Berkeley Middle School students thrive in technology driven atmo - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Berkeley Middle School students thrive in technology driven atmosphere

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Tablets, digital document cameras, homework text alerts, Berkeley Middle School is proud of the many advantages the school's technology provides. We're in Moncks Corner for our Cool School of the week.

Berkeley Middle School is technology driven. Honors English teacher Melissa Meverden says, "We're working hard to make sure we're ahead of the curb. This is an Elmo, a document camera. We don't have old school transparencies and display projectors like we use to. We do have our Smartboard, what it allows me to do is sit at my desk or have a student at my desk take notes and display them to the entire class so everybody can see. That's really nice because I don't have to turn my back to students while I'm at the white board, and everybody can follow along with me. In addition to taking notes, I can show pictures, books, what ever we're using that day in class." Berkeley also uses text messaging. Meverden says, "A lot of teachers are using a service called Remind 101, where we can text out messages to remind students of deadlines, homework assignments, so parents and students can get it right there on their phone."

Students use tablets in the classrooms for added learning. Principal Mike Wilkerson says this year they will also partner with Google for a camp.

Wilkerson says, "We're excited about the opportunities that we are able to give all of our students when it comes to technology. We have a one to one computing initiatives, which allows us to put IPads and dell tablets in the hands of students on a daily basis for them to do research and various other things in class. We have an award winning technology and robotics program that we are very proud of."

The Berkeley Middle School Tech Club has won numerous awards over the years in robotics and engineering. Tech Club Vice President Thomas Scampini says, "We actually have some high standards for technology in classes. This year, I've actually done go green manufacturing, which is making a prototype of reused materials, and actually having it work, and then we did medical technology issues." Right now, the club is working on Sea Perch underwater robots for an upcoming competition. Scampini says, "We're building Sea Perch robots, which go underwater and supported by a tether, it's a 12 volt battery and it's run by propellers."

Vickie Everett teaches Industrial Technology and Gateway to Technology. She is also the advisor for the Tech Club. Everett says, "These kids are just so excited about it. They get so much more excited when they can put their hands on something and actually build it and see something when they're done. There is a result there and they just love it."

Kelsey Giles, president of the Tech Club says, "Berkeley Middle School is the coolest school because we have a lot to offer to kids. They help you along the way from sixth grade on up to 8th grade by being a part of Berkeley Middle School. I have become a better person. I have learned a lot of things and seen a lot of things that I really enjoy. There is no place like Berkeley Middle."

Students will compete in the Sea Perch competition involving the underwater robots in North Charleston later today. The Technology Club will go to nationals on June 27th through July first in Washington D.C.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we'll present the Berkeley Middle School Bucks with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at omitchell@wcbd.com, maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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