Tag Archives: education

The Big Green Bus Rolls Into The Springs Preserve in Las Vegas

The Big Green Bus from Dartmouth College will be rolling into The Springs Preserve on Thursday, July 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. to present a unique “go green” educational opportunity. 

Fifteen students from the college are traveling across the United States to teach people about climate changes and how to practice environmental conservation at home and at work. 

The Big Green Bus itself has been converted to run on waste vegetable oil, such as leftover french fry grease. The tour of the bus and “green” presentation are free to the public. 

For more information, visit www.thebiggreenbus.org

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Dolphin Dies at The Mirage in Las Vegas

Sgt. Pepper, born on June 8, 2008 at The Mirage, one of six dolphins at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in Las Vegas died on June 4 from complications arising from a lung affection.  The dolphin is the 14th to die at the educational attraction since it opened at The Mirage in 1990. 

Animal welfare advocates have long voiced their concerns that dolphins are not suited for such public displays, and that the exhibit’s confines are inadequate when compared to the natural habitat of the ocean.

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Las Vegas Teen Finishes 11th in National Spelling Bee

It was the best Scripps National Spelling Bee finish since at least 1996 for a Nevadan (when the competition started keeping records) when 13-year-old Tussah Heera of Las Vegas valiantly tried spelling the word “herniorrhaphy”- a surgical procedure used to fix hernias.   The double letters gave her a challenge and instead of spelling it with a double “r” she used one, finishing the contest in 11th place.

Heera, who is home schooled, distinguished herself in March, too, when she beat 36 other students to win the Nevada state title and earned a trip to Washington, D.C., competing against 292 other top spellers. 

Heera does more than spell well.  She plays piano and cello and has been honored in local competitions for both her performance and her composition.  She also writes poetry. 

Las Vegas Backstage Access honors Tussah Heera- she’s our winner!

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ABC’s “Supernanny” Casting Team is in Las Vegas, Needs Your Help

The casting team of ABC’s parenting series “Supernanny” is in Las Vegas through this Friday, May 29, to meet local mom and dad candidates for the premiere episode of “Super-Manny.”    The new show features child behaviorist Mike Ruggles.  For more information, please call 1-877-626-6984 or visit their Web site, www.supernanny.com

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Improv Theater in Las Vegas Packs ‘Em In

Whether you are a fan of watching improvisational theater or just maybe would like to try your hand at acting, there are some opportunities for you in Las Vegas.    improv

Although, Second City has closed up after eight years at the Flamingo, the Improv Vegas recently debuted their Sunday 7 p.m. show at the Bonkerz Comedy Club inside Palace Station.   For a $9.95 ticket you can have the time of your life. 

Improv Vegas also produces their SET show at the Onyx Theatre, 953 E. Sahara Ave., 702-732-7725, at 8 p.m. on Mondays, $7 a ticket.  The show features improve plus standup comedy, juggling and other disciplines and is a showcase for students at the company’s training center, also at the Onyx. 

Improv Vegas classes are limited to 10 people and last six weeks, with six or seven classes going at any given time.

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Learn How to Use Your Fly in Las Vegas

It’s not what you think.  Actually, some say it’s better, more skillful.  The Nevada Department of Wildlife  (the other flyfishingvariety) will be having a free Introduction to Fly Fishing class on April 25 at the NDOW Las Vegas office and the Floyd Lamb Park in Las Vegas. 

The classes will cover basics such as knot tying, terminology and the equipment needed to fly fish, along with casting skills. 

There is also another fly-tying workshop on April 28. 

For more information and registration contact Ivy Santee at 702-486-5127, ext. 3503.

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Las Vegas Mob’s ‘Cement Shoes’ Now Concrete Canoes?

The mob has been doing much less ‘planting’ nowadays.  And with the many stalled and failed casino construction projects dotting the Las Vegas landscape brought on by an ever constricting economy, it’s no secret that Las Vegas has a ton – maybe two? – of ready and willing concrete at its disposal. 

Grabbing this weighty waste opportunity, UNLV engineering students have built and are planning to race a buoyant unlvcanoeconcrete canoe in the fiercely competitive 2009 National ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on June 11-13.

But first they must clear the regional competition hurdle, finishing in the top five in competitions set from April 1 through 4 in Hawaii. About 20 teams are competing. 

To win it will take equal parts of technical skill, creativity and determination. 

Created from a year’s worth of blood, sweat, and tears, the slippery smooth, svelte 250-pound black, blue, and white canoe with a UNLV mosaic on the bottom, and the name Kiss Our Glass on the side, was engineered to be a precise 20 feet long and 30 inches wide. It has to be made that precise.  That’s the rules. 

The races, endurance, sprint, and slalom combined, count for 25 percent of the overall score. The remaining 75 percent is based equally on a submitted technical design paper that highlights the planning, development, testing and construction of the team’s canoe; a formal oral presentation, in which the team has to detail their canoe’s design, construction, racing ability and other innovative features, as well as defend their choices to the judges during a question and answer session; and the end product-the final racing canoe and project display, which is scored on aesthetics and visual presentation. 

Tiffany Hearn, 22, the senior engineering student and captain of the UNLV canoe-building team, haunchos the seven-member team of other UNLV engineering students that are trying to field a winning canoe. 

Engineering students at UNLV and all over the country do this every year. They enter local and regional competitions. A national champion is declared.  Last year the University of Nevada, Reno won.  

UNLV has never made it past the regional competition.  Last year they came in 11th place, their best finish yet. Maybe a win is in their cards this year. Maybe it isn’t.  That’s not the point. 

“This is a big project that takes months to complete. They have to be able to work as a team,” said Bill Culbreth, an associate dean in UNLV’s college of engineering. “Most engineering projects will work that way.” 

So it is that the national concrete canoe competition is more than a boat-building contest. It’s a metaphor for the real world — where there is not nor will there ever be a market for boats made of sand, glue and water. 

Noe Santos, 21, the team member most responsible for figuring out how to make this particular blend of concrete, doesn’t even plan on working in that area after he graduates in May. He’ll be doing research on solar cells. 

In the meantime, he and the rest of the UNLV team have spent at least 40 hours every week since May working on this canoe. “No Christmas vacation. No Valentine’s. No anything,” Hearn said. 

Santos further explained that you can’t use just any old concrete – and, no, they didn’t use our scrap casino concrete – to make a canoe that actually works. The competition’s rules say the canoe must float back to the surface after being submerged. UNLV has never done well on that test. 

The secret to the team’s confidence this year is the concrete concoction, which weighs in at 54 pounds per cubic foot, about 8 pounds lighter than water. 

The concrete, lined with a carbon fiber reinforcing mesh and with tiny metal cables, is then blended with tiny glass bubbles and hollow glass beads about the size of ice cream sprinkles so the concrete has little air pockets inside. 

In the past, UNLV’s teams have blended the concrete with rocks. They’ve had hits and misses, a couple of times suffering competition-ending catastrophic failures; the boats broke in half. 

But not this year, the team members say. 

The team took their boat out to a man-made lake at Desert Shores on March 14. They rowed in it. They sank it.  But the good news it that it came right back up. 

To work on their speed, team members have been practicing twice a week in a traditional fiberglass canoe. They’re getting pretty fast. 

Las Vegas Backstage Access hopes the UNLV team is just fast enough- taking home their first win!

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