I am writing this blog as our semester comes to an end in our Instructional Support and Services Class. I just finished reading the blogs of all the students in my class and am so proud of all they have accomplished and how much they have learned about their abilities and pushed themselves to think outside the normal classroom expectations. I remember when they wrote their first blog at the beginning of the semester and these final blogs brought a tear to my eye. They have improved so much and the passion I hear in their blogs makes me feel like this class is important to all of them for different reasons.
Each student is working on their Google 20% project and they are really moving forward on their projects. It is amazing to see an idea they had actually start to take shape and see them thinking about how to make their projects move from just an idea into an actual product or achieve a goal they have set. I read Erin’s blog about how she thought by singing at nursing homes she would bring a little cheer to the residents and soon realized that they are giving her more in return than she ever thought. To see Colton working on improving spirit at Basehor-Linwood High School and actually achieving that goal through new ideas, surveys to students and continuing to think about what he can do next. Michael is working on a podcast and has really learned how to use his humor in an appropriate manner to help people learn about technology. Mateo and Kobe sound like a couple of entrepreneurs as they work to create “CRATE” and other students have joined the project. Ben is working on an app to help you study for the ACT and he sketched out a plan and is moving forward. Brendon and Alex are working to create a Hall Pass app that would allow our students to use this app to leave the classroom. Ben and Chris are using their “engineering” skills to figure out how our district can save money on electricity. Patrick and Chase are working on a fitness app and the logo and idea are moving forward. Kayla is working on an idea to raise money for a charity that helps students with disabilities play games with special equipment. Madison and Ethan are working on a locker that has a keypad instead of a lock. Tou is a new student with a great idea on a gaming box. Cale and Tristan are working on a scan card for our cafeteria and vending machines. All I can say is WOW! I am so proud of what they have accomplished.
Next month students will be presenting to a local business as they mentor our students on how to continue to move forward with their projects as well as App Developers to help students with app creation.
As I read their final blogs they talked about the “family” we have become and how proud they are to wear the BLHS BIT jackets and be a part of the class. I remember reading how one student said it was an honor to be in the class. The jackets were provided by Cerner Corporation through a grant. Students spoke about how they have learned to work together, present and work with teachers and students, Upper classroom are amazed that they enjoy working with younger students, but our class has created an environment where we are all equal and learning together.
One student created a great tag line – “Bobcats in Heart, Family in Class, We Are Bit”.
I look forward to the next part of our journey. We have received a $20,000 grant that we will use to recruit mentors for our STEM Program and create a MakerSpace. Mentors from businesses will help to mentor our students and students will become mentors for younger students. We will open up our MakerSpace to our community. It will give our students a great opportunity to learn about new technology, teach others how to use the technology, create lessons and projects that will encourage our students to explore STEM projects and understand STEM careers.
Stay tuned to hear about our journey.