Vicksburg Elementary Students Showcase Student Technology for State Lawmakers

green screen crew
Sunset students with their green screen technology. Top row, from left, Hailey Zagar and Fletcher Haase. Bottom row: Lily Johnson and Braedon Akans.

Steve Fryling,
Vicksburg Schools Communications Director

Students from Sunset Lake Elementary went to Lansing in December to participate in the 17th annual Student Technology Showcase. The event was held in the State Capitol rotunda and gave students opportunities to demonstrate and display for state lawmakers technology projects they have created. Parents, students and other attendees discussed technology and innovation in schools with state education leaders.

The event is hosted by the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) and featured demonstrations from students representing more than 30 schools across Michigan.

The group of Sunset students had been working with Dawn Phelps, fifth grade teacher, who organized the trip. The students included Braedon Akans, Fletcher Haase, Lily Johnson, and ​Hailey Zagar. “I am so proud of all the work the students have put into their green screen projects,” Phelps said. “They work so well together and I am very excited for them to have the opportunity to share this technology at the Capitol.”

The Sunset students’ display featured the use of green screen technology, which is used to add virtual “backgrounds”. Students can then be videoed in front of the green screen and the two images blended to make one smooth image. The technology is used in digital communications, filmmaking, and some news and weather segments seen on television news broadcasts. This technology is in use by students and staff at all buildings for instruction and for project creation for students.

The students got to speak to many state legislators including local State Senator Margaret O’Brien, who was impressed with their work, as were other education and industry leaders at the event.

The students were also impressed with the State Capitol and those they met with. Fletcher Haase said, “The best parts were when we got to go to the Senate during their recess and seeing all the people who came to our booth.”

“The Capitol building was very interesting and amazing, but I really liked seeing the Senate and the House of Representatives. I liked meeting new people who came to see our green screen project, “ said Braedon Akans.

Lily Johnson said, “I liked sharing the technology that we use with others and the Capitol was awesome. I really liked looking around the rotunda too.”

“The whole trip was amazing! Seeing Senator O’Brien was cool too!” remarked Hailey Zagar.

“We have been doing the Student Showcase for several years now, and without fail we always leave blown away by the incredible work these students do, and this year was no different,” said Mark Smith, MACUL executive director. “As always, we’re really excited to watch these students demonstrate their work with technology.”

Said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan, an event sponsor: “It’s exciting for us when we see students embracing technology learning and using it to create. That kind of creative, innovative thinking is going to serve these students well in a world where it’s increasingly important to have a comfort and familiarity with technology.”

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