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The highly-motivated students of a Briarwood junior high school demonstrated the fruits of their education - from rhetoric to robotics - at a technology fair recently.
The fair, held on Monday, January 28 at J.H.S. 217, the Robert A. Van Wyck School in Briarwood, was the first of two events to be held this year, according to the school’s principal, Patrick Michael Burns.
Students and teachers were set up at 12 stations, where they demonstrated their proficiency in all areas of the curriculum, using computers and so-called “Smartboards,” or interactive whiteboards that are the “blackboards” of the 21st Century.
Literacy students explained how memoirs are put together, with the main ideas fostering secondary thoughts, and how these are conveyed in sophisticated sentence structure.
The championship robotics team showed future members some of their award-winning robots, fashioned out of high-tech Lego components, which were also employed to create models of energy-efficient “green buildings,” one of which was a proposed addition to the school.
Social Studies students made presentations on controversial issues of the day, including racism, gay marriage and war, as well as their opinions about the primaries and election for President of the U.S.
One of the most popular stations was staffed by Linguistics students, who have ongoing real-time communication with students in an English class in Weinheim, Germany. Many of the German students stay late after-school to “talk” to their counterparts here.
Visitors to the fair included representatives from the city Department of Education’s Office of Instructional Technology, the education-support organizations Teaching Matters, iTeach and iLearn.
William Heller of Teaching Matters assisted Burns in the planning of the fair, and the principal said that a second Technology Fair would be held at the end of the school year, in June.

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