Tuesday was a big day for part of the students involved in the Seahawk New Tech Program at Myrtle Beach High School.
After weeks of research and planning, it was time to present their projects to a panel of judges.
New Tech is a new, innovative program at MBHS open to students of all grades that incorporates project-based learning using the latest avenues in technology.
The students learn to use communication, research and problem solving skills in a collaborative atmosphere. Working together, the small groups attack a problem using the latest in technology and bringing in what they learn in their other subject areas.
For Tuesday’s showcase, the students worked in pairs to research new apps that could be used by the school’s faculty.
After thoroughly checking out the apps, many times contacting the actual companies, the students were tasked to create a video explaining its use, write a research paper explaining their investigative process and then orally present their findings to the panel of judges.
During their brief presentations to each judge Tuesday morning, the students not only presented their research, but also practiced using good public speaking habits such as speaking clearly, looking at others directly and using proper manners.
One of the teachers facilitating New Tech, Nina Annunziata, said the program has been more successful than they had ever dreamed.
“We’ve been amazed at the work these students have done and how much it’s improved their overall academic abilities in other areas,” she said. “It lets students at all levels be successful and something they enjoy. Learning to use new technology and working together as a team will be a valuable skill they’ll take with them the rest of their lives.”
She added than an extra plus is that it’s given many students an increased level of self-confidence they never had before starting the program.
MBHS principal John Washburn said he was elated at the success of the program and the dedication of the teachers who implement it.
“It gives the students the chance to incorporate what they learn in a collaborative atmosphere,” Washburn explained. “We heard from the business world that they wanted employees who knew how to work as a team and this fits right in with that. “In addition, the students learn to express themselves and are able to relay what they have learned orally and in written form. That’s a skill they will be able to use wherever they go or pursue.”