Student Presentations

Allendale High School Students Excel in TESA

TESA, Grand Valley State University, GVSU, entrepreneurship, Hanna Ebeling, George Ebeling, Allendale Public Schools, Allendale High SchoolWhen Hanna and George Ebeling submitted their applications to TESA, they never anticipated the experience that awaited them.

The Grand Rapids Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy invites students to learn about business models and create a viable one of their own as they compete for award money and recognition from members of the local business community.

“During the five day academy, teams of three to four students from different schools will manufacture an original business pitch from the idea stage to a developed concept. They will participate in lectures and hands-on learning sessions along with creative problem solving tasks. On the final day, each team will present their idea to a panel of local business professionals for a chance to win cash prizes totaling $1,000!”  (source)

Held this past July in conjunction with Grand Valley State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Hanna (AHS Senior) and George (AHS Freshman) were challenged with creating a business that would spur urban development and encourage people to make purchases locally.

After being placed in groups of 4-5 students from all over Michigan, Hanna’s team settled on creating a “green” coffee shop for GVSU that would feature a multicultural menu, organic food, and an internet café. Working together, her group created a powerpoint that earned them a spot in the competition finals.

George was placed in a team that decided to showcase produce from local farmers. Named “Urban Organics,” his group came up with a business model that would allow people to buy crops from area farms and have them delivered to to their home or place of employment. This idea won their team a spot in the finals, and in the end, the $1,000 cash prize to be shared among group members!

George shared that his biggest takeaway from the competition was learning about something completely new that had such practical real-world applications. He enjoyed pitching the team’s idea to the judges, working with mentors, meeting other students, and using tools like Prezzi to create a winning presentation.

For Hanna, the joy and the learning came not as much from the program itself, but from meeting so many other interesting people.

“It was actually a challenge to get to know people who were quite different from me–especially being in a very diverse setting that is unlike anything I’m used to. Getting the courage to approach someone who you do not know and may not clearly understand was hard for me, but it was definitely a good thing!”

We congratulate both Hanna and George for stretching themselves, for taking new risks, and for their success in TESA this summer!

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Oakwood Students present at MACUL

For those of you new to the acronym, MACUL is more than simply five letters: it represents a group dedicated to supporting educators seeking to better use technology in the classroom. Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning held their 2012 conference right here in Grand Rapids, and among its presenters this year were some of Oakwood’s fifth-grade students!

Sarah Lema in her Oakwood classroom

Oakwood’s Sarah Lema took advantage of a grant opportunity which allowed her to take six students to this year’s conference. Students were selected in January and worked throughout February to prepare their presentations for the March conference. Their focus? How Lema’s class and others at Oakwood use the 1:1 laptop program in class. Working together, students created a tri-fold board with curricular websites they use in their studies, described how they use online tools such as Moodle, Weebly, and Prezi, and brought their laptops along to demonstrate.

All conference photos courtesy of Sarah Lema

Additionally, students had worked together on a bullying movie using Windows “Movie Maker” and flip cams. They performed skits that were recorded and shown to teachers who were attending the conference.

With their station situated in the entryway of DeVos hall, Oakwood students had multiple opportunities to interact with guests and present the many ways that 1:1 laptops have transformed the way they learn and use technology. “I was so impressed with my students and the way they interacted with others and handled the questions,” Mrs. Lema beamed.

Mrs. Lema went on to share that in the three years that APS has had 1:1, she’s seen huge improvements both with the level of student skill and the seamless functioning of their programs.

“With the technology that we have available at Allendale, we’re really able to engage learners and differentiate learning by tapping into various learning styles.  …  Just to see their creativity is awesome!”

Categories: Student Presentations, Students in the Spotlight! | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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