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Tag Archive | "CTA"

Bringing physics to life with computer coding


“Pong” game in progress, which was coded by high school students in their Physics class.

“Pong” game in progress, which was coded by high school students in their Physics class.

Many teachers at CTA, including high school teachers Ms. Davison (math) and Mr. Fredenburg (science), opted to incorporate the Hour of Code into their classes in December.

Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to demystify computer coding and demonstrate that anybody can learn the basics of coding.

Using a program called “Scratch,” seniors Josh Davidson and Keegan Shears designed a pong game and used the Makey Makey hardware to design a controller to play the game in their physics class.

Seniors Keegan Shears (L) and Josh Davidson (R) with their Pong game controller made out of a yard stick and circuits.

Seniors Keegan Shears (L) and Josh Davidson (R) with their Pong game controller made out of a yard stick and circuits.

They tied it into the Circuits and Electronics unit they were studying and where they learned how to interface the game using various circuits and electronics with a wooden yardstick as the base. The project follows the newly adopted next generation science standards in engineering design. Davidson and Shears currently have a working model and have additional phases planned to test and review their prototype to make improvements and redesigns.

Other student projects included a Dance Dance Revolution-type game, Firefly Sparts and a working model airplane. Each project presented its own unique challenges for the students to work through.

The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. This provided students with the opportunity to learn computer science, nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity to build a foundation for success in any 21st century career path.

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Coin Wars for Toys for Tots


8th grade students Zoe Lehman, Cameron Almy and Luke Hubbard with one of the filled coin war tubs.

8th grade students Zoe Lehman, Cameron Almy and Luke Hubbard with one of the filled coin war tubs.

CTA elementary and middle school have participated in a coin drive competition for charity for the past four years. Each year they like to mix things up to boost energy towards giving and this year was no different and the high school building joined in to make it a whole-school event. The hallways at CTA during the first two weeks of December were LOUD and JOYOUS! Lots of “We bombed you!” and “Not again!” phrases were heard from teachers and students alike. The entire school community seemed to get into the fun of the event. At the end of the two week period, all coins were counted and the winners of this year’s coin drive were the 8th graders with a grand total of positive $43.49! The class with the lowest amount of “positive” funds were the Kindergarteners with a WHOOPING GRAND TOTAL of negative $58.33. For the Coin War, pennies count as “positive” and silver coins and dollars counted as “negative” to come up each class total. For instance, if a class had 100 pennies and a dollar bill in their class tote, it was a wash and made their total zero, but they still had $2.00 to contribute.

During the coin drive week, CTA also held a Toys for Tots campaign and it was decided that the funds raised through the Coin Wars would be donated to Toys for Tots. Not only did students bring in money for the coin drive competition, they also brought in new toys to be delivered to children for Christmas! When all totals were tabulated, CTA raised almost $700 for the Toys for Tots campaign!

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Friendsgiving Celebrates Friendship and Giving


CTA kindergarten and first grade students shared their Friendsgiving meal.

CTA kindergarten and first grade students shared their Friendsgiving meal.

CTA kindergarten and first grade celebrated Thanksgiving a little differently this year; instead of the traditional gathering and feast, the teachers and students celebrated “Friendsgiving.” On that day, everyone contributed to making Stone Soup and Friendship Bread. Every student brought in a different ingredient. Each delicious ingredient could only be shared by a particular individual; however, when the ingredients were put together, they became a huge pot of delicious soup or a yummy loaf of bread. Friendship is a wonderful combination of individuality and working togetherness. At the end of the day when the meal was prepared, the students and teachers came together once again and celebrated “Friendsgiving” with a friendship banquet, sharing the soup and bread.

CTA kindergarten and first grade students shared their Friendsgiving meal.

CTA kindergarten and first grade students shared their Friendsgiving meal.

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‘Tis the Season to Think of Others


Teacher Laura Chilcote (Left) with high school students and their ornaments for their wish tree.

Teacher Laura Chilcote (Left) with high school students and their ornaments for their wish tree.

All too often we hear the question, “What do you want for Christmas?” This year, CTA students in Ms. Chilcote’s FIT class were asked the following question instead: “If you could make one wish for others this holiday season, what would be your Christmas wish for the world?” Their answers displayed their kindness, which was a recent focus for our Character Trait of the Month, and creativity.

Student Wishes:

Cortney A. (10th grade) “To end bullying everywhere”;

Tatyanna L. (11th grade) “That people would have more Christmas Spirit”;

Ryan F. (12th grade) “For people to be happy”;

Bryanna R. (10th grade) “For the world to be stress-free & happy”;

Brin C. (9th grade) “For people to have enough food”.

A few ornaments the High School students made of their wishes for the world.

A few ornaments the High School students made of their wishes for the world.

School-wide, students have been making an effort to make some of these wishes come true through participating in Toys for Tots, the “Make Change Campaign”, and writing to U.S. soldiers currently serving overseas. These activities show how committed our CTA community is to our mission through actively “changing our world by developing students in character, scholarship, and leadership.”

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School Closings and Cancellations


 

Occasionally, adverse weather conditions or other emergency situations may make it necessary to cancel school or cancel evening activities. Please note – CTA does not have school delays – only cancellations. When cancellations occur, notice will be communicated to WOOD TV 8, WXMI Fox 17 and WZZMTV13 and listed as CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES ACADEMY.  You can also sign up to receive school-specific text alerts from any of these three stations.

When school evening activities are cancelled, this cancellation also includes all clubs, organizations and extracurricular events held on campus and scheduled for that evening. For more information call 616-696-4905.

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Chargers have strong showing at state meet


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The Creative Technologies Academy Boys and Girls Cross Country teams headed into the Class D State Championship meet with a lot of confidence, and rightfully so. Many of their runners had recently completed either their season or career best run times in the previous two weeks. For the boys team, it also meant that Junior captain Ethan Lehman was going to be able to compete after having to sit out the previous few meets with a stress fracture in his right leg.

The Charger boys finished with their best showing ever at the Class D meet, finishing in 13th out of over 30 teams. They were once again led by Sophomore Les Miner, who finished 2nd overall with a time of 16:50. Lehman finished with a season personal record in his first race back with a time of 18:51. James Hofstra (19:58), Dawson Ingersoll (21:07), and Dawson Armstrong (21:28) rounded out the top 5 for the Chargers. With no seniors on the roster but plenty of experience, expect to see even better things out of this team next year.

The CTA Lady Chargers also had an impressive race led by Freshman Brianne Calkins with a personal career best time of 24:35. Not far behind her was Junior Tatyanna Lawson (25:00). Rounding out the varsity runners was Senior Kaleigh Keech. Kaleigh was running on a sprained ankle, but still fought through her final race to finish with a time of 38:30.

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Pumpkins Explode for Science


CTA 8th grade students put rubber bands on pumpkin in “Pumpkin Time Bomb” experiment

CTA 8th grade students put rubber bands on pumpkin in “Pumpkin Time Bomb” experiment

Students (L to R) Collin Bishop and Mason Dood with their split pumpkin and 700+ rubber band ball.

Students (L to R) Collin Bishop and Mason Dood with their split pumpkin and 700+ rubber band ball.

For many, Halloween is about candy and costumes, but for the 8th grade students at CTA it was about pumpkins and explosions. Students participated in the Pumpkin Time Bomb 2015.

Students worked in groups to test how many rubber bands it would take before the pumpkins were cut in half from the pressure. In the process of performing the tests, students were expected to make a hypothesis, record results, and draw conclusions about how many rubber bands would be needed for explosion.

Aside from learning science, the students had a fun and memorable day.  “It was something that was fun and we were still learning,” commented a student when asked about the event. “I liked how we did not know when the pumpkin would explode, It was kind of scary,” another student was heard saying. All in all, it was a great way to incorporate fun with an educational component.

For a video of the event go to the following link.

Video link: http://bit.ly/pumpkinbomb

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CTA school leader a top 10 finalist in Best in Education awards


 

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Dan George, Creative Technologies Academy’s Superintendent and School Leader

Dan George, Superintendent/School Leader at Creative Technologies Academy, was recently named as one of the top 10 finalists in TheBestSchools.org annual awards. The finalists are primary and secondary school administrators who demonstrate a wide range of gifts, experiences and accomplishments. According to TheBestSchools.org, the top 10 named leaders have proven his or her ability to overcome odds, rally the team and cultivate educational success where weaker wills could not.

“I was honored and humbled to be nominated and selected as a top 10 finalist for this award,” commented Dan George. “I appreciate all of the support I receive daily from my dedicated staff of educators. Their hearts for kids and sacrificial service inspire me every day. Our highest priority is to do what’s best for kids, and I know I can count on my staff to help us keep getting better.”

TheBestSchools.org provided an overview of George that included:  he is a servant leader at Creative Technologies Academy (CTA), a charter school in Cedar Springs, Michigan. with about 300 students. Dan’s experience in the business world (25 years) and as a basketball coach at a local college have molded his leadership style for teamwork, efficiency, and the work ethic to “keep getting better.” Yet, make no mistake, George’s first love is not business, or basketball, it is education. His educational credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in History and Teacher Certification from Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY) and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the College of Education at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI). When George first arrived at Creative Technologies Academy almost six years ago, the school was facing a 50 percent student poverty rate (whose household income was at or below the poverty line), and the school was struggling in probationary status, barely maintaining accreditation. But before long, the school’s state grades rose 31 percent and now CTA “exceeds expectations.” This was a marginal school that’s now an academic leader.

“It is really great for Dan to get recognized for the hard work that he does,” praised David Oldebekking, Dean of Students. “He is a very humble man and a lot of his work is done behind the scenes, so for his hard work and sacrifice to be acknowledged is well-deserved.”

Mr. George’s methods emphasize leadership training and community engagement programs. For example, he has worked with his teachers and staff to develop leadership curriculum, emphasizing character, service learning, and college readiness. Effectively, this model empowers students to take responsibility for their community, actively apply their learning, and contribute to the overall health of their school. One spotlight for community engagement is “Coffee with Mr. George,” a monthly 7:00 a.m. open-door gathering to chat about the school, its direction, and its role in the community. George’s peers describe him as a man of strong moral fiber and integrity. In applying for this award, George couldn’t help but commend his fellow administrators and educators as his team of sacrificial servants.

the Best in Education Award centers around the legacy of Jamie Escalante and Henry Gradillas, the teacher and principal depicted in the film Stand and Deliver; their outstanding work at Garfield High School in the 1980s shines a beacon to this day. They hope to find and acknowledge outstanding teachers and school administrators across America. Their aim is not only to recognize the individuals, their work and their schools; it is to energize the spirit of excellence in education for all educators.

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Chargers Show School Spirit at Walk and Festival


Students enjoying a snack after the Walk-A-Thon

Students enjoying a snack after the Walk-A-Thon

WOW! What an awesome start to the year for the little Chargers of Creative Technologies Academy! CTA Elementary was busy with lots of fun things: the annual Walk-A-Thon and the Red Flannel Festival!

The Walk-A-Thon included obstacles for the students, including a finish line they got to cross after each lap.

The Walk-A-Thon included obstacles for the students, including a finish line they got to cross after each lap.

The CTA Parent Association decided to have one – and only one – BIG fundraiser this year: A Walk-a-Thon. The students were asked to contact their friends and family to donate to their participation in the Walk-a-Thon at our local Skinner Field. All of the donations are going towards funding for educational class field trips. In fact, every grade in the elementary raised enough to go to Klackle Orchards where they will learn about various apple processes, agricultural practices and of course enjoy samples and experience apple picking – completely paid for by the donors! Nice work, Chargers!

Chargers lining up to walk in the Red Flannel Festival Parade.

Chargers lining up to walk in the Red Flannel Festival Parade.

CTA was ever-present in the Red Flannel festivities this year. We participated in the window decorating competition. Congratulations to third grade for a first place ranking this year. This was also the first year that CTA walked as a school in the Red Flannel parade. And boy, did we pick a good year to start! A little rain and cold won’t hold us Chargers down! NO WAY!

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CTA Creates Brings Art to the Classroom


CTA-Creates1

CTA Elementary students share their works of art.

CTA Creates took advantage of the great weather to take their lesson outdoors.

CTA Creates took advantage of the great weather to take their lesson outdoors.

For the month of October, the CTA Creates art classes will be studying Henri Matisse, who used cut paper to create amazing works of art. The students will be cutting and designing their very own artwork using a similar method to that which Matisse used. The students also will be working on a collaborative project later in the month which will represent all CTA students.

CTA Creates is a 100 percent volunteer-run program in its third year, which is run by a group of parents who work together to bring art to the students of CTA. They study different artists every month and let the kids try many different art processes and use different mediums. Students, teachers and parent volunteers all love Art Thursdays!

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