Members Learn About AmeriCorps and Google Expedition

SVRTC members from seventeen school divisions (Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Danville, Dinwiddie, Franklin City, Greensville, Halifax, Hopewell, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, and Sussex) were present at the Wednesday, November 15, 2017, meeting.

Woman speaking at the front of a room.
Amanda Healy discusses AmeriCorps.

Amanda Healy, AmeriCorps Program Manager, educated members about the benefits AmeriCorps offers.  Ms. Healy explained that AmeriCorps is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is currently funds twelve programs (mostly educational) across the state of Virginia.  With a budget of $3.7 million that funds approximately 500 members serving Virginia in 2017-18.  She explained the CNCS mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.  Members learned of the costs and benefits of becoming a host organization.  Two of the attending SVRTC divisions (Danville City and Pittsylvania) currently have AmeriCorps members serving in their schools.  More information about Ms. Healy’s presentation can be found the website’s Professional Development page.

Woman standing in front of computer demonstrating a technology to other adults.
Dr. Leach demonstrates Google Expeditions

SVRTC members also got to participate in a presentation by Dr. Paula Leach, ITTIP Director.  Members were able to take a field trip without leaving the room as  the virtual-reality teaching tool, Google Expeditions, was demonstrated.  Dr. Leach guided members on a tour of the Caribbean and other destinations while following along with virtual reality viewers.  Suggestions on how Google Expeditions can be used in classrooms to enhance student learning was shared.  Dr. Leach informed members that ITTIP has four Google Expeditions kits available for divisions to use in their schools.

Martinsville Robotics Club Creates Police Robot

A project out of Martinsville High School began in late April 2017 that includes about ten students from Martinsville’s MADawgs Robotics club.  The students have been utilizing their robotics’ skills and on-hand materials  to create a robot small enough to fit into a trunk and  strong enough to pull an officer out of a dangerous situation.  The students hope to complete the project by December 2017 to help support community needs.  Here is a link to the article featured on WDBJ 7 TV station:  MADawgs Create Police Robot.

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