California Students Win National NTN Video Challenge

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New Tech Network Video Competition Challenges Students to Build Bridges through Education

“The Da Vinci students have produced exemplary work that is representative of the deeper learning taking place in New Tech schools all over the country," said NTN President Lydia Dobyns.

Winners of the second annual New Tech Network (NTN) Video Challenge were announced today. This year’s challenge focused on Building Bridges and submissions were planned, created and produced exclusively by NTN students.

The winners this year are from Da Vinci Charter Academy in Davis, CA. Da Vinci Charter Academy (DVHS) students Reese Woodard, Aamia Malik, Elsa Young, and Nick Meddin created the award winning video: Building Bridges to the Real World. The short film focused on building bridges through education, community and the real world skills students will need to be successful in college and career.

Woodard, Malik, Young and Medin wanted to portray how Da Vinci fit in with the NTN idea of building bridges to the real world. To get started on the video, the students brainstormed on a white board, drawing possible scenes and concepts then created the idea of “invisible bridges to the community.”

“Our main goal for the video was to show how our New Tech school prepares us for the real world by supplying us with the skills necessary to benefit the community that we are all a part of, essentially, building a bridge. We wanted to do this while maintaining a really strong sense of what we consider to be ‘Da Vinci.’ That’s why we chose to build the plank bridge through the forest and used music that was an original composition by a Da Vinci student,” noted group member Malik.

The Da Vinci students won a trip to New Tech Network’s annual conference, which takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 15th. There, the group will present its award-winning video to more than 1,200 New Tech Network teachers, administrators, superintendents, students and alumni.

“Students, when given the opportunity, demonstrate time and time again they are able to communicate, create and collaborate and in the case of this challenge, produce compelling videos,” said Lydia Dobyns, President of New Tech Network.

“The Da Vinci students have produced exemplary work that is representative of the deeper learning taking place in New Tech schools all over the country.”

When visiting a New Tech school earlier this month, President Obama said, “Every day this school is proving that every child has the potential to learn the real-world skills they need to succeed in college and beyond. You’re doing things a little differently around here than a lot of high schools and it’s working.”

New Tech Network is a non-profit school development organization that builds the capacity of teachers and principals to provide innovative teaching methods. NTN focuses on project-based learning that aims to prepare students for the demands and challenges inherent in a high tech economy. Students graduate high school ready to join the workforce or successfully enter a two or four-year college.

The New Tech Network consists of 109 public district schools, 10 charter schools and one independent school in 18 states and Australia and is dramatically increasing students’ deeper learning, and subsequently the level of student accomplishment.

New Tech Network recently released findings that 74 percent of graduating students enroll in college, a level nine percent greater than the national rate, regardless of locale. This data was obtained through the National Student Clearinghouse from geographically and racially diverse high schools in urban areas like downtown Los Angeles, suburban areas in Texas and Louisiana and rural schools in North Carolina and Indiana.

About the New Tech Network
The New Tech design is a blueprint, accompanied by a set of core beliefs, tools, and strategies to help each school fulfill its purpose. New Tech Network design principles provide for an instructional approach centered on project-based learning, a culture that empowers students and teachers, and integrated use of technology in the classroom. Through extensive professional development, personalized coaching and access to Echo, a learning management system, New Tech Network empowers principals, teachers, and students to develop compelling, relevant and meaningful learning communities.

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Krista Clark
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