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Congratulations to the honorees in the latest round of DA’s Schools of TechXcellence national recognition program. Their exemplary initiatives serve as worthy models of inspiration for schools across the country. Scroll down or use the search feature to locate a December honoree by district.

June 2017

CALCULATING SUCCESS—As part of Henry Hudson Regional School’s game design and  development class, students use graphing calculators to program robots to move or perform basic tasks.
Honoree: Henry Hudson Regional School District Category Math

Students at Henry Hudson Regional School in Highlands, New Jersey, discover the math they learn in class has practical—and sometimes even fun—applications in the real world.

The school offers game design and development as a math elective, a course in which students start off learning how to code and finish by developing their own unique video games, applying principles of algebra and geometry along the way. 

SUMMER MAKING—MakerCamp in Toms River, New Jersey, invites students to spend a portion of their summer exercising creativity and exploring innovation outside the traditional classroom environment.
Honoree: Toms River Regional Schools Category Makerspaces

In 2016, Toms River Regional Schools applied for grant funding so they could start a summer learning program that would engage intermediate students through fun activities in every subject.

The district received $100,000 from the New Jersey Department of Education and created MakerCamp, a program that promotes equity and disregards traditional school structure. 

BOARDING SCHOOL—In the MCAA Makerspace of the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, students work with circuit boards, robots and electronic equipment while participating in engineering design challenges.
Honoree: Marietta City Schools Category Makerspaces

In the 2015-16 school year, the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics secured funding from partners in education, including Lockheed Martin and Novelis, to design, build and furnish a makerspace equivalent to the size of a standard classroom. A smaller innovation grant was also awarded by the Marietta City Schools Foundation.

ROBOT UPRISING—Robots are front and center at Mashpee Middle-High School’s makerspace, where students build competition robots as they learn engineering and design concepts.
Honoree: Mashpee Public Schools Category Makerspaces

In 2015, administrators at Mashpee Middle-High School decided to expand the makerspace and robotics program after discovering they couldn’t meet the demands of students who wanted to participate in robotics competitions and take basic and advanced robotics classes.

The school didn’t have a team, an advanced curricular offering, or the resources to accommodate every student.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF EINSTEIN—MC2 STEM High School students study robotics, engineering and drone technology at nearby college campuses.
Honoree: Cleveland Metropolitan School District Category Makerspaces

Imagine a high school that is revolutionizing education, a place where freshman year is spent in a hands-on science museum. In sophomore year, students move to the campus of a Fortune 500 company to learn and work alongside engineers and technicians. Finally, junior and senior years are spent on a downtown college campus, where students receive dual credit while learning about robotics, engineering and drone technology. 

MATH LITERACY—Teachers in Socorro ISD employ Chromebooks to help ELL students improve math vocabulary before attempting to solve number problems.
Honoree: Socorro ISD Category Math

In the Socorro Independent School District in El Paso, Texas, more than 40 percent of students are classified as English Language Learners (ELLs), including limited English proficient (LEP), bilingual, English as a second language (ESL), and migrant. Approximately 70 percent of the 46,000-student district is also economically disadvantaged. 

Adding these factors together equals significant struggles when it comes to learning mathematics.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT—The Innovation Lab offers a space where students are free to innovate using a variety of different tools and materials.
Honoree: Westford Public Schools Category Makerspaces

When Stony Brook Middle School built a makerspace in the library, no one realized how it would impact the entire school.

ATTACK OF THE MAKERSPACE—Students at Walter Long STEAM Academy in Las Vegas innovate and create in their makespace, with 3D printers, electronics, robots and more at their disposal.
Honoree: Clark County School District Category Makerspaces

Prior to the 2015-16 school year, Walter Long STEAM Academy in Las Vegas was consistently performing below district benchmarks in reading, writing, science and mathematics. All students receive free breakfast and lunch, and 89 percent are English language learners (ELL).

A new administration was brought in and tasked with creating innovative programs that would increase engagement and achievement in all academic areas for K5 students.

Honoree: Ponca City Public Schools Category Math

Students who struggle with math at West Middle School in Ponca City, Oklahoma, are turning their grades around not because their teacher has made the work easier, but because she introduced a whole new method of instruction. 

FLIPPING TOGETHER—By making hundreds of math lessons available any time online, teachers in Meriden have created extra classroom time for working one-on-one with students.
Honoree: Meriden Public Schools Category Math

High school teachers in Meriden Public Schools in Connecticut have a new tool to overcome the “I’m bad at math” mindset common among students: flipped learning.