Newport News Public Schools update for June 2018

Elementary Students Collaborate as Electrical and Civil Engineers in Engineering Design Challenge

The first place team from Lee Hall Elementary

Newport News fourth- and fifth-grade students worked together as electrical and civil engineers to build miniature working lighthouses that emitted the greatest amount of light. The design challenge, Sea of Light, was presented with the U.S. Coast Guard, giving students the opportunity to learn more about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers in the military.

Pairs of students from each team were separated into electrical and civil engineer tracks, with the electrical engineers learning to create circuits that produced the brightest light and the civil engineers providing materials to create a lighthouse that would fit the circuit and make the structure secure. The engineers worked together to implement their circuit and design ideas to create a lighthouse with bright light.

Winners were selected based on their lighthouse’s unique daytime identifiers and the brightness (or intensity) of the light. First place was awarded to Lee Hall Elementary School; Deer Park Elementary placed second and Riverside Elementary placed third. The Design Challenge is part of the school district’s ongoing STEM education initiative.

Kiln Creek Student Named Elementary Winner of Virginia Lottery Thank-a-Teacher Art Contest

State and school officials join Sahasra Vishwanathan (center) as she shares her winning artwork.

Sahasra Vishwanathan, a second-grade student at Kiln Creek Elementary School, was named one of three winners of the Virginia Lottery Thank-a-Teacher Art Contest. Sahasra’s artwork was selected from nearly 1,000 entries and featured on thank-you notes that were distributed to thousands of teachers across the Commonwealth during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7–11, 2018.

During a surprise presentation on March 28, Sahasra was awarded a $150 gift card, and $1,000 was awarded to the art department at Kiln Creek Elementary. “Kiln Creek Elementary is very fortunate to have Sahasra as a member of our community,” said Kiln Creek Elementary Principal Ann Shoemaker. “She is an extremely talented artist. She also submitted entries in the PTA Reflections contest and earned awards in visual arts, photography, literature and dance.”

Thank-a-Teacher is a statewide campaign presented by the Virginia Lottery in partnership with the Virginia PTA and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. In its first two years, Virginians distributed more than 70,000 thank-you notes as part of the Thank-a-Teacher campaign.

NNPS Teachers Awarded Instructional Mini Grants

Instructional Mini Grant Winners

Nearly $13,300 was awarded to 54 NNPS teachers, representing 26 schools and alternative programs, at the 2018 Instructional Innovation Mini Grants Showcase and Awards ceremony on March 26. More than 90 projects designed to enhance student learning were submitted, and 51 were selected for funding. The program is sponsored by the Newport News Education Foundation in partnership with the National Council of Jewish Women Hampton Roads Section and Newport News Public Schools. More than $123,000 in teacher innovation mini grants have been awarded since the program started in 2008.

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