Academy Newsletter

November-December 2015

Academy I Deer Hides

Currently in Academy I, students are tanning deer hides to eventually process it into leather and use it for their final project. Deer hides play an important role in the clothing section of the class. In this section, students make their own 18th century clothing and are required to create a leather piece of their own. This will help students characterize the backwoods men and frontier women they will be representing. The long tedious process of deer tanning is not simple.


“This was a challenging experience that really portrays how difficult it was to live in the 18th century,” Colson Faust stated.


The first step in the process is the most important part, removing the flesh from the hide. Students take the hides outside and carefully scrape the flesh and fat off with knives until it's bare skin. The second step is to soak the hide in a mixture of salt, lime and water. This helps remove the hair from the hide. Step three is simply removing the hair by using the back of a knife. Next is a bath of alum, salt and water. The hide soaks in this bath for six to eight days. Once it’s removed, it’s rinsed with water, stretched and pinned over a flat surface until it dries.


The final step is to stretch and add oil to the hide to soften it until it is flexible. To take out the rough patches, students rub fine grit sandpaper over every square inch of the hide to get rid of any leftover flesh, fat, or hair.


Written by: Kurt Bokesch


Academy II Cemetery Population Count

The Academy II class took a field trip to the Mantua Cemetery on Friday December 4th. The class split into groups and recorded the ages of all the people buried in the cemetery.They made a class list of the ages and genders in a chart with tally marks. The class will now analyze the data, such as life expectancy of the people of Mantua. Academy II student Mike Snodgrass said, “I really enjoyed it. Seeing all of the ages was quite scary actually. It creeped me out.”


This was the second annual class trip to the cemetery.


However, the data gathering was not easy. Nate Lind said, “It was very cold and there were lots of runny noses. Josh Stern put his socks on his hands. I couldn’t use the touchscreen on my phone because my hands were so cold.” The class is now analyzing the data and will write full scientific papers to report their findings.


Written by: Michael Picone

Academy Trip to Youngstown

On Monday December 14, 2015, the Academy I and II classes took a trip to the Youngstown Aquaculture Center. This trip was put together by HPAC who has been working with the Academy helping to write a grant for their greenhouse. The trip was to observe the technique used by the aquaculture center. They observed the technique that worked in the greenhouse and learned what tech did not. The Academy is using this field trip to help them in creating a successful greenhouse.


The purpose of the field trip was for Academy see the setup of an aquaponic greenhouse to get an idea of what need to be done to make successful greenhouse. Mr. Brown the Academy teacher for the science portion of class said that “ the class would mostly use things like the power setup for the greenhouse and techniques more than the things they use.” Brown said that “now that they have seen the setup of the greenhouse they know what what work needs put into it and what it takes to make it run.”


The class got in contact with Youngstown through Anita Iveljic, a HPAC member who set up the trip to the greenhouse.


Written by: Matt Thompson

Academy II Trail Work

The Academy II class has been working on a hiking trail called Red Devil Run for the past two school years. Former student Lauren Crislip was asked what last years class goals were and what they accomplished. She responded, “My goal was to clean up and make it so that you could actually walk through it, that meant cleaning up a lot of trash and random items as well as removing branches and invasive species that were in the way. Although I wish we could’ve got more done, we achieved the main goal. By the end of the year, we had cleared a good portion of it and it looked nice.”


The trail starts at the southeast side of the front parking lot, and weaves in and out of the woods on the south side of the building. It extends all the way to the Middle School's parking lot.


This year's class is currently clearing out the ditch on the edge of the woods; concrete and old bus parts litter the rut. Students are working hard to remove them. The Academy class plans to put a bridge over it, but will not be completed for several years.


Seasonal changes are making it very difficult to keep the path maintained due to leaves and sticks falling from trees. The class is currently focused on the half of the trail toward the Middle School. The ground there is more compact and tends to make large puddles in the ruts. To remedy this, Academy students are making plans to put walkways over the ruts.


This trail is open to the public, and renovations will continue until further notice.


Written by: Nate Lind

Stirring up the Water With Academy II

Do you ever wonder what kinds of creepy crawly insects live in our lakes and streams? One way to test the water quality of a water way is to collect those small invertebrates. Some invertebrates cannot survive if the water is too acidic or there is not enough oxygen. Depending on what organisms are found in the sample, you can find out the quality of the water.


The procedure to obtain these insects goes as following; first you have to grab a seining net and a pair of waders if you want to stay dry. When at the water way, hold the net at a 45 degree angle going away from the current. Lift the net after a certain amount of time of kicking up rocks and gravel in front of the net. This will lift all the little critters off and under the rocks, sending them downstream into the net. Academy II students were able to experience this by going on a field trip to the Cuyahoga River. “Going down to the river and getting the macroinvertebrates was a really cool experience, I enjoyed looking through the leaves and mud to find them,” Nicole Hocevar said.


Academy students were able to calculate results and contribute them to The Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The ODNR uses the macroinvertebrates to judge the quality of a river, as well as WQI (water quality index) testing, making the little creepy crawly bugs in rivers and ponds very important to the judge the health of a river.


Written by: Ryan Erway

Academy I and II Virginia Trip

The Mission

From November 12-14, both classes, along with AP government and history classes, attended a field trip to explore and discover the rich historic parts of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Monticello. The trip mirrored the content which has recently been present in class curriculum. Through this hands on trip, students were able to see history come alive and experiential learning at its finest.

The Yorktown Battlefields

Crestwood Academy I, II, AP US History, and AP Government students from Crestwood had the opportunity to go on a trip to Virginia. While on the trip the students visited Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, the historic town of Williamsburg, and the Yorktown battlefield.


In Yorktown the students visited the battlefields of the Revolution: fields where siege took place in 1781. The students also had the opportunity to see the place where the first purple heart was given by General George Washington. Students walked around and inside of redoubts nine and ten which were key areas of the the battlefields.


Wesley Baird, a Crestwood senior in Academy I commented, “My favorite part of going to Yorktown was walking around rebout nine; it was really cool to see it that close.”


Written by: Catherine Hoover

Glass Blowing at Jamestown

During the field trip students visited several historical sites, a memorable one was Jamestown. While there, they went to a glass blowing exhibit where the students were taught about the creation of glass pieces. After the exhibit, some of the glass pieces were offered for purchase, and were bought by several students and teacher chaperones.


Junior Gabi Campana, a student that attended the trip commented, “It was really interesting. The gift shop had a lot of pretty vases. I actually bought an ornament for my family because I thought it was cool that they were all hand made by those people.”


The next part of the trip was intended to be a tour of the Jamestown settlement. However, the possibility was cancelled and the group returned home early. The reason for not going was explained by Mr. McDougall. “We didn’t have tickets to go into the Jamestown museum; the only thing we were able to get into was the Jamestown Cafe--the only thing they have [at the Jamestown settlement] is a mockup Jamestown because it is all in ruins. However, we were never scheduled to go there and would have had to fork up over $300 to get in.”


Written by: Melody Bencie

The Hauntings of Williamsburg

On the first night of the trip, students went on a walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg. The tour was a “ghost” tour, listening to their guides as they told stories about the history of the houses that involved murder and hauntings. The students were attentive and eager to learn about the history of the colonial homes. An Academy II student, Nicole Hocevar, stated, “It was a really fun experience being told what happened in those houses. I really enjoyed the night time stories because it gave it a more creepy feel.”


Students heard stories about the people who died in the specific houses. The tour guides would tell the students that sometimes you could see the figures or sense their presences if you were to go into the home. Many students tried to capture pictures of the ghosts through the windows of the homes, but failed to see any. Everyone enjoyed the ghost tour, going back to the hotel with a strange presence following close behind them.


Written by: Audrey Klatik

Mastering the Courts of Monticello

Have you ever seen the back of a nickel? Well, if you haven't, it is a picture of a large house called Monticello. Monticello was the home for Thomas Jefferson and his extended family. The 243 year-old house still stands on top of a mountain in Charlottesville, Virginia. The house features many original fixtures such as the first skylight in America, which was originally a french design. Jefferson also introduced the idea of glass double doors and the idea of having a bed built into your wall.


Upon the terraces on either side of the house, one could see for miles something not commonly seen everyday. The vegetable gardens which contain some 330 veggies, flourished, and still do to this day.


Jefferson would sit and look out over the hills in his pavilion, run thyme through his fingers, and observe nature. While the students were visiting Monticello, Mr. McDougall had them run their hands through rosemary and thyme to see the difference in the aroma.


Monticello consisted of an ice box, slave quarters, a wine cellar, beer cellar, library, a dome, a water collection system, nailery, a greenhouse and a graveyard where Jefferson lays. Monticello was designed by Jefferson himself. He was a self taught architect, but it took forty years to build Monticello, so he didn’t move in until he retired.


Monticello is highly recommended by the Academy class. Many students said that on the bus ride going up the mountain, you could feel the history of everything around you. Monticello was an experience that everyone on the trip will never forget.


Written by: Nate Lind