Bulldog Barker https://bulldogbarker.com The Student News Site of Freedom Area Middle School Wed, 11 Dec 2019 18:19:12 -0500 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 Middle school students assist with elementary gym classes https://bulldogbarker.com/1361/sports/middle-school-students-assist-with-elementary-gym-classes/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1361/sports/middle-school-students-assist-with-elementary-gym-classes/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 14:51:57 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1361 Mr. Gene Matsook and Ms. Tami Smithmyer’s eighth-period gym classes have been helping Ms. Dana Gaertner, elementary gym teacher, with her first-grade gym classes. The seventh and eighth-grade students have been going down to the elementary school from 1:15 to 2:00 p.m., once a week. This program will go on for nine weeks from Oct 7-Dec 17 and every week will be focused on a different valuable life skill along with the rules and skills of a lesson or game.  

In the past few weeks, the seventh and eighth graders have been helping the first graders learn how to do different activities, such as hula hoops and jump rope. Each middle school student has been assigned two first grade “buddies” to work with. After every week the students in both grade levels will reflect on what worked well and what didn’t. They also reflect on what their favorite parts and strengths are.

According to Ms. Gaertner, the goal of this program is to help instill life skills and also to build connections with our middle school students and our elementary students. She also said that the middle school students have been doing fantastic mentoring elementary students. She believes this is a great experience for all the students involved. The first graders have been loving their time with the middle schoolers and have been learning a lot.

“Our favorite part of the class was when we did the scooter races with the big kids.” said first graders,  Beau Grunnagle, Isaac Mattern, and Mikaylee Kuntz. They also said that they always look forward to when the eighth graders come to their gym class. They also said that their favorite parts were when they did scooter races and jumped rope.

“It was a cool and new experience to get to be with the younger kids.” said Hayden Bender, eighth grader. Also he said he enjoyed when they did relay races and got to assist the kids in their gym class. He also stated that  it was a good change of pace from his usual gym class.

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Freedom alumnus teaches sixth-grade chemistry using household items https://bulldogbarker.com/1362/news/freedom-alumnus-teaches-sixth-grade-chemistry-using-household-items/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1362/news/freedom-alumnus-teaches-sixth-grade-chemistry-using-household-items/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 14:49:42 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1362 Using chemistry to create chain reactions, clocks, explosions, and fluorescent glow sticks were all things that the sixth graders experienced when Freedom alumni Kristy Sturgess and several colleagues came to Freedom Middle School on Wednesday, Nov 19. Sturgess and her colleagues graduated from Freedom in 2015 and went to Pitt University to major in Chemical Engineering. Their presentation focused on how kids can make chain reactions in a safe way using only items you could find in your household. 

The group of Pitt students had chosen several student volunteers who got to choose the colors and pour ingredients to make the chain reactions activate.  The students got to dress as a scientist including safety goggles with a large white lab coat. Students then got up on stage and the group step by step helped the volunteer make the chain reactions.

 Ms. Ging, the sixth-grade science teacher, organized the presentation. Ging hopes that the students will be able to make the connections to the Matter and Atoms unit in science that they will begin after the new year. Ging would like for students to be able to see the relevance and importance of what they learn in school and how they can use the knowledge taught in school when looking for jobs in the real world.  

Sturgess and her group of volunteers will come to the middle school and present for the sixth grade every year.  It is part of their outreach hours they are required to complete for classes. 

Sturgess said that she enjoys doing the presentation and is looking forward to doing it next year.  The sixth-grade chemistry presentation is a safe way for kids to learn chemistry and the process of chain reaction and learning useful skills to help kids get jobs in real life.

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Poems…Again… https://bulldogbarker.com/1359/uncategorized/poems-again/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1359/uncategorized/poems-again/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 13:25:28 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1359 Poems…Again…

When our class heard about poetry we all felt the same,

We thought the teacher was insane,


I just wanted to walk out the door,

Ian even cried on the floor,


Mason ran over the bridge,

Grayson even hid next to the fridge,


We were all struck with fright,

But the teacher said to be bright,


In our brains,there were just clouds,

Everyone started to crowd,


I was confused at first glance,

But then I wanted to dance,


With joy my heart fills,

All I could do is think about daffodills,


The anger slowly crept away,

Write more poetry,I may…

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I Can Hear https://bulldogbarker.com/1357/uncategorized/i-can-hear/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1357/uncategorized/i-can-hear/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 13:24:04 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1357 I Can Hear You 

Gianna Guandolo


You can not hear me, can not see me, you don’t know what I know.

You think I’m gone, like the leaf you saw being carried by the wind.

Unlike you though, I see you, I hear you every single day.

I am always with you up until the end.

When everything got dark like those cold winter nights I still remember, I was excited to leave this wretched planet.

But of course I had to come right back to this world I know all too well.

Stuck watching your miserable existence. 

You think you have it bad while you’re alive, well try being tied to someone with your mouth forever sewn shut.

Able to hear, able to see, the person you looked up to, the person you loved.

Talk trash about you just because you’re gone….but I got used to it after awhile.

I hear you speak to everyone, I even hear those little voices in your head.

I hear you say all those horrible things about me and my friends.

I thought you loved me, you liar!

Now, after all this, the only thing that keeps me going is that I know someday this will happen to you…and I’m already dead.

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The Mountain https://bulldogbarker.com/1355/uncategorized/the-mountain/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1355/uncategorized/the-mountain/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 13:21:29 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1355 The Mountain

Gabriel Sanders


In the land of the lost and felled,

There is a mountain where good people dwell.

As men and women ascend the cliffs,

Their souls are rewarded wondrous gifts;

Their hearts are cleansed of shadow and corruption

And their minds reborn as an act of retrieval.

At the peak,, their souls are judged,

Whether their purity has budged.

Just a little, hed no worry.

Too much, they’ll be sent to scurry,

To the bottom of the mountain they will be

For all the rest of eternity.

When it is your time to reach the peak

And through the soul God will seek,

Will your life fully reflect

All of your purist aspects? 

Will you rise to heaven

And watch over your family with open eyes?

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Fall https://bulldogbarker.com/1353/uncategorized/fall/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1353/uncategorized/fall/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 13:19:41 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1353   “Fall”

   Alexa Hudak



The sun descends behind the mountains,

Blessing the bare sky with beauty.  

You stop to watch for awhile,  

For the air tastes rather fruity.  


The wind begins to roar

And the trees dance to the sound, 

Leaves betray their green 

And scatter all around. 


Reds, yellows and browns

Begin to lather the Earth’s skin, 

And you start to ask yourself,

Where has this weather been?


That’s when you start to realize

It’s that time of the year,

And you whisper in sync with the breeze, 

“Fall is finally here.”

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Poetry Corner https://bulldogbarker.com/1351/editorial/poetry-corner/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1351/editorial/poetry-corner/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 13:18:42 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1351 https://bulldogbarker.com/1351/editorial/poetry-corner/feed/ 0 Freedom Area Middle School celebrates fall with festive activities for sixth-grade students https://bulldogbarker.com/1347/news/freedom-area-middle-school-celebrates-fall-with-festive-activities-for-sixth-grade-students/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1347/news/freedom-area-middle-school-celebrates-fall-with-festive-activities-for-sixth-grade-students/#respond Tue, 10 Dec 2019 14:41:56 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1347 Fall Fest is a yearly activity that the sixth-grade students participate in and enjoy. The teachers set it up every year to last two days. This year it lasted three days: Wednesday, Nov. 6, Thursday, Nov. 7, and Friday, Nov.8.  Fall Fest has been going on for six years and has changed along with time. At first, the only activities Fall Fest contained were making pumpkin pancakes, launching weights with miniature trebuchets, and pumpkin math. Now the students launch pumpkins with full-sized trebuchets, construct derby cars out of small pumpkins, exercise, perform a play, participate in scarecrow races, and do pumpkin math. 

Pumpkin math activity takes place in math classes

The Fall Fest pumpkin math activity took place in the students’ two-period long math classes on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The students had a lot of fun. 

“I am excited for fall fest because I have never done it before and it seems like a lot of fun,” said Emma Ward, one of the students participating in the activity. She also said she was most looking forward to the pumpkin derby race, but still recommended the pumpkin math for next year.  

“I am excited for fall fest because we get to catapult pumpkins,” said Cooper Adams, sixth-grader. He also said he was having fun with friends and recommended this activity for next year. 

Mrs. Lisa Moore, sixth grade teacher, said that they had never done Fall Fest until Ms. Jeanine Ging, another sixth-grade teacher, came to our school with the idea. Moore said that the events are the same this year, but the pumpkin seed data will be used for their statistics unit. 

“The first and second-period classes did great with this activity,” Moore said.

It took a couple of days for everyone to set everything up. Moore said that with Fall Fest they are aiming to teach kids how a lever works with the trebuchet. They also want to teach the kids how to collect data. Overall, everyone had fun, teachers and students alike.

The sixth-grade students participate in the four stations of Fall Fest

On Thursday, the sixth graders were on a four-station rotation between their classrooms. In the first station, the students made derby cars out of small pumpkins in Ging’s classroom. These cars were to be raced the next day. Two high school students that were helping Ging would drill two holes straight through the bottom surface of a pumpkin so that the students could then slide two metal axles through the pumpkin and add spacers and wheels to their car. Thank you to Brenckle’s Organic Farm and Greenhouse and Yeck’s Farm for donating pumpkins to the sixth-grade teachers.

The next station was in the gym. In this station, the sixth graders learned about physics as they launched small weights with miniature trebuchets. After the students collected the data from their launches, they recorded it onto a graph. This station was run by Moore and the High School Physics Club. 

In the third station, students learned the importance of burning the calories that they ate. Everyone got one piece of candy to eat, but then they had to burn it off. They did this by participating in a ten-minute workout that burned 100 calories. 

During the fourth and final station, the sixth graders read The Thanksgiving Turkey Theft aloud in Ms. Tina Strati’s English language arts classroom.

Students launch pumpkins with trebuchet and race customized pumpkin derby cars

Freedom Area Middle School’s annual Fall Fest came to an end on Friday, Nov. 8 in the afternoon with the sixth-grade students partaking in more activities outside the high school. From launching pumpkins across a field to racing pumpkin derby cars down a wooden ramp,  students deemed the fun and educational event to be worth the day off from classes. 

To start the chilly afternoon off, the students gathered around in their cozy winter coats to watch and help the high school Physics Club prepare the trebuchet. The high school students would adjust the pumpkin–or, on a few occasions, an empty 2-liter bottle–into the trebuchet, and a sixth-grade volunteer would pull the rope to trigger the machine when ready. 

After a few pumpkins were launched, the students huddled around a wooden ramp to watch the Physics Club release three pumpkin derby cars, each designed by a different team on the second day of Fall Fest. The purpose of this activity was to introduce students to simple machines and demonstrate how they operate. 

The middle school students rotated between the two stations for a while before being introduced to a new activity, the scarecrow races. One student from each team would obtain a piece of clothing and race to place it anywhere on their team’s scarecrow. Whoever dresses the scarecrow first completely, wins. 

“Fall Fest was really fun,” says Ariana Sanchez, sixth-grade Fall Fest participant. “And stay safe when launching pumpkins!”

Special thanks to Brenckle’s Organic Farm and Greenhouse and Yeck’s Farm for donating pumpkins to the Freedom Area Middle School.

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History Night was a Blast from the Past https://bulldogbarker.com/1344/news/history-night-was-a-blast-from-the-past/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1344/news/history-night-was-a-blast-from-the-past/#respond Tue, 10 Dec 2019 14:28:14 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1344 History night was a huge success as almost all the museums showed up along with many people. Mr. Kappas was surprised by how many people actually attended. All of the museums that had shown up taught children and parents about the history of our county, but specifically, how our towns and surrounding counties evolved. There we many different things to learn about such as what games people played and what rifles were used in the Civil War.

Presenters from the Fort Pitt Museum, Vicary House, Little Beaver Historical Society,  Beaver County Industrial Museum, and Neighborhood North Museum of Play came to share their historical knowledge. However, presenters from Old Economy Village could not make it. Kathleen Lugarich from the Fort Pitt Museum showed animal hides from small game and taught visitors about what people in the seventeen hundreds did for fun and what they ate. Brenda Applbe, from the Vicary House here in Freedom, told attendees about the Vicary House’s history and about the events that are held there now. Many fun and memorable moments were made that night with the many presenters that came, along with Mr.Kappas who was also there dressed up in a Civil War soldier uniform.

 At the end of the day, Mr. Kappas was very happy with how many people attended History Night as there we more people than he thought there would be. He expressed his gratitude towards visitors by telling everyone how proud and excited he was of this event.

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The True History of Thanksgiving https://bulldogbarker.com/1337/features/the-true-history-of-thanksgiving/ https://bulldogbarker.com/1337/features/the-true-history-of-thanksgiving/#respond Wed, 04 Dec 2019 14:28:19 +0000 https://bulldogbarker.com/?p=1337 Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the U.S celebrating the blessings of the past year. Although overlooked by Christmas in most cases, Thanksgiving is an important holiday that should be celebrated. But what really happened before, during, and after Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving, which occurs on the fourth Thursday of November, is based on the colonial Pilgrim’s harvest meal. In the year 1620, the Pilgrims were not happy with the religion ruled by the king of England, so they decided to move to Holland and Amsterdam. In these countries, they made a name for themselves and started calling each other saints. But unfortunately, both cities fell into poverty which led the Pilgrims back to England. A lot of the Pilgrims were arrested and even killed for their beliefs. This was a big problem for them, so they fled. 

The Pilgrims set first sail on July 22, 1620, on the Mayflower and the Speedwell. The Mayflower and the Speedwell had to turn around two times because of leaks. In the end, they decided to leave the leaky Speedwell in England, taking all 192 people on the Mayflower. The 66-day trip was sickening, gross, and smelly. The Mayflower was not the flower-filled cruise that you learned about in kindergarten, not to mention the ship was only about 100 feet long, so everyone was crowded like sardines. 

The Mayflower did not have toilets or running water which meant that the passengers had to do their business in chamber pots behind small curtains.  Since there was no place to empty the chamber pots, bowls of urine and fecal matter were left on the open, lidless, and sloshing in the storm waves. This made the Mayflower a nightmare for the Pilgrims for 66 days. 

During one of the biggest storms, a man standing on the top deck of the Mayflower was thrown overboard and never retrieved, making him the only death on the Mayflower. Although a tragedy is always a shame, a child named Oceanus Hopkins was born on the voyage, making the total number of people who arrived at the same at the beginning and end of the voyage. 

Even though the first half of the journey was smooth with calm seas, the second half of the trip was rough. For comparison, anyone who has ridden a pirate ship ride at an amusement park can compare that to the Mayflower for about 33 days. 

It was incredibly hard to sleep on the Mayflower, with some of the reasons being the smell, the noise, the sick people, yelling, and the motion made it almost impossible to sleep. Since it was hard to tell if it was night or day in the Mayflower, people would just sleep when they could. 

Halfway through the trip, the Mayflower was knocked off course by a storm on their way to Virginia. The storm made the Pilgrims go way farther North then they planned; which landed them in Massachusetts. After 66 days on the Mayflower, everyone agreed they were not willing to get back on the ship. A lot of the people were not happy with this choice and wanted to abandon their fellow Pilgrims for land farther South. Since it was September, it was getting very cold, so walking hundreds of miles would kill mostly everyone involved in the movement.

The decision was made for everyone to stick together, with a document stating this being signed by 41 men aboard the Mayflower. This document was later called the Mayflower Compact. Although the efforts, about 102 Pilgrims died during the first Winter of 1620-21.

When spring and summer arrived, the surviving Pilgrims were happy to be able to plant crops now that the weather was warm. During the summer the Pilgrims built up houses and farms. The Pilgrims also made friends with the local tribe of Native Americans, who they shared with.

On the fourth Thursday in November 1621, the Pilgrims invited their Native American friends to a feast on their part. The Pilgrims used their crops and made lots of food, and the Native Americans hunted for food to serve at the feast. The feast was a success! Everyone thanked God for the blessings in the past year.

There was a lot of variety when it came to food during the first Thanksgiving, including but not limited to ham, lobster, clams, ham, and venison. However, contrary to popular belief, turkey was not served during the first Thanksgiving. After that day the Pilgrims had an amazing friendship with the local Native Americans until 1692. So, the question is did you learn more about Thanksgiving history?

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