HISD students focus on the future in unique Technology Applications elective

Most middle schoolers wouldn’t envision themselves producing and starring in their own TV show, writing lines of code to program 3-D prints, or building computers from scratch, but for Burbank Middle School Technology Applications students, that’s an average Wednesday. Under the guidance of Technology teacher Sergio Luviano, Burbank students have the opportunity to master complex technological concepts through engaging projects and real-world application in this unique elective class.

Technology Applications engages students in a wide variety of tech-based subjects. Luviano stresses hands-on learning and a hands-off approach to teaching, equipping his students with the tools they need to create and innovate using technology and to draw from their experiences to solve problems.  

“I’ve always been fascinated by technology, and that’s the reason why I joined the class,” said Burbank eighth-grader Itzel Muro. “As time went on, I realized that there was so much more I could do with it, so many more new activities and jobs I can get into because I’ve learned technology.”

Luviano introduces his students to the different industries where their developing skills can be employed, such as engineering, architecture, 3-D and graphic design, video production and more. The students produce and host a news broadcast, The Burbank Show, where they identify newsworthy events in their school and throughout HISD, conduct interviews, operate camera, lighting and sound equipment, and edit and publish the final product.

In the week preceding Scholastic Journalism Week, a week dedicated to supporting and celebrating excellence in student journalism, the Burbank student media team participated in a field trip to Lamar High School to cover the HISD PTO Expo. There, they interviewed and engaged with attendees including Superintendent Mike Miles. In addition to utilizing the technology behind video production, Burbank students, several of whom identified themselves as shy or soft-spoken before enrolling in Luviano’s class, have the opportunity to practice interpersonal communication and public speaking, invaluable skills that Luviano hopes will set them apart in high school and in their post-secondary endeavors.

“They are the reason that I am a teacher, that’s why I’m here, to teach them skills that they can use in their futures,” said Luviano. “Having fun in the process is not a bad thing. It’s the motivation for them to keep going, to explore on their own. They make mistakes, and they learn from them, and they have fun in the process. That’s why we have the bloopers section of the Burbank Show.”

The Burbank Technology Applications students expressed excitement about their futures, ambitions to become engineers, business owners, photographers, journalists and teachers thanks to the concepts that they have been exposed to in this unique elective. Most of all, the practical experiences they have had and the opportunity to study subjects that they are passionate about has instilled in them a sense of camaraderie and confidence that they can call upon as they continue their technology education journey.  

Burbank Middle School is home to Vanguard Magnet and Vanguard Dual Language programming and offers multiple unique electives. To learn more about HISD’s magnet programs, visit the Office of School Choice website.