Posts tagged ‘STEM’
Chevron Corporation hopes to grow the next generation of scientist, engineers and chemists by cultivating a love for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in today’s youth. Thanks to the company’s “Fuel Your School” initiative, they may have found several at West Manor Elementary School.
Three teachers at West Manor received awards from Chevron Corporation last week, after they submitted ideas to Donors.Choose.org, an online organization that helps teachers get small projects funded through community donations. Chevron’s “Fuel Your School” program is collaborating with Donors.Choose.org, and has helped raise more than $300 million for STEM-based projects and initiatives worldwide since 2013.
West Manor’s Carla Anderson (gifted), who serves as the coordinator of the school’s award-winning robotics team, received four Lego Robotics Kits, worth about $1,300. Additionally, she received equipment and materials, such as tape measures and litmus paper, to use in STEM-related classroom projects such as kitchen science and forensic science experiments.
“We’re always looking for more resources to be able to do projects that get our kids excited and motivated about STEM,” Anderson said, “so when you don’t have those materials it’s disappointing. Our P.T.A. (Parent Teacher Association) has been really good about supporting us, but this assistance from Chevron is great.”
Jeff Swindell, manager of Chevron’s Policy, Government and Public Affairs, said his company’s dedication to education is a winning proposition for all involved – Chevron, the schools and the nation.
“STEM is the foundation for the future of our country,” he said. “We need our kids to have an interest in it and a passion for it, so that we can produce that next generation of professionals working with computers and in medicine and chemistry. We hope that our schools and our country will benefit in the long run, and maybe someday one of these talented students will want to work for Chevron.”
While the gift to Anderson was planned, Swindell made surprise presentations to Dietrice Bennett (fifth grade) and Mariel Lawrence (third grade). Bennett received a three-dimensional printer while Lawrence received 18 tablets for her class.
“It was absolutely a total shock,” said Lawrence, who will use the tablets to set up some distance-learning projects for her students. “I’m so excited about all the possibilities this will produce for our students.”
By: Donovan M. Harris
Atlanta Public Schools celebrated the official unveiling of the Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy on Thursday, October 6 in the former Kennedy Middle School building. The school serves students from the former Bethune Elementary School in the revitalizing west side of Atlanta. The school features both an EL curriculum and innovative STEM-focused curriculum in partnership with the Georgia Tech Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC).
The energy and excitement surrounding this momentous occasion was prevalent in the room throughout the event. Dr. Diamond Jack, Hollis principal, gave a rousing speech about the history and vision of the Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy. Julius Hollis, brother of Michael R. Hollis, provided inspirational remarks for all of the students and encouraged them to believe nothing is “impossible” but to rather exclaim, “I’m possible.” In typical fashion, Dr. Meria Carstarphen further enlivened the ribbon cutting ceremony with a Hollis chant and pledge from the students.
Michael R. Hollis was a 1971 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta Public Schools. Dozens of his classmates supported the event with their attendance and presented the principal with a framed collage of Hollis’s photos to display in the school.
Everyone is excited about the what the future holds for the Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy. Both faculty and students strive to embody the six “Habits of Hollis” which are collaboration, empathy, communication, self-discipline, creativity and perseverance.
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!