Skagway High School students Riley Westfall, Paige Hahn, Rori Leaverton, Emily Herbig, Elise Doland, and Bryce Jones gather around their unique glass mosaic project before inlaying the work of art into a table that will be auctioned off at the Yuletide Ball this weekend. Jeff Brady

‘Fire & Ice’ project mobilizes art class; silent auction raises money for SHS science trip


The art class at Skagway High School has been working for the past six weeks on a unique project that they hope will raise money for the students’ spring science trip.
The project, called “Fire and Ice”, involves creating a mosaic from colored pieces of glass which are then inlaid into a table top.
Parent and local gallery owner Cara Cosgrove came up with the idea this fall and approached art teacher Jo Trozzo and her students. She had a piece of old family furniture that would work, and local carpenter Jeff Mull routed out the top and strengthened the legs to support a glass inlay.
From there, the students came up with several ideas for the mosaic, from a leprechaun with a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow to their eventual choice: two dragon heads facing each other and breathing fire, their flames swirling in a circle of glass in the middle of the piece.
The design was put on a paper form, and students colored in how they wanted the dragons and flames to appear. Then they placed the paper under a wire screen where the colored bits of glass are applied. This process of matching colored bits of glass to the design would take several days.
Garden City Glassworks donated all the broken glass, leftovers from projects at their furnace over the summer. The glass was separated by colors, broken to the desired sizes, and then polished before being carefully applied onto the wire screen with a glue gun. Cosgrove supervised as a volunteer, but the students did the work, which was performed in the school shop during an afternoon period four days a week.

Cara Cosgrove (back middle) explains to Denise Caposey’s kindergarten students how the mosaic comes together, as Elise Doland, left, chooses colored glass for Paige Hahn and Rori Leaverton to glue onto the screen. JB

The finished mosaic was then moved carefully to the table, where it was set in mortar and then covered with a glass top. The final product was unveiled at the Yuletide Bazaar last Saturday.
It will be sold via a special silent auction at the Yuletide Ball on Dec. 12 at the Rec. Center. Minimum bid is $200, and the money raise will go toward the SHS Smithsonian Science Trip to Puerto Rico next April.


Second place overall for Skagway Robotics team

Team X-treme Blotz members, from left, Trevor Cox, Riley Westfall, Rosalie Westfall, and Kiara Selmer relax as their robot gets charged up for the next round in the pit. Photos courtesy of Vivian Meyer

Skagway School’s Robotics Team traveled to Juneau for the Robotics Jamboree, Nov. 21. At this eight hour-long tournament, teams from across Southeast Alaska competed with other students. Teams were judged on teamwork, robotic design, project presentation, and robot performance. The theme this year was transportation.
The Smart Crashers, Al Weber, Yasha Saldi, Elena Saldi, Denver Evans and Hailey Jensen, under the direction of coaches Greg Clem and Cara Cosgrove, won the Teamwork Award and second place in Project Presentation.
The X-treme Botz, Riley Westfall, Rosalie Westfall, Kiara Selmer, and Trevor Cox, coached by Vivian Meyer and John Westfall, won second place overall for the whole competition.
This was a great time to meet new people and see old friends. Both teams will travel to Anchorage for the State Tournament in January. We would like to thank our parents and supporters for helping to make this possible.
Eleven student teams from Juneau, an all-girl team from Sitka, and a team from Hoonah also competed at Centennial Hall in the 3rd Annual FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Juneau Robot Jamboree.
This year’s “Smart Move” theme challenged teams to use the latest Lego technology and materials to demonstrate ways of accessing people, places, goods and services in the safest, most efficient way possible. Teams were judged in four categories – Robot Design, Robot Performance, Project Presentation, and Teamwork—with awards to the top three teams in each category and an overall winner with the best combined results.
The overall winner was LOL (Lots Of Legos), a community team from Juneau. LOL will now represent the Southeast region at the statewide championship tournament in Anchorage on January 16.
More than 200 youth, coaches, referees and other volunteers attended this all-day event, along with dozens of spectators. Rebecca Parks of the Juneau Economic Deveolopment Council’s STEM Program oversees all FLL activities in Alaska and served as tournament director for the Juneau Robot Jamboree.
“This year’s Jamboree was the best yet,” said Parks. “It ran smoothly and everybody demonstrated gracious professionalism and teamwork. Everyone was positive andsupportive of everyone else.”
FLL is funded in Alaska by the US Department of Defense, BP and other partners, as well as individual contributors. For complete details of all FLL events and teams in Alaska, visit SpringBoard is still seeking volunteers and sponsors for the Anchorage Robot Rendezvous on Saturday, January 16. Please contact Parks at or 907-523-2334 for more information.

The Smart Crashers, back row from left: Yasha Saldi, Alexandra Weber, and Elena Saldi; and front row Hailey Jensen and Denver Evans.