- Sponsorship -

Students, Educators Show Off the Latest and Greatest in Teaching & Learning

More than 100 educators, business people and students from across the region are expected to participate in NovaNow, a two-day conference that spotlights innovations in teaching and learning, from new ways to battle bullying to teaching math skills through computer coding.

The conference, being held at Kent Innovation High on Feb. 5 and 6, includes presentations from students at the school and seminars from area educators.

“I absolutely love it because these kids are applying their learning for a purpose,” said Michigan Teacher of the Year Richard Joseph as he toured the student-led presentations during the first day of the conference. Joseph added that the project-based learning found at KIH is often more connected to real-world issues than lessons out of a textbook.

Sophomore Alec Betancourt’s project focused on using a mix of renewable energies to power the world of the future. “I’m looking at places where electricity isn’t at your fingertips, but where it may be needed,” said Alec, explaining that the current consumption of fossil fuels isn’t sustainable.  “It’s either going to kill our planet, or we will run out.”

Spotted perusing the exhibitions was Lupe Ramos-Montigny, a delegate from the State Board of Education. “They’re awesome, very creative. The critical thinking is very evident,” she said of the student presentations.

Ramos-Montigny said she was especially impressed with how the students applied their learning to some of the more abstract concepts within the projects, adding, “What student wouldn’t want to come and learn in this environment?”

Other student presentation examples include a Rube Goldberg Machine, which combines a series of chain reactions to accomplish an otherwise simple process, and a “Carbon Dating” dating game, where contestants react with each other as elements of the periodic table.

Now in its third year, NovaNow helps educators work through new curriculum standards in the most engaging ways possible. Local business professionals from tech companies Springthrough and Trivalent Group, Metro Health, Lacks Wheel Trim Systems and online regional promoter Hello West Michigan participated in a panel to talk about what types of skills they look for in entry-level employees.

“What’s different about this event is we’re having conversations about what’s important in education beyond the standards,” said Andrew Steinman, Kent ISD educational technology consultant. “So it’s not just about the what, but the why and the how.”


Full Session List

Student Made ‘Carbon Dating’ Video

KIH student volunteers with State Board of Education Delegate Lupe Ramos-Montigny, right, and Michigan Educator of the Year Richard Joseph, back-row center

- Sponsorship -
Adrian Hirsch
Adrian Hirsch has been with SNN since its launch, starting as an intern from Grand Valley State University where he received a degree in broadcasting and business. After the internship, Adrian was brought on as staff to continue reporting, editing and publishing stories for SNN and Kent ISD. Adrian has been active with community radio station WYCE for years, served as Non-Profit Coordinator for GRTV, and currently works as the Web Producer for SNN.


Fourth-grade hockey fan gets a magical hour on ice: ‘I made the shot!’

Raised as a Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins hockey fan, Jackson Solow lights up while skating on an ice rink wearing his favorite hockey jersey...

‘This time it is continued learning’

One school’s switch from in-person to virtual education last week was nearly seamless, especially when compared with the forced school closure in March...

Foundation grants $28,285 in fall funding requests

Virtual phys ed and art experiences, materials to improve classroom focus and books on social issues aimed at middle-schoolers are among the grants approved this fall...

Latest school closings expand on state-ordered high school mandate

More Kent County districts continue to announce temporary school building closures, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Have cart, will travel

A Southeast Kelloggsville Elementary music teacher has a new cart for her ukuleles, thanks to her school, her husband and the Kent Career Tech Center...

KCTC and KTC Core students roll up their sleeves to help reduce water runoff at Kent ISD

The water from the Kent ISD area feeds into the Lamberton Creek watershed. The plants will aid in reducing the amount added to the creek...

Essential workers get high school diplomas thanks to state program

Futures for Frontliners offers free community college tuition to essential workers. The program also helps people earn a high-school GED...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU