Sunday, October 26, 2014

8th Grade students experiment with Digital Photography

Elaine Fletcher, HMS art teacher,  shared this information about the fascinating 8th Grade Digital Photography Unit:

In this unit students learn some of the ways to compose a quality photograph, shoot a photograph, and manipulate a photograph in an editing program to improve it if necessary. Students watch a video on composition, practice identifying elements of quality photo design, and have four shooting sessions.

Once the students have a number of photos loaded onto their laptops, they learn to edit photos for quality and/or mood. They evaluate their photos and go through the process of deciding on their ten best. Then they narrow their choices down to their 3 best photos, and these photos are printed. Finally, students select one photo to demonstrate, through a written form, their understanding of what elements of quality composition are present in that photograph that help determine its high quality.

The photo below was taken the morning after I put up the photo display (nearly all HMS student work is displayed). The photo display always draws a crowd of interested onlookers. I took the photo through the glass case in the art room. In the foreground are 6th grade mask sculptures, in progress-  they often draw lots of viewers, too!



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Samsung Challenge work continues at HMS

Last fall, some students in Mr. Cuthbert's 7th grade class accepted the Samsung Challenge. Their project involved an investigation of the invasive European Green Crab, and its impact on our environment. These students were honored by Samsung for their work. They were named one of fifteen finalist groups nationwide in the company's Solve for Tomorrow Science and Technology Competition. 
 These students were invested in spreading awareness about this issue, and trying to find some answers to the problem. In June, the students, with the help of Dr. Brian Beal, a professor at the University of Maine Machais, put a small experiment in place in Yarmouth's Pogey Cove. They planted small plant pots into the ocean floor at low and high tide. Each pot contained 12 juvenile clams. Some of the pots were covered with a flexible mesh, others were protected with a more rigid wire screen, and one plot was left unprotected.
On Monday, October 19th, the pots were pulled, and the results recorded to measure the the growth of the clams and their survival rate from predators. Students carefully took each experimental pot and removed any netting before spraying the mud, clams and crabs with hoses to sift away the muck, and see what each pot contained.
The students found that the clams were ravaged by the crabs, and by the milky-ribbon worm, a native predator that also showed up in many of the experimental pots.
Less than 10% of the clams survived, but there was a glimmer of hope scattered among the shattered shells. Hundreds of tiny, native clams were also found growing in the pots, a sign that with some protective measures, the clam population could rebound.
Please click on the link below to learn more about this study: 

HMS students share information about their work with students from YES

HMS students working at Pogey Cove

Maine Skaters Medal

Maine Skaters Medal at 2015 New England Regional Championships

Burlington, Vermont – The North Atlantic Figure Skating Club (NAFSC) is proud to report that Franz-Peter Jerosch earned a medal this week at the 2015 New England Regional Figure Skating Championships. Franz, an 8th grade student at HMS, earned the Silver medal on Monday in Intermediate Men. He will now advance to the U.S. Eastern Sectional Championships, the next qualification stage for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Franz (on the left) standing on the podium. Congratulations and great skating at the Sectionals.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Brie Hathcock brings the "Bountiful Bowl" to HMS

Brie Hathcock, one of our 7th grade students, had an inspired idea that she wanted to put into action.

Brie met with Assistant Principal, Joan Adler, and Yarmouth's School Nutrition Director, Blair Currier, to ask if there was a way to donate the fruit and unopened drinks, yogurt and cheese that students don't eat during lunch to those who could use it. Thanks to Brie's advocacy, and the help of Kathy Lathem, the head of the HMS Nutrition Team, Brie's idea came to fruition.

Students can leave these items in the HMS "Bountiful Bowl" located in the cafe. Our Nutrition team donates this food to the local food pantry. Our congratulations and gratitude to Brie for pursuing this idea to help our community!
Brie Hathcock

Monday, October 13, 2014

Charlotte Agell's work featured at benefit art exhibit

Charlotte Agell, communications/talents program teacher, recently sold two of her paintings at the Brunswick Art Exhibit.

Congratulations, Charlotte!

To the Lighthouse

Harpswell Sound

6th Grade students study geology

Ragan Bartlett, sixth grade science teacher, provided the following information about an engaging field trip:

The sixth grade students went to Mt. Apatite Park in Auburn, Maine to conduct a geologic exploration of the area. The park features great hiking, lots of native tree species, and some fascinating, old feldspar quarries. The students completed a scavenger hunt for trees and shrubs on the hike up; they also had the opportunity to rock hound in the rock dumps. 
In addition to feldspar, the students collected mica, quartz, lots of garnet, and some black tourmaline.

Thanks to all of the parents who chaperoned this exhilarating expedition. The students came home feeling excited about the samples they collected, and all that they learned!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sherry Lapointe works to raise awareness about Ovarian Cancer

Sherry Lapointe is a twenty year veteran Occupational Therapist for the Yarmouth schools. Sherry has been working tirelessly to share information about her battle with ovarian cancer in order to raise awareness, and educate our community and state about this disease. 

September is Ovarian Cancer awareness month. Teal is the color of Ovarian Cancer awareness; TEAL stands for Take Early Action and Live. The HMS staff joined Sherry's efforts and wore the color teal every Friday in September in recognition of the awareness campaign. The boys' soccer team sponsored an Ovarian Cancer Awareness game on Saturday, September 27th. 

We thank Sherry for all she's doing to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. Please see the information, photos, and Forecaster article below to learn more about Sherry's efforts, and our community's involvement with this cause.  

From Susan Robbins: 

YHS Students, District Staff & Coaches,
The boys soccer team is sponsoring a Ovarian Cancer Awareness game this Saturday Night vs. Waynflete at 6:00 p.m. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and Teal is the color of Ovarian Cancer Awareness, it stands for Take Early Action and Live.

A portion of the gate receipts will go directly to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund to fund research, support awareness events, advocate for better ovarian cancer screenings and treatment, and provide education and information for all those who seek it. A donation box will be set up at the gate for additional donations to the fund. Our boys soccer players will be wearing teal shoe laces during the game, we hope you will join us and wear TEAL to the game! For more information please visit or

Did you know? Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death women with any of the gynecologic cancers. In women age 35-74, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. An estimated one woman in 71 will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed this year and that more than 15,000 women will die from ovarian cancer this year.

When one is diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages, the 5-year survival rate is over 90%. Due to ovarian cancer's non-specific symptoms and lack of early detection tests, only 19% of all cases are found at this early stage. If caught in stage III or higher, the survival rate can be as low as 30.6%.

Because there is no reliable screening test, fewer than 20% of cases are caught at early stages.
Symptoms of the disease seem similar to many other conditions: 

• Bloating/swelling of the abdomen or sudden weight gain
• Persistent abdominal or pelvic pain or pressure
• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly 
• Increased need to empty the bladder

EARLY detection increases survival rate. The lack of public awareness and education about ovarian cancer is an important issue in our society today and impacts our mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, friends, etc. For more information please visit or

Sherry and her husband Gary with Yarmouth Captains

 Link to Forecaster article ovarian-cancer-awar/211346 

Sherry with the HMS staff


Friday, October 3, 2014

Elaine Fletcher's work featured in MECA art show

Elaine Fletcher, HMS art teacher for grades 5 through 8, shared the following information about an exciting art show that opens today (Friday, 10.3), at the Maine College of Art in Portland. 

Elaine will have an oil on canvas (18X18) painting in the show, titled September Afternoon, Jericho Bay. Elaine created this picture from a view captured at the 2013 Maine Art Education Association's Fall Conference at Haystack.

The art show features works in different media by Maine art teachers, and runs from now until October 26th at the Zand Head, and Hall Galleries at MECA, 522 Congress Street, Portland. The show provides is a wonderful perspective on the way Maine art educators, "Practice what they preach", and a great chance for educators to offer their work for viewing and sale to the public.

September Afternoon, Jericho Bay

First Friday Artwalk takes place tonight, 10.3, from , 5-8 PM; it's a great night out in the city!