Education Notebook

By NEMS Daily Journal

Area students to travel to Australia June 19
– Several students from Northeast Mississippi will travel to Australia from June 19 to July 3 with the People to People Student Ambassador Programs. Justin Casmus, Noah Douglas and Caleb Sachdev of Tupelo and John Willis Stevens of West Point will make the trip, along with Starkville Academy teacher Lainie Anthony.
Acceptance into the Student Ambassador program is selective. Students were nominated by a teacher, submitted letters of recommendation and went through interviews with the leaders. By participating in the programs, the students can earn academic credit. In preparation for the trip, they attended monthly orientation meetings with the delegation leader.
Northeast Mississippi students take first at state reading fair
– Eight students from Northeast Mississippi took home first place prizes in the Mississippi Department of Education’s 12th annual State Reading Fair held recently in Jackson.
Arleigh Johnson of Rienzi Elementary (second grade), Ali Settlemires of Biggersville Elementary (third grade) and Emily Hardin of Calhoun City High School (ninth to 12th grade) each won first in the individual category. Matthew Loudermill and Richard Kimble of Okolona High School (fourth to eighth grade) and Ravati Patel and Makayla Pullen of Houston High School (ninth to 12th grade) won in the group category. Kossuth High School’s Lee Hopson (ninth to 12th grade) placed first in the nonfiction division.
The Reading Fair provides students the opportunity to share their favorite fiction or nonfiction book through a storyboard display. Students compete in local competitions to advance to regional competitions. First-place winners at each regional site advanced to the state competition.
MSU students take award at rocket competition
– A team of students from Mississippi State University excelled during the NASA Student Launch Projects rocketry challenge held April 17-18 in Huntsville, Ala.
The MSU students won the education engagement award, one of 10 awards given at the competition. The award recognizes the team for best inspiring the study of rocketry and other space flight-related topics at local schools in the surrounding area.
More than 300 students on 31 teams competed in the competition, which featured middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities in 18 states. The competitors were trying to see whose rocket could come closest to the 1-mile altitude goal and safely return to Earth.
Saltillo High School students participate in MARS project
– Students from Saltillo High School recently were presented with a laptop for their participation in the Mississippi Area Remapping Strategy community project. Thirteen other schools in the state also participated.
The Saltillo students conducted a health project related to food allergies and restaurant food preparation. The students collected data about food preparation by surveying local restaurants, used GIS software to map the data and put it on a website. A hard copy of the map was supplied to Saltillo City Hall and the Tupelo Visitor’s Bureau.
Okolona School District wins competitive technology grant
– The Mississippi Department of Education awarded a $240,375.02 grant to the Okolona School District. The competitive Enhancing Education Through Technology grant will be used to expand educational technology and institutional practices and enhance curriculum content at Okolona High School.
A school technology facilitator will serve as the key instructional specialist and will provide professional development for teachers and administrators aligned to the Mississippi Technology Standards. The facilitator also will collaborate with teachers to develop lesson plans that integrate technology into the curriculum with special emphasis on Algebra I, U.S. history, Biology I and English II.
The grant also provides computer equipment to ensure students have access to tools needed to support problem-based learning activities.

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