Brian Heath is a fan of several YouTube vloggers, so when he got the chance to take on a technology project of his choosing, he chose to become a video blogger himself.
For Bon Air Technology Academy’s first-ever Technology Student Showcase, the fifth-grader created a public relations video for his elementary school.
“It’s a vlog about our school. It’s about how our school acts to get people to come here if they live close to us, but they’re thinking about moving their kid to another school,” he said.
Heath, along with Bon Air’s other fifth- and eighth-graders, showed off their projects to the community, as well as to their younger peers last week, giving them a glimpse of the skills they’ve learned at the technology school and highlighting the expanded learning opportunities the students at Bon Air have.
The projects ran the gamut. Eighth-grade student Aalia Gatlin took her passion for drawing and created a tutorial to help other students become artists. Gatlin said she believes every person who desires to draw is able to; they just may need a little guidance.
“If they want to be an artist, I want to give them some tips on how to draw because, for me, I was kind of giving up drawing because I would get frustrated when I couldn’t do what all these other artists do. I feel like everyone has the potential to be an artist if they want to. All they have to do is try and express their emotions and their passions into art and just create great art,” she said.
One project that was particularly beneficial to the younger students who were bused to the school to view the projects was the one created by students Abigail Jewell, Kiana Long, and Bridgett Batchler. The trio created a PowerPoint presentation on cyber-bullying.
The students said they hoped their younger peers would take the information to heart.
“We want them to learn not to bully anybody on the internet, and if you’re being bullied, you should tell someone else,” said Jewell.
Students Sage Davis and India McCoy got especially creative with their project: zombie bacon. McCoy stood on a desk and hawked the product, which was said to be made of beef jerky and bacon, making it especially attractive to zombies.
“If you’re being chased by zombies, just throw it, and they’ll go after it,” said an in-character McCoy.
The students created a commercial for the bacon, which they played during the showcase. The video included information on how the treat is created and came with a limited-time offer: those who support the company early would receive a T-shirt and a “lifetime supply of zombie bacon for a year.”
Eighth-grade student Kaitlyn Fink also got creative with her project. She turned her cellphone into a projector using a shoebox and a magnifying glass and played music videos on the wall during the showcase.
“I just wanted to show people that you can make bigger things with less. That’s mainly the whole objective,” she said.
Social studies teacher Jordan Ousley said he was impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and talent.
“They really enjoyed working on their projects, and a lot of them really went the extra mile,” he said.
Bon Air Assistant Principal Lyndsi Smith said the students’ projects displayed just how much they know about technology at such young ages.
“They really embraced it, and they loved being able to try some technology that they’ve already tried when the teacher used it with them. Now they were able to try it as the teacher, so to speak, and also be able to use some new things that they haven’t tried before,” Smith said.
Kokomo School Corporation’s partnership with Digital Promise, an independent, bipartisan nonprofit agency authorized by Congress in 2008, helped the corporation highlight strategies for incorporating more technology-focused learning, and the showcase came as part of that. Kokomo Schools is completing its second year in the Digital Promise leadership coaching program.