Video of Lawrence elementary students’ projects gets national audience

There is a lot for a parent to remember in between the morning alarm and getting kids off to school, and hopefully this blog can become a helpful part of the daily routine.

As some of you may have noticed, the K-12 education blog, First Bell, is now posted ahead of the start of each school day. The blog offers daily reminders for school events and happenings, as well as a few other useful features.

At the end of each post, there will be a rundown of school events (before, during and after school), district notifications and lunch menus from the elementary, middle and high school levels.

In addition to district news, posts will also feature family or youth activities around town, highlight interesting student or teacher stories or offer short followups to some of my articles on K-12 education in Lawrence.

The format of the blog also isn’t set in stone, so thoughts or suggestions from readers of what is useful or ideas for things they’d like to see are welcome. Feel free to call me at 832-6314 or email me at with your feedback.

Kids’ imaginations are often put on display on their classroom walls, but social media gave one group of Lawrence elementary students a much larger platform. Over the weekend, Chevrolet posted a video to its Facebook page featuring New York Elementary second-graders’ car concepts that the company made into models. The kids’ ideas are unique, including a car with a dinosaur head and tail, one equipped with a propeller and another shaped like a triangle.

The video — which at my last count on Sunday evening had already been viewed about 70,000 times and garnered more than 1,000 Facebook “likes” — tells the story of the project, which began at the end of last school year in teacher Shane Heiman’s second-grade classroom.

As part of an ongoing class activity, Heiman had his students design concepts for products like backpacks, showerheads and new cars. Heiman sent photos of the designs to companies via Twitter, sharing the feedback he received with his students.

But Chevrolet’s “dream machine” promotion took the kids’ ideas much further than social media. Heiman reached out to Chevrolet via Twitter, and the company ended up actually creating models of the students’ designs. The video includes Chevrolet’s visit to New York Elementary toward the end of last school year, where students are surprised with renderings and models of their ideas.

Inspiring others through kindness. That’s what #DayItForward is all about! See how one teacher showed his classroom creative possibilities in a big way.

Posted by Chevrolet on Saturday, February 27, 2016

In other news and notes:

– The Lawrence school board will
meet to review applications to
the district’s superintendent

– The Lawrence High School Cultural
Heritage Panel will present to
fifth-graders at Broken Arrow
Elementary from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30

– Children’s literature author Kate
Klise will visit fifth-graders at
Prairie Park Elementary from 8:10 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Middle school Model United Nations teams will attend the first
day of a two-day simulation in

– The South Middle School
intramural coding club will meet from
3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.

– Representatives from Wichita State
University will be in the Lawrence
High School rotunda during the
lunch hour.

Lunch menu options:

Elementary school level
Main dish: cheeseburger; hummus with cheese and pita bread; peanut butter and jelly with string cheese; chef salad with breadstick

Sides: baked southwest potato waffle fries, mango, salad bar, milk

Middle school level
Main dish: cheeseburger; hummus with cheese and pita bread; peanut butter and jelly with string cheese; chef salad with breadstick; hamburger; rice bowl

Sides: baked southwest potato waffle fries, mango, fruit juice, cream of broccoli soup, salad bar, fresh fruit, tomato salsa, milk

High school level
Main dish: mandarin chicken rice bowl; rice bowl; deli bar; pizza; egg roll with oriental rice; cereal with string cheese; parfaits with muffin; hummus with cheese and pita bread; peanut butter and jelly with string cheese; chef salad with breadstick; daily sandwiches

Sides: roasted cauliflower, crispy roasted chickpeas, peaches, fresh fruit, fruit sorbet, fruit juice, oven potatoes, salad bar, vegetable soup, milk