Archive for Thursday, December 11, 2008

High-schoolers lead the way in class

December 11, 2008

Basehor-Linwood High School teachers are impressed with their students’ ability to lead the way in their biomedical science and engineering classes.

Kevin Vincent, Steve Myer, Stephanie Harris and Bruce Courtney announced during Monday’s school board meeting they were excited about and proud of the progress their students had made in the new Project Lead the Way classes.

“They’re picking it up so quickly,” Vincent said. “They almost know more than I do already.”

Project Lead the Way began in 1997 when the first classes were introduced to 12 high schools in New York. This year, Basehor-Linwood became one of 16 schools in the state to offer the program. The project was designed to provide students in high school and middle school with knowledge and hands-on experience in biomedical science and engineering.

Students who have performed well in previous math or science classes are encouraged to apply for the program, which is taken in conjunction with students’ usual course load. Completion of or enrollment in Algebra I is a requirement for students who are interested in becoming involved with Project Lead the Way.

The four teachers presented a few items to the board members that their students crafted this year, including a 3-D wooden puzzle and a plastic train. To make the puzzle, students had to design and put together the pieces, package the puzzle to be sold, set a price for the item and create a marketing scheme for an audience of children as young as 3.

For the train, Courtney said that students were using a computer program called Autodesk Inventor. The students eventually will use a 3-D printer to produce the plastic pieces for assembly, a process that can take more than 16 hours to complete, Courtney said.

“They’re having a great time,” Courtney said.

During one of Myer’s classes, students made simple machines using only recycled materials.

“It was cool to see the different things they came up with,” Myer said. “None of the machines were the same.”

Myer said he was enjoying the reactions from his students about the classes.

“There’s not too many times as a teacher when you see kids jumping up and down with excitement about their schoolwork,” he said. “It’s great to see that.”

In other action Monday, school board members:

• Presented the Basehor-Linwood Education Foundation Award recipients.

• Approved, 6-0, a motion to reissue Chapter M of the Board of Education Policy as it is.

• Announced that the board had entered into contract with Capital City Oil for 46,000 gallons of gasoline. The contract goes into effect Jan. 1, with a cost of $1.957 per gallon. Superintendent Robert Albers said that the contract was for 80 percent of gasoline the district used last year.

• Discussed possible changes to the budget. Albers said he intended to meet with the administrative staff to give serious consideration to this and next year’s budgets.

• Heard a report on construction of the new elementary school. The county has not yet granted a building permit for the project, and thus, construction has been delayed. The delay might mean increasing the cost for the project, as the contractor may begin charging a certain amount for each day he cannot begin work.

• Approved, 6-0, Board of Education Policy Chapter L for first reading.

• Approved, 6-0, Board of Education Policy Chapter K for final reading.

• Tabled, 6-0, an item concerning full-day kindergarten at Glenwood Ridge Elementary until the next board meeting. The board is considering a suggestion from Assistant Superintendent David Howard to give parents the option to have their children enrolled in full-day kindergarten at a fee of $25 per week.

• Approved, 6-0, a proposal to build a fence around the property at Glenwood Ridge Elementary.

• Approved, 6-0, positions for two new elementary teachers.

• Approved, 6-0, written job description for school nurses.

• Approved, 6-0, the course description handbook with amendments and additions.

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