Celebrating Our Schools


Scott McGrewMike says (below) “I’m betting that someday we’ll actually be able to pick computer generated outfits and the chromakey will make us appear fully dressed. Sort of an electronic paper doll thing.”

I’d like to remind Mike that computers sometimes fail. Hmm.

On a note completely unrelated to Mike’s trousers, I make public appearances at local schools several times a month, and I’d like to tell you about two of them. I think we often talk about how education is failing; here are two examples to the contrary.

At Leland High School in San Jose, they have a career day every two years. But what a career day it is! The entire school participates, inviting hundreds of professionals and assigning each profession a classroom. The students have the day to wander from classroom to classroom to talk to adults about their interests. So, you might go from the aviation careers classroom to the hotel management classroom to the broadcast media classroom. It’s like a career buffet. Very cool.

And then over at Willow Glen Elementary School they’re getting ready for the California STAR tests. All schools throughout the state take these tests, but Willow Glen prepares students with a big pep rally. They invited me to attend Wednesday and talk to the kids about how important the test is. I told them to eat a good breakfast, dress well (studies say well dressed students do better on tests) and try their very best. What the kids don’t know, of course, is that the school’s funding and reputation are on the line. California requires schools to increase their test scores, known as API, each year. While I’m sure the teachers there want the children to do well on the tests one way or the other, they’re smart to energize the students ahead of time, because high scores will help the school.

This Saturday, I’ll host the Tech Museum’s “Tech Challenge” where students try to design a machine that will fill sandbags to fight a hypothetical flood. The event Saturday is open to the public. It’s great fun to see the kids work on a solution. Stop by and say hello.

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter


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