Community Partners

Overton Student’s Work Featured in Two Science Publications

Overton High School senior Yasmin Alvarado-Rayo yasmin photois being published in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine and Young Scientist journal for her work on a modular robotics kit that can be used to support STEM education.

Yasmin, pictured right, is a student in the Overton Academy of Health Sciences.

As part of the team at The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt, she will share publication honors for “eSMAC: an Affordable Modular Robotic Kit for Integrated STEM Education.”

The rest of the team members for the publication include include: Vanderbilt postdoctoral student Ekawahyu Susilo, Vanderbilt undergraduate student Jianing Liu, Vanderbilt undergraduate student Ashley Melissa Peck, Hume-Foggg teacher Justin Montenegro, local high school teacher Mark Gonyea,  and Vanderbilt engineering faculty member Dr. Pietro Valdastri.

Yasmin worked in Vanderbilt’s STORM lab with Dr. Pietro Valdastri and her SSMV mentor was Dr. Stephanie Weeden-Wright.

Click here to visit the Young Scientist journal website.

Click here to visit the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine website.

Congrats, Yasmin!

Congratulations to the 2016 Academy Awards Nominees

2016 NOMINEES

The following categories will be decided through an anonymous online ballot

 

Academy Partnership of the Year, Arts, Media & Communications

  • Frist Center For the Visual Arts and the Academy of Art, Design, & Communication at Hillwood High School
  • Stones River National Battlefield and the CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication at McGavock High School
  • Warner Music Nashville and the Academy of Entertainment Management at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

 

Academy Partnership of the Year, Business, Marketing & IT

  • Bridgestone Americas, Inc. and the Academy of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Maplewood High School
  • HCA IT&S and the Academy of Information Technology at Overton High School
  • The Tennessee Credit Union and the Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business & Finance at Antioch High School

 

Academy Partnership of the Year, Engineering, Manufacturing & Industrial Technology

Presented by Nissan North America, Inc.

  • ACE Mentor and the Academy of Architecture & Construction at Cane Ridge High School
  • Cummins, Inc. and the Academy of Aviation and Transportation at McGavock High School
  • LP Corporation and the Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability & Logistics at Whites Creek High School

 

Academy Partnership of the Year, Hospitality & Tourism

  • Community Hospitality and the Academy of Business & Hospitality at Hillwood High School
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Antioch and Academy of Hospitality & Marketing at Antioch High School
  • Omni Hotel and the Academy of Hospitality at Hunters Lane High School

 

Academy Partnership of the Year, Health & Public Services

  • American Red Cross and the Academy of Global Health & Science at Hillsboro High School
  • HCA/TriStar Health and the Academy of Health Science at Hillwood High School
  • Meharry Medical College and the Academy of Medical Science & Research at Glencliff High School

 

2016 Externship Project of the Year
Presented by The Memorial Foundation

  • Frist Center for the Visual Arts and the Academy of Art, Design, & Communication at Hillwood High School
  • Meharry Medical College and the Academy of Medical Science & Research at Glencliff High School
  • US Community Credit Union and the US Community Credit Union Academy of International Business & Communication at Hillsboro High School

 

Freshman Academy of the Year
Presented by Fifth Third

  • Hillwood Freshman Academy
  • Maplewood Freshman Academy
  • Stratford Freshman Academy

 

2016 Academy of the Year

  • Glencliff High School’s Hands On Nashville Academy of Environmental & Urban Planning
  • Hillwood High School’s Academy of Health Science
  • Maplewood High School’s Academy of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

  

The following categories will be decided by a judging panel of community leaders through blind vote.

 

Academy Teacher of the Year (CTE or Thematic Pathway)
Presented by Deloitte

  • Robert Kriebel with Antioch High School’s Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business & Finance
  • Jeff Sherry with Hunters Lane High School’s Griffin Academy of Design & Technology
  • Jon Stephens with Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy of National Safety & Security Technologies
  • Denise Wiggington with Overton High School’s Academy of Health Science
  • TJ Williams with Maplewood High School’s Academy of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

 

Academy Teacher of the Year (General Education)

  • Elizabeth Brewer with Glencliff High School’s Academy of Medical Science & Research
  • Sheree Cumberlander with Whites Creek High School’s Freshman Academy
  • Adam Lightman with McGavock High School’s Academy of Aviation & Transportation
  • Chad Prather with Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School’s Academy of Entertainment Management
  • Laticia Skae with Hillsboro High School’s Academy of Global Health & Science

 

Academy Team Leader of the Year

  • Deante Alexander with Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School’s Academy of Entertainment Management
  • Jeremiah Davis with Whites Creek High School’s Academy of Education & Law
  • Angela Lake with Maplewood High School’s Academy of Energy & Power
  • Martha Mitchell with McGavock High School’s CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication
  • Jason Proffit with Hunters Lane High School’s Academy of Health & Human Science

 

Counselor of the Year

  • Amy LeVally, McGavock High School’s Academy of Aviation & Transportation
  • Stephanie Pate, Overton High School’s Academy of Engineering
  • Ashley Shaver, Hillwood High School’s Academy of Art, Design & Communication

  

Academy Coach of the Year 

  • Sonya Mansfield, Maplewood High School
  • Brad Meyers, Hunters Lane High School
  • Mary York, Overton High School

 

Academy Assistant Principal of the Year
Presented by Altria

  • Dr. Keely Jones-Mason, Maplewood High School’s Academy of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Laura Lee Morin, McGavock High School’s Gaylord Entertainment Academy of Hospitality & Finance
  • Dr. Meghen Sanders, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School’s Academy of Entertainment Communication
  • Stephen Shaeffer, Overton High School’s Academy of Event Marketing and Musical Performance
  • Russell Young, Hunters Lane High School’s Academy of Health & Human Services

 

Executive Principal of the Year Presented by Altria

  • James Bailey, Whites Creek High School
  • Michael Steele, Stratford STEM Magnet High School
  • Sonia Stewart, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

 

 

Whites Creek Students Visit Vanderbilt Wind-Solar Demo Site

Originally posted by Vanderbilt School of Engineering 

When Whites Creek High School students and teachers looked for a ground-mount solar cell installation to visit, they didn’t have to go far. It’s a mere 15 miles to the Vanderbilt School of Engineering’s wind-solar energy demonstration site at the top of Love Circle, one of the highest points in Nashville.

The Vanderbilt wind-solar alternative energy site offers a 4.8 kW (kilowatt) solar array and a 3kW wind turbine. The site was set up in 2012 by Professor Amrutur Anilkumar in collaboration with Nashville Metro Water Services. It has been used as a one-stop field teaching ground for wind and solar renewable energy facilities for both Vanderbilt engineering students and students from Nashville schools.

Eight teachers and 70 students representing Whites Creek’s Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability and Logistics explored the site Nov. 4 as part of a “field-based experiential day” of learning. The academy is a three-year program in which students study wind and solar energy, biodiesel and ethanol fuels, and nuclear energy, among other topics, and they have hands-on experience on a farm adjacent to the school.

In 2014, the academy won the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Excellence in Energy and Renewable Resources, a high-level state environmental prize that represents the academy’s efforts in building a future in alternative fuels.

Jason Carney, an energy consultant with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, works with the academy as part of a graduate school project, and joined the students and teachers at the Love Circle site.

“I’m surveying how interested these students are in careers in renewable energy by exposure to photovoltaic (PV) and green economy curriculum, site visits, and the institutions and professions that support the industry,” Carney said.

Students got a rundown of the PV and turbine siting, energy estimation, facility design, installation, operation and other engineering issues related to the Love Circle site. Students were also referred to the public access site – VU/MWS Renewable Energy Showcase – to follow-up on the details.

“We broadened the scope of solar energy capture by introducing space-based solar energy capture and the latter concept led to multitudes of questions as the students followed handouts for both of these methodologies,” said Anilkumar, professor of the practice of mechanical engineering and director of the showcase wind and solar facilities.

Three Vanderbilt engineering students also were on hand to take questions and encourage pursuing engineering as a career. They were mechanical engineering seniors Robb Rutherford and Matthew Kelley, and computer engineering senior Mitchell Masia.

“I am very appreciative of Dr. Anilkumar and his students for being so flexible with their time and engaging with the students during our visit to the Love Circle site. I believe interest, engagement and real learning will follow when students are able to combine hands-on work with meeting and talking with professionals who do that work every day,” Carney said.

“The teachers were very interested in the presentations and were sure to take the experience back to their classrooms,” Anilkumar said. “Several students found it inspiring to talk directly with the engineering students about engineering as a career.

“It is extremely important that more young people from all demographics become familiar with the increasing interest in alternative energy technology. This technology has the potential to alleviate, if not solve, many of the world’s needs for reliable, sustainable power sources, yet much of our population have little to no concept of that possibility,” said Willie Sweet, Whites Creek academy teacher who specializes in automotive technology.

Sweet was joined by seven other teachers, Rayna Eberhart, Leigh Siegfried, Roosevelt Williamson, Rachel Amescua, Thommye Davis, Suzanne Dixon and Savington Nickens.
Sweet said teaching students about technology is one thing, seeing it in action and talking to experts “makes it real.”

“The evidence is in the many questions our students asked, and have continued to ask, since the visit to Love Circle,” Sweet said. “From experiences such as this, we may be able to inspire future innovators in the alternative energy field who will create more efficient and cost-effective technology to benefit all mankind.”

Hispanic Heritage Month – NES’s Experience with Two Interns from Glencliff High School via the Conexión Américas Escalera program

Rashed Fakhruddin, Engineering Supervisor, Nashville Electric Service

interns in Control Design projects-staff meetingThe opportunity to job shadow a professional working in your desired career is an incredibly valuable experience. For Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) students, it’s also a requirement. During fall break, Nashville Electric Service (NES) had the opportunity to welcome two aspiring engineers from Glencliff High School through the Conexión Américas Escalera program, which works with young adults who will be first generation college students in their families.

Carlos H. and Adiel A. were motivated and eager to learn. On their first day, I had planned to briefly meet with a professor and a Vanderbilt baseball player during my lunch break with my two sons. Carlos and Adiel accompanied me for the trip. Besides meeting with second baseman Tyler Campbell, I introduced them to one of my electrical engineering college professors and a civil engineering professor whom I had sat in on his dissertation rehearsal in 1987 during my freshman year. The students then got to sit in on an engineering class and visit a robotics/automobile lab on campus.

On our second day lunch break, we played two games of full court basketball. Ouch! My back is still asking for relief! What I didn’t realize is that Carlos and Adiel were captains of their cross country team that had just won district. Coincidental, my wife and I had just watched the movie McFarland USA earlier that week, a very inspiring true story that had been featured during Hispanic Heritage Month.

interns w Vandy baseball star tyler campbellThroughout the week, these bright students got an overview of NES’ substation controls and communication designs. They learned about system protection and distribution planning. They visited the test and system control departments and got to observe the very impressive SCADA operations center. They were active participants in our project meetings, helped gather and compile information from protective relay sheets and organized electrical drawings to fit inside our storage cabinets.

In total, Carlos and Adiel completed 40 hours of work at NES and have the soft skillset required to succeed along with an excellent work ethic.

MNPS has been working hard to get students prepared to graduate and pursue post-secondary education and a successful career. As a business partner, NES plays an important role in complementing the work that MNPS does. By providing practical experience of the theory that is taught in the classroom, students can connect the dots and become better prepared for the workforce. Experiential learning opportunities show students that great opportunities can be obtained through a quality education. Internships and job shadowing specifically provide advanced training and exposure to growing career fields.

Interns at Vandy w Prof MazitaI hope that one day in the future, Carlos and Adiel will have the opportunity, after receiving their college degrees, to return to NES as full-time engineering employees.

 

Hillsboro High School opens a working branch of US Community Credit Union for students to run

ribboncutting

Hillsboro High School made history as it opened a working branch of the US Community Credit Union (USCCU) inside the school. Students will run and work in the branch as part of the US Community Credit Union Academy of International Business and Communication.

Today’s announcement also marked the official renaming of the Academy to include the US Community Credit Union naming rights. These rights are given for significant contributions to the Academy, including material supports, volunteer hours, job shadowing, internships, externships and more. USCCU is the first Academy business partner to earn naming rights at two different high schools: this one at Hillsboro and the US Community Credit Union/ Gaylord Opryland Academy of Hospitality and Finance at McGavock High School.

For senior Ty Carney, a student financial service representative for the new credit union, his summer was unlike any other he had experienced, thanks to his paid internship at the credit union.

“I wasn’t just sitting at home like I normally do. Working at the credit union is something I will forever be grateful for. It has taught me that I am in control of my spending. I learned that I can make or break my future. Managing my money better has helped me plan and save money for the things I want. I have a better understanding of what I put my parents through when I surprise them with a text telling them I need $500 for a school trip that departs in a couple of weeks,” Carney said.

US Community Credit Union

Hillsboro, one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the state of Tennessee, has emerged as an incredible school that is achieving at a high level. Community partnerships enhance the school even more, as students succeed by engaging more in school and in the community.

“Today we celebrate a total of eight branded academy partners across the district as well as two branded learning laboratories. To become a branded academy, a business partner must commit to at least $100,000 in donated community investment to an academy during the first year and $50,000 of community investment in the following years,” Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jay Steele explained. “The US Community Credit Union has far exceeded these requirements. Since their initial branding at McGavock High School, nearly 100 student interns have been trained, staffed and run a US Community Credit Union branch in their high school. Today these opportunities will be extended to Hillsboro High School. ”

Hillsboro High School Principal Dr. Shuler Pelham, who opened a bank account at the credit union after the ribbon cutting, remarked that the credit unions are well respected branches, often with high accuracy rates. Shuler is pictured below with student Ty Carney.

ShulerOpensAccount

“This is what Academies of Nashville are all about- getting students excited about connecting what’s in the classroom with what’s happening in the real world,” Pelham said.

“It’s really fun working here,” said Hillsboro student Justin Stern, who said it is easy for students and teachers to open accounts – only $5 for a savings account and $10 for a checking account.

US Community Credit Union Chief Executive Officer Paul Johnson said there is no better way to embody the vision of the company of “people helping people,” than to “educate our students and provide them a real-life work experience… The Academies provide a pathway for student success.”

The credit unions have also been good for business, according to US Community Credit Union Chief Operating Officer Ben Johnson, since student employees have lower turnover rates in the summer and address what would otherwise be a work scheduling gap, he said.

“The students have really stepped in and filled that gap,” said Ben Johnson. “Our students at McGavock and Hillsboro have been some of the best employees we have had.” Some students have even been able to transition to full-time employment after high school, taking advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement benefit as they continue on to postsecondary education. “We have retained at least one employee from each graduating class at McGavock for at least part-time employment since we’ve opened there,” Ben Johnson said.

Internships Solidify Future Career Plans

This summer I had an amazing opportunity to intern at Wright industries as an Applications Engineer, mostly doing work in CAD. Designing and building things is something I have always been interested in. When I started 9th grade at Stratford STEM Magnet High School, I saw that there was an engineering pathway, and since engineering is all about designing and building things I decided that I should take that pathway. At the end if my 11th grade year I got an opportunity to apply for an internship at Wright Industries. I have been considering getting a degree in mechanical engineering so the internship was the perfect opportunity for me to experience what it would be like working as an engineer, and find out if engineering is something I want to do as a career.

The first day was mostly spent doing all of the necessary paperwork and things that had to be done before we could start work, but as soon as we got to the office toward the end of the day we got our first project. We started off with something simple so we could learn how to use Solid Works. At school we have been using Autodesk Inventor, which I think is easier to learn how to do 3D modeling with, but Solid Works is a more technical program and just a little more advanced than Autodesk Inventor. Autodesk assumes more than Solid Works does, which makes it a little easier to use but Solid Works can be more accurate. Our first project was making an independent testing station for LED screens. Most of the parts we needed were already made, so we just had to put them all together.

Internship summary1

 

The next project we worked was a packaging line. On this project we had to create more of the parts ourselves and get the files for some of the machines from the companies that make them using the Internet. We were still getting used to using Solid Works at this point, and with this project I really got the hang of using mates, which is how different parts are held together, and found that I like using Solid Works much more than Autodesk. After several revisions we got a model done.

Internship summary2

The biggest project I have worked on this summer was for a company that was making pharmaceuticals. It took several weeks and there were several different iterations that were made. At first the line had one side, but to make it easier to service I had to add a second side to the line. This required stretching the whole enclosure.

Internship summary3

One of the things I had to do on this project was make something to spread the lyospheres on the tray before it is put into the freezer. It took a few designs, but I ended up adding a wedge to the gripper on the robot.

Internship summary4

After all of this work the customer decided they wanted to make the line smaller to help cut down on cost. We decided to completely change the enclosure from a rectangle to a polygon type shape. It took a few days to do but turned out really well.

Internship summary5

During my internship I didn’t only work in Solid Works, I also got a chance to help with the paperwork of engineering. I used Microsoft Word to edit proposals that were being sent off to companies. I used Microsoft Excel to work on spreadsheets showing part numbers, where they came from, and their cost. I also learned about a program I didn’t know existed called Visio. Visio is a Microsoft program used for making flowcharts.

This internship has been a great experience for me this summer. I have learned how to do some things in Microsoft Office programs I didn’t know about before, and I have learned how to use Solid Works. From what I have seen Solid Works is more promently used profesionaly than Autodesk.  The internship has helped me decied that engineering is definitely a career that I want to pursue.

US Community Credit Union to Open Branch at Hillsboro High School

Originally posted to USCCU.org 

US Community Credit Union is proud to announce the opening of our second student-run credit union branch inside of Hillsboro High School. In partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Academies of Nashville, students at Hillsboro will have the opportunity to become interns and gain real world working experience at US Community Credit Union. Students will be responsible for conducting daily teller transactions and opening accounts for other students at Hillsboro. The student interns will spend their summer being trained as credit union employees and will work in the credit union branches learning career skills. When the students return to school in August, they will be responsible for operating the student-run branch and teaching fellow students about money management.

“Being involved in education and teaching students to be good stewards with their money has become a key mission for US Community Credit Union. With the tremendous amount of success we have had with our student-run branch at McGavock High School, we are excited to be able to extend our reach by opening our second student-run branch at Hillsboro High School”, said Paul Johnson, President/CEO of US Community Credit Union.

The Hillsboro student-run branch will be operated through the US Community Credit Union Academy of International Business and Communications. The credit union branch will be open Monday through Friday during lunch periods. Students and faculty will have the ability to open accounts and make deposits and withdrawals during the hours of operation. Representatives from US Community Credit Union will be at the branch to assist in the operations and to ensure accuracy and confidentiality is maintained. A ribbon cutting event is being planned for this fall.

For more information about the US Community Credit Union student-run credit union program at Hillsboro High School, please contact US at 615-256-8712.

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.

 

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/

Students Help Students Register to Vote

Community partners come in all shapes and sizes. The League of Women Voters works to encourage women and young people to vote for matters pertaining to their community. Dev B., a student at Stratford STEM Magnet High School in the Academy of Science and Engineering, recently produced a video for the League of Women Voters to encourages high school students to register to vote. Dev writes about the experience below. 

 

I produced the video “Careless” for the League of Women Voters. The campaign’s goal was to encourage responsible high school juniors and seniors to register to vote.

The challenge for me was to create a video on a topic which I really didn’t know much about. If I’m not even a junior, then how could I possibly come up with a way to encourage juniors and seniors. Despite the fact, I decided to take on the challenge and began the production of the video.

Not only was the concept challenging, but the shooting of the video was as well. The snow days pushed me far behind, and I was not able to find a sufficient amount of actors for the video. The script lacked revision, and there were only two weeks remaining to complete the video challenge.  I gathered two people at the beginning of the video shoot the number morphed into five. Fifty percent of the footage for the video were shot. And, everything seemed alright. But, the next day the continuity of the video was in danger. The hall in which we started shooting, had a problem with the lighting, one of the actors had to reshoot their lines, because the camera stopped rolling earlier. It was a downfall.

Later on, I had to reshoot all of the lines for one of the actors in a different location. We reshot more and more lines. We took care of the lighting by pumping up the exposure, and reassigned fewer lines to even out the script.

On the last day of the shoot, I shot the last line of the video and officially packed up the shoot. Then, came hours of editing, processing, aligning, and more of the video clips. Background music was tailored and images for the banners were created.

Finally, the project shined when I shared the first link to my friend who also acted in the video. Nothing seemed more glorious when I read, “this video is amazing!”

From this challenge, I learned the importance of staying punctual. I believe if I have taken some more time on organizing than rushing, this video wouldn’t have been much of a struggle.

Few weeks later, I began receiving emails from the coordinator of the project. On almost every email, she complimented the video and appreciated our team. Eventually, the head of the organization sent me an email consisting of a letter, which said that my video would be distributed to all Metro high schools. Happiest day ever!

 

Whites Creek VIP Tour

Over 40 VIPS attended the Whites Creek Academies of Nashville VIP Tour on April 9, 2015. After a short program where Sharon Gentry, chair of the Board of Education, commented on the success of the academies,  students led tours showcasing the individual academies , where participants learned more about the model through the lense of students.  Ninety-nine percent of survey participants felt they were better informed about Metro schools and they are a higher opinion of Whites Creek and of MNPS.

 

Whites Creek High School Academy Ambassadors welcome guests to the VIP Tour.

Whites Creek High School Academy Ambassadors welcome guests to the VIP Tour.

Dr. Register is escorted into the building by members of the Whites Creek JROTC.

Dr. Register is escorted into the building by members of the Whites Creek JROTC.

VIPs tour the Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability, and Logistics greenhouse.

VIPs tour the Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability, and Logistics greenhouse.

VIPs tour the Academy of Community Health dental laboratory.

VIPs tour the Academy of Community Health dental laboratory.

Whites Creek brings home HOSA honors

Joana_State_2015

Whites Creek High School’s Valedictorian, Joanna Y., won 1st place in the “Extemporaneous Health Poster” competition at the Tennessee State HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) Conference which was held at Opryland Resort and Convention Center, March 19-21, 2015.

This competition is designed to encourage Health Science students to improve their ability to analyze and interpret current health and HOSA-related issues and express and communicate their interpretation through the development of an artistic poster.  Students are given a health topic, when they arrive to the competition,  which they interpret and develop into posters onsite.

Joanna entered the state competition as 1st place winner from the Middle Tennessee Lower Region.  As first place winner in the state, Joanna is eligible to represent Tennessee at the National HOSA Leadership Conference this June in Anaheim, California.