School competes for $60,000 grant to boost technology education - WNEM TV 5

School competes for $60,000 grant to boost technology education

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Mid-Michigan students are learning a valuable lesson about giving back to the community while competing for grant money that would boost technology education.

It is part of the Cyber Senior Program at Swan Valley High School. In the program students works with senior citizens to help them connect in a digital world.

"Last week one of the students went out and set up OnStar on a senior citizen's phone so they could start their car and they help them set up their banking online. We also work with preschoolers. Twice a week we have preschool classes come in and the high school students teach them," said Kay Wejrowski, library media specialist.

It's programs like this that helped place Swan Valley in the running for $60,000 as part of the nationwide Follet Challenge. The voting for the top schools began on Monday.

"The Follet Challenge is a national competition for innovative education and at Swan Valley High School we have teachers and students who exemplify innovation every single day," Wejrowski said.

Swan Valley is just one of three high schools to be in the running for the grand prize.

From 3D printing to building robots, students across the board at Swan Valley said every day is a new hands-on adventure.

Ben Todd is the lead mechanic for the robotics team at the school. He said he enjoys watching his team's hard work come to life.

"It's very cool to see it start from the ground up and we build everything on it and we get a kit of parts to build our chassie and then we see it transform into a robot that we can complete a challenge with," Todd said.

There's also the V-Team, where members are the go-to for any technical problems.

"Everyone at Swan Valley has an iPad and as this team we fix the iPads that students break if it's a screen or an LCD of like a headphone jack," said Grant Neilson, junior.

Joseph Keating, high school senior, said these experiences are necessary as he prepares for his future.

"Yeah, I think it's really helpful because obviously I'll be in college this time next year and I think learning this stuff now is going to be really helpful later in life," Keating said.

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