CDC: Vaccinated teachers & students won’t have to wear masks; national spelling bee winner makes history; instant ice experiment

Zaila Avant-garde, 14, won Scripps National Spelling Bee with word ‘Murraya’

Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from Harvey, Louisiana celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the finals of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from Harvey, Louisiana celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the finals of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Hello parents, teachers and students!

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There was some big news released on Friday as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines in schools, saying that vaccinated teachers and students do not need to wear masks while inside school buildings. The change comes amid a push to get more children ages 12 and older vaccinated throughout the country. The new guidelines also say that no one at schools needs to wear masks at recess or in most other outdoor situations, but that ventilation and handwashing will continue to be important. The CDC stresses that students and staff should also continue to stay home when they are sick.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee made history last night as 14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde from Harvey, Louisiana became the first African American winner of the competition. Zaila won in less than two hours and ended a streak of at least one Indian-American champion every year since 2008. Amazingly, Zaila previously was known more for her basketball skills than her accomplishments in spelling, as she intends to play in the WNBA. She even once appeared in a commercial with Stephen Curry and also owns three Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously. Way to go Zaila!

Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from Harvey, Louisiana is covered with confetti as she celebrates winning the finals of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Here locally, KSAT Kids highlights Nadia Gonzales, a student who wrote and illustrated a children’s book as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. “Yanaguana Fiesta Fun for Everyone” was inspired by young patients she met at a children’s hospital and took more than 200 hours to complete. She plans to use the proceeds towards donations in San Antonio.

In this week’s Kaiti’s Science Lab, Meteorologist Kaiti Blake shows off a cool experiment that allows you to watch ice form right before your very eyes. Be sure to check out GMSA@9 on Wednesdays when Meteorologist Kaiti Blake does the demonstrations and explains the significance behind it. Parents and guardians: upload a video of your child performing the activity and you might see them on TV!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Ben Spicer

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Here’s what can be found on KSAT Kids for Friday, July 9:

Student Spotlight

San Antonio teen publishes Fiesta children’s book

“Yanaguana Fiesta Fun for Everyone”, that’s the mission and title of a new children’s book written and illustrated by a San Antonio teen.

Nadia Gonzales, began working on a children's book project nearly two years ago to help make Fiesta more accessible for children. (KSAT)

Do you know of a student, classroom or school that is doing amazing work and deserves to be featured in KSAT Kids? Nominate someone by emailing ksatkids@ksat.com.

Kid Activities

KSAT Kids Home Science: Instant Ice Experiment

Are you looking for something fun to do at home that has a little bit of science behind it?

KSAT Kids Home Science: Instant Ice Experiment

11 splash pads in the San Antonio area that are free

Pools, rivers and lakes aren’t the only options for cooling off in San Antonio and the surrounding areas - there are also a large number of splash pads.

There are several free splash pads around San Antonio at local parks. (City of San Antonio 2021)

Visit one of these 8 inflatable water parks in Texas

Texas heat can be sweltering, but there are several inflatable water parks around Texas where you can beat the heat.

Altitude H2O

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About the Author:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.