Lakewood’s tech expo showcases benefits of levy

LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood School District gave the community a look at where the first year of their tech levy dollars went May 12, as Lakewood Elementary hosted a “tech expo” where students showed off what they’d done with their iMovie- and iPhoto-equipped Macs.

Cathy Anderegg, executive director of instructional programs and technology for the district, explained that elementary school students used the technology to narrate fictional stories with illustrations, while high school students were assigned to explain nonfictional scientific topics in their movies, with a special emphasis on nature and the environment.

“The younger students got to draw illustrations for their stories and stand in front of them, like weathermen in front of a green screen,” Anderegg said. “Some of them did poems, while others teamed up to do different parts of the same story.”

Close to 40 projects were playing on laptops in the Lakewood Elementary multipurpose room May 12, the output of close to 60 students. Second-graders Jared Taylor and Owen Bishop used the storytelling maps supplied by their teachers to present “Banana Trouble” and “Bigfoot in the Haunted Mansion,” by outlining the characters, their goals and problems, the plot points and the solutions.

Ninth-graders Kolby Schneller and Abby Burke partnered on a nearly two-minute video explaining “obliquity,” the tilt of the Earth’s axis and how it affects the climate, while fellow ninth-grader Tug Giorgio managed to sum up nuclear fission in 30 seconds of a three-minute video on energy resources.

“We tried to let the pictures explain it as much as our words,” said Burke, who agreed with Schneller that the assignment taught her valuable lessons about working as part of a team. “We had to spend some time figuring out the Macs. On their programs, you have to know what you’re doing before you do it.”

“I boiled my presentation down to the most important facts,” said Giorgio, who took photos of wood grills, gas ovens, stoves and even cows, the latter for methane, to serve as visuals of his energy examples. “I talked about how these things could make the world better or worse, and about how they’re affecting the world right now.”

“We wanted to involve reading, art, language and science in these projects,” Anderegg said. “This tech expo is our way of saying thanks to the voters for the three-year $3.8 million tech levy that they approved.”

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