Week FIVE of Summer 2019

With July just a few days away, it finally feels like summer! 

This story is coming a week late, but it's a great one. Five PHS students traveled to Orlando two weeks ago to attend the HOSA (Future Health Professionals) International Leadership Conference. They attended general sessions and HOSA University, visited exhibits, competed in leadership, professional and technical events, conducted the annual business of the national student organization, heard from professional partners about current and emerging healthcare issues, and had a great time meeting people from throughout the world. 

PHS students Clay Crawford, Katie Smith, Kaitlyn Murray, Emma Owen, Emily Price and Hope Rider took part in the conference, with Kaitlyn being newly-elected to state office. 

Another gathering of students took place at Trine University (Angola, IN) where Hoosier Boys State continued the summer tradition that began in 1937. Each year, high school senior boys from throughout the state gather to spend a week creating a fictional, yet functional, state government based on Indiana's political process. This year, PHS seniors Brian Sheldon and Evan Carter were selected to represent Plainfield.

According to Brian, the program was very interactive, with nearly all participants running for some form of state office, learning about specific areas of state government, and even choosing a field of study to focus on during the week. While Brian is leaning towards a career in science or medicine, many Boys State alumni go on to pursue legal and political careers. 

We've talked in previous updates about the many trainings teachers have taken part in this summer, and for at least three of them, their hard work has already paid off. As we have transitioned to a Google Education campus, teachers have stretched their own wings to learn new ways to do much of what they've been doing another way for many years. As part of the Google transition, teachers could voluntarily attend a Google4Edu Boot Camp and test for their own certification. Three Plainfield teachers have already earned their credentials, and we're joining with the Google trainers in celebrating their new status. A huge shout out to Jennifer Gray (Brentwood), Kristen Fuson (Little Quakers Academy) and Nakia Slone, PCMS!

Late in the Spring, Clarks Creek instructional assistant Shawn Graff asked her colleagues to set aside old, dry, discarded markers until the end of the school year, so they could be recycled through a program offered by Crayola. She reported this week that thanks to the efforts of so many, 38 pounds of markers have been recycled and kept out of our landfills. Great job, Shawn!

It was another busy week for camps, including the PHS Volleyball Camp. With two sessions daily, word on the street was that our young volleyball players worked hard, and played hard!

This morning, FOX59 reporter Alexa Green visited PCMS to interview 8th grade student Maura Baver. Thanks to the encouragement of teacher Julia Crone this past fall, Maura entered a national competition, "Ignite My Future." Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Discovery Education work together to sponsor the "Ignite My Future" program. 

Maura has always been curious about the role recycling could play in preserving our planet, and she put that curiosity to work for this challenge. The result? She created an app that tracks and rewards families for their recycling efforts. 

"Ignite My Future" reviewed applications from students in grades 6-8 based on the following criteria: 

  • Identify a problem to solve utilizing a digital solution in the form of a mobile app, websites, robots, wearable tech, smart home device, etc. The digital solution must answer the following question: How can we improve the world?
  • The digital solution must solve a problem in one of these areas: Health, Our Planet, or Education
  • Identify who this digital solution supports (personal use, entertainment, health, arts, education, etc.)
  • Identify the population being served by this digital solution
  • Explain the benefits of this digital solution

Maura was selected as one of the top ten entries nationwide, and we can't wait to watch her interview on FOX59. We think it will run in the next couple of weeks, and will share the link once it's available. To learn more about "Ignite My Future," click here: https://www.ignitemyfutureinschool.org/challenge/winner-archive

Late in the spring, on a cool and rainy Saturday, several PHS students helped the local NAPA/Balkamp office break a Guinness World Record - this one for washing cars. With JV softball players and National Honor Society members, NAPA/Balkamp locations across the country washed more than 7,200 cars on one day. As a result, NAPA made a donation to the Plainfield Community Schools Legacy Foundation for the purpose of funding a technical scholarship. The foundation is excited about the opportunities this will provide Plainfield students moving forward!

Finally, an update on PCMS renovations. This week included a lot of demolition work on the former courtyard and greenhouse. This work will make way for wide, new hallways and a better class layout - resulting in a better learning environment for everyone.

Have a great weekend and a wonderful 4th of July! There won't be a Week SIX update, but we'll be back on July 12th.