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05/08/2017

A Discovery High student, who finished second in the state competition as the only Gwinnett student there, is on his way to New York for a national monologue competition.

Ryan Lewis will be among a host of high school students to compete at the eighth annual National August Wilson Monologue Competition at 7 p.m. at the August Wilson Theatre at 245 West 52nd St. in New York.

The event features high school students from around the country performing monologues by the late legendary playwright. A panel of celebrity judges will evaluate the competitors and select a winner.
 
The top three contestants from the national competition receive college scholarship opportunities along with monetary awards and the gift of TCG’s Century Cycle collection.

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05/08/2017

Two Gwinnett County Public Schools foreign language teachers have been honored by separate groups for their efforts in and out of the classroom.

Jamie Vega, a Spanish teacher at the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology, was recently named the 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Lesa Howell, a Spanish teacher and the Foreign Language Department Chair at South Gwinnett High School, has been named the 2017 K-12 Foreign Language Association of Georgia Teacher of the Year.

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05/08/2017

Coleman Middle seventh-graders heard from a senior at Savannah College of Art and Design who presented her “Plan Bee” drone.

Anna Haldewang introduced a personal robotic bee controlled by a smart device designed to mimic how bees pollinate flowers and crops. Similar to how bees transfer pollen from one flower to another, the drone sucks in pollen from a plant and expels it onto other flowers to enable cross-pollination.
 
Haldewang is an industrial design major and first developed the idea for Plan Bee in a product design class after a professor challenged her to create a self-sustainable object that stimulates the growth of plants.

Coleman seventh-grade students are in the midst of trying to solve the following question in project-based learning period: As a biologist or environmental engineer, what can we do to mitigate bee population decline and inform our community of its impact?

“We are so fortunate to have Ms. Haldewang speak to our students and show them the prototype she designed to solve this real-world problem,” teacher Sheila Harmony said.

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05/08/2017

There are plenty of projects that can show high school students how to work on an actual residential construction site. But Mike Mahaffey’s recent idea brings them all under one roof, albeit a tiny one.

In January the Maxwell High School of Technology teacher rolled out an idea for students to build and customize a tiny house for a Gwinnett homeowner, who plans to use it for a weekend getaway. Maffahey and the students went through the normal sales process with the homeowner and the client-contractor relationship that covered paint colors and other customizations.

“It’s a small enough project that it’s doable in one year, but it also has the scope of being all-encompassing and including everything that you would find in residential construction,” Mahaffey said.
 
Added Maxwell Principal Jeff Hall, “The project is a great example of how our teachers create real-world and relevant learning opportunities for our students. The project affords our students the opportunity to work with a client and custom build the house, much like they would experience when they enter the industry themselves.”

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04/23/2017

Eight years in the making, the Sparrowbots have made it to worlds.

Led by an exhaustive research project about the pygmy three-toed sloth, and how there are just 75 left in the world, the robotics team from Puckett’s Mill Elementary won the state competition in February, and was highlighted during a pep rally at the school on Friday afternoon.

“I woke up one morning and I said, ‘We must celebrate this team,’” Puckett’s Mill Principal Ruth Westbrooks said. “With this pep rally, we are encouraging this team and congratulating them.”
 
The nine members of the team, who are in fourth and fifth grade, gave a presentation during the assembly about their core values and how they work as a team.

On Wednesday, they will leave for Houston and the international competition of the First Lego League. They will be part of a group of about 30 people from Puckett’s Mill, including teachers, parents and spouses. When they arrive, they will setup an exhibit that encompasses their state, country and project, and join eight other international teams.

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04/23/2017

Looking for a picturesque and, at times, grueling run on a Saturday morning next month? The Meadowcreek cluster and Vulcan Materials has just the event.
At 8 a.m. May 6, Vulcan Materials Company will host its second annual Vulcan Materials Quarry Crusher Run. Proceeds from the race benefit the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, specifically supporting schools in the Meadowcreek cluster.

The Vulcan Materials Quarry Crusher Run is similar to other events held in six cities across the country, running events that began in Columbia, S.C.
 
It’s a 3.7-mile race that takes runners from the top of the quarry to the bottom and then back to the top.

Participants will descend more than 600 feet on the way down experiencing a grade incline on average of 10 percent.

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