Consumer Communications Facilitators: Mrs. Evans and Ms. Van Straten
As New Tech Barons, we go to different places in the community and present the project that we have been researching. We do this to interact with people of the community and show the people of DeKalb county what we have been working on. In my Consumer Communications class, a mix between Business and English, we have been working on a mock trial. This trial is called The Baron Bank Trial. As we began this new project, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it until halfway through. Using my opinion and finding evidence that it was, in fact, true and persuading the jury that my client was not being paid fairly, was difficult yet fun.
The day of the trial, as I walked into the courtroom, I felt excitement, a kind of excitement that I had never felt before. I was so intrigued about the designs on the walls, the intensity of the trial that was going to happen, not knowing who was going to win, the history of past cases that were held in this exact courtroom, and the passion for wanting to learn more. Later that night, I thought about the trial and how happy I was when we won.
Being mixed in many different career choices, I still didn’t know if this was what I wanted to do until the next day. The day after our mock trial we toured the courthouse. I walked into the huge, stunning building and felt the same excitement. Listening to the lawyer who was giving us the tour and talking about the cases he has done made me want to learn more. I realized then that this is what I want to do. I want to be a part of the criminal career track. When the lawyer said he was willing to do a job shadow, my heart jumped. I was extremely excited and wanted to get right to work on finding out how I could. This experience that DeKalb New Tech gave me has been exciting, and I can’t wait to learn more.
Special Guest Blogger, Andrew Bigelow – Instructional Coach
How do you start primary and become extraordinary? This is the project title and driving question that DeKalb New Tech WorldBio students have been addressing for the past four weeks. In order to attack this question students were tasked with two key benchmarks during the project. The first included an impressive integration of Biology and World Geography content as students first identified a megacity (over 10 million in population) from around the world. With their megacity chosen, students were then challenged to create analogies relating 17 organelles and parts of a cell to various parts of their megacity. Did you know that the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro is the mitochondria of the cell in that it acts as the cell powerhouse involved in all things energy? How about in London where the Queen acts as the cytoskeleton that provides a shape and structure for the cell? What about Buckingham Palace serving as the nucleus of London as a monument to government recognized around the world? These are just a few of the many analogies created by students as they fused both Biology and Geography content into an engaging opening benchmark. As a student who loved Social Studies but not so much Science, I could not help but think that I would have enjoyed my experience much more through an engaging content integration such as this during my own high school experience!
As if students were not busy enough with their cell megacities, benchmark two challenged students to participate in the creation of a DeKalb County placebook focused on “trends” and “tributes.” Students were first invited to a think tank attended by 14 community members with extensive insight into the history and people that molded DeKalb County. Using GIS software, students created presentations ranging from music venues, places to eat, wifi hotspots, and even Poke stops throughout DeKalb County. Tributes to DeKalb County highlighted the contributions and lives of Gordon Buehrig and EL Cord. The GIS maps created by WorldBio students will become a placebook for DeKalb County that can be housed for future individuals to learn more about the history of and what DeKalb County has to offer on the journey to “Starting Primary and Becoming Extraordinary.”
The final presentations were made at Eckhart Public Library before community members and representatives from the original project think tank. Throughout the presentations students referenced the project title and driving question to “Start Primary and Become Extraordinary” multiple times as they showcased their learning of megacities, GIS software, and DeKalb County. Some students hinted at a new interest into possible future work with GIS and career options while others appreciated the challenge of relating cell organelles to parts of a megacity. These takeaways for students will undoubtedly provide enduring understandings for years to come made possible through this authentic and unique project based learning experience. As one community partner mentioned at the final presentations “Geography offers a way to tell a story.” This time that story included the history of DeKalb County, megacities around the world, and cell structure in a way that will be useful far beyond the last four weeks of study.
Guest blogger: Vanessa Garcia, former student at DeKalb New Tech
I was a student at DeKalb High School during my Freshman year through the beginning of my Junior year. Being a student in DeKalb New Tech was so much fun and a great learning experience. My teachers helped me become who I am now. I loved everything about DNT; from the class environment, learning techniques, gatherings we had in the gymnasium, projects, and the great opportunities you can experience in DNT.
Freshman year was so much fun and an exciting year to begin New Tech! Our first project, Zombie 5k Run/Walk, was a fun experience for those of us involved. During that project my weaknesses became my strengths, such as talking to strangers on the phone. I used to be afraid to order a pizza on the phone and now I’m not. I was a shy person around people, but as we continued to worked in groups, I wasn’t shy any more. I wasn’t afraid to take charge when the group went off task and wasted work time. After we finished that project, I changed into a new person. New opportunities came and I took them. My first opportunity was to represent DeKalb New Tech with other students at the New Tech IPFW Project Showcase. Four of us presented the Zombie 5k to other New Tech schools and community members who attended the showcase. Other students showed different projects. We had the opportunity to meet other students. Also, we had a tour around the campus of what studies we might do after high school.
Another project that helped me grow was the Café project. We spent time researching the right foods and equipment for the café to happen. Mrs. Irwin and Mrs. Evans believed I was the right person in the group of students to present to the school board the proposal of building a café inside the school. Presenting to them was a big deal for us. The following morning, we received the news we were approved. We practiced hard and worked to get the right information to get approved again for the next meeting. We were told the next meeting would be held at the middle school in front of a larger crowd and we would have to speak into a microphone. We were nervous to speak to a larger audience compared to the last time we presented. As we finished presenting, I felt relief and pride.
I was also lucky to be on a student panel who spoke to parents of incoming freshman. The student panel shared information about New Tech and why we felt New Tech is the right direction for a student who wants to be successful and confident.
Presenting is what we did many times during my sophomore year at DeKalb New Tech. I was very confident in myself after my first year in high school. Presenting to business people was exciting! We were able to present our vinaigrette salad dressing recipes to state representative, Ben Smaltz and local businesswoman, Natalie DeWitt-Taylor.
New Tech didn’t only change me completely but made me more confident about myself. All of my teachers have helped me in so many ways. I can trust them all and truly wish they could be my teachers now. They are not there just to teach you, but lead you to be successful now and in the future. I truly miss everyone at DeKalb High School. The future may lead you in difficult directions, but into something amazing in the end!
World Bio Facilitators: Mrs. Lapham and Ms. Pierce
On Friday, October 28th DeKalb New Tech World Bio students met with area professionals exploring potential topics for their current project titled “Start Primary…Become Extraordinary”. Students are creating a DeKalb County Placebook, highlighting the trends and tributes of DeKalb county, and answering the driving question “People & Places: How do you start primary and become extraordinary?” DeKalb County Placebook:Trends will feature places of interest to teens, while DeKalb County Placebook:Tributes will feature historical notable people of DeKalb County. The World Bio Class has partnered with Matt Bechdol, GeoSilos President, and Dawn Mason, DeKalb County GIS Coordinator, to create the DeKalb County Placebook. Students will be learning and implementing GIS software to create a digital story map of their chosen trends and tributes in DeKalb county.
DeKalb community members recently played a very crucial role, in helping students generate ideas for the DeKalb Placebook by participating in a classroom think tank. Students rotated around and met with multiple community historians, attorneys, educators, entrepreneurs, librarians, and county officials to brainstorm ideas for the DeKalb Placebook . Those who participated in the 2016 DeKalb County Placebook Think Tank include: Darcy Armstrong, Matt Bechdol, Andrew Bigelow, Lisa Conrad, Chelsea Dant, Joan Eardly, Galen Eberhart, Chad Gramling, Zach Lightner, Dawn Mason, Dotty Miller, Megan Moss, Jeremiah Otis, Becky Pfeffer, Terry Rayle, Thom Smith, and Cathy Vick. The World Bio class would like to thank and recognize these community experts for donating their time to help explore potential topics for the students’ 2016 DeKalb County Placebook.
In Geography and History of the World students are examining the physical and human geographic factors associated with the origin and growth of towns and cities, while in Biology, students are exploring cellular structure and function as it relates to cities. In addition to the DeKalb Placebook, students are currently creating analogies between cellular structure and function to their chosen megacity that will be displayed through GIS story mapping software. Students will then demonstrate mastery of these standards and skills through the DeKalb County Placebook presentation to be presented to many of our DeKalb county community partners on November 21st at the Eckhart Public Library.
Visual Verbal Communications Facilitators: Mrs. Buchs and Ms. Van Straten
On Saturday, October 29th, Shelter Ministries held an open house to showcase their new facility located at 1103 West Auburn Drive. Their new facility includes four outside doors.
DeKalb New Tech students from our Visual Verbal Communications class designed the inside and outside of the doors to the four ministries. The doors are wrapped with digital images printed on a thick permanent vinyl coating. A Financial Assistance door, Christmas Bureau door, Food Pantry door and Clothing bank door were unveiled by the students at the openhouse in front of a cheering crowd on Saturday.
Renee Florin from Shelter ministries planned the event which included raffles and refreshments … and a good turnout.
Thank you to our student bloggers, Delaney Finderson and Shawn Knapp.
DigiComm Facilitators: Mrs. Boyd and Ms. McNulty
The first project in our sophomore Digital Communications class was to write memoir poems with corresponding portraits. The memoir was based upon an important moment in each student’s life or in someone else’s life who was close to them. The memoir was written in first person, and the portrait was taken by each student to showcase the emotion and meaning carried in each memorized poem. The process began with writing memoirs in the form of a picture with a six-word memoir placed on the picture. “My contemporary family unlocked my melody” would be an example. This six-word memoir
was imprinted on a stylized connected picture or photo. Once every student created a set consisting of a six-word memoir and a photo, he or she began to work on a rough draft of the personal memoir. If students were enrolled in Honors DigiComm, they partnered up, were assigned a faculty member to write a memoir about, and were required to conduct a deep interview with their memoir subject. After completing the personal rough draft and the interview, the students collaborated to peer review and complete edits together and began to work on memorizing their personal poem; in addition, they started a rough draft of their honors subject poem.After continuing to peer edit and utilize memorization skills, the memoir poems were practiced in a presentation format in the classroom, although the final presentation was held at Jeremiah’s Brewed Awakenings coffee shop in downtown Auburn. After teacher review, each of the student’s memoir poems was set up with their edited, stylized, and connected photograph and readied for presentations at Jeremiah’s. The presentations went very well. Jeremiah was very happy to have us and both Digital Communications classes were very thankful. The overall turnout was great! In addition, the administrative team received a private reading of several of the best poems and portraits at the high school later in the next week.
Below is an example of a personal memoir and portrait.
Why Don’t You Understand?
By Delaney Finderson
My sister and I
Very similar and so different
Constantly asked if we are twins
And yet, how can they not see
What I see?
I am starry-eyed – she is stormy
Two sides of the same coin
But one side has lost its luster and grown older
The other has a newly minted sheen
Claims, accusations, fights
Screams, tears, and now I can smell my own fear
I am afraid.
Why am I afraid?
Why don’t you understand?
An angry slam of a door
After a confrontation
The same door, reopened not long after
All that’s left is an empty room and an open window
Wind whistling by
A search, a fight, and acceptance
Why am I afraid?
Why don’t you understand?
A slow build
Apologies, forgiveness, forgetfulness
Quiet, excitement, happiness
Several months go by
The coin is flat
A sudden meltdown
A blast of anger
Screaming, crying, storm clouds
Why am I afraid?
Why don’t you understand?
Too many days to count
It’s been over a year, my sister.
Why don’t you understand?
The first in months
And the truth comes out
There is nothing left to lose
And she wants….
To leave me.
To leave us.
Why didn’t I understand?
Too many times-
It happened too fast
I couldn’t follow
The thought pattern behind
The way you acted
The way you spoke
Or even the way you looked at me.
Now my sister says she wanted to meet God
She said I never loved her
How was she so stormy?
Was I truly that starry-eyed
That she could not see…
The love for her
Why don’t I understand?
I’m so lost and sad
Don’t leave me
I will lose my sister
And I still won’t understand why
Please don’t leave me…
My sister and I
We are two sides of the same coin
One is scarred and sad
And the other has lost its luster and holds the edges of rust
What can I do?
This time from the other side
She isn’t leaving
Progress is made
Now we both understand
We are stepping into the light now
It’s slow steps
But we are holding hands
I can see the light in her eyes
And I know it’s shining in mine too
My sister and I
We are two sides of the same coin
But the coin is broken
We are sisters
I am me.
She is her.
We are sisters, same blood, same thoughts
My sister is always there for me
And now I promise
I will always fight to keep that light alive in her eyes
I will make sure she sees and feels how much I care for her
Thanks to DeKalb New Tech’s freshmen class, our county hosted its 2nd Annual Global Grit Health Fair. DeKalb New Tech freshmen students hosted the health fair at the Auburn YMCA over the lunch hours. Students created and organized 17 different informational booths to promote healthy living. Some topics covered included: analyzing food labels and what to look for, looking beyond the number of calories, proper lifting techniques, low cost games that get you moving, recognizing the signs of unhealthy eating, the effects of smoking, and many more. Along with the 17 students booths were 11 outside vendor booths of whom were formally invited by the students.
The 2nd Annual Global Grit Health Fair was brought about by the World Bio, Consumer Communications, and Visual Verbal Communications classes. Students analyzed the 2012 DeKalb County Health Assessment and Indiana Indicators. These documents showed students our community is not practicing healthy living; therefore, the students decided they wanted to host a health fair to inform and educate our community on ways to practice good health. With this project containing multiple disciplines including: Biology, Geography and History of the World, English, Art, and Business, students applied their knowledge and skills in planning and organizing this event. Students educated the public on healthy living using their Biology and Geography knowledge, students created attractive booths with a transformational art piece to captivate their audience using their art knowledge and skills, students advertised the event, collected door prizes, and secured outside vendors using their business knowledge and skills, and students read Chew on This, an informational book about the history of the fast food industry. Students applied their knowledge from all classes to host this successful event.
Attendance to the 2nd Annual Global Grit Health Fair was estimated to be about 60 to 75 guests. The DeKalb New Tech freshmen class would like to thank all that attended, and hope their guests enjoyed themselves just as much as the students did, especially Drake Dangler, a DeKalb New Tech freshman. Dangler described the project as “so fun it didn’t even feel like a project!”
The DeKalb New Tech Freshmen Facilitator team is very happy with the students’ work in implementing and applying their learned knowledge and skills to host such a fun and informational event! The students successfully completed their task in making DeKalb County a healthier place. Look for our 3rd Annual Global Grit Health Fair in the fall of 2017!
On Wednesday, October 5th, New Tech students in our combined chemistry and agriculture classes (AgriChem and Agri ICP) had the opportunity to tour the DeBrand Fine Chocolates factory. The trip came on the heels of a culinary science fair which showcased students’ understanding of chemistry principles and the use of those principles in food science.
In preparation for the culinary science fair, the classes studied chemistry principles that are typically found in food. They also examined food on a commercial level, specifically researching factories, packaging materials, and marketing. For the final project, students were given a chemistry principle and asked to demonstrate that principle using food. After a lot of hard work, the students presented their principles and food samples to teachers and administrators at the culinary science fair.
The trip to DeBrand’s allowed students to see the subjects they had been studying in action. They were able to observe several chemical and commercial elements of chocolate production and, of course, taste a wide variety of delicious samples.
On Friday, September 23, 2016, the American Studies class from DeKalb New Tech attended Civil War Days in Angola, Indiana. The students were introduced to professional reenactors such as Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass. Further, the students were introduced to mourning rituals, a battlefield aid station, canon fire, and Civil War era dances. Lastly, era-specific food and drink was served throughout the encampment. This community partnership was created in conjunction with a 19th Century Conflict and Crisis project.