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Cross Middle/High, several other schools awarded Google grants to improve tech and encourage creation on campuses

Published Thursday, February 20, 2020

Classroom door at Cross Middle/High

The evidence of coming creation is visible in multiple areas of the Cross Middle/High campus. This classroom door is surrounded by student work and holds a reminder in the small glass panel that the work of creative minds will continue. (Brian Troutman / BCSD)

There’s a vision of the future at Cross Middle/High School, and it includes a state-of-the-art focus on the past.  

This week administrators shared with 7th and 8th-grade students that the school was awarded a $37,630 Google grant to be spent on technology meant to improve project-based learning experiences. As a result, students will leave Cross with more of a solid grasp on 21st century skills needed in the modern workplace. 

When it comes to the project list, administrators say there’s an incalculable number of ways the middle school students will guide their own learning experiences.

It was announced that projects would be focused on something missing in the Cross community — a celebration of the area’s history — a museum. Other than the broad topic aimed at connecting the community with the students currently on the campus, students have the support to explore and create the way they want — to take risks and try things. 

“We have a vision for it, but it’s led by the kids,” said Assistant Principal Charlie Sweeney. “They will select a path and create something lasting. We don’t want to put a ceiling on them. We want them to have an idea and support their vision for it.”

Sweeney applied for the grant this year with the idea that such an undertaking could be used to inject technology, project-based learning and personalized learning practices into more classrooms on a regular basis. Activities will all be standards-based — incorporating all subject areas. From math calculations used to create items to historical research, Sweeney said the benefits of allowing the students to take on roles of researchers and designers will be immeasurable.

“We’re going to give our kids a platform to show what they can do,” he said. “They can present this to the community and it will be open to anyone who wants to see it.”

More Google grants 

Cross High was one of six BCSD schools recently awarded Google grants.

Bowen’s Corner Elementary received a $25,723 grant to fund a robotics program. Macedonia Middle was awarded a $18,727 grant to obtain padcaster systems, VR systems and mobile makerspace equipment with the goal of having a "creation station." Hanahan Middle received a $12,731 grant to improve the school’s makerspace experience for English language learners. Timberland High was awarded a $6,849 grant to improve upon the school’s ability to provide internet hotspots to students in need. Cane Bay High received $5,000 for robot upgrades.

Brian Troutman