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Students Compete at 2017 SeaPeach Underwater Robotics Challenge

logo_seaperchOver 100 students from throughout Charleston recently competed in the 2017 SeaPerch Charleston Challenge at the Danny Jones Pool complex in North Charleston.

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Teams from local high and middle schools designed underwater robots and competed with them in various challenges. Students were also judged on their poster and presentation skills, and an overall composite score determined the winner of the event for both middle and high school age students.

Seaperch Charleston 2017

Local schools competing included:

  • Buist Academy MS
  • C.E.Williams MS for the Creative and Scientific Arts
  • Charleston Math and Science Charter School
  • Laing MS of Science and Technology
  • North Charleston HS
  • Summerville HS
  • Wando HS
  • West Ashley HS

Mr. Jonathan Zucker delivered an inspiring keynote message before the competition began. He reminded students about the vast amounts of the seafloor that remain unexplored, and the potential discoveries that await mankind as we perfect our underwater exploration equipment.

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West Ashley High School brought home the overall 1st place trophy for the high schools division.

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Students from Laing Middle School were the overall winner in the middle school division.

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This event was made possible thanks to countless volunteer hours. Special thanks to the following list of leading sponsors of this year’s Charleston SeaPerch event!

  • SPAWAR
  • Little Caesars
  • Charleston Scuba
  • STEM Centers SC
  • NOAA
  • Homegrown Hospitality
  • City of North Charleston – Recreation Department
  • Charleston County School District Science Department, and many others!

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CCSD K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist Rodney Moore led the planning efforts and day of event coordination for this event.???????????????????????????????Thanks to EV Bell, Marine Education Specialist  with SC SeaGrant Consortium for her remarks as closing speaker at the event!

FINAL RESULTS

Middle School Division: Overall winner to Nationals Laing MS Team # 6

Engineering Notebook
1st- Laing Ms #6
2nd- Buist MS # 13
3rd Laing MS # 5
Obstacle Course
1st- Laing MS #6
2nd Buist MS #13
3rd Buist MS #21
Puzzle Challenge
1st- Buist #21
2nd tie Buist MS #21, Laing MS #6
High School Division over all winner to Nationals West Ashley HS Team #17
Engineering Notebook
1st- West Ashley HS #17
2nd- Charleston Charter for Math & Science # 2
3rd- Charleston Charter for Math & Science # 18
Obstacle Course
1st- West Ashley HS # 17
2nd- West Ashley HS # 7
3rd- Wando HS # 3
Puzzle Challenge
1st- North Charleston HS # 24
2nd – North Charleston HS # 23
3rd- North Charleston HS #20

Please enjoy these additional pictures from the event:

 

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700+ CCSD Students Enjoy Screening of Hidden Figures Movie Followed by Panel Discussions with Local STEM Pros


Zucker picsFebruary 14, 2017 – North Charleston, SC
– Thanks to a hard working group of volunteers from local companies and organizations, over 1000 students were invited to a very special STEM themed event staged at a theater complex adjacent to North Charleston City Hall.

Students arrived by the bus load to an expo style event in the theater lobby where local STEM professionals from NUCOR, Google, SPAWAR, and others set up table top displays. The professionals shared the good news about high demand, high wage careers available right here in the Charleston region!

By 10AM, five theaters were full of excited students and the acclaimed movie Hidden Figures had begun. The wonderfully produced movie tells the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit around the earth, and his successful return.

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This was not the first Hidden Figures movie event orchestrated by local STEM Champions Ms. Radia HeywarMs. Anishi Scott, and Ms. Jenna Richardson. With the encouragement of their employers, Ms. Heyward, Ms. Richardson, and Ms. Scott had staged an earlier event on a Saturday that was a huge success with hundreds attending.

Boeing SC Leader Joan Robinson-BerryWhen the movie finished, and while many eyes were still wet with emotion, the lights came up and students were treated to a panel discussion with local professionals like Ms. Joan Robinson-Berry, site leader and lead executive in charge at Boeing South Carolina in North Charleston and Mr. KaMar Galloway, local leader of Google’s CS First computer science program. Not only was the powerful movie discussed, but also the pathway available to students today and the career opportunities that await them in the fast growing Charleston economy.

Thanks to generous support from the Charleston Defense Contractors Association, students were awarded prizes in each theater when they answered questions about the movie correctly.

Students were treated to chicken sandwiches and pizza as they exited the theater thanks in part to the generous support from the City of North Charleston, including volunteers from the police and other departments. By 1:30 PM, the students had all departed.

Participating schools from Charleston County School District included: 

  1. Wando HSHidden Figures event
  2. R B Stall HS
  3. Academic Magnet HS
  4. St. Johns HS
  5. Baptist Hill MHS
  6. Septima P. Clark Academy
  7. Garrett Academy of Technology
  8. West Ashley HS
  9. James Simons EMS
  10. Orange Grove MS
  11. James Island MS
  12. Jerry Zucker MS
  13. CE Williams MS
  14. Montessori Community School
  15. Cario MS
  16. West Ashley MS
  17. Deer Park MS

Over 250 students from Berkeley County Schools also attended.

Special thanks to everyone that made this event possible, especially Ms. Rita Scott and the NYC African American Business Leaders Fund for the movie tickets, City of North Charleston for lunch support, and Charleston Defense Contractors Association for their support of prizes and other supplies for the event.

Read more from Live 5 News: http://www.live5news.com/story/34454797/berkeley-and-charleston-students-to-see-movie-hidden-figures.Volunteers for Hidden Figures Event

 

 

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City of Charleston Hosts Job Shadowing Day for 25 West Ashley HS Students

February 13, 2017 – Charleston, SC – 25 students from West Ashley High School got to shadow City of Charleston municipal professionals for a “Day in the Life” experience. IMG_3804

They arrived with their chaperones Ms. Melissa Sparks and Ms. Bridgette Butler early Monday morning at City Hall, and quickly took their seats in the historic City Council Chambers.

They got to hear several interesting stories about the chamber from the docent, Ms. Lindsay Barrios including the single Edison light bulb still in place and the amazing story of the portrait of George Washington in Charleston featured behind the podium.

Then, they were welcomed by City of Charleston Mayor, John Tecklenburg. He spoke on the value of the opportunity of job shadowing and thanked the City of Charleston team members for their willingness to invest in students.

Students were them connected with their host departments and departed to begin their work-based learning experiences.
Mayor John Tecklenburg with his WAHS Shadow

Host departments included:

  • Police Department
  • Fire Department
  • Recreation Department
  • Old Slave Mart Museum
  • Human Resources
  • Housing & Community Development
  • Parks Department
  • Technology & Business Development
  • Information Technology
  • Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and Families
  • Municipal Court Judge
  • Mayor’s Office

After the morning of job shadowing, students and their host met for a special luncheon at the Maritime Center.

The amazing day of work-based learning was organized by Jennifer Gorham with the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families.

Thanks to Jennifer, Mindy, and all the City of Charleston departments for making this event possible again this year.

Thanks to Mayor John Tecklenburg for welcoming the students to City Hall and attending the debriefing luncheon at the Maritime Center.

 

West Ashley High Robotics Team Wins Big at Recent Competitions (02)

West Ashley High’s Robotics Team Wins Big at Recent Competitions

West Ashley High School’s Robotics Team places first and takes home four additional awards from the College Park / Cane Bay Regional Qualifier Charleston

west ashley robotics logoRecently, the West Ashley High School Robotics Team, also known as W.A.R.P. Drive, competed in the Viking Hammer Qualifier and the College Park / Cane Bay Regional Qualifier where they continued their winning streak. West Ashley High’s robotics team has not lost a local competition within the last 18 months. Not only did they come in first place at both qualifiers, they also earned awards for their teamwork and overall attitude during each of the competitions.

On November 12, W.A.R.P. Drive competed in the Viking Hammer Qualifier at Spring Valley High School. Along with West Ashley High’s four robotics teams, groups from Royal Live Oaks Academy, Aiken High, Spring Valley High, Dutch Fork High, Pickens Country Career and Tech Center, Indian Land High, Palmetto Scholars Academy, and Clinton High competed in the tournament. West Ashley High’s robot W.A.R.P. Drive 9623B ending up taking home the Excellence Award and was part of a three-team alliance, which included Team Legend Robotics and the Augusta Homeschoolers, who were named the Tournament Champs.West Ashley High Robotics Team Wins Big at Recent Competitions (04)

All four of West Ashley High School’s robots, W.A.R.P. Drive 9623A, 9623B, 9623C, and 9623D, competed next at the College Park / Cane Bay Regional Qualifier in Ladson on December 10th. Two of West Ashley High’s robotics teams, W.A.R.P. Drive 9623B and 9623C, were part of a three-team alliance which won the tournament. Bluffton High was the third team in that alliance. Other teams involved in the competition were from Spring Valley High, Goose Creek High, Bluffton High, and Royal Live Oaks Academy Charter School. 30 teams competed in this year’s College Park / Cane Bay Regional Qualifier. This competition did more than just earn West Ashley High another first place trophy. It earned the team tickets to the SC State Championship and the CREATE VRC National Championship in Council Bluffs, Iowa. They also won the Excellence Award, the Design Award, the Programming Skills Competition, the Driver Skills Competition, and was the Robot Skills Winner.West Ashley High Robotics Team Wins Big at Recent Competitions (01)

West Ashley High’s Robotics Team meets each week on Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30pm – 6:00pm to prepare for their next competition. They use this time to continue to improve their robots and fix any issues that may have occurred during a recent competition. This year, West Ashley High Robotics Coach Nicholas Holmes is especially proud of the coding that has been created which controls the team’s robots.

West Ashley High Robotics Team Wins Big at Recent Competitions (05)

This is some of the most advanced coding our program has ever come up with,‖ says Holmes. ―The code re-calibrates our motors every 50 milliseconds to make sure they are doing precisely what we want them todo. Even if an outside force acts on our robot, gyroscopes, accelerometers, encoders, and sonar sensors will reposition the robot so that it will continue to complete the required task without fail. No other team is doing anything this advanced. West Ashley High Robotics Team Wins Big at Recent Competitions (02)

Senior Noah Combs, the driver of West Ashley High’s best robot and the winner of the Excellence Award, was the one who created the code which they use to control all four robots. ―Noah came to me one day, after leaving his AP Computer Science class, and told me that he thought we could use an array set to calibrate the motors,‖ says Holmes.

―Within 30 minutes, Noah had scratched out a basic code that did the job we have been trying to figure out since the beginning of last season. West Ashley High is preparing to host its annual competition, The West Ashley Robotics Regional Qualifier, on Saturday, February 25th in the school’s Main Gym and Cafeteria. The competition will begin at 9am and will conclude with an Awards Ceremony at 5pm. Currently, there are 34 teams from 17 schools signed up to participate in the competition.West Ashley High Robotics Team Wins Big at Recent Competitions (03)

Story submitted by Donnie Newton, West Ashley High School Public Relations Coordinator

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7 CCSD Students Start Spring Internships with Boeing South Carolina

Seven seniors from schools throughout Charleston County School District recently began spring semester internship with Boeing South Carolina.

The students will be working 20 hours per week after school. They will earn a high school course credit as well as a paycheck, but the most significant reward will be the relationships they will gain with professionals from a global manufacturing company and the authentic work experience.

Congratulations to these seven students on their work-based learning placement, and thanks to the team at Boeing SC and Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce for all their hard work facilitating the program.

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Students from the following CCSD schools are participating in this work-based learning opportunity:

  • James Island Charter High School
  • R. B. Stall High School
  • St. Johns High School
  • Wando High School
  • West Ashley High School

Octavia working at Boeing

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West Ashley High School Health Science Students Celebrate HOSA Week

Recently, West Ashley High’s HOSA chapter celebrated HOSA Week by participating in various activities like administering a mental health survey and placing a compliment tree in the hallway where students could leave notes for each other.West Ashley High School Club Celebrates HOSA Week (01)
The group recently traveled to attend the HOSA Fall Leadership Conference at Newberry College and plans to attend the State Conference in March.West Ashley High School Club Celebrates HOSA Week (02)West Ashley High School Club Celebrates HOSA Week (03)
Story by Donnie Newton, WAHS Public Relations Coordinator
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West Ashley High School Robotics Team Earns 1st Place at Regional Qualifying Event

Mr. Nicholas Holmes,  Mathematics and Mechatronics Teacher, and Robotics and Trebuchet Team Advisor at West Ashley High School, provided the following report on the WAHS VEX Robotics Team’s success in their most recent event on December 10, 2016 at the College Park/Cane Bay Regional Qualifier in Ladson.

964607df-vex-logo1All 4 teams from West Ashley HS competed against programs from high schools throughout the state, including Goose Creek, Bluffton, Beaufort, Columbia, and Orangeburg.

Two WAHS teams were part of the 3-team alliance that won the tournament.  WAHS students also won the Excellence Award, Design Award, Programming Skills Competition, and Driver Skills Competition.wahs-2

“Through our teams’ success at the event, we earned the opportunity to move on to the SC State Championship and the CREATE VRC National Championship in Council Bluffs, Iowa.” said Holmes. 

The WAHS team was successful in the event due to their excellent teamwork. From the design to the drivers on the day of the event, it was a team effort. One specific factor in robotics is the code the programs the actions and abilities of the robot. WAHS students used a multidimensional array systems to calibrate our motors in real time.  This code recalibrates our motors every 50 milliseconds to make sure they are doing precisely what we want them to do.  Even if an outside force acts on our robot, gyroscopes, accelerometers, encoders, and sonar sensors will reposition the robot so that it will continue to complete the required task without fail.

“The coding used for this event was an original idea by one of our senior students, Noah Combs.  He is also the driver of our best robot and the winner of the skills challenges and excellence award.  Noah came to me one day, after leaving his AP Computer Science class, and told me that he thinks we can use an array set to calibrate the motors.  Motor calibration is something the team had been battling for over a year.

Within 30 minutes, Noah had scratched out a basic code that did the job we have been trying to figure out since the beginning of last season!!” said Mr. Holmes.  WAHS robots have the ability to operate our robot at an advanced rate of precision.

“We are thankful to have engineers serving as mentors for our team from the Army Corps of Engineers and Cummins Charleston. We also remain extremely thankful for the financial support provided to our team from the Charleston chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.” added Mr. Holmes.

Thank you to Mr. Holmes, his amazing students, and all the parents and other terrific supporters of the award winning West Ashley High School Robotics Team! 
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CCSD Culinary Students Compete in 2016 Fall Cornucopia Cook-Off

Charleston, SC — On Friday, November 11, 2016, local culinary students from different high schools around the county competed in a live cook-off at the Culinary Institute of Charleston showcasing their fall produce recipes.2nd-place

Participants in the cook-off were hand-chosen by their program’s director based on their recipe. Finalists cooked their dish in front of a panel of judges including Executive Chef Michelle Weaver from Charleston Grill, Post & Courier food reporter and restaurant critic Hanna Raskin, Weston Fennell with Limehouse Produce, and Marion Sullivan from the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College.

Congratulations to the following students who competed in this year’s cook-off:

  • 1st Place: Michelle Hammock, West Ashley HS Senior, Pumpkin pie with kabocha squash ice cream1st-place
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Thai, Wando HS Sophomore, Spaghetti squash carbonara with pear jam chicken
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  • 3rd Place: Shannon Lemmon, Wando HS Junior, Acorn squash soup
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  • Honorable Mention: Abigail Delgado, West Ashley HS Senior
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“Limehouse takes pride in engaging our customers and community in outreach efforts that promote fresh, healthy eating and seasonal awareness as it relates to produce,” said Weston Fennell, Lead Buyer at Limehouse Produce. “The Fall Cornucopia Cook-off taps into a vital audience: our future chefs studying culinary arts in high school. Cooking before esteemed judges like Hanna Raskin and Michelle Weaver provides these students with an exciting opportunity to test their creativity and skills. We hope the experience comes full circle when they visit Charleston Grill and see what goes on in a top-notch professional kitchen.”

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For first place, Hammock received $125 courtesy of Feed the Need, a behind-the-scenes tour with Chef Weaver, including dinner at Charleston Grill, and the opportunity to be featured in a Local Palate magazine ad. All finalists were awarded cash and prizes.

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“We are extremely thankful for the support of Limehouse Produce, Trident Tech, and all the others that make this excellent work-based learning experience possible for our students,” said Chad Vail, CTE Work-based Learning Partnerships Coordinator.

For more information about the Fall Cornucopia Cook-Off, visit www.limehouseproduce.com.

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Thank you to the professionals in the Charleston County School District Department of Communications for sharing this terrific CTE Success Story.

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Students in West Ashley High School Nail Technology Program Visit Paul Mitchell School

Students in Ms. Shepherd’s Nail Technology program at West Ashley High School visited the Paul Mitchell School in Charleston today.

The students got to meet instructors during their visit and learn about the certificate programs offered in various related career fields.

“The students truly enjoyed this Structured Field Study experience”, said Ms. Estes, WAHS Career Councilor.

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