Polished and showing their best, 22 schools participated in the Cyber Quest and STEM Showcase at the David G. Millen Intermediate School, where students from the Palmdale School District got to share their knowledge with parents and the community.
Cyberquest is a problem based learning activity designed to encourage students to apply higher level thinking skills in a public speaking forum.
The California State Standards requires that students use 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and effective communication. The Cyberquest competition is all of this along with the integration of research skills and the ability to utilize oral and electronic presentation.
The STEM Fair included student projects and activities, Robotics, Project Lead the Way, coding and Lego displays from different schools.
“Without dedicated students, parents and teachers who care, we couldn’t have hosted such an event. We also have exciting exhibitions; the famous Red Bull Stratosphere Capsule, the NASA Dome and Palmdale Library Techmobile,” said Dr. Frances Ufondu, Director, Local Control and Accountability Plan. “Last year 13 schools participated and this year we have 22 schools with 41 teams. Also, if it weren’t for the cyber coaches, the GATE coordinator Janet Simons, and our three Curriculum Resource Teachers, Marilyn Pearce, Carol Black and La Wanda Duboise, it wouldn’t have been possible,” said Ufondu.
Students were excited and proud to show their latest achievements and had fun building towers and participating with other STEM activities in the multi-purpose room.
Raul Maldonado, Superintendent of Palmdale School District, said the school could not have built without the community and measure DD. “Money is going directly to the class rooms, where it needs to go. As you can see, we have eager teachers and eager students,” said Maldonado.
Classes are fully funded to have shop, art, science, robotics and state of the art communication.
“If education doesn’t get turned around and back to what we saw here today, we will soon be a third world country,” said Roberta Thompson, of Sage Cheshire, who along with her husband Art, had the Red Bull Stratus Capsule on display. “Americans go to school less than any other country. We used to be number one, now we are way behind China and other countries when it comes to education.”
Principal Brian Williams claims that part of the success of the students is that they appreciate their new school and want to learn.
“Our kids want to learn, school is open six days a week and there is always some type of activity.” If a student happens to go way-ward, in- house expulsion happens on campus where students get extra help. If that doesn’t work, they are expelled, so other students are not hindered.