Community briefs School News

CA students think small

From left, students Olivia Montaperto, Angelina Carey and Braedyn Cambell who designed the winning home design and sales pitch pose with Colin Striefsky of Remax and STEM teacher Samantha Masco.

From left, students Olivia Montaperto, Angelina Carey and Braedyn Cambell who designed the winning home design and sales pitch pose with Colin Striefsky of Remax and STEM teacher Samantha Masco.

Throughout the year in Carbondale Area teacher Samantha Masco’s eighth grade Introduction to STEM class, students have been learning about the engineering design process by brainstorming, planning, designing and building tiny houses.

Students began the year learning about the design process and worked through a series of mini-STEM challenges to better understand the process. Students then began learning about tiny houses and the reason many choose that type of living.

Students learned about energy efficiency and renewable resources that could be implemented into their home designs. Each class period was given a different amount of square footage for their homes, ranging from 250 square feet to 500 square feet.

Student groups then discussed, planned and created their home designs. Groups used online tools to generate 3D blueprints and floor plans of what they envisioned their homes to be. Using the equipment in the Makerspace, students began to build scale models of their tiny homes. Students also created furniture and decorations to display as well.

Once all homes were completed, students created a marketing campaign which highlighted features of their homes and then pitched their designs to their peers.

Colin Striefsky of REMAX Homes addressed the class, explaining what goes into selling a home and how to properly price and market the home for sale. Striefsky listened to students’ sales pitches and chose the group of Brayden Campbell, Angelina Carey and Olivia Montaperto as the best home design and sales pitch.

Local groups get grants

Several local groups received state grants through funding generated from casinos.

Distributed by the State Department of Community and Economic Development, Lackawanna County’s Local Share Account grants help economic development, job training, community improvement and public interest projects.

A total of $ 3,352,343 was awarded by the Commonwealth Finance Authority to applicants in the communities served by State Reps. Mike Carroll, Bridget M. Kosierowski, Kyle Mullins and Thom Welby.

“These grants will strengthen our communities and make improvements to the quality of life in the region, all while ensuring that the cost of these critical projects doesn’t fall on local taxpayers,” said Mullins, D-Lackawanna. “It was a pleasure working with my House colleagues, municipal officials and organization leaders to successfully secure these funds.”

The legislators also thanked state Sen. Marty Flynn for working with them to secure the funding.

Local projects include:

• $ 162,685 for the veterans memorial park project in Archbald Borough.

• $ 147,699 for the Meredith Hose Fire Station expansion project.

• $ 95,659 for Dunmore Missy League field renovations.

• $ 73,794 for the full replacement of the Jessup American Legion Post 411 roof.

• $ 72,950 for Civic Center Park design and improvements in Throop Borough.

• $ 65,000 for Jessup Hose Company No. 2 to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus equipment.

• $ 40,000 for Greenfield Township to purchase two patrol vehicles.

• $ 33,954 for the purchase of a multiuse tractor in Carbondale City.

• $ 28,660 for field improvements at Mid Valley Elementary School.

• $ 20,000 for installation of a concrete floor in the Mayfield Borough municipal garage.

• $ 20,000 for the installation of a concrete floor in the DPW building in Jermyn Borough.

Professor earns honor



A Dickson City resident and Penn State Scranton professor has been selected as a fellow of the American Ornithological Society.

Meg Hatch, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at Penn State Scranton, first became a member of the AOS as a graduate student in 1994, when it was called the American Ornithologist’s Union. Since then, she has been involved with attending conferences and judging student posters and presentations.

She also has held leadership posts within AOS and other organizations, serving on the organization’s young professionals committee from 2008 to 2009, and as a council member and treasurer for the Wilson Ornithological Society. In 2015, she became an elective member of the AOS, which is one of the first steps to achieving fellowship with the organization.

“Last year I was notified that I had been nominated to be a fellow and asked to submit a brief biography. Current fellows then vote on the slate of nominees. Those who were elected were announced at the annual meeting, which was a virtual last year, ”Hatch said.

The mission of AOS is to advance the scientific understanding of birds, to enrich ornithology as a profession, and to promote a rigorous scientific basis for the conservation of birds.

According to Hatch, being an AOS fellow is a lifetime honor as long as one continues to be a member of the organization in good standing. There is a fellows-only meeting at the annual society conference, and fellows play an important role in governance by approving and amending the AOS bylaws. She will attend her first fellows meeting this summer in Puerto Rico.

Hatch praised Penn State Scranton, saying the campus has always been supportive of her professional development and the university has given her the flexibility to attend conferences.

In addition to her fellowship with the AOS and teaching duties at Penn State Scranton, Hatch is continuing her research on the migratory ecology of songbirds at Lackawanna State Park in collaboration with Robert Smith at the University of Scranton.

“We are addressing questions about habitat use, individual and species variation in arrival timing, how it may be influenced by weather preceding migration, and factors influencing body condition and parasite load,” Hatch said.

Hatch’s research is not connected to AOS, but she said that its conferences are an excellent opportunity to present her work and interact with other ornithologists.

Library hosts author

Author of “The Hideaway Inn” and “The Beautiful Things Shoppe,” Philip William Stover will be coming to the Valley Community Library on June 29 at 6 pm to discuss his most recent novels.

Stover lives in Bucks County and has a master of professional studies in interactive telecommunications and a masters of fine arts in writing. He is a clinical professor at New York University.

As a freelance journalist, his essays and reviews have appeared in Newsday, The Forward and other national publications. For many years, he ghosted with an international best-selling women’s fiction author. Registration for this event is required at

The Valley Community Library, which is a member of the Lackawanna County Library System, is located at 739 River St., Peckville, and serves residents in Archbald, Blakely, Dickson City, Jessup, Throop, and Olyphant. The library is open Monday through Thursday, 10 am – 8 pm and Friday and Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm

For more information, email [email protected]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker