• Lynda Cohen*

EHT students win national contest's grand prize


Forget about the $25,000 question. A group of Egg Harbor Township students had a $25,000 answer. Six fifth-graders from the Dr. Joyanne D. Miller School have won the Lenovo Traveling Storybook's grand prize: a technology makeover for their school. Lenovo put out the call earlier this year for students of all ages to come up with their ideas of the future. Each school that entered — from elementary through high school — got their chance to use a Lenovo computer to submit their ideas. Kelly Hunt's gifted and talented students came up with three ideas of what the future of learning could look like. Ana Mytnik, Madison Gladney, Brianna LaChina, Jason DeNafo, Steve Slusarski and Ben Gettings built upon current technology to come up with an academic assistance wristband that would be matched to a student’s academic schedule.

There were also grade-level glasses allowing virtual interaction, with GPS to track them if they’re lost. The Lenovo tablet — paying homage to the sponsor — with the power to project at a student’s desk, and which would integrate with the other two technologies. With help from computer teacher — and Steve's mom — Susan Slusarski, their creations made the Top 10 of all submissions nationwide. Professional animators each took a finalist and turned those submissions into videos. Then, it was up to voters, who came out big for the Atlantic County students. "Out of all the submissions, your school’s story for the future of education blew us — and the voters — away," a Lenovo representative wrote in an email to Hunt announcing the win. "We simply couldn’t stop watching! Everyone involved in the project should be proud of their submission — the Grand Prize is well-deserved." The students "worked so hard on this project, and I know I also speak for my co-teacher, Susan Slusarski, in saying that we are so proud of them," Hunt said Friday night. "We also want to thank everyone who voted tirelessly for our video. We definitely couldn't have won this without the fantastic community support."

The ecstatic teacher added that they are also grateful to Lenovo for "providing our students with this a once in a lifetime opportunity. It definitely challenged them to learn new technologies and pushed their creativity to a heightened level, which they will never forget."

Meet the winners...


EHT students in running for $25,000 technology makeover

A group of Egg Harbor Township students are hoping their vision of the future helps their school's present technology. The Dr. Joyanne D. Miller School is one of 10 schools throughout the country in the running for a $25,000 technology makeover courtesy of Lenovo’s Future Academy Traveling Storybook.

Kelly Hunt, who teaches 142 gifted and talented fourth- and fifth-graders at Miller, knew it would take a lot of work to get the job done. But she also had faith in the six fifth-graders students picked to put together the project. Ana Mytnik, Madison Gladney, Brianna LaChina, Jason DeNafo, Steve Slusarski and Ben Gettings say they enjoyed sharing their ideas to work toward the final project.

They built upon current technology to come up with an academic assistance wristband that would be matched to a student’s academic schedule. Read more...

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