Story by Wyatt Davis
Students taking Tech Ed. next year will be able to experience the new system of learning called STEM.
“STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It covers all the bases of the present technology sciences,” Derek Dial, Tech. Ed. teacher, said.
STEM is a learning system that is open to all learning styles, visual learning, and hands on, even the female perspective of Tech. Ed.
“I feel that this new system will be more beneficial for students learning styles, especially the female students who have an interest in technology,” Dial said.
Dial said, “The benefits of STEM includes how it allows us to interchange subjects and this allows us to add stations like engineering and architecture.”
This allows students to take new labs and stations along with the classics. STEM has many benefits and new ways of teaching and appealing to student’s needs, wants, and ways of learning.
The Tech. Ed. lab will be receiving a multitude of new topics and state of the art equipment along with software to improve the learning in the lab. Students next year will be able to study topics such as veterinary science, architecture, biomedical engineering, sports medicine, and more.
Dial believes the new system will help many students’ learning. “From what I know, I’m very pleased with how it will function, and I'm feeling very optimistic about it,” he said.
Many students have noticed that the Tech. Ed. lab has taken in many new machines like the 3D printer.
Although the new STEM system is unavailable until next year, the new curriculum will be the highlight of technology education here at Clay.
Story By Griffin Hadley
Multi-colored feathers cover the body of the great beast. With a monstrous red body, the dragon looks like it could soar off the table right into the sky. With its life-like appearance these seventh grade students social studies projects are very beastly.
The students in seventh grade are learning about ancient and modern China. Recently, they got to choose how they learned: students could either learn about China with their teacher and take a test at the end of the unit, or they could research about China and make the dragon and take a special dragon test. This project was due on February 26 or 29, so the students only had about two and a half weeks to work on it.
Mr. Dan Patane, seventh grade social studies teacher, said he gave the students a rubric and a PowerPoint presentation to guide students through the dragon project process.
“There is specific information on the rubric,” Patane said, “But it was up to the students what facts to put on the dragon about the specific information.
“It is a social studies project where students get to make a Chinese dragon instead of going through regular social studies class,” William Kok, seventh grade, said. Kok chose to do the dragon project because he thought it would be fun to try something new.
The information that students needed on the dragon included facts about past Chinese leaders, dynasties, geography, and some extra fun facts were optional.
Kok also said that he researched the dragon at school, but he still had to assemble the dragon at home. The dragon was be made up of several cardboard “discs” that were packed with information. The dragon needed facts the students need will be about Chinese leaders like Liu Bang, the first peasant to become a ruler, and Qin Shi Huangdi, who was hated by his people. The dragon also needed facts about the Chinese dynasties like the Shang, the first dynasty, Ming, the dynasty that improved ships and had the legendary sailor Zheng He, and the longest lasting dynasty, the Zhou.
Tate Wheeler, also constructing a dragon, said he will be making his dragon out of cardboard, paper plates and paper mache. Wheeler also covered his dragon with colorful paper and used glitter glue and streamers to add some flare.
“The dragon project was fun,” Kok said. “It was cool to get to get to do something a little different.”
Story by Danny Rhoad
As the extruder moves rapidly back and forth, a gray mechanical hand begins to form.
Once hooked up to wires, this mechanical hand could operate as a prosthetic hand.
During the second semester in Tech Ed, the class has received a new machine.
“It helps you express your creativity and you can design almost anything and have it become real.” Anna Grace Hook, seventh grade Tech. Ed. student said. She is talking about the Makerbot.
The Makerbot is a new 3D printer in the Tech Ed. lab. Clay has had a 3D printer in the Tech Ed lab since the beginning of the year, but this 3D printer is new and advanced.
“It has a robotic term analysis, has smart capabilities with sensors for easy setup and user friendly, also very accurate.” Mr. Dial, Tech Ed teacher said. Clearly this piece of technology is very advanced and is very creative.
There is also a Makerbot in the Makerspace. Mrs. Stephanie Swarzendruber, media specialist, wrote a grant for it this past fall. It arrived in January.
Students in Tech Ed enjoy having the Makerbot in the class.
Megan Cunningham, seventh grade Tech. Ed. student, said it's something cool to show off, and it's a cool feature to have in the class. Students are also allowed to design and make something using the Makerbot.
The Makerbot helps the students learn about technology. It also shows them how they can use technology to help people in the community.
“I learned how to help society with the technology and it can improve the lives of people and you can do amazing things, like print a prosthetic,” Anna Grace said. So it helps the students think about what they can do to help by using the Makerbot.
The Makerbot works in a very specific way. It has very specific movements and has to follow the exact steps from the design on the computer.
“By using FDM (Fuse Deposition Modeling), which is heating plastic through a nosil, and extruding to build layer upon layer to form an object,” Mr. Dial said. Those are the exact steps the Makerbot has to use to perform correctly.
Since students are able to use the Makerbot it has giving them a chance to show their creativity. It has really brought a new vibe to Tech Ed and has made it just a little bit more interesting. Megan Cunningham said, “It’s something fun to tell the other classes!”
Story by Jenna Hohne and Daniele Wittles
Middle school. First comes sixth grade, then seventh, and last comes eighth.
The seventh graders are doing all they can to prepare for their last year at Clay. One preparation is to make their eighth grade schedule.
The seventh graders got to choose up to eight electives for eighth grade. The students get to choose from a variety of electives ranging from art, technology, language, and music. These classes can help you find your future career, and earn diplomas in high school. Students get to explore their interests and find what they think is the most enjoyable.
“All of our electives help create a well-rounded student. Classes, each offering their own skill set, are often chosen based on a student’s interests and career goals. Depending on future aims and past experiences, a person might be drawn to certain electives over others,” Mrs. Michelle Janson, counselor, said.
Janson believes it is important for students to have numerous electives to choose from “because we have a wonderful mixture of students at Clay that have a variety of interests and therefore we need to cater to and serve those different interests. There are also many professional fields out there that we need to represent as well” she said.
Mrs. Janson was then asked how electives help students in choosing and fulfilling their future careers.
“Electives can help you earn high school credit which moves you closer to achieving your diploma. These classes help students discover career fields that are intriguing to them and grow skills that will serve them throughout life. Electives create better visions of potential jobs down the road and prepares our students for the excitements and challenges of life,” she said.
Janson made one last comment saying: “All of our teachers are amazing and no matter what elective you choose, you will learn a lot and have fun doing it.”
Tyler Wittles, an eighth grade student, was asked a couple of questions about how the electives he chose are affecting his eighth grade year.
“The classes I took were Orchestra and French,” Tyler said. Wittles said he was happy with the electives he had chosen.
Leila Anthony, seventh grade, was also asked a few questions about her schedule. “I took mixed media, drawing and painting, Tech. Ed, and yearbook,” Antony said. “I took these classes because I wanted to have fun while doing different projects.”
The seventh graders created their schedules earlier in February, and had until February 26 to change them through the Online Course Request System.
Any other schedule changes can be made by emailing a counselor at Clay by May 20. Knowing that they only have one more year at Clay, the students are trying to choose the classes that will help them make the best of their last year as middle schoolers.
Story by William Kok
Many Clay students play after school sports, and some students take it above and beyond. Clay student Nishesh Basavareddy, sixth grade, is one of these students that participates in sports after school, and he is a nationally ranked star in the sport he plays.
Nishesh is one of the best tennis players in the country for his age group. He practically lives with the sport. He often times faces competition from all over the country, from Florida to Arkansas.
Although he is one of the best players, it is not easy. It takes dedication, Nishesh said that for six days a week he has one to two and a half hour practices.
“Becoming nationally ranked has proven that my hard work has payed off,” he said.
Nishesh started tennis seven years ago after trying out soccer and tennis. He discovered that he liked tennis more. Ever since, he has been working his way up to the top.
Another Clay tennis player, seventh grader Broc Fletcher practices with Nishesh, and he said, “We are really good friends, and we cheer for each other at some of our matches.”
Broc plays in the same age division as Nishesh which includes 12 and under, and 14 and under.
Both of the players say that tennis helps them with more than just physical challenges.
“It helps with emotional skills, too, being able to take a tough loss and get back up to keep playing,” Fletcher said.
Although tennis is a year-round sport, during the summer there are large tournaments. During this time many of the tennis players travel to matches around the country.
Although Nishesh is playing now, he’s gearing up for this summer when most of his major tournaments will be.
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.