Mentors for Mentors gives educators direct access to medical, energy, and space professionals
Whether you’re a cardiologist trying to clear a blocked artery or an engineer trying to drill for oil more efficiently, the mechanics and physics at play are the same.
That’s why 15 educators from seven different HISD campuses attended a “Pumps & Pipes” externship recently to learn how to apply concepts from engineering to medicine and vice-versa.
Pumps & Pipes was founded in 2007 to allow medical, energy, and aerospace professionals to learn from on another by comparing notes on common systems and processes. At the “Mentors for Mentors” symposium, they shared insights they had gained with HISD teachers, so that they, in turn, could get students excited about studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
I Am HISD profile showcases Educational Diagnostician Week
In this week’s I am HISD, which features HISD students, graduates, and employees, we are highlighting Educational Diagnostician Week across Texas by interviewing HISD Lead Evaluation Specialist Tacy Gilmore. Gilmore talks about when she became a diagnostician, how she evaluates students for disabilities, and who decides which students are evaluated.
How did you come to be a diagnostician for HISD?
I was working as a seventh-grade math teacher in Alief ISD, when I became interested in becoming an Educational Diagnostician. As a general education teacher, I wanted to know how I could have a greater impact on student achievement and the process to get the individualized support needed. I attended graduate school at Prairie View A&M University, where I became certified, first as a counselor and then as a diagnostician.
Breathing exercises and yoga poses are just a few of the things HISD students learn in the Sonima Health and Wellness program. Fourteen additional HISD schools now offer the curriculum, which is offered by the Sonima Foundation and teaches students multiple skills for a healthier lifestyle.
Do you think you can build a geodesic dome from plastic straws and masking tape that will not only stand up, but also hold weight? Students from Milby HS, Westside HS, Energy Institute HS and the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, along with Fort Worth ISD’s Southwest High School, did just that in the spirit of competition at the Viva Technology™ Shell STEM Showdown at the University of Houston.
Three teams from each school teamed up with university students from UH, UH Downtown, Rice University, Texas A&M, and Texas Christian University. Guided by their college counterparts, the high schoolers competed throughout the day in a series of hands-on exercises designed to stimulate interest in the applications of technology. Continue reading →
Texas-based VLK Architects has been selected to design the new $37 million Energy Institute High School, one of HISD’s newest and fastest-growing magnet programs.
The school, currently located on West 28th Street, will double its size next school year when it adds another freshman class of 200 students. The school will eventually accommodate 800 students in grades 9 -12. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for college and careers, particularly in the fast-growing energy industry, with an emphasis on math, science, engineering and project-based learning.
It’s never too soon to start preparing for life after graduation. Energy Institute High School Dean of Students Noelle MacGregor held a workshop during lunch recently to help freshmen create and build resumes in Naviance.
“It’s essential for students to start tracking their activities, community service, and awards now,” said MacGregor. “If they wait until senior year when they start applying for colleges and scholarships, they may forget some of them.”
All HISD high school and middle school students and their parents have access to Naviance on their school website. Students are encouraged to become familiar with Naviance as soon as possible (for information on Naviance, see this page).
Nearly a dozen students spent part of their weekend at an underwater robotics workshop at Waltrip High School. Three teams of students from Waltrip, Washington, and the Energy Institute high schools built underwater robots essentially from scratch.
The students had to strip wire, solder, make electrical connections, read a mechanical schematic, measure and cut pipe, drill holes, make physical connections, while going from a drawing to a 3D structure, and create a variety of larger assemblies from individual parts.
Almost 19,000 HISD students are receiving laptops this month as part of the district’s one-to-one initiative that will eventually give every high school student a computer. The initiative – PowerUp – will not only give students 24-hour access to a laptop and a variety of software but to digital-age instruction that will transform teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom.
“PowerUp is not about the device,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “This is about creating anytime-anywhere learning for our students so they can have the world at their fingertips. We want to make sure they learn skills that complement technology so they won’t be replaced by technology.”
HISD’s implementation of the PowerUp one-to-one laptop initiative is getting rave reviews from a North Carolina school district which successfully implemented a similar program six years ago. A team of educators from the Mooresville Graded School District recently visited classrooms at three HISD campuses which distributed student laptops in October.
“One of the things we were very impressed with was the rather extensive use of laptops for instruction in the classrooms,” said Steve Mauney, executive director for secondary instruction at the Mooresville Graded School District. “That is something we didn’t expect to see at the schools only two months after deployment.”
Under Grier’s leadership, Houston ISD was awarded the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education, an award that recognizes gains in student achievement and comes with $550,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors. Houston is the only district in the country to receive the award twice, winning the inaugural Broad Prize in 2002. The district was one of four national finalists in 2012.