JYMS club wins big
Published 7:41 pm Saturday, May 16, 2015
John Yeates Middle School’s CHROME Club took top honors when the Cooperating Hampton Roads Organizations for Minorities in Engineering annual awards was presented at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach on May 8.
According to the club’s Louis Garland, a John Yeates science teacher, only one award is given in each category, with 110 clubs participating from 13 localities, involving about 2,000 students.
“These awards are presented to schools/clubs that introduce and work with young people who have a desire to become involved in various opportunities in math, science, engineering and technology,” Garland stated.
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“These clubs compliment classroom learning by providing exciting demonstrations and laboratory experiments, college and career presentations, and other age-appropriate activities.”
John Yeates was awarded the Outstanding Middle School in Hampton Roads award for “exceeding all criteria areas,” according to Garland, adding the projects and experiments undertaken by CHROME students were viewed by “many teachers, students, and the community over this past year at Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, John Yeates Middle School and on the web.”
Meanwhile, Suffolk Public Schools won Outstanding CHROME Club Sponsor. “This award honors a club sponsor who exhibits exceptional service and dedication, along with demonstrating commitment to CHROME activities on both the club and regional levels, and providing mentorship for young people,” Garland stated.
According to Garland, there are almost 300 students across the 14 participating public schools in Suffolk, and club sponsors spend “incalculable hours” during and after school to deliver the extended science, technology, engineering and math lessons.
Garland stated that at John Yeates, where the club’s co-sponsors are Liston Jackson and Linda Perry-Clarke, an average of 52 students meet after school every other Thursday throughout the year, with no activity bus.
The John Yeates students had no idea they would come away as winners from the 30th Anniversary STARS Awards, according to Garland. They brought a few projects they’ve been working on, he added, as well as displays, interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities illustrating what they’ve been doing the past year.
“They just wanted to attend an evening out to celebrate CHROME, and they liked the idea of going to the Military Aviation Museum,” Garland stated.
The club has developed an alternative energy classroom, using grants totaling $34,000 over the past two years.
During the past four years, Garland added, the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders have won “multiple competitions,” including underwater robotics competitions at Old Dominion University and Nauticus, aviation competitions with Lockheed Martin, and all the middle school engineering design competitions at Old Dominion University in February.
During the STARS event, the students also placed first, second and third in the “Get Acquainted Competition,” according to Garland.
“They are constantly seeking new things to become involved in to better themselves and their club,” he added.