ACADEMICS IN ACTION: Connecting with K'Nex
For the students in Mrs. Alderson’s and Mr. Roppelt's  5th grade science classes, memorizing Newton’s Laws of Motions was not enough. They had to see them inaction. So, they started building with Crazy K’Nex.

Crazy K’nex are like Tinker Toys or any other construction set where students get to design and test prototypes and or in this case, vehicles. They wanted to solve a basic problem of physics--how do we make things move? So they started building to test a variety of structures for vehicles and different ways to propel vehicles forward and test the forces that stop them. Basically they wanted to see that “objects at rest tend to stay at rest” and see the affects of force.

​Students first experimented with a falling weight system in the classroom to begin to understand how forces affected the speed and distance a vehicle traveled.  The halls at Allison Elementary were then lined with tape measurers as the 5th graders put their vehicles through multiple trials to see what kind of force would accelerate the vehicles and move them the farthest using rubber band energy.  Finally, the classes built propeller-driven vehicles to test by following blueprints.  As students got closer and closer to figuring out the opposite and equal forces at work in their vehicles, they drew and revised their own blueprints throughout the unit. 

Important Dates
Bucks for Bucs Meeting
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
High School Community Room

All are welcome to attend. Agenda will cover plans for the upcoming year, volunteer recruitment for the 5K Race, Spirit Wear, Sports Camp and Donor Outreach. Email for more information.
Scholarship Applications Due
March 1, 2016 - DEADLINE EXTENDED!
Applications are available for current students to download from our website. Students must complete all parts of the application to be eligible – form, two essays and two recommendations sent in separately. For more information on the process, visit  
5K Race  - April 9
Mark your calendars for our race and start training! Interested in helping to plan the event? Contact

Become a Member!
Memberships are available at the following levels:

Maroon - $25 Minimum donation
Gold - $50 Minimum donation
Buccaneer - $100 Minimum donation
Flagship - $500 Minimum donation

The Flagship Level is a wonderful opportunity to honor a loved one or respected friend, or publicly show your support for our students.  For this minimum donation of $500, you can name a scholarship.
Donations can be made on-line at, or by sending a check to Bucks for Bucs, P.O. Box 401, Meadow Lands, PA 15347.  As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, donations to the Bucks for Bucs Educational Foundation are tax-deductible. If you have any questions, please contact us at or 724.250.8484.  

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Hayley Sutton (2014) 
Hayley Sutton (2014) had a big dream when she was a child on her grandfather’s farm – a dream that led her to attend Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio to major in Equine Pre-Veterinary Medicine with help from Bucks for Bucs.

“Bucks for Bucs made it possible for me to come to this amazing school,” said Hayley. “Without it, who knows what school I would have ended up at. This scholarship made it possible to follow my dreams I’ve had since I was a child.”

Now Hayley spends hours in the barn, working every day with the horses she loves. This semester she’s learned about the many systems of an equine body, administered multiple types of medications and even dissected a pony to learn how more about how their bodies work.

Jumping from a small town life to college was a bit of a shock for Hayley, but she’s landed on her feet.

“Chartiers is a small town where everyone knows everybody,” said Hayley. “I’m not going to lie, at first college is a culture shock for a Houston-born and raised kid, but I quickly realized the close knit relationships and an ability to be comfortable with my teachers and my community gave me confidence to do that here. Every opportunity I got in high school prepared me to live on my own in an unknown place.”

Now Hayley maintains a 4.0 average while participating in the equestrian team, the Sigma Alpha Tau sorority and the Miller Winter Scholars Leadership program. She’s enrolled in numerous science courses, as one may expected in a medical field, and thankfully she loves them.

Though her days of walking the Chartiers-Houston halls are gone, Hayley still remembers so many important life lessons learned from teachers such as Mr. Pop who prepared her to think differently by letting students work independently or Mrs. Young, who inspired her to put others first and realize that not everyone thinks the same way. Hayley remembers Mr. Block, who always pushed her to be brave and figure things out without guidelines and Mr. Campbell who pushed her to go above and beyond. 

“Sometimes you will get homesick, but Houston is always in your heart,” said Hayley. “If you want something bad enough, whether it be a scholarship or position on sports team, or a test grade, or an internship, the only thing in your way is yourself. This town has given you the tools, make them work for you!”

Kids of Steel
There's still time to register for the FREE Kids of STEEL training program, which is a great way to prepare for the Bucks for Bucs race in April! Students meet on Wednesdays after school until 4:15 in the gym. Students will learn about exercise and nutrition in preparation for the Pittsburgh Marathon Steel Kids race. Registration for the Pittsburgh Marathon is not required to participate in the training program. Any family with monetary concerns about the race can also contact Ms. Sapienza to inquire about assistance.

Register for the Marathon: and registering for their appropriate age group.

Register for the training program only via this link or for questions, contact Tina Sapienza at or 412-965-4058

Amanda Hamilton Roos – Director/President
Chris Opfer – Director/Treasurer
Colleen Zak Hess – Director/Vice President/Secretary
Hayley Martin – Vice President / Communications

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