It has been a great start to the 2011-12 school year for Greenville Schools students and staff!
The summer leading up to the opening of the school year was busy and productive, from the high school gym remodeling project to the diligent cleaning and preventative maintenance jobs being completed throughout our district. All the efforts of our teachers and staff as they prepared our buildings and classrooms for our students is much appreciated.
In addition to learning that our district earned an Excellent rating from the Ohio Department of Education this summer, we also learned of the exemplary results our Greenville High School AP Calculus students earned on the AP test they took in May. With the instruction and guidance of GHS Math teacher, Mr. Bob Batty, 33 of 38 students who took the AP Calculus test passed, for an 87.9 percentage passage rate. This is the most students we have had attempt the AP Calculus test in several years and our GHS students more than exceeded the national average passage rate.
Five is the highest score a student can earn on the test, and 39.4 percent of our students earned a 5, with the national average being 21 percent of students earning a 5. One third of our students earned a 4 on the test, with the national average being 16.4 percent. A passing score of three or higher can equate to college credit (usually 4 to 8 credit hours). The students can use the score to advance themselves in a math sequence, avoid taking math altogether, or exchange the AP score for general education credits at the university level. For more info on the AP program check out http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about.html.
Next, the Greenville High School Computer Information Systems (CIS) program continues to provide compelling learning opportunities to students this school year. While providing computer technical support in our schools is part of the CIS program, our district provides four unique paid internships to four CIS students under the direction and supervision of CIS teachers, Mr. Nathan Sharp and Mr. Robert Warner.
All CIS students have the opportunity to apply for an internship position, and following a thorough interview process conducted by Mr. Jon McGreevey, our district hired these students to perform computer technical work throughout the district for up to 10 hours per week. These tech interns have set up computer labs, formatted computers, installed software, and installed new network cables just to name a few jobs. They were also able to take part in SmartBoard training with staff members before school started.
Since then, they have been able to go to the classrooms and help teachers with the new SmartBoard technology that was installed in the Middle and Junior High Schools. During the first teacher workday, a student intern was on hand at each of the buildings to provide another level of support for any staff member experiencing technology problems. This real-world, hands-on experience was unique enough to get the attention of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) as the CIS student internship program has been selected to participate in the 2011 Student Achievement Fair at the OSBA annual conference in November.
In addition to the CIS student internship program, students from our Greenville High School Engineering program also received the honor of being selected to participate in the Student Achievement Fair at the Ohio School Board Association annual conference in Columbus. They will present their Gravitational Water Vortex Engineering project. The GWVPP (Gravitational Water Vortex Power Plant) is a horizontal cousin of the hydroelectric dam. The benefits of using an artificially induced vortex above gravity- accelerated water both increase efficiency, decrease cost, and not only lower the negative impact on the environment, but actually increase the sustainability and health of the river as a whole. The ingenious invention was designed and developed by Franz Zotlöterer, an Austrian engineer, who saw the advantage of using this natural process.
To date there are no Water Vortex Generators present in the USA, but exist only in Europe. The most prevailing feature of the device is its necessary drop-height is a minimal 9 meters; whereas the minimal drop necessary for a small hydroelectric dam to function requires at between 7.6 and 12.2 meters, a drastically larger drop. The reason that a small drop height is so important is due to construction; a smaller drop height means that less terra forming will be necessary to build the construct.
From a technical standpoint, the generator is deceptively simple. A small channel is drawn off from a creek or river, which is then delivered, into a large rotation tank. Once in the tank, the water spirals around until finally working its way to the center of the tank where a turbine is poised directly above a hole where the water exits the tank. While falling through the hole, the water spins the turbine producing energy; the water then reenters the initial body of water from where it was drawn. While the water is in the tank many biological events happen; the water is aerated, decomposition is accelerated, and microbial growth is promoted. One final, major advantage this design has over traditional hydroelectric power sources is that no fish ladder is required, fish and organisms are able to pass through the device in bother directions.
For the Engineering 12 class at Greenville High School, President Parker Cameron and teammates, Austin Lowder and Sam Jones, have chosen this topic as their capstone project. With instructor, Christopher Sykes, these students will prepare a written report, portfolio, a functioning model, time records, and a presentation to be used for various events. What makes this project different from previous projects is its ability to go further than the class itself. A potential goal for the student’s project is to inspire the state of Ohio, with many others following, to actually construct this potential alternative energy source.
We wish the best to these and all students in our district as Greenville Schools continues to provide them with excellent academic programming.
Susie Riegle is the Superintendent for Greenville City Schools and can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.