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Sundial at local elementary school an Eagle Scout project

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Twelve Bridges Elementary School students have an extra tool to learn about astronomy, thanks to a Lincoln Boy Scout. Brandon Cuenca, 15, recently completed his Eagle Scout project, a sundial he constructed with the help of local businesses, his fellow Boy Scout Troop 160 members, and Twelve Bridges Elementary School teachers and students. Cuenca first met with Twelve Bridges Elementary principal Jeremy Lyche and science teacher Thomas Toy. “We met over the summer and talked about projects they wanted (done),” Brandon said. “They have two circles (courtyards) there and wanted something there to liven up the school.” The sundial’s actual construction took three six-hour days of work, Brandon said, but he spent time prior researching and getting project donations. “One of the teachers contacted a welding industry and they actually donated the metal and formed it into the steel pole, which is now the sundial,” Brandon said. “I talked to Arizona Tile Company and asked how they could help. They said to come down and pick up broken tile and those helped with the mosaic.” The school’s teachers made the sundial’s numbers out of tile, which were cemented to pre-existing benches that make the circle surrounding the sundial. “Some of the students at the elementary school made sun, moon and nature mosaics, and we incorporated those into the sundial,” Brandon said. Scientific work “We had to construct the centerpiece, which is called the gnomon. We had to measure out and make sure it was pointing north to make sure the sun would cast (a shadow),” Brandon said. “It ended up being two minutes off.” Tom Long, Brandon’s scoutmaster, said the teen is currently a Life Scout, and still has some work to do before earning the status of Eagle Scout. “He’s almost there,” Long said. On average, one to two percent of all Boy Scouts make the rank of Eagle Scout, according to Long. “Usually, the young men who attain Eagle Scout have success in all areas of their life, because of their hard work and dedication,” Long said. To become an Eagle Scout, a Scout must complete a project “depended on the need of the community,” Long said. “Usually, a project is meant to help another agency in the community that already gives a service. I’m very proud of him being an exemplary example of a scout and he will continue to be a good scout.” Brandon’s mother, Jocelyn Cuenca, said Brandon has been a Boy Scout since kindergarten. “It’s a really neat project, and Allen (Brandon’s father) and I are really proud of his accomplishment,” Jocelyn Cuenca said. “Actually finishing it up and sticking up to his goal of getting it done is a great achievement.” Brandon’s completion of his project speaks positive for his future, according to Jocelyn Cuenca. “It will make him focus on goals, achieve them and stick to what he really, really wants,” Jocelyn Cuenca said. “He wants to become a marine biologist and he’s setting goals so I can see him achieve that.”