Expo Results 2014

The students enrolled in Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences classes at Pomperaug High School came away first and second prizes at the May 17th Connecticut Student Innovation Expo in Hartford.expo14 042sm.jpg

Over 65 students and 11 teachers from Pomperaug High School (PHS) participated at the Expo, the culmination of a school year’s work in science, math, and technology.

The 9th grade Academy students won first prize the 9th Grade Responsible Design Challenge at the Expo for their grade level. Their project, entitled “PompFresh PreZerv” was a storage device with a modified environment that slows the ripening rate of food, reducing shipping costs and increasing shelf life. The 23 students posted their scientific research, interviews, lab report, and infomercial on their website:http://pompfresh.org.

The freshmen course of study within the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences is taught by library media specialists Kelly Pelletier and Heather Messina, algebra teacher Barbara Bauer, and science teacher Richard Szymanski.

The 10th graders won second prize as well as the Outstanding Interpretation of the Expo Theme award. Their Expo project plan utilized Navicula, a sea-ice algae that contains an antifreezing protein, to reduce road salt usage in the Northeast. This protein reduces the freezing point of water to minus 10°C, which will help melt ice on roads and driveways. The product is a mixture of algae and alga-grow which will serve as an environmentally-friendly substitute for road salt. ThinkNature, the students’ biotech company devoted to clean and reliable products, researched algae and its effects on ice and the surrounding environment. Additional information can be viewed here:http://www.thinknaturephs.com.

Their instructors are biology teacher Brian Jehning, geometry teacher Stephanie Ostapchuk, technology teacher Mike Murphy, and video teacher Tyler Stuyvesant.

expo14 010sm.jpgThe members of the E-Commerce Entrepreneurship class also won second place. Their company’s mission is to prevent alcohol consumption in schools and rehab centers where alcohol is prohibited. With chameleon, color-changing technology, the students developed a beverage cup, the Alco-Lert, that alerts teachers and authorities of the presence of alcohol in the cup. More information on the cup and the parent company can be viewed online:www.chameleoncop.com.

The instructors for the 11th grade students are business teacher Lois DeGregory, video teacher Tyler Stuyvesant, and chemistry teacher Robert Mazuroski.

This year, student teams enrolled in the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences program at PHS responded to a given challenge with a unique solution relating to the concept of responsible design. The students collaboratively developed a product or business for the annual competition.

Public high school students from throughout Connecticut presented their work to judges from higher education and the corporate world. Each team’s submission was judged on the student presentation, research, website, exhibition booth, branding, and business plan. The participating students are enrolled in the 9th and 10th grade Academies of Digital Arts & Sciences, Biology 21, Digital Media & Moviemaking, E-Commerce Entrepreneurship, and Research, Design, and Development.

This is the third year that members of the PHS Digital Academy have participated in the Expo, explained Brian Jehning, Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences site coordinator and Pomperaug High School Bio21 teacher.expo14 008sm.jpg

"The Expo judges were amazed at the level of performance from the students at this year's Expo,” said Jehning. “The Expo is the greatest day of the school year for students in the Academy.  Their hard work, dedication, and collaboration efforts are showcased during this special event.  All of the projects produced by our students showed true innovation and creativity, and are wonderful examples of their work. Thank you, staff and students, for all the hard work you put in towards making the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences program at Pomperaug High School so successful.”

The nationally-recognized Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences is a series of courses within an existing high school program of study designed around six critical 21st Century skills. The program facilitates the cross-discipline application of academic knowledge, creativity, design, and innovation skills integrated with digital media and applied to the study of science and technology. All courses feature problem-based learning and comprehensive capstone projects as the foremost instructional activity for all students.