Recent News

Maxwell students build tiny house for Gwinnett homeowner By Keith Farner


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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Two GCPS foreign language teachers earn state honors


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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SCAD student introduces Coleman seventh-graders to ‘Plan Bee’ drone


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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Discovery High student qualifies for national monologue competition


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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Gwinnett DECA students travel to international conference


Students across Gwinnett last week traveled to Anaheim, Calif., to represent their high schools at the DECA International Career Development Conference.

There were 18 high school students from Gwinnett County Public Schools who qualified for the event. DECA is an international association of high school and college students that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

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Duluth sixth-grader wins second place in state design contest, $300 scholarship


Sharona Huang not only picked up a statewide award last week, she received a $300 scholarship and lunch with Gov. Nathan Deal.

Sharona, a sixth-grader at Coleman Middle in Duluth won second place in the 2017 Manufacturing Appreciation Week student design contest in the sixth through eighth grade category. She received the honors at an awards luncheon at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.

Students from around the state submitted design entries featuring Georgia manufacturers and their products to teach students about the importance of manufacturing.

Ann Sechrist, director of Economic Development at Gwinnett Tech, said there was nearly 20 submissions from the local community alone.

“The manufacturing industry has changed significantly in the last few decades,” Sechrist said in a press release. “These are clean, high-tech jobs that pay well above average. Graduates in this field are in high-demand.”

Co-hosted by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, MAW brings attention to this component of Georgia’s economy.

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