Archive for December, 2010

Two teams of students from Zachary High School have been selected as winners of the EBRLC public service announcement competition. Students from all over the area were invited to submit a PSA  centered around the theme “Learn to Earn.” For the contest they had to submit an abstract, storyboard and script. The entries were judged in a blind judging by a panel of experts.  The two winning teams are both comprised of Zachary High students. Team one Danielle Greer and Devan Othmer and Team two is comprised of Bria Williams and Chelse Jones.

 The winning teams then had the opportunity to produce their videos. The students had to be the producers in every sense. They were responsible for finding location, talent, and props. They also had to take care of legalities including making sure they had photo releases for all talent. Ed Ball from WBRZ and his crew shot at the high school and Northwestern Elementary School early this week. Ball let them direct the shots only giving suggestions where necessary.

 The students then went to WBRZ studios on Tuesday and Bill Lawrence helped them as they edited the shots, added graphics and effects to their PSA. The students were allowed to make all of the creative decisions, with only the occasional suggestion from the experts.  Their spots will air live for the first time this Friday morning on WBRZ TuneIn . In addition, Zachary High School will also receive a winners check for $3000 for the journalism program.

For more information, contact Adonica Duggan at

The Zachary Community School District is proud to announce that when the final currently scheduled flight of the United States Space Shuttle, the flight of Endeavour on STS-134 takes off in February 2011 students from Copper Mill Elementary will be watching as an experiment they designed is onboard the shuttle. The Zachary Community School District is one of only 16 communities in the United States participating in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). The students received notification of their project’s selection this afternoon.

Various teams of students from around the district worked to design experiments to submit for review. The project selected to fly aboard the shuttle is “What is the Effect of Microgravity on the Growth Rate of Murine Myoblasts?”

designed by Copper Mill Elementary 5th grade Co-Principal Investigators Alexis Albert, Grace Dry, Madison Russell, and Leanne Sorrel, Co-Investigators Tyler Jackson and Jake O’Brien and facilitated by teacher Circe Bridges.

Experimenters will see how microgravity affects the growth rate of murine myoblasts isolated from adult mice. They will use the following materials and tools: two MDA Type 1 wells, eight murine myoblasts, a pipette to transfer myoblasts, a microscope, and a glucose solution. The wells provide a base for the experiment. The murine myoblasts, which will be transferred with the pipette, are the test indicators. The microscope will be used to see changes in size and number of the myoblasts. The myoblasts size will be measured before transfer into the MDA Type 1 wells. A solution of DMEM cell culture medium (w/ 4.5 g/L glucose, 6 g/L Hepes) with 10% fetal bovine serum will be added to the wells as a nutrient base. One well will be exposed to microgravity and one will remain in Earth’s gravitational pull as control. After fourteen days, the myoblasts in both wells will be compared in size and number. The results of this research are important due to the increasing need of cell research application.

Two other Zachary Community Schools projects were selected as honorable mention finalists  “Frog Embryo Development in Microgravity” and “Bacteria Growth and Conjugation in Microgravity” both  by teams of Zachary High students.  These projects were facilitated by teachers Jay Call and Catherine Raziano.

20,000 grade 5 through 12 students across America, in 16 communities, were given the opportunity to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. The 16 communities joined the program in response to a national announcement of opportunity distributed to school districts across the U.S. in June 2010. Each participating community was provided an experiment slot in a mini-laboratory scheduled to fly on Endeavour in February 2011. Each community held a student experiment design competition, with student teams designing real experiments and vying for the reserved slot. The same mini-lab carrying the student experiments is also carrying experiments from professional researchers in government, academia, and industry. The SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) whose director is Dr. Jeff Goldstein

Zachary Community School District has secured partial funding for this project through the Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE).  This approach to community engagement is a focus of the district’s Journey to College and Career Program which includes rich STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) opportunities for all of our students. 

The Student Space Flight Experiments Program [or SSEP] is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), a project of the 501(c)(3) Tides Center, in partnership with Nanoracks, LLC.  This on-orbit educational research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

More information on the program can be found at

For more information, contact Zachary’s SSEP Community Program Director Tammy Wood at or 225-270-2787 or Adonica Duggan at