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Cool Schools: Chocolate on Mars?

POOLESVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- What do moon rocks, mars rovers, and chocolate all have in common? This week's cool school. 

The big yellow bus is stopping at Poolesville High School where teachers have found a way to peak their students' cosmic curiosity. 

How fast can microwaves travel through chocolate in outer space? That's just one of the things students at Poolesville High School are trying to find out. 

All of their experiments take place on the fictional planet Falconia, where teachers want them to think and act like scientists.

"Recently NASA sent a curiosity rover to mars, so we're trying to simulate that in our own imaginary planet here." 

Trial and error is how you learn. The students' rover is complete with a front loader and sensors to detect a change in magnetic field or even the presence of methane gas.

Both of those can help you find coal in outer space, but the larger picture is looking for life. 

#GiveJoy to a child for the holiday season

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- LOG ON TO http://www.wusa9.com/givejoy to donate a toy or money to children via "Volunteers of America." 

Jan Jeffcoat is out on assignment and it's a GREAT assignment! Jan's in Prince George's County helping to kick off our holiday virtual toy drive!

WUSA9 has teamed up with the Volunteers of America Chesapeake on a new one-of-a-kind holiday campaign called "Give Joy" and it gives you a chance to help needy kids and families this holiday season with the click of a button. We're calling it a JOY DRIVE and you can buy a toy, donate or just send a holiday message virtually - from home, from work, from anywhere!

Between now and mid December Jan and the whole team here at wusa 9 will be bringing you stories about the people you can help. If you follow her on Twitter @JanJeffcoat you can get live twitter updates.

Jan Jeffcoat makes her WUSA9 debut at 11 p.m.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- You told us you wanted something different, something fast and something that spoke to you, the viewer. We listened. 

On Sunday night, WUSA9 debuted its new anchor, Jan Jeffcoat, and its new 11 p.m. show format, which reflects more viewer-friendly segments. 

We at WUSA9 are always listening to your questions and comments on www.TellWUSA9.com as well. Click the link and tell us what you think about all the hottest topics in today's news, entertainment, weather and local sports. 

OCCASIONALLY CAKE RAISES MORE THAN $1,100 for MARCH OF DIMES

OCCASIONALLY CAKE RAISES MORE THAN $1,100 for MARCH OF DIMES

 

Occasionally Cake of Alexandria, Va. raised more than $1, 100 for the March of Dimes during their four-year anniversary, day-long celebration, while giving away more than 1, 500 cupcakes. For more information, visit www.occasionallycake.com or call 703.647.9638.

“Thank you to the community for helping us celebrate and giving back to the March of Dimes, an organization that is doing so much for moms and babies,” said Sabrina Campbell, owner of Occasionally Cake in Old Town Alexandria, Va.

WUSA9 to try drone camera

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Phantom is one of a handful of radio controlled rotor aircraft designed to act as miniature flying camera platforms.

WUSA has experimented, with limited success, other popular models. One model we tried flew well as long as there was no wind-but the method for downloading the video was not simple enough for our workflow-which always requires speed, reliability and ease of use.

The Phantom is a quad motor, rotor type aircraft that has a GoPro camera slung underneath for shooting video and still pictures. The GoPro is usually tough and reliable so it makes a nice choice for shooting aerial footage this way.

Rieder: 'Washington Post' sale a shocker

(USA TODAY) -- It is a stunning separation.

For years, The Washington Post and the Graham family have been as deeply intertwined as it is possible for a news outlet and its owners to be.

In fact, the storied newspaper almost seemed like part of the Graham family. Generation after generation served as its steward. The Grahams flat-out loved that paper.

And so the news late Monday afternoon that the paper was being sold to Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos came as a shock. It must have been a deeply painful decision for Post Co. CEO Donald Graham.

But despite its legendary history, its courageous and inspirational role in publishing the Pentagon Papers and exposing Watergate secrets, its continuing if diminished commitment to quality journalism, the paper is hardly immune to the profoundly disruptive impact of the digital era.