Tag Archives: Savannah Schroering

Fidget spinner fad creates distractions for some, focus for others

By Savannah Schroering

The characteristic whirr of the popular device echoes from classroom to classroom. It spins effortlessly between two fingertips, supposedly helping students focus on their work more. As they have become more mainstream, the fidget spinner has slowly converted into a toy.

“I think it probably varies from child to child, and from situation to situation. For most students, probably distracting, because it’s something else they have to focus on and pay attention to. Instead of maybe being fully focused and fully engaged on what we’re talking about in class,” said psychology teacher Chad Clunie. “There are some psychologists and psychiatrists and doctors out there that are prescribing [fidget spinners] to those young kids who have ADD or ADHD, because it help them when it comes to fiddling or fidgeting. By fiddling or fidgeting with something, it helps them focus.”

Some students are annoyed by the fact that they have become popular.

“I feel that people just sit there and spin it the entire time and do not listen to the teacher, because they’re trying to figure out how long their fidget spinner will spin,” said sophomore Carter Blessing. “I believe that people who don’t have problems with focusing started using them as a distraction instead of a tool.”

Blessing also does not believe there is a psychological effect to using the spinner. “I’ve used one, and I’ve noticed no psychological effect for me, I just thought “oh, it spins.”

Science teacher Michelle Harbison agreed with Blessing. “I would be interested in seeing the person who is claiming that it helps people focus. I would like to see their empirical evidence to support the claim.”

Harbison offered some alternatives to using fidget spinners, which can make a lot of noise. “I honestly believe that there are probably alternatives to the spinners that would be useful and helpful to an individual student but not be distracting to others around. I would be a fan of looking for those alternatives. You know, stress balls and things that don’t make noise.”

Carter also expressed how noisy they can be in the classroom. “I don’t see them as much as last year, but last year they got pretty annoying. They began to rust and get dirty so they made a lot of noise in the classroom.”

While the original fidget spinners were made with the intent of helping people focus, they have turned into toys in the classroom and even memes.

“I get that they’re kinda cool, but I would like to see the empirical evidence that they are actually helping people,” said Harbison. “I really do think if you’re helping one person and distracting somebody else, that’s not a great solution. There are probably other things people can use if you’re going to claim that is what somebody needs. Toys are fun, but not in school.”

Senior Libby Sobieski argued for the side of fidget spinners being helpful. “This is where it gets to where the adults have to decide ‘should they be allowed’, and I think that people should have them if they do have ADD or anxiety.”

Clunie explained how fidgeting is an often occurrence with students that has certain disorders, and how these spinners could potentially help.

“We don’t have a cure for ADHD, but there was some research in the past that shows that manipulation of objects in the hands helped, so that’s where the fidget spinner came from. However, now you’ve seen it explode from there.”

The spinners can be distracting to a student’s selective attention, but there has been research that spinning the, can help students with some mental disorders focus. “And so, for most students, the more you have going on, the more you’re thinking about, and the more you’re messing with, the more difficult it is to have selective attention,” said Clunie. “Now, students who have ADD or ADHD, there is some research that shows that when they can manipulate things with their hands, that helps them focus a little bit more.

The focusing aspect of the fidget spinner attracted a lot of people to use them.

“I think that’s where the concept came from. Obviously it’s become more of a pop cultural popular thing than what it is for a more medical purpose,” said Clunie.

In order to market a product to everyone, it must be generalized to a wider audience. This has made the fidget spinner become more of a toy, and it has received negative attention for that.

“I wouldn’t have a problem with them if people weren’t misusing them as much,” said Blessing.

Sobieski agreed with Blessing. “That’s what most people think about them these days. ‘They’re just toys to have fun with’, and that’s not the case. They’re a tool to keep you in line to help you focus. To not play with an object like a pencil. Fidget spinners should be used properly as what they were made to be.”

Gardening remains a fun, rewarding hobby

by Alli Kling and Savannah Schroering

Junior Megan Stapp carefully waters her plants in her garden, pridefully watching each one grow. Gardening has become more popular in recent years, and with spring now underway, multiple students and faculty are beginning to grow a variety of plant life.

“I started with my mom because she used to garden whenever she was younger, and wanted to teach life lessons through it while also getting fresh produce,” said Stapp. “My grandparents still garden today and continue to help us with ours.”

Stapp spends a lot of time with her garden, taking time out of her day to make sure that it is in excellent shape.

“I’m not going to lie, gardening does take time. I’d say after plowing and planting everything, it takes about four to five hours each week to go through and water, pull weeds, and harvest,” said Stapp.

In the end, the hard work is worth it for Stapp.

“It’s rewarding to see all of your efforts pay off whenever you start to see things growing and being able to eat what you’ve grown,” said Stapp. “It is a responsibility, but once everything is up and running, you get to sit back more and watch everything happen.”

Like Stapp, spanish teacher Heather Bradley also enjoys gardening and growing vegetables such as peas, tomatoes, and, once, carrots. She also grows peppers, squash, cucumbers, and herbs.

“I started [gardening] just because it was fun, it was nice to have fresh vegetables out, and then it just grew a little bit every year. When I had kids, it became a fun thing that they can do with me,” said Bradley. “It also became a way to encourage them to eat vegetables. If they grow it, they’re more willing to try to eat it than if it’s just from the store. It actually works.”

Bradley explained how gardening has become more common because of popular trends.

“I think gardening now is almost more trendy, and more accessible. It’s easy to find high quality seeds, and it’s easy to find organic materials, because people want to do it,” said Bradley.

Sophomore Madelyn Lopp is another student that enjoys gardening. She grows tomatoes, watermelons, apples, lettuce, arugula peppers, spinach, marigolds, zinnias, and kale.

“I have been gardening since I was a baby,” said Lopp. “Both sets of my grandparents gardened. They showed me everything and basically ignited my love of gardening. I learned everything from them.”

Gardening has become a fun and entertaining hobby for many over the years, and with the numbers of people with green thumbs on the rise, more and more lovely gardens are on display during the spring/summer seasons.

“I grow Zucchini, tomatoes, squash, and lettuce. We’ve been gardening since I was 10, so for about six years,” said Stapp.

On the other hand, Bradley has been gardening for 10 years, and now cares for two small raised beds filled with various vegetables, herbs, and vines, but peas remain her go-to.

“When [the peas] are outside growing, the kids’ll say, ‘Oh it’s so cool. I want to pick it!’ and they’ll eat it. They love it,” said Bradley.

Though the fresh peas are a family favorite, she explains that peas are not her first choice when it comes to picking what to eat.

“I personally love having big fresh tomatoes. I could eat at least a tomato a day. But I like the peas because my kids will be playing outside and they’ll just walk over to the peas and eat them,” said Bradley.

Growing certain crops/plants does not always work out. In Bradley’s case, carrots gave her a hard season.

“Last year we did carrots for the first time, and I didn’t do too well with carrots, so I’m not sure if I’ll put carrots back out or not,” Bradley said with a laugh.

Gardening has become a hobby to both Stapp and Bradley, one they do not plan to stop anytime soon.

“I’ve been doing it for so long. I can’t imagine not doing it,” said Stapp.

Bradley extended Stapp’s statement by explaining that caring for a garden has a certain element other activities may not offer.

“I think for me that sometimes it’s a very calming hobby because you get to get out, get your hands dirty, kind of reconnect back with land. There’s just something about that that helps put things back into perspective if you’re stressed out,” said Bradley.

Bradley added in a final statement on gardening:

“Even if you screw it up, it’s still worthwhile. It’s one of those things that if you want to try it, you just jump right in and you’ll learn as you go.”

Classroom project educates students about GMOs

Story and photos by Savannah Schroering

Students in science teacher Randy Hein’s AP environmental class hastily enter the greenroom, happily checking on their growing plants.

“We’re growing two varieties of plants. Soybeans and corn. These are common plants that are used in agribusiness in Indiana,” said Hein. “We grow a lot a corn and a lot of soybeans, so of those two, we are looking at the one variety that are non genetically modified organisms (GMOS) and ones that are.” Continue reading Classroom project educates students about GMOs

Renewable energy jolts through Indiana (Extended version)

By Savannah Schroering

Editor’s Note: A shortened version of this story ran on Page 17 in The Bagpiper on Feb. 10, this is the extended version. 

Driving down the road leading into Corydon, the Harrison County REMC proudly displays its solar farm. The dark, absorbent photovoltaic cells from these solar panels capture energy from the sun to convert it into clean, renewable energy.

“In the area of the transition between Harrison and Floyd Country along I-64, they put up a 10 acre solar electric field. That array is providing enough energy for an estimated 150 households,” said science teacher C.J Jackson.

Continue reading Renewable energy jolts through Indiana (Extended version)

Invasive species pose threat to Indiana

By Savannah Schroering

Art by Savannah Schroering

Editor’s Note: To learn more about how FC clubs and organizations work to preserve the environment, read Page 15 of this Friday’s print edition of The Bagpiper on Sept. 2.

Indiana’s forests are beautiful homes to many kinds of plants and animals, but unfortunately have some uninvited guests: invasive species.

“These invasive species are crowding out the natives, so it’s changing the species we had to start with,” said DNR (Department of Natural Resources) interpretive staff member Karen Pierce. Continue reading Invasive species pose threat to Indiana