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HMS Students Attend Statewide Conference

A new unit in the multimedia arts classes at Huston Middle School was a big hit at the recent Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference (PETE&C) held in Hershey, PA.

Four middle school students–Abigail Kelley, Chelsea Kristof, Sarah Usko, and Megan Zenglik– accompanied music teacher Mr. Brian Querry to the annual PETE&C in February to present their exciting new projects in the Student Showcase portion of the conference and to share information about their multimedia class.

The PETE&C is held every year in Hershey to bring together teachers, administrators, and technology companies to discuss and learn more about the latest in educational technology and the innovative ways it’s being implemented in school curriculum.

The Student Showcase is set up like a science fair and allows students to put together a table and presentation to explain their projects. Conference attendees can visit each room to view the student setups and listen to their presentations.

In the new unit designed by Mr. Querry and showcased at the conference, students were asked to think of a topic involving multimedia about which they’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t had the chance.

“For many students,” says Querry, “coming up with a topic for this project was an opportunity to think and learn outside of their comfort zones.”

One of the most popular topics, for example, was exploring and replicating the process behind creating movie makeup for horror films. Other student-generated topic ideas included animation, Photoshopping, video editing, music recording and composition, and “a day in the life” of a professional in these fields.

Once they pitched their ideas to a classmate and Mr. Querry, students then came up with three essential questions that would guide their learning during the four class periods throughout the term dedicated to working on these projects. Finally, students presented their findings to their classmates, and the four students who attended the PETE&C presented their ideas to conference-goers in Hershey.

“This was a neat opportunity for the kids and the district as a whole,” says Querry. “I’ve taught this class for almost ten years now and we still have other schools that reach out to us for help in developing their own multimedia curriculum. It’s exciting to see that what we’re doing here at Burrell is being used as a model for other schools.”

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