News about and from the San Diego Unified School District.
Construction Tech Academy's girls support group a success
Ladies of Construction Tech Academy, an after-school program designed and facilitated by Jewish Family Service of San Diego, just finished its first year of innovative leadership development and service learning for 30 teen girls at Stanley E. Foster Construction Tech Academy at Kearny High School.
Throughout the program, the teens coordinated a number of projects. They planned a Construction Tech Academy recruitment event for local middle school teens and applied for a grant to support the event. The girls learned about the issue of hunger in San Diego and then volunteered at the JFS food Pantry and St. Vincent de Paul. They also created a short documentary film exploring their successes and challenges on campus.
In just a year, the teens have noticed a measurable change in themselves and in the attitudes of girls on campus. One teen participant said that her favorite part of Ladies of Construction Tech Academy was “spending time with the other girls and bonding because it gives us a sense of family and security.”
Another teen reported that she loved “everything about Ladies of Construction Tech Academy! I especially grew from the leadership, group activities, motivation, confidence, self-motivation, empowerment, and all the self-esteem boosters!” Ladies of Construction Tech Academy utilizes nationally-recognized curriculum from the teen leadership department at JFS and will resume in the fall of 2013.
This unique program empowers girls on a campus where the female student population less than 20 percent. Construction Tech Academy’s unique campus offers project-based learning in construction, architecture, and engineering. While there is no shortage of positive female role models on campus (Principal Laura Bellofatto was recognized this spring by the National Association of Women in Construction as Executive of the Year), the girls were still hungry for a formalized support system as they prepare for careers in male-dominated fields. Ladies of Construction Tech Academy prepares them for the future by helping the teens to develop meaningful friendships while learning practical leadership skills, and planning projects that give back to their community.
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Cubberley Elementary students in Lego competition
Cubberley’s newly formed robotics team, The Metal Bots, were the highest scoring team to complete the “On the Spot Challenge” at Legoland’s LEGO Yard Wars Spring Showdown 2013.
Competing against 26 other middle and elementary schools in the FIRST LEGO League Southern California Region, no coaches or adults were allowed in the pits. Teams were given a new mission to complete with only 30 minutes to rebuild and reprogram their robot to complete the tasks.
The Metal Bots formed early in the school year and have been coached by Kearny High School Robotics Team alumni, team parents and an engineer mentor with the Women in Defense. Team members are also learning how robotics relates in the world. Guest speaker, Dr. Richard Coutts, orthopedic surgeon with Sharp Health Care introduced robotic knee surgery, and engineer Alex Dowell with Sea Botix shared about underwater robots. The Metal Bots are our future doctors, engineers, and scientists!
Spring Showdown 2013 was based on the Junkyard Wars TV series in which two teams were given 24 hours to brainstorm and build a functioning item such as a hover craft, sail plane, torpedo, or dragster, collecting parts inside of the junkyard and later competing head to head in a challenge. The missions for the robotics tournament were based off of the machines that teams built throughout the television series.
For more information, please contact principal, Rosemary Cruz email@example.com and visit the FLL website.
Spanish, French linguists shine at The Language Academy
French- and Spanish-language students at the Language Academy, a kindergarten through grade 8 magnet school near San Diego State University, have received gold, silver, bronze and honorable mention awards in Le Grand Concours, the National French Contest, and the National Spanish Exam.
Language Academy is a multicultural school that emphasizes the importance of fluency in multiple languages. The Language Academy offers students the unique opportunity to become bi-literate in either Spanish and English, or French and English.
“This is a highly competitive examination that helps to prepare students for the AP and College Placement Exams." said Marie-Magdeleine Chirole, Southest Region Director for American Association of Teachers of French, the organization that sponsors Le Grand Concours. "This is why your students who received a national ranking deserve special recognition. Their achievements are a testament to the quality of your French program.”
In the French test the Language Academy had 103 students in grades 6-8 take the test, with 25 top-20 percentile Honorable Mention Awards, 55 Bronze medals for National places 10-4, 12 Silver medals for National third and second place, and four Gold medals for National First Place. Several students received medals for the second consecutive year.
Students also excelled in the National Spanish Examinations, which are similar to the National French Contest and is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. This year Language Academy earned seven gold, 16 silver and 18 bronze medals along with 56 honorable mentions among the 132 students in grades 6-8 who took the test. And, as with the French test, there were several repeat winners.