Friday, June 28, 2013

Here's a peek...

...of the new mural 135 CMS students in the Digital Media Literacy camp made. It was installed this morning at Atherton Mill & Market (see previous post for details):

Photo courtesy Lynn Caldwell

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Check out student mural at Atherton Mill & Market Friday

The mural's progress at Atherton Mill & Market as of Thursday morning.
Photo courtesy of Lynn Caldwell
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students will watch the installation of a mural at Atherton Mill & Market Friday morning that they created.

The 135 students are participants in the Digital Media Literacy camp through the Arts & Science Council in partnership with CMS' After-School Enrichment Program.

The students, from rising first graders to high school seniors, used iPads and digital cameras at Atherton Mill & Market, 7th Street Market and local farms to show the importance of farm-to-table food.

They used their material to create a mural promoting healthy life choices.

The mural will become a permanent fixture at Atherton.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Weddington High student to give clean drinking water to Kenyans

Michael Drewery, a rising junior at Weddington High, said he wanted to do something this summer to help people on a global scale.

(Courtesy Vestergaard Frandsen)
He remembered learning in the eighth grade about how many people in Kenya don't have easily accessible clean drinking water. Michael said he researched further this summer and found that conditions there haven't changed much.

A friend of his, Savannah Zook, will be going to Kenya on a mission trip July 11, he said.

So Michael, along with his friends Matt Hrycyna and Nate Benn, have been going door-to-door asking for donations to buy LifeStraws, which are personal water filters.

They've collected about $1,000 and plan to send the filters to Kenya with their friend Savannah, Michael said.

LifeStraws are are a product of Vestergaard Frandsen, and can only be bought in the United States and Canada through, a sustainable living website.

Michael has been in contact with one of Eartheasy's managers, Ben Seaman.

"Michael is a very forward-thinking young man, and his donation will help over 100 Kenyans access clean water," Seaman said in an email. He is selling the filters to Michael at a discounted price.

Seaman said that girls in Kenya collect firewood to boil drinking water, and that by doing so, they're missing school and deforesting the area.

Michael said most places where he's rung doorbells have been kind. And he said hopes the donation makes and impact: "They don't have clean drinking water over there at all."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hear and see the Studio 345 kids' "I am the 'We' in 'We the people'" projects

This week I wrote about the students from Studio 345 who were a part of the "I am the 'We' in 'We the People.'"

Their artwork is currently in the Levine Museum of the New South, which coincides with the exhibit, "Fighting for Democracy: Who Is the 'We' in 'We the People'?"

Here's a video of their self-portrait photographs, which you can see as they each narrate written pieces describing themselves.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Scholars Academy problem-solvers place 6th at international competition

A dozen students from Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy traveled to Indiana University earlier this month for the Future Problem Solving Program International Conference and competed well.

Courtesy Scholars Academy
This was Scholars Academy's third trip to Indiana, and the first time any of their students have placed in the Top 10 of the competition. We featured them before they left in the Young Achievers section.

The sixth grade junior team of Aarushi Patil, Navami Jain, Varun Sattenapalli and Ethan Zhang placed sixth overall. (You have to be a top-10 team to place.)

Laura Scott Cary competed in the Multi-Affiliate Global Issues Competition with three students from other states, and the team placed first in the middle division.

At Indiana University, 58 teams competed in the junior division and 68 in the middle division in teams of four.

The Future Problem Solving Program presents students with various topics, which they must research before a competition. The international conference’s topic was the global status of women. In recent years, topics have included human rights, invasive species, genetic testing and pollution.

At competitions, students are faced with an imagined scene from far into the future connected with the given topic. They have to identify many potential social, scientific, political, economic or technical issues from that scene. Then students have to develop several solutions, choose the best one and write an action plan.

The students also shared a dorm with students from South Korea, and Toni Hemming, a Scholars Academy coach, said living with them was a great opportunity for new friendships and sharing cultural experiences.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Carmel Middle wins first place in Odyssey of the Mind world competition

Congrats to Carmel Middle for taking the top spot in the challenge called "It's How You Look at It" at this year's world finals for Odyssey of the Mind.

Carmel Middle OM team. Photo courtesy CMS
The first-place winning team:

Ethan Foster
Luke Foster
Katie Freije
Rachel Gardner
Will Horne
Lucy Koeniger
Beckett Stillman

Carmel has won a first place prize in the world finals for the past three years.

The competition, at Michigan State University, involved 813 teams from around the world, according to a release from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

In the challenge, the team of seven students had to give a humorous performance about two characters who think they're acting naturally but are strange to those around them.

Four other CMS schools placed in the competition: Elon Park Elementary, Irwin Academic Center, Community House Middle and Myers Park High.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Catching up on Connor McKemey

I had the pleasure of talking with Karin McKemey for a Young Achiever's story that will be out this summer (she's the television production teacher at Fort Mill High), but I also got a quick update on her son, Connor.

Connor McKemey gets a kiss from his mom, Karin, before going to the 2012 prom.
Photo by Todd Sumlin 
Young Achievers wrote about Connor in October. He had a 1 percent chance of survival after getting burned from a propane fireplace explosion in 2008. He was in a medically-induced coma for two months and was told he'd probably never walk again.

This weekend, Connor will walk across the stage to get his diploma from Fort Mill High. He'll be attending High Point University this fall, his mom said.

Connor's passion is lacrosse, and he recently played in the 2013 N.C. Great 38, which is an all-star game of the top high school lacrosse players in the state.

His mom said he's not going to play in college but will be a student coach. "He's really, really excited about it," she said. "He's something else."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Olympic freshmen design Tri-Table desk and win contest

Noah Badger and Eric Chee, freshmen from the METS (Math, Engineering, Technology & Science) School at Olympic High, won the Livingston & Haven Engineering Design Competition this May.

As a reward, their design will be manufactured by the industrial technology company.

From L-R: Teacher John Davis, Noah Badger, Livingston & Haven
President Clifton Vann, Eric Chee and Bosch Rexroth's Technical
Plant Manager Mark Rohlinger. Photo courtesy Mike Realon 
Noah and Eric designed a Tri-Table, which is a convertible, three-piece desk that could pivot into different shapes depending on what a person using it needs.

Contestants pitched their design ideas to judges, and their designs had to be made from Bosch Rexroth materials.

Mike Realon, an Olympic spokesman, said that the judges called the Tri-Table "innovative, practical and useful."

He said about 200 students from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Gaston County competed.

"It is pretty amazing that a team of freshmen won this engineering design competition," Realon said.

Fifteen other Olympic students were also eligible to compete in the contest:

(From the Global School)
Shanel Smith
Jaliyah Scott
Jeremiah Hawkins
Travis Compton

(from the Renaissance School)
Julia Roberson
Thao Duong
Joanna Cao
Ivy Woods

(from the METS School)
Dayana Holley
Christian Ramsumair
Tiffany Russ
Alexis Gaviola
Chris Walters
Joel Roman
Rafael Ramirez