St. Benedict at Auburndale (SBA) High School Media Center/ Library Class Activity Director Lisa DuFur didn’t know what to expect when Principal Sondra Morris and an office assistant carried in box after box of gear recently delivered to the school. She opened the boxes and found out that federal funds had provided nine drones and four 3-D printers.
Being industrious and ready to provide SBA students and teachers with the latest in technology and research, DuFur set up an SBA Drone Studio where students can create and code the drones within FAA regulations. Many students do this during their lunch periods.
The students caught the fever and have creatively established an unofficial “girls vs boys” drone competition. DuFur set up an obstacle course in the library where the students interact with the drones in a competitive way.
The librarian also recently returned from the selective week-long Apple Learning Academy. She was invited to submit creative projects along the Academy’s specific guidelines to be accepted. She worked on these projects over the summer and was accepted to the first Academy in Austin, Texas. The certificate she received after successfully completing the Academy states, “You are a mentor and a guide. You believe engaging students makes a difference. You believe in the power of innovation in learning and teaching.”
From this, she will be able to help teachers and students use many types of applications with their devices. SBA is a one-to-one laptop school, and this goes hand-in-hand with the school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program.
DuFur’s next project is to create an Apple’s Student Mentor Program in the school. This is a student tech program that has students working with other students and teachers in the most up-to-date technology advancements. It empowers students to take their technical knowledge, capabilities and talents to a higher level. They will help instruct other students and even teachers. These students will work with basic coding as well, which is key to advancing their understanding of how coding touches their lives every day.
SBA’s media center and library is one busy center of activity, particularly as students come in for drone studio time.