GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: The Wesleyan School advances to National Science Bowl

Parkview High junior Morgan Polk recently joined the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety at the 2014 Youth and Young Adult Leadership Conference at the Macon Centreplex. (Special Photo)

Parkview High junior Morgan Polk recently joined the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety at the 2014 Youth and Young Adult Leadership Conference at the Macon Centreplex. (Special Photo)

Thanks to its performance in a recent regional science bowl competition, a middle school group from The Wesleyan School is headed to Washington.

Wesleyan’s team was among 24 teams of middle and high school students who won their regional competitions for the 2014 National Science Bowl late last month and have advanced to the National Finals in April.

The National Science Bowl brings together thousands of middle and high school students from across the country to compete in a fast-paced question-and-answer format where they solve technical problems and answer questions on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, Earth and space science, physics and math.

A series of regional middle school and high school tournaments are being held across the country from January through March. Winners will advance to April’s National Science Bowl in Washington for the final middle school and high school competitions.

The top 16 high school teams and the top eight middle school teams in the National Finals will win $1,000 for their schools’ science departments.

Parkview High student attends GOHS conference

Parkview High junior Morgan Polk recently joined the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety at the 2014 Youth and Young Adult Leadership Conference at the Macon Centreplex.

The conference, which was attended by about 250 students and advisers from more than 40 high schools and colleges across Georgia, was designed to bring together student-advocates of highway safety and focus on new ways to communicate life-saving ideas to their fellow high school and college students. It was kicked off with the Ford Driving Skills for Life program, an initiative started by the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Governors Highway Safety Association to teach newly licensed drivers beyond the traditional driver’s education courses.

“We were happy to include Morgan and Parkview High School in this year’s conference,” GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said in a press release. “This conference lets us appeal directly to the students to brainstorm new ways of saving young lives. We lose far too many teens to traffic deaths every year, and these students can help change that.”

Polk is also a member of the Governor’s Commission on Teen Driving.

GOHS launched the annual youth safety conference concept approximately 10 years ago to spread the important messages of buckling up, slowing down in your vehicle, not drinking and driving and eliminating driving distractions.

With a theme of “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow,” this year’s conference included hundreds of students from Students Against Destructive Decisions chapters all over Georgia.

Atlantic Institute and Instanbul Center Art Essay winners

Gwinnett schools had several winners in the Atlantic Institute and Istanbul Center Art and Essay contest. Students’ placement, first through 10th place, will be announced at the awards ceremony at noon on March 15 at the Student Activity Center Ballroom at Clayton State University. The first, second and third place winners receive an all-expense paid (except airfare) 10 day trip to Istanbul, Turkey, an iPad, and gift cards. For more information, visit http://artessay.org/contest.

The winners in the art category are Ian Pengy, Jacob Wade and Jenna Scott of North Gwinnett High, and teacher Debi West, Jonas Chan of Crews Middle, and teacher Anna Murphy, Liran Hu and Miriam Ortiz of Summerour Middle, and teacher Linn Zamora.

In the essay category, the winners, all from Crews Middle, were Georgia Wheeler, Jyothika De, Philena Yang and Vi Dao, with teacher Marcia Littlefield.

Puckett’s Mill teacher a finalist for Economics Teacher of the Year

Colleen McGiboney of Puckett’s Mill Elementary was a finalist for Georgia Economics Teacher of the Year. McGiboney will be honored by the Georgia Council on Economic Education at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on May 13. For more information, visit www.gcee.org.

GSMST hosts Launchpad Business Model Challenge

The Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology hosted the Gwinnett Campus Launchpad Business Model Challenge with 15 teams from Gwinnett Tech, Georgia Gwinnett College, GSMST, Parkview High and Peachtree Ridge High. Each team presented a business plan model to a panel of judges representing local banks and businesses. The judges scored and ranked the business plans as to the viability of the proposed business venture.

Peachtree Ridge High teams won first and fourth place in the competition. Both teams competed in the Entrepreneurial Ventures category. The first place winning team members are Carmen Liu, Anna Kim, and Erik Vu for “Best Paw Forward.” The fourth place winner was Dimitri Lyons for “Bags 4 U.”

Duluth Middle hosts group from China

Duluth Middle recently hosted a group of 19 principals and teachers from Hanzhou City, Zhejiang Province of China. The principals and teachers from China received an orientation on the vision and mission of GCPS in general and Duluth Middle specifically.

Visitors then spent most of the morning observing classrooms at every grade level with Duluth Middle student ambassadors at their side serving as translators. The Chinese delegation is currently on a mission to study and observe how classes are conducted in the United States in grades K-12 as well as to gather information on how Americans utilize homework and textbooks for instruction. The delegation also visited Peachtree Ridge High and Parsons Elementary in Duluth.

Keith Farner writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.