Tustumena Staff Newsletter

November 19, 2012

From Parent Newsletter

There will not be a newsletter next week because we have a very short week with Thanksgiving and the long weekend. Speaking of Thanksgiving, please remember that the PTO is sponsoring Turkey Bingo tonight (11/16/12). There will be turkeys, pies, and good times, so please plan on attending. We also have the Cash Raffle coming up on December 1. Both events will be fun and benefit our school. Another school event will be Family Portrait Day tomorrow, 11/17/12. Most of the appointments have been filled but if you come between noon and 1:30, we will squeeze you in. The cost is $25 and you get an 8X10 outdoor portrait plus the electronic negative to use as you wish. All the proceeds go to the PTO.

We have a new communication system for sending out reminders and notices called “Alert Now.” This system sends emails and telephone calls and is intended to use in cases of emergency or for event reminders. It is automated, so it may sound a little funny, but please don’t hang up on it. We will be sure to identify ourselves early in the message and get right to the point. We will be conducting a trial call at 6pm on Wednesday, November 21. This message will simply say, “This is a reminder call from Tustumena Elementary School that there will be no school on November 22 and 23 in honor of the Thanksgiving Holiday.” We will use this system sparingly as to not be a nuisance. Teachers may use it to remind classes of field trips or other activities. There will be no need to call the school to respond to the message. If you would like the system to call a specific number (your cell instead of your home) please contact Mrs. Mills and she will update the system.

Staff meeting agenda and other news.

Meeting agenda: Alert Now phone call coming up. MC update. Pie contest. Report card update. Fifth domain next year.

Science News:

Chemical setup creates clean-burning gas

By Rachel Ehrenberg

Web edition: November 8, 2012

Making hydrogen gas in water just got a little easier. The discovery may lead to inexpensive, practical means of harvesting sunlight to create clean-burning hydrogen for powering cars or generating electricity.

Scientists would like to mimic plant photosynthesis, which harvests sunlight and splits water molecules to create fuel. It sounds simple, but even in plants the task is a highly orchestrated set of reactions, with multiple players acting in multiple places. So researchers often tackle one half of photosynthesis at a time.

The new study, published online November 8 in Science, focuses on the light-harvesting side of the equation. The researchers, from the University of Rochester in New York, created tiny particles of cadmium and selenium that spit out electrons when hit with light. The team also needed a catalyst to pass those electrons to hydrogen ions, which would combine into the useful gas H2.