Feb 18, 2013

Education leaders learn more about STEM program at Tri-Village

NEW MADISON – Tri-Village was privileged to have two esteemed visitors on Feb. 6 to tour a school that is focused on preparing students for careers. The tour finished in the STEM lab that is heavy on engineering and problem solving. The visitors were able to see the many projects the students are completing on industry standard technology platforms. The district’s goal is to be a platform that prepares students with 21st Century Skills to be successful in the new economy.

Darryl D. Mehaffie of Greenville was recently appointed to the State Board of Education. A retiree from the Northmont School District where he taught students in the fifth and sixth grades, he was highly impressed with the facilities and programs offered at Tri-Village. After viewing the elementary and being shown the high school wing, he remarked with humor, “This is the old part? Very impressive.” Mehaffie, who is also on the Edison Community College Board of Trustees and the Republican State Central Committee, commended the school leaders and commented, “You’ve done an incredible job of renovating this building.” He continued, by stating, “these programs are what schools need to focus on to help students.”

Dr. Thomas J. Lasley II, representing the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation as the external evaluator also toured Tri-Village. The MHJ Foundation awarded the Darke County ESC an open grant to help fund STEM projects in six schools across the region. Kim Puckett, Tri-Village teacher, was the lead writer of the grant. She was able to highlight the technology the students have access to due to the grants she has pursued that has resulted in computers, software, and 3-D printers that are comparable to industry standards in innovative businesses.

Dr. Lasley and Mehaffie were able to witness students in action as they showcased the various projects they are working on this the year. Some of the projects resulted in regional and national awards for the pre-engineering students. Seniors such as Shade Brubaker, Kaleb Chowning, Macy Fraylick, Craig Harrison, Kyle Pipenger, and Seth Thomas, demonstrated projects such as RC car controllers modified to simulate race car games and the physics associated with computer assisted design of the simulations. A new smart tablet was highlighted that allows artistic expression resulting in designing models that can be in-putted in computer programs. Dr. Lasley’s evaluation of the program was summed up by his statement, “I like what I see.”

As the former Dean of Education at the University of Dayton and the Executive Director of Learn to Earn Dayton, a program that is aimed to increase STEM education in the greater Dayton area and improve college and career readiness, Dr. Lasley is no stranger to STEM and all that it entails. As an expert in the field, his feelings were revealed with the following statement, “You have a really impressive program and some great kids here.” The T-V administration was happy that such a renowned education leader visited and allowed the students to showcase the talent Tri-Village produces. This small school in a rural setting is offering programs that only a handful of schools in the nation offer.

Darryl Mehaffie and Dr. Thomas Lasley II learn about some of the projects Tri-Village students are able to accomplish. 


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