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Unread 07-09-2001, 06:05 PM
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Lightbulb And now for a useful post from Robby O - A FIRST School

This is something I had always thought would be a great idea, and will continue to do so. And ah course when I make it big in the entertainment industry , I want to put up money for the school. But here's the basic thought behind it.

The school is a highschool, but instead of only being taught to learn and remember new things, students are thought to create. Students are shown how to take ideas from the drawing board and bring them to the real world, solve real problems, with the main focus of course being the FIRST competition. The school would have several teams, a machine shop, and computer labs where students can realize thier ideas better than any other school. Well, that's the concept anyways. Wahcha think? I'll post more thoughts on it as they occur. There are a lot of em for the FIRST school idea floatin in my head, but right now my head is a jumble o stuff (stupid mere 3-week summer break...).
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Unread 07-09-2001, 06:44 PM
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Personally, I don't think it's that good an idea. And here's why: you're trying to make high school into college. High school is to prepare students for college and to accomplish that high school should focus on the basics (as they do now). While FIRST is a great program, when it enters the curriculum it should be limited at best. Because whenever you add something to the curriculum you take away from something else. And if you take FIRST to the core of the curriculum you're going to be taking away from the preparedness of students. The students coming out will probably do real well in engineering, but fail miseribly at everything else. While I think schools should do more with FIRST, trying to go too far would be bad.

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Unread 07-09-2001, 07:48 PM
Lora Knepper Lora Knepper is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Matt Leese
The students coming out will probably do real well in engineering, but fail miseribly at everything else
I'm not sure if I completely agree with a FIRST High School (though I would have loved to have attended one!) ... I do have to respond to that one comment.

Robby posted about being creative and taking creative ideas from the drawing board to reality. I can see this going far beyond the boundries of engineering. No matter what field you go into, you need to take an idea and be able to make it something concrete. Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Business...they all apply here. FIRST itself is mainly engineering, but as this board proves, we are not all going to be little engineers someday. I think the principals we learn in FIRST are also taken to the broader perspective of other professions.

~ lora
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Unread 07-09-2001, 07:52 PM
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Why do you always have to be right Matt?

I agree that although FIRST is a great program and it teaches students a lot about engineering and creative thinking, and gives students a chance to apply their knowledge, it doesn't teach everything. High school should give students a well rounded education in math, science, reading/writing, and social sciences & history. At most you could squeeze the first 3 into the school, but even then you could only scratch the surface of each area with a program that revolves around FIRST. Math would mostly be about geometry and wouldn't cover pre-calc or calc; science would be about physics & materials and you'd miss biology & chemistry; english would only have technical writing and would skip creative writing & reading of classic literature. And even though I really dislike the social sciences & history you can't just leave them out (hey if I had to suffer through 'em so should everyone else).

Students should wait until college before they focus on one discipline. High school should be a time to explore what you like & don't like and what you're good at and bad at. On our team, we're happy when students tell us they're going to college for engineering, but we're also happy when they say they they hate engineering and are taking a different path. That's one of the major points of high school and FIRST.

Mike
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Unread 07-09-2001, 09:31 PM
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hmmmm...
matt i disagree. you say that 'High school is to prepare students for college'. thats wrong. prep school is to prepare students for college. high school is, as you say, to learn the basics. to get a foundation to either continue to college or to enter the work force.
on the other hand i do see what youre saying. maybe robby's school would be more appropriately be a vocational school
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Unread 07-10-2001, 06:36 AM
Jessica Boucher Jessica Boucher is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike o'leary
hmmmm...
matt i disagree. you say that 'High school is to prepare students for college'. thats wrong. prep school is to prepare students for college. high school is, as you say, to learn the basics. to get a foundation to either continue to college or to enter the work force.
on the other hand i do see what youre saying. maybe robby's school would be more appropriately be a vocational school
Though I see what youre saying about prep school, it really depends on who you ask to get an answer about whether HS prepares you for college. Ask anyone affiliated with state education, and every public school in the state is prepping their students for college...and their proof is the high college entrance percentage rates that most schools have.

Though I do live in Watertown, and thus I know what youre talking about when you talk about prep schools (ever heard of Taft School? Im a 5 min walk from it).

Though I agree with you that Robby's school would be more fitting as a vocational school...but high school is all in how you apply yourself. I know Watertown HS as well As Taft students students going to both Georgetown University and UCONN-Waterbury Regional Campus.

Note to Robby: you bring up another interesting question: how would two teams in the same school react to eachother?
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Unread 07-10-2001, 03:55 PM
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i went to public school from kindergarten to 8th grade (freshman year i started at bc high) and would have to say that in my experiance public school was a joke. it might not be like that everywhere else, or even most other places (milton is one of 3 towns in mass whose schools are on probation). the public schools couldnt even prepare me for high school.
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Unread 07-11-2001, 09:58 AM
Carolyn Duncan Carolyn Duncan is offline
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Gotcha Mike

I know what you mean about public schools being a joke. I went to private school until I moved to Williamsburg (6th grade I think). At that time I was so far ahead of everyone that I didn't do any real thinking until my junior year of high school. I had a tough time in math, always the case, but I got really lazy because I'd already done so much I was being taught. Anyway, I think the iea of a FIRST school may not be that great. Maybe some FIRST based classes or vo-tech type school, but nothing more. You really would miss a lot of things.
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Unread 07-11-2001, 11:05 AM
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as a teacher in a public school a take severe umbrage to the blanket statement of "public schools are a joke".

I thinks that individuals may not be challenged anough to take schools seriously (i didnt) but remember we in the public school system have to try and reacher every student from the very high aptitide to the very low and just by sheer numbers we will inadvertantly lose some students- it happend its not right it should happen but it does--- but to condem a entire systems of which you were a receipient of a free education demeans all of those teacher who have worked very hard to bring education to their students-

Public education is a ever evolving animal- there will be instances that it does not reach all of its intended subjects (students) then we have to change, create new classes change teaching styles what ever it takes

I just feel very stongly that the argument provided above is an insult to those of us teachers, engineers and others involved in any form of education


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Unread 07-11-2001, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew Dahl
as a teacher in a public school a take severe umbrage to the blanket statement of "public schools are a joke".

That comment also bugged me. I've always been in public school. My school has one of the highest numbers of National Merit Scholars of any non-prep school in the state. The arts or other types of private schools in our area will maybe have one or two NM Scholars. I think that says something about the quality of public schools. Public schools also offer many of the same specialty classes as private schools. Maybe I just have this viewpoint because my parents both teach at public schools, but my mom has long said that she'd rather me go to my school than any of the private high schools in our area (she used to teach at a private school and knows why first hand). Just thought I'd say something about that. Also, you could go to one of the worst schools in the country, whether it be private or public, and still be able to work your hardest and excel and maybe even get into the college of your choice. The same is true if you go to a good school..you could do no work and then where do you benefit?

~Angela who can't believe she had that much to say on the topic
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Unread 07-11-2001, 12:30 PM
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As far as public schools go, I've had experience with two. One was the one I attended (Parkville High School). It was in the suburbs. It was a magnet school meaning that there was an emphesis placed on math, science, and computer science and that students from across the county came to Parkville. This meant that there was a higher-than-average proportion of good students and that there was more money there (federal grants for the magnet program) than the average school. I had some bad teachers, I had some good teachers, and I even had a few great teachers. I got a good education from Parkville and am glad I went to it over a private school (I almost went to one).

I've also had experience with Edison Tech by working with them this year. Edison is in inner-city Rochester. Rochester City schools are not doing particularly well overall (they're below national averages). 75% of Edison's students are on free lunches. It's poor. In my albeit limited experience there I've seen students getting good educations and students getting bad educations. It's rather clear who was getting the good educations. It was the students who made an active attempt to learn. There were some classrooms where a teacher had turned on a television to keep the students occupied. But at that same time there were students who were actively working, in the same room. Who's getting the education there? Who's making the attempt to learn? It all comes down to you get out of your education whatever you make of it. There will be joke classes but mostly because you make them that way. To learn you need to actively try and learn. So don't knock public schools as they're doing their best in a tough situation and probably would beat most private schools given the same students.

Matt who thinks he should take a bit of his own medicine there....
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Unread 07-11-2001, 01:13 PM
Carolyn Duncan Carolyn Duncan is offline
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The public school I went to in high school was in a very rich area, many of the students lived in the gated, golf coarse communities and the school is going into its 5th year of operation. The remainig large portion was comprised of the kids in the poor section of town. When graduation came around and seniors were scrambling to secure scholarships somethings happened that should never happen. Students who applied for the school's need based scholarship were bumped because a faculty member's son had applied. He gat the scholarship because his mother worked at the school. I'm not knocking the entire public school system, just my experience in it. I realize that the world is a vicious circle, I live in it too. But from my experience, public school hadn't been all that great.
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Unread 07-11-2001, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan
The public school I went to in high school was in a very rich area, many of the students lived in the gated, golf coarse communities and the school is going into its 5th year of operation. The remainig large portion was comprised of the kids in the poor section of town. When graduation came around and seniors were scrambling to secure scholarships somethings happened that should never happen. Students who applied for the school's need based scholarship were bumped because a faculty member's son had applied. He gat the scholarship because his mother worked at the school. I'm not knocking the entire public school system, just my experience in it. I realize that the world is a vicious circle, I live in it too. But from my experience, public school hadn't been all that great.
C~ya,
Carolyn
I'll be honest and say I doubt that happened. That may have [Bappeared[/b] but I sincerely doubt it did. Would it have been possible if the faculty member's son deserved the scholarship? I would also be highly suprised if the picking of scholarship winners was done "blind." Meaning that those awarding the scholarship did not know who the different applicants were but instead were given statistics about them.

Matt
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Unread 07-11-2001, 04:09 PM
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first of all, no offence to anyone connected to the public school system was intended by my post.
however...
my only experiance with public schools is milton public. which, as i mentioned in my previous post, is on probation. i didnt mention that milton is the epitome of suburbia, but it is. in my experiance the teachers treated the classes as jokes - for example, teacher were suprised when fewer then 10 students failed to complete less then 20 homework assignments per term. i went to classrooms that were really converted locker rooms, janitors closets, and even in one case an old bathroom. there were espestos problems. the electrical system in my elementary school was so old and frankly dangerous that we had on average at least 1 electrical fire per month. recently it was discovered that the towns school committee, or at least some of its members, were involved in a scheme through which they siphoned millions of dollars out of the schools budget and into their wallets.
it might well be unfair for me to say that all public schools are the same, but i can only speak from my experiance. and my experiance left much to be desired.
i am not the greatest or most modivated student by a long shot (i found it hard to be scholarly when the first textbook i ever saw was in 6th grade, at which point we had books so disgusting that you could hardly read them...thats what happens to books when middle schoolers handle them and the book is older then the student). i beyond fell through the cracks though. by 3rd grade i had teachers telling my parents that i was a slow student and had trouble keeping up with the other kids and that i should probably be in special ed. at bc high my gpa is still low (around a 2.6 overall). does that qualify me as a slow student? i think not. these teachers would be shocked, if they even remembered me, which i doubt, that i got a 1500 on my psats.
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Unread 07-11-2001, 04:43 PM
Carolyn Duncan Carolyn Duncan is offline
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The people chosing the scholarship winners were the guidance counselors, the student's mother was a guidance office secretary. Both of his parents worked and all three lived together, he was an only child, and had a horrible GPA. There were students whose GPAs were higher, families made much less, and they were turned down. In Virginia, there is a discount to students who attend in-state schools and have parents who work for the state. There was a huge out cry from students who didn't get anything from the scholarship and should have. His need was less than students attending schools out of state and didn't have athletic scholarships waiting for them, as he did.
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