Archives for June 2015

A Classroom of Stars, Not Circles

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Glencliff High School’s Ford Academy of Business and Innovation had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partners, Redpepper Advertising Agency.

 

UnknownFor our summer externship we visited Redpepper; they are an ad agency by day, but an invention lab by night. Upon arriving, we took a tour of the building and learned a little bit about the company’s norms and ideals. The company is innovatively driven. They focus their layout and norms on pushing people to further themselves and the company because like one of their norms spells out, “If you’re not changing, you’re dying.” They are founded around supporting everyone’s personal growth. This is something we were particularly inspired by because we see it as a valuable cultural component for our academy structure. Redpepper believes in empowering, rather than policing. As the Ford Academy of Business and Innovation, we need to give our teachers as well as our students the support and encouragement to try new things and pursue their passions.

The activities we participated in were based around the client experience at Redpepper. On the first day, we met with Matt, Erik, and Carl and learned about the Redpepper Invention Lab. We were able to see previous inventions created by the lab as they explained that manipulating and “playing” with new technologies helps keep them at the forefront of marketing. On the second day, we met with their New Business Department, including Samara and Victoria. They expounded on the ways they attracted new clients. Then we met with Ann, Nate, and Jamie and learned about the strategic planning that goes into developing ad campaigns for their clients’ needs. This meeting was especially invigorating, as it gave us a solid grasp of what our project would look like. The team was very helpful in brainstorming what our students’ experience could be. Next, we met with Yancey, Brooke, and Ily and explored design solutions and social media strategies in the marketing field. On the final day, we were able to share our experiences with our Academy principle and coach and meet with one of Redpepper’s copywriters, Leslie, where we learned about how the language in an ad impacts the targeted audience.

When learning about the company’s ideals, we discovered the concept of having a business full of stars as opposed to circles.   We would like to incorporate this concept in our classrooms by encouraging our students to have “sharp corners”. We want them to pursue their passions and strengths rather than “fix” their weaknesses, making them well-rounded. We used this insight as a springboard to develop our PBL. Our project idea is a design thinking challenge based around creating a new social media platform that meets specific niche interests among our student population, thus highlighting their sharp-corners. Students will use data analysis and elements and principles of design to develop their platform both strategically and visually. We will accompany them on the journey to research and discover key characteristics that could bring success to their new platform.

Our overall experience at Redpepper drove us to attempt to establish an intrinsically motivating environment for both the teachers and students of our academy. We are excited to share our discoveries with our colleagues and implement our PBL to engage our students in a similar experience.Unknown

 

Teachers Take Over Music Row

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School’s Academy of Entertainment Management had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partners, the Regions Bank and Warner Music. 

Regions Bank at Music Row was the site of Day One of the week-long Music Row Externship for the teachers of the Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. The Academy of Entertainment Management’s Externship included presentations by Regions Music Row bankers, Pete Fisher (Grand Ole Opry General Manager), and business manager Lainie Allbee of Martin, Allbee & Associates.  Other program days that week were at Warner Music Nashville and Warner/Chappell Music as the Pearl-Cohn faculty learn about the workings of the entertainment industry.

regions-bank-hosts-pearl-cohn-teachers

Jaydie Fay, Yolanda Jackson, Matthew Truwit, Stephanie Booth, Regions Bank’s Lisa Harless, Annmarie O’Daffer and William Darnell

Stratford Teachers Tour Old Hickory Lock and Dam

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Freshman Academy had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Army Corps of Engineers. 

The Freshman Academy met at the Resource Manager’s office at Old Hickory Lock and Dam where we were introduced to the Commander and Deputy, and we were provided with an overview of all the components involving the Corps of Engineers and our waterways.   “Securing the Nation’s Future Through Water” began our adventure at the Dam. We also viewed demonstrations regarding the importance of protecting the landscape along the rivers’ edges as well as protecting endangered species such as bats. In addition to providing an energy source to numerous areas within our state and outside of our state, the water system has been improved to include water storage areas through new dams.

Our group was provided a behind the scenes tour inside the dam, the control room, and the lock. The amazing aspect of this location is that all of the equipment is original equipment dating back to the 1960’s. After our tour and PowerPoint presentations, our group proceeded to Drakes Creek off of Saundersville Road in Hendersonville where we measured various points of erosion in the creek to determine problem areas preserving the natural habit of the areas. Our education with The Corp of Engineers left us with the knowledge that there are numerous opportunities within the Corp for our students at Stratford after graduation including several paid training jobs that do not require a college degree.

Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers tour the Old Hickory Lake Lock and Dam.

Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers tour the Old Hickory Lake Lock and Dam.

The inner workings of the Lock and Dam work well to prepare teachers for students interested in engineering, science, and research.

The inner workings of the Lock and Dam work well to prepare teachers for students interested in engineering, science, and research.

How is PBL used in the real world?

Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers from the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies met with myEmma, one of the academy business partners. myEmma is an international email and marketing campaign services company with Nashville serving as its originating corporate headquarters location. The teacher externship included five academy teachers and literacy coach.

The team met with the company’s top management to learn about their business, its personnel, its products, technology, culture, and hiring needs. But how all of their collective educational degrees and experiences work together to create a brand that a consumer will feel confident in, is what makes myEmma such a great place to work and business to be associated with. It also creates a need for diverse personnel.

As teachers we are tasked with project based learning experiences, to incorporate 21st century skills and needs that employers emphasize to succeed, no matter what degree you may hold. Our conversations involved a lot questioning, listening, critical thinking, and analyzing to find a way to create a PBL that English, math, science, economics, and programming can work together with a shared learning experience. We found at myEmma they follow patterns of a development process that programming students may use in their future workplace.

As a result of the team’s experience that focuses on safety and community, we have challenged our students to define and develop an app for social change. The project incorporates aspects of communication, presentation, technical writing, programming, statistics, GIS mapping, and economic impact. The students will be able to pitch an app that could affect social change in their community concerning crime and other safety issues.

 

From Teachers to Neuroscientists

A team comprised of an Interdisciplinary Science and Research (ISR) Pathway, Biology, Spanish, and English teacher from Stratford’s Academy of Science and Engineering spent a day investigating neuroscience with scientists from Vanderbilt’s Center for Science Outreach (VCSO). During the morning sessions, team members studied the effect concussions have on the brain. Team members conducted a test for the presence of a protein released when the brain suffers a concussion and graphed data gathered. In the afternoon session, VCSO scientists led team members through an introduction to diagnosing brain injuries as well as a discussion of the brain and drug addiction. Team members diagnosed brains—really molded ice sculptures—and contemplated the problems of drug addiction in our society.

Team members met the following day to develop a PBL for ninth grade Interdisciplinary Science Research (ISR) students. Motivated by the discussion of drug addiction the previous day, the team decided to ask ISR students the driving question, “How do drugs impact your body, your family, your community, and your world?” After researching the effect of medication on the brain and disorders of the brain, students will collaborate to create concise, videotaped public service announcements which will be played in the school lobby. Not only will the students who participate in the PBL learn about the connection between addiction, chemicals, and brain function, but they will have the opportunity to share their understandings with peers in other pathways and academies.

Griffin in the Classroom

We love our business partners. And, we love sharing our business partners blog posts about working with MNPS students. Be sure to check out this great post from Griffin Technology about guest speaking at Hunters Lane High School.

http://griffintechnology.com/blog/community/griffin-in-the-classroom/