Mount Rock Elementary School and the entire Big Spring School District has been working hard through the mandated closures to continue to provide uplifting messages and lessons for students while they are forced to remain at home.

Mount Rock staff compiled a YouTube video set to Andy Grammer’s “Don’t Give Up On Me,” that shows them holding signs showing how much the students are missed. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was viewed more than 500 times.

The school district also never skipped a beat with its lesson plans, and students have been pretty busy at home.

“Starting on March 16, the staff at the Big Spring School District immediately began conversation about ways to connect with students and make sure everyone was OK,” Mount Rock principal Karen Ward said. “Teachers weren’t worried about assignments or grades, they were worried about kids who needed the structure of school, the consistency of a routine, and the support from their teachers and peers. Fast forward to today, and we are all still worried about children. We are working together to be available for children every day. We hold virtual lessons and classroom meetings, grade level recess online, and some teachers are conducting lessons over the phone, so that they know we are still here for them. We will get through this together. Ever, always strong!”

The following teachers submitted messages for their students to let them know how important they are:


“Dear Kindergarten Students, Nothing rocks the amazing students at Mount Rock! Be strong, be beautiful, be you! Be ever strong bulldogs! We miss you!” -- Mrs. Graham, Mrs. Header and Ms. Yilek.

First grade:

“We miss you, First Grade Friends! You are cared about and loved! Stay healthy and keep on learning!” -- Mrs. Ferrell, Mrs. Maser, Miss Parks and Mr. Pettit

Second grade:

“A positive day starts with a positive attitude. Keep learning, growing, and showing others how much you care. You are ever, always strong.” -- Mrs. Devonald, Mrs. Leeds and Mrs. Kreamer

Third grade:

“Side by side, or far apart, we’re always connected at the heart!

Don’t let what you CAN’T do stop you from doing what you CAN do!” -- Love your Third Grade Teachers!

Fourth grade:

“Our dearest 4 th graders, remember that Bulldogs always find a reason to be ‘PAWS’itive!” -- From your teachers, Miss. Benson, Mrs. Dyson, Mrs. Stanton, and Mrs. Weston

Fifth grade:

“Dearest Fifth Graders, You are awesome. You are important. 

You are missed. You are loved. Remember we are in this together. Hang in there.” -- Warmly, Mrs. Black, Mrs. Hair, Mrs. Schwartzmiller and Miss Smith.

STEM challenges

Students have been conducting STEM experiments at home as one of their exercises. 

One experiment asked, “Does a jelly bean dissolve in different liquids?”

Ryan Poulson used water, vinegar and Gatorade to see which liquid would dissolve a jelly bean the fastest. He predicted the jellybean would dissolve the fastest in vinegar; however, he found that it dissolved the fastest in Gatorade!

Carter Zukauckas put jelly beans in hot water, cold water, vinegar, milk, cherry juice, pickle juice, and salt water. He predicted that the vinegar would dissolve the jelly bean the fastest but learned that the water did, and the hot water did the

fastest. After an hour, he took them out of the liquids and found that the jelly beans that were in the hot, cold, and salt water were squishy and softer, and had lost most of their color. The one in the milk was “kind of yucky feeling,” he said and had the color still on the jelly beans, but it was foamy.

Upon a taste test, Carter learned the ones in water didn’t have much of a tase, while the ones in cherry juice and pickle juice kept most of their color and hardness and didn’t lose much of their taste at all.

Luke Pulsen also experimented with jelly beans. He used water, vinegar and Gatorade for his experiment. He predicted the jelly bean would dissolve the fastest in Gatorade - his prediction was correct!

Rhealynette Beyers and her family used peppermints in liquids instead of jelly beans. They picked 7 different liquids. The control was water at room temp, hot water, ice water, vinegar, dish soap, Mountain Dew, and heavy whipping cream. Hot water was the winner at 7 minutes to dissolve.

Andrew and Thomas Stanton improvised with lollipops since they did not have jelly beans. They put them in hot water, cold water, soda, rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. They predicted the lollipops would “melt” fastest in hot water.  They also thought they would dissolve in cold water. After an hour, all of the lollipops had fallen from the sticks and were broken down. They were completely dissolved in vinegar and soda. We talked about the acidity of vinegar and soda and how that played a role!

STEAM challenge

How do I make music with plastic eggs?

Alaina Roberts entertained us with her STEAM challenge to make music. Alaina placed different solids inside a plastic eggs to create different sounds and then finished her tests with a song!

For Bradyn Koontz’s STEAM challenge, he put pretzels, rice, money, beans and a bouncy ball in the eggs. Money was the loudest and bouncy ball was the quietest. Bradyn’s favorite sound was the beans.

STEM challenge: How do I create a parachute with a plastic egg?

Lilly Koontz planned and designed a parachute with a recycled bag, toothpicks, tape and a plastic egg.

Mount Rock Elementary hopes all of Big Spring’s families are doing well, and are excited to see them in the near future.

To view the video of teacher and staff messages, visit:

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