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This week in history from The Arlington Times archives 10 years ago 1998

n Major corporations involved in forestry, mining and fisheries bank on the public's belief in the idea of the balance of nature. But Mike Fellows, a science teacher at Lakewood High School, says "balance of nature is a fallacy." At least it is if chaos theory is correct and chaos theory is gaining credibility within the scientific community. Fellows' involvement with the scientific community at the university level helps fuel his passion for science, thinking the questions and searching for answers. Through his passion for exploring and learning, Fellows is bringing high-level physics and biology to Lakewood students. His classes encourage students to think critically, pose questions and organize experiments to determine answers. Through direct involvement in experiments, Fellows is illustrating to students that changes in environment can produce extreme consequences. So even in a sterile setting where the environment is controlled, there are always tiny variations that can be imperceptible, but can change the outcome of an experiment. With that premise, if an environment is changed through activities like logging, excavating or drag-net fishing, it is wrong to assume balance can be restored when the global and/or long-term effects of these changes is not known. Through hands-on experiments, Lakewood students are testing for the how and why of chaos theory and its practical application. Some of this advance biology research is because of their teacher's involvement in the Partnership in Science program. The program has helped pay for some special pieces of equipment. Partnership in Science is a mentorship program that gives high school teachers an opportunity to do vanguard research and work with colleagues at the university level. Fellows said he was fortunate he was picked to participate in the program for the last two years. As part of his involvement, Fellows won an exit grant of $3,000 as long as there was a community match of $2,000. Fellows said the local branch of Washington Mutual Bank put in most of the matching $2,000 with the balance coming from other community donations to the school. With the grant and the matching money, Fellows bought some nifty equipment allowing students to do advanced lab experiments. To test chaos theory and its premise that slight variations can cause major changes, students created small environmental "landscapes," miniature replicas of an ecological system found in nature. They will then test the effect of poison (in this case copper sulfate) on the environmental landscape. In an eight-week experiment, students created the landscapes (as well as a controlled landscape they used for comparison) in jars by putting together measured amounts of lake water, sand, sterilized straw and three types of algae.

25 years ago 1983

n For the vast majority of private schools in the state, the annual recertification process is a minor bureaucratic procedure involving the shuffling of paperwork and the inevitable stamp of approval from the State Board of Education. But for Arlington's Stillaguamish Learning Center the recertification process has been far from routine. Against what the group's organizers see as the great odds in favor of misunderstanding, bias and semi-official roadblocks, the SLC is now one step closer to that crucial recertification maintaining state approval for their unusual and often controversial home schooling program. A dramatic meeting in May of the state board may have been a turning point in the legitimatization of the SLC, said the organization founder and leader, Debra Stewart, but the ordeal isn't over yet. Born as an outgrowth of the "underground" home schooling movement, the Stillaguamish Learning Center was founded a year and a half ago with the intention of bringing home schooling into the legal light of day. The idea being to comply with existing law in a format that allows parents who so choose to teach their own children at home. SLC differs from the "underground" home schooling movement both in its desire for legality and its highly structured format. The underground home schoolers are individualized, unstructured and, some say, involve over 5,000 families in this state. A strong desire for a religious educational approach is one of the main factors in the underground program. The are currently five SLC "centers" certified by the state and 10 more in operation and awaiting certification. The five original centers also must be recertified at this time. The five approved centers are in Arlington, Marysville, Sedro-Woolley, Woodenville and Port Orchard. The 10 new centers are scattered all over the state, with many in eastern Washington.

50 years ago 1958

n With everything set to go on the Arlington sewer construction project, but awaiting word from the federal government as to its approval of the disposal plant, and decision on extent of financial support for same, it seemed that the way was clear Tuesday when word came from Washington from Senators Henry Jackson and Warren Magnuson, and Congressman Jack Westland that the Health and Welfare department had approved the plans and a federal grant had been approved in the amount of $24,165 toward construction of the disposal plant, which is estimated to cost approximately $80,550. Telegrams were also received by The Times and also by Mayor J. Boyd Ellis confirming the announcement.

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