Elementary School Report: Day 1

Today was the first of 3 days at Medfield Heights Elementary School In Baltimore, MD. National Capital Trackers are having a display layout as part of the schools's Science Week, to help teach about electricity and circuits with electric trains.

We're almost done setting up here. Started at 7, first trains ran at 10, first class visited at 11. Layout was 16 x 20.


First class to visit was 5th graders. We tried something different: Each student got to run a train at least once around the layout, using Lion Chief. To say it was a hit with the students was an understatement. and, NO trains were injured during the proceedings! No kids, either.


We took the last 10-15 minutes of each 45 minutes session to discuss railroad safety and other issues. Here Mike demonstrates different whistle signals.  The big MTH NS unit sounded great.



We had 4 sessions today, 10 more to go.  A lot of excitement came when the lights were dimmed.



Here's night and day on the layout.


Tomorrow the first class section is at 8. Between 11 AM and 1 PM, the school has invited the community to visit by way of its Facebook page. So, if any OGR members are in the vicinity of 4300 Buchanan Avenue, Baltimore, MD between 11 and 1, stop in and see the layout.  You will need to sign in at the main office and have a photo ID.

Operation Lifesaver presenters are going to be there as well on Thursday, so they will handle the railroad safety presentation.

Leave your hearing aids at home!  Consider bringing ear plugs!

I'll report again tomorrow evening.



B&O Bill


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Original Post

Nice! You are brave to present to that age group. I liked the "toucher" attempt in the second video. There are always "touchers".

Perhaps one of you can make the point that one needs to have math skills to do many things in life, even model trains.


Arctic Railroad

Moonman is right: there are always "touchers." I think it is just the nature of inquisitive, learning minds. We have tried some ways to address the issue. Sometimes I will stop the trains, and say: "Touching trains when they are moving can cause a wreck, do you want to touch them now with one finger?" Of course, even that sometimes doesn't work. I try to keep smooth-roof passenger trains on the outside. No raised pantographs or other easy-to-snag obstructions. One question that a student asked today was "how do the trains stay on the track?" Great question! We stopped, took a car and turned it over, and let all of them touch the flange, showing how that kept the trains on the track.

I know this is not for everyone. Heck, if I had a vision-line Big Boy I wouldn't take it here either.  But, this is part of making trains more available and understandable to kids.

All I can say for me this is great fun. 


B&O Bill

Bill I literally live right around the corner from the school.   Unfortunately I had dentist appointment at 11:30AM.  Thanks for bring this to our neighborhood.  Looks like the kids love it.

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"



Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004


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