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March 10, 2005
I Just Have to Brag

On Monday, March 7th, Mabry students, parents, and teachers were invited to the capitol to share with our elected state officials the innovative ways we use technology at Mabry Middle School. We were one of only 13 schools around the state invited to attend!

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(Click to enlarge)

The students presented their digital video Wild Life Documentary project. Mr. Swanson, one of Mabry's excellent 7th grade Life Science teachers, went to Botswana and Zimbabwe this past summer to shoot digital video footage of the wildlife, habitats, and ecosystems in those countries. That footage, along with footage donated by an international expedition company, about 60 gigabytes all total, has been loaded on our Mabry servers and made available to our 7th grade Life Science students.

Both Mrs. Carroll's and Mr. Swanson's students are presently in the process of creating their movies. (Because of limited resources, only 2 teacher's students can do this, in groups, at a time. If every child had a laptop from The Power to Learn initiative, every single child in the 7th grade Life Science curriculum could make his or her own movie project.)

Each team of students selects a topic, for example: comparing and contrasting the Cheetah and the Leopard, researches various aspects of the species (for example: adaptations, interdependence with other organisms in their biome, etc.), and puts together a movie from the footage that applies to their research. I suspect that the only way learning these Georgia Performance Standards could be any more engaging for our students would be if our Life Science teachers took them to Africa to shoot the footage themselves! (Actually, they want to do that too...)

The team that went to the capitol has been meeting before and after school to create the first (beta test with this footage, if you will) movie project. A number of people at the capitol stopped by their display and watched all 3 of their movie projects. Ms. Lynda Martin, Cobb County Area 4 Superintendent, came to see our students' work. Cathy Cox, Secretary of State, spent about 30 minutes with the Mabry team, watching their work in its entirety and asking them numerous substantive questions about their project. The students did an excellent job of presenting their work to the many adults and other students who visited their display.

Congratulations to these students and teachers for their outstanding work which has gained state recognition: Shane, Katie, Diamond, and Anna (all 7th grade students representing the group), Matt, Will, Logan, and Marli (additional 7th grade students who participated in the project), Mrs. Carroll, and Mr. Swanson (teachers), and Mrs. Janet McCrary (Instruction Lead Teacher).

Once again, I couldn't be any more proud of our staff and students who work every day to reach our school goal: maximize student academic achievement of the Georgia Performance Standards!

Posted by Dr. Tyson

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