Keeping time: St. Jerome students make clock to welcome visitors
Matthew Zakrewsky and Joey Walko, eighth-grade students at St. Jerome Regional School in Hometown, stand in front of a grandfather clock they built with K’NEX as part of the school’s new STEM lab. The clock kit was one of many kits donated to the school by Barbara Lawson, who works for K’NEX. AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS
Matthew Zakrewsky and Joey Walko, eighth grade students at St. Jerome Regional School in Hometown, stand in front of a grandfather clock they built with K’NEX as part of the school’s new STEM lab. The clock kit was one of many kits donated to the school by Barbara Lawson, who works for K’NEX. AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS
A close-up view of the top part of the K’NEX grandfather clock Matthew Zakrewsky and Joey Walko built.
St. Jerome Regional School in Hometown has a new timepiece that welcomes visitors to the office.
The nearly 7-foot-tall grandfather clock that adorns a corner of the main office is unique in many ways because it is not your ordinary wooden clock.
The colorful clock is constructed out of more than 9,000 K’NEX pieces and was built by two eighth-grade students as part of the school’s new STEM curriculum.
Matthew Zakrewsky and Joey Walko spent about a half-hour of their school day over a two-week period learning to read blueprints and building the project.
“It was a lot of fun,” Walko said. “It took a lot of focus to get some of the parts done.”
“I feel it’s going to stay here for a while,” Zakrewsky said.
The two boys said that it was a great learning experience and were happy that St. Jerome Regional offers projects like this to its students.
Both boys will be graduating this June and attending Marian Catholic High School in the fall.
Zakrewsky, of Hazleton, hopes to eventually work toward a career in engineering; while Walko, of McAdoo, is looking at the criminal justice field.
According to the K’NEX website, the grandfather clock is the biggest project kit available and includes a real working clock face insert, complete with a swinging pendulum and sound chimes. The kit was one of many donated to the school by Barbara Lawson, demand manager at K’NEX.
“K’NEX, a division of Basic Fun, had old stock of some awesome educational products that needed a good home,” Lawson said. “I am a St. Jerome’s alum so I reached out to school to offer the donation. The students did an amazing job on all of the projects they have completed in the STEM lab.
“They should feel proud of a job well done. I was very impressed with how quickly they built the grandfather clock.”
Zakrewsky and Walko weren’t the only students to work on the K’NEX projects from Lawson.
William Mayberry and Connor Penberth completed the swing ride kit; Caitlyn Kovatch and Alexandra Feller, the octopus ride kit; Connor Rehnert, Samuel Homyak, Zachery Holt and Racer McGuire, the basketball game kit; Alyssa Porambo and Lacey Gallagher, a block and tackle pulley system; and Owen Rakos, Anthony Aguirre, Seleste Burns, Carlie Ankiewicz and Carley Hasara, roller coaster physics kits.
Amy Hannis-Miskar, principal of St. Jerome Regional School, said she was thankful for Lawson’s donation because it is helping to build the school’s new STEM lab and is something that teaches the students through fun hands-on activities.
She also thanked all of the sponsors who have helped make the school’s STEM lab possible.