|Professional Development News|
Do you realize how much awesomeness we pack into a one-week span here at Piedmont? This only scratches the surface yet again!! Highlights of this week include Science Olympiad, the new World Cup at Piedmont, Art class makes some STEAM in our MakeSpace and out in the yard, new Test Prep and stress reduction ideas, a "Go Piedmont" to our National History Day team from a world renown scholar and more!
Science Olympiad Returns from Win at Nationals in Orlando
The big news this week is Piedmont took first place in the nation in Small Machines and 9th place overall in the NATION for Science Olympiad this year. The team won the opportunity to compete in Nationals by winning first place in the state of North Carolina earlier this month. We are so proud of the team and Mr. Clark, Ms. Burick and Mr. Fatzinger for their work.
National History Day Team Cheered on by Henry Louis Gates
Henry Louis Gates, one of the nation's foremost historians and television star tweeted encouragement to Mr. Reddig's team this week as they prepare for their national competiton in June after I told him how the team had been inspired by his Many Rivers Series on PBS! Learn more about the team's project and state win here http://piedmontpd.weebly.com/celebrating-piedmont/state-champ-history-team-heads-to-nationals
Art Class gets STEAMed in our new Makerspace
Small groups of Ms. Czerwinski's honors art students learned about 3D printing in our media Center MakerSpace this week as they tried out Autodesk Cad-ding apps, chose a 3D geometric design on Thingiverse, and learned how to export and print CAD files as SDK. They really enjoyed manipulating the designs on the app and learning how a 3D printer works, and getting to take home a few of the prints!
Sixth Grader Starts a New World Cup Tradition at Piedmont
Sixth Grader Morgan single handedly inspired a World Cup Soccer Tournament at Piedmont. Here she is this week arriving with the handmade trophies that will be part of the intramural tradition for many years to come! Check out her clever design- just a ball, a cup, a block and some spray paint! Not every school would let a sixth grader create tournament! That is empowerment!
Test Prep Improvements- Piedmont Style
Ms. Lyttle and Ms. McCarthy spent the day on the field with students on their scavenger hunt. Their idea got re-tweeted by none other than Cool Cat Teacher who is a bit of an edTech celbrity and garnered the attention of Discovery Ed who plan to interview the duo on the lesson soon! Click this image to go to the page with more info on the scavenger hunt test prep.
Summer is Almost Here!
We always knew Officer Rorie was the best, but now the world knows, too!
Here is a photo of the multi-talented officer with Ms. Delaney and Mr. Tornfelt after receiving the Outstanding Police Community Relations Award at the 35th annual award dinner last night.
Thank you Officer Rorie for keeping our school safe and helping us grow to be our best. Your encouraging presence in all situations is a model to all of us, students and faculty both. We are so proud of you!
Oh no biggie, just THE Henry Louis Gates wishing Piedmont's team well as we head to Nationals:
It's not every day that middle schoolers feel any connection toward something that happened halfway across the country back in 1921. Events of only one generation ago in their hometown sometimes might as well be ancient history to them.
Not for Mr. Reddig's State Champion National History Day team here at Piedmont! Despite the distance of time and space, they are advancing to the National History Day competition this summer precisely because of their passionate connection to the events of the Tulsa Race Riot, their diligence in researching and finding those who had lived to tell the tale, and their insistence that they do what they can to make sure it never happened again. Read on for the press release on the topic and to see photos of the team on their winning day.
From the Press Release:
In their first year of entering the National History Day competition, a group of ambitious 8th grade students from Piedmont IB Middle School won the regional and state competition and will be competing at nationals at the University of Maryland on June 16,2014. They won first place in the Junior Group Exhibit category at the North Carolina State Championships on April 26th at the NC Museum of History.
Their unique exhibit which displayed an array of primary resources told the obscure story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. Their topic was inspired by The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross PBS series created by Henry Louis Gates, JR. Once known as the Black Wall Street, the Greenwood community of Tulsa, Oklahoma was the second most prominent black community in the United States in 1921 when it was burned to the ground as a result of segregation and racial tensions.
The competition required students to submit a process paper with an extensive list of primary and secondary sources, create an exhibit, and be interviewed by judges. The competitors' 8th grade social studies teacher and competition advisor Ronny Reddig stated, "It was really the interview at both competitions that I attribute to the group's victory. The group did a tremendous amount of research, including calling historical record departments in Tulsa, searching out survivors and watching numerous videos relating to the event. The judges could easily recognize how inspired they were by the event, and their passion to tell the story so that similar events would not be repeated by future generations.
Look at the expressions on those winning faces- that's the pride of a well-deserved victory ! Piedmont's State Champion History Day team (left to right) Daks McClettie, Ronny Reddig (Teacher Advisor), Sheila Garcia-Garcia, Logan Long, and Bre'Anna Clinkscales enjoy the fruits of their labor the pride of well-deserved victory
Mr. Parkins' , Ms. Benfield's and Mr. Reddig's students took over the media center and for three days turned it into a civil rights museum. Sixties protest songs played soflty in the background as students toured the exhibits their classmates built from scratch. Exhibits on topics such as Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man to the murder of Medgar Evers and Emmitt Till, from Hernandez v. Texas to Swan v. The Board of Education, students learned their power to question and to act.
These images of our team winning state are on the front page of the district website today along with a link to the Piedmont Science Olympiad website. Captured is the joy and excitement of heading to Science Olympiad Nationals! Good luck team and coaches! We are so proud of you.
Celebrating Piedmont : a blog of Happy Happenings
"Celebrating Piedmont" logs only a small fraction of the learning magic the teachers of CMS' Piedmont Middle School, an IB World School. create daily. In that sense, it is authored by all the staff and students of Piedmont. It is curated by Ms. Gurthie who can be reached at the icons above. She'll be happy to brag about Piedmont's teachers and students any chance she gets! Please note this blog has only just begun and we have so much to show off! Come back again soon!