Students’ anxious faces showing signs of hard work and dedication flood the upper part of the Magoffin County Board of Education, known to locals as “The Old Grade School.” The atmosphere is filled with excitement and the hubbub of students voices anticipating the short arrival of their judges…..these are no ordinary students. These are the pupils of leadership in technology, commonly known as the STLP. Adrenaline courses through the veins of each and every dedicated member as they fix the final preparations for their project. I am talking about the event that only takes place once a year, the District Wide STLP Showcase.
Students from all the little hollows and little nooks and crannies all across Magoffin County who share a passion for technology gather on this very day at “The Old Grade School.” Salyersville Grade School had the biggest involvement with an astonishing total of 5 showcases. They also had an immense amount of Cyber Gazette Reporters, a number so huge and mind boggling they filled the stairs up “to the brim” leading to the showcase room. My pick out of their honorable 5 showcases was called “What Did You Say? Dynavox.”
My partner, the photographer, and I were well informed on the uses of the Dynavox by the presenters of this showcase. What is a Dynavox, you ask? A Dynavox, from the perspective of a 13 year old such as myself, is basically a mini touch screen computer. Its use? Audibly challenged students can receive a better learning experience by communicating with this device. Little icons with pictures and the way you spell them underneath make up the screen. You touch an icon and the Dynavox says the word. “We worked really hard,” 4th grader Grayson Arnett told us. “We just want to inform Magoffin County about the Dynavox.”
North Magoffin Elementary “handled” the judges with a showcase project that “took care of” the dropping attendance in their school during flu season with the everyday routine students and teachers often mistake as a minor: hand washing. Their project was titled “Hand”ling the Situation. The students informed their school about “Hand washing awareness” and the steps to hand washing that are vital for a healthier school and a greater attendance. They created a chart in Microsoft Excel that showed the overall increase in attendance this year as oppose to last year. “We think we “hand”led the situation pretty good,” students said as we walked away.
South Magoffin Elementary made a “bang” with their project on the Civil War titled “The Battle of Puncheon and Half Mountain”. They held Civil War re-enactments at their school to capture the atmosphere of what it was like during battle. The particular battle they re-enacted happened in our very own county: The Battle of Puncheon and Half Mountain. They also sold items such as t-shirts and caps at the event whose proceeds went to their STLP funding.
Magoffin County High School (the only high school in “little old Magoffin County”) did a memorable project that made a global impact- “Global Connections.” Their exclusive project helps foreign exchange students “make the transition” to Eastern Kentucky culture. “We have a webpage online with videos of different exchange students from different countries telling people from their countries the changes and what to expect,” one student said. “It really helps.”
After you look beyond the rich, intricate projects, several important figures in society were in attendance of the event. The Department of Education KTS engineer (from Frankfort!) made the comment, “I love this event. It shows how technology helps our students learn and how our teachers use it to teach.” The observers, who “prepped” the students for judging, commented, “All projects here include a wide variety of interesting ideas. A lot of hard work and dedication came from the students and were intergraded into each and every project.” At that quote is a great place to come to an end in this document. Thank you for reading and hopefully next year’s showcase will be as successful as this year’s. These STLP students plead guilty to hard work in the first degree.