Posts tagged ‘STEM’
By Seth Coleman
South Atlanta High School is quickly becoming a hub for innovative measures that will improve the lives of its students.
First came the establishment of the school’s Automotive Basic Maintenance and Light Repair Lab, courtesy of $150,000-worth of equipment from Kaufman Tires. Now South Atlanta is about to become the first Atlanta Public School high school with a ZSpace Technology Lab.
ZSpace is a state-of-the-art learning tool that allows teachers and students to use virtual reality and three-dimensional imagery in the classroom. The technology can be used across the curriculum, from science and art to language arts and math. Currently, Cleveland Avenue and M.A. Jones Elementary Schools, along with Brown Middle School, have ZSpace labs.
Teachers at South Atlanta were able to sample the technology when the ZSpace Technology Mobile Computer Lab visited the campus recently.
“This is where job training is going in the future. In fact, it’s already here,” said Joe Parlier, a sales associate for Vizitech USA, one of the companies that sells ZSpace labs. He pointed out that the Georgia Department of Transportation uses ZSpace virtual reality computer labs to train its employees. “This is how many organizations and companies are training their employees, and so this is how we should be preparing our students to be successful.”
One of the thousands of ZSpace educational programs allows a user to don a pair of virtual reality goggles, highlight a human heart and examine a three-dimensional image of the heart, inside and out.
South Atlanta Principal Dr. Patricia Ford plans to have a full ZSpace computer lab, with 12-15 stations, up and running in the school before the end of this school year. She believes using ZSpace Technology aligns perfectly with the school’s long term curriculum plan of focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
“Our students and our teachers are really excited about this,” Ford said. “I think it will increase our students’ love of learning. ZSpace Technology provides a means for learning through exploring, and it will increase our students’ skill sets in science and STEM. When you put on those goggles you can be transported anywhere in the universe and pick up and examine almost any object. It will be a fantastic learning tool for our students.”
By: Taylor R. Jones
Can you imagine visiting the bottom of the sea and the surface of Mars in one day? This has now become a marvelous reality thanks to Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program.
The Expeditions Pioneer Program is a virtual reality platform built for the classroom and designed to incorporate with teacher lesson plans. Teachers guide students on 3D virtual tours of places that school buses cannot go.
When this program was first launched in September 2015, its availability was limited to certain cities within the United States and around the world. When Gina Wilson, Dobbs Elementary School’s Educational Technology Specialist, was first introduced to Google Expedition technology last summer, she helped convince Google officials to include Atlanta Public Schools in their beta testing protocol. Now, these guided virtual tours not only enhance the in-classroom learning experience, but these tours have also given teachers extra motivation.
“Our teachers are able to use this technology to take their students on a virtual field trip all over the world,” Wilson said. “Our teachers have taken this technology, embraced it, and now see the positive impact it has on student instruction.”
Google representatives have traveled all over metro Atlanta to bring APS teachers the essential tools they will need to feed the malleable minds of their elementary school students: ASUS smartphones, a tablet for the teacher, router and viewers that turn phones into virtual reality headsets, and Google Cardboard. APS sites such as Dobbs, Boyd, Hope-Hill, and Venetian Hills elementary schools received the opportunity to test Google’s virtual realities early. But Google’s Expeditions have even stimulated the interest of district S.T.E.M. teachers, as well.
APS’ Venetian Hills S.T.E.M. teacher, Nichole Jones, is absolutely elated about the excitement Google is bringing to her classrooms. Not only have these expeditions given her the opportunity to observe student’s growth in knowledge, skills, and attitudes first-hand, but they have also greatly motivated her with the strong sense of technology that is replacing how students learn and interact.
“The virtual field trip experiences that Google Expeditions provides has set an exciting precedent of the capability that technology has to bridge the gap between the classroom and the world,” Wilson said.
Now that beta testing is coming to an end, it will be up to APS schools whether or not to adopt this new form of classroom teaching. Again, Google will try to make that decision easier. By January 2016. Google announced that the Expeditions Pioneer Program will release an app for Android. This way, teachers and schools can easily access virtual experiences for their classrooms.
by Kimberly Willis Green
Katrina Burch, a graduating senior at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA) and STEM scholar plans to double major in Biomedical Engineering and Business Administration at the Georgia Institute of Technology
this fall. With a 3.9 GPA and ranked third in her class, Katrina is one of Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) outstanding graduates. She served as a panelist for the White House Marginalized Girls in STEM Conference, placed as a finalist in the 2015 International Science and Engineering Science Fair, and placed second in the APS Regional Science Fair. In 2014, Katrina was published as a co-author in the Georgia Institute of Technology biomedical research abstract in the Georgia Institute of Technology Journal.
Katrina is also a scholar-athlete who has participated in varsity cheerleading, track & field, and basketball. In her community, Katrina volunteers with the Atlanta Women & Children’s Day Shelter, the Sister-To-Sister Mentoring Program, and she is a private tutor.
She has the distinction of being the first recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship in the history of CSKYWLA. Other scholarship offers awarded include Buick Achievers Scholarship Program and the Zell Miller Scholarship. Katrina’s total scholarship awards exceed the $1 million mark. She is proud to be the first in her family to attend college.
After she earns her bachelor’s degree from Tech, Katrina has plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania to earn a Master of Public Health. Her career aspirations are to become an epidemiologist.
APS students and teachers are celebrating Georgia STEMDay today throughout the district! STEMDay is an opportunity for our teachers to get students engaged in science, technology, engineering and math activities. Check out the photos below to see how some of our APS students are spending their day!
by Britney Morgan, Office of Communications
As a part of Teen Tech Week, volunteers from Best Buy will host an Hour of Code workshop in the South Atlanta High School media center on March 11, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. The workshop will help students with their digital literacy skills and introduce them to the basics of coding.
South Atlanta was one of 11 sites nationwide chosen to host this event. Shanna Miles, media specialist at South Atlanta,spearheaded the partnership and says that this is a great opportunity for APS students. “We’re partnering with Best Buy to introduce our students to opportunities in the STEM fields. Many students of color and girls are under-represented in the field. By exposing them early on, we may be able to spark an interest that blooms into a future career,” said Miles.
According to US News & World Report, STEM employment growth is outpacing the general economy by about 300 percent. STEM careers include jobs such as video game development and robotics. See a list of some of the coolest STEM jobs listed in the 10 Amazingly Cool STEM Jobs from stemjobs.com.
Usher-Collier Elementary hosted STEM Day program activities for the 2014 2nd annual Georgia STEM Day earlier this spring. The activities consisted of both a STEM CAREER DAY and their end of the year Engineering Design Challenge.
STEM professionals from all over the Atlanta metro area visited Usher-Collier Elementary to speak to students about what it’s like to be a STEM career professional.
STEM Career Day professional participants included an engineer from the United States Army, Apple and Microsoft technicians, a local funeral home director, budget director and 3D printing specialist.
In addition to the STEM Career Day, students participated in their end of the year Engineering Design Challenge. Students, all grade levels, were charged with the task to create the tallest freestanding structure that could support a marshmallow using only raw spaghetti pasta, tape, and a string with an eighteen-minute window of time.
Amazingly, many of the students were able to meet the challenge by working together in teams, using their imagination and creativity while following the engineering process to build their structures.
In the true mission of STEM, Usher-Collier Elementary shared their love of the initiative by reaching out to other elementary schools in the district and invited them to a whimsical day of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Usher-Collier hosted thirty students and four educators from surrounding elementary schools who have an interest in STEM.
Students who visited the school rotated through four stations learning a different STEM lesson at each stop. Stations included, the i-Movie station, science lab, 3D station, and the astrological engineering station. Students learned how to create movies, weather instruments and 3D products. They were also given a real world problem that challenged them to build a spaceship with shock absorbers that would safely land two astronauts on planet Mars.
Usher-Collier future scientists and engineers were fascinated with the exposure they received and were left truly motivated to seek more knowledge and skills as it relates to STEM.
See video from STEM Day below.