored by the Private Industry Council were invited to attend the program and bring two guests.

The middle school JAYS after school program students were also invited.

As Doctorick asked questions to gauge the students' knowledge about bugs, children raised their hands to offer answers and to volunteer to participate in various demonstrations. The children laughed and applauded as they learned about the anatomy of certain bugs and the “super powers” they have. Students got a chance to demonstrate some of those super powers — some children were able to strap on moon boots to display the super power of jumping as high as possible and another student was able to prove his super strength.

Students learned about insects that mimic their surroundings in order to blend in and had a chance to try to find some bugs camouflaged in large posters.

“Since the SES/PIC after school program has been focused on getting students ready for these (PSSA) assessments, this assembly is like a fun reward for them during assessment week,” said Chandra Orbin, McKee teacher and coordinator for the after school and summer programs sponsored by the Private Industry Council.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-838-5154.

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