GAME ON! - Digital Media students pitch their game ideas

Students in CTE's Digital Media class have been studying videogame production, working on a project that not only calls for them to design a game from the ground up through concept, plotting, storyboarding and back-end design, but to experience pitching the idea to funding sources.

Students delivered their funding pitches last week. Instructor Jim Langley explains:

“The assignment here was to have the students present their Game Production Studio proposals to me. I will function as the CEO of the company once the project is approved. Until then, for the purposes of this, I function as the banking lender for them to procure a loan. In order for me to fund their idea, they have to propose it to me by explaining who their target demographic is, how much will their upstart costs be, showcase some assets and their proof of concept through the use of storyboards, etc.

I felt that, on the whole, the students did a solid job. I felt that the morning class did a better job because of their department solidarity, where all 4 department managers got up and participated in the presentation.

My hope for both classes was that they experience having to pitch an idea as an upstart company and take the time to think through the needs of their company and the direction their flagship product - in this case a class-wide collaborative videogame.”

CTE Students of the Month Announced

The Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District’s Career & Technical Education program has announced its Students of the Month for February.

CTE administration and staff congratulate these students, who were selected by teachers for positive performances in their respective CTE classes:

Walter Worthing of Harrison and Josh Riley of Gladwin (Advanced Manufacturing); Kyle Pratt of Beaverton (Agricultural Science); Bryan Pritchard of Farwell and Chris Shertz of Beaverton (Automotive Technology); Adam Van Buskirk of Farwell and Keton Blackmer of Gladwin (Construction Trades); Tyler Delecki of Clare and James Railer of Farwell (Criminal Justice); Rebecca Hakes and Marquis Czarnecki, both of Harrison (Culinary Arts); Devin Woodbury of Farwell and Hunter Hakes of Harrison (Digital Media); Jaedyn Myers of Beaverton and Lauren Reynolds of Gladwin (Education Occupations); Mia Fetzer of Farwell and Samra Rivas of Harrison (Health Occupations); and Mitch Sterner of Clare and Jayven Jacobs of Gladwin (Welding Technology).

The CTE program is grateful to the sponsors who support the Students of the Month program by donating gift certificates to the honorees. Sponsors include Buccilli’s Pizza of Clare and Farwell and Hungry Howie’s Pizza of Gladwin.

CTE Students Power Past Snow Days to Deliver ‘#DriveSafe’ Message

Farwell Junior Adam VanBuskirk attempts to text while driving on the simulator at the #DriveSafeCTE launch assembly in January.

Farwell Junior Adam VanBuskirk attempts to text while driving on the simulator at the #DriveSafeCTE launch assembly in January.

Students at Beaverton High School take the #DriveSafe pledge on Feb. 11, adding their names to those of students from high schools in Farwell, Harrison, Gladwin and Clare.

Students at Beaverton High School take the #DriveSafe pledge on Feb. 11, adding their names to those of students from high schools in Farwell, Harrison, Gladwin and Clare.

For teenage drivers, one second can change peoples’ lives forever. That’s the message behind a local student-led initiative to persude teens against distracted and impaired driving.

The #DriveSafeCTE campaign began when Criminal Justice students in the CTE program received a $1,000 grant to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. CJ Instructor Jeff Erickson said it mushroomed into something much bigger despite Mother Nature’s best efforts.

“This is a complete student-driven campaign powered by my second-year students,” Erickson said. “They wrote and won the grant after spending considerable time designing the campaign – the logistics, the tagline, the execution, everything. And right after we launched it, the snow days started piling up. It’s been incredibly difficult to get momentum with all the cancelations, but these kids have really put in the time to make it work, and they’re doing very well in raising awareness, which was the goal.”

The grant was awarded through the state’s S4SD program and Ford Driving Skills.

The campaign began at an assembly for all 300 CTE students in January. The Criminal Justice kids brought in two distracted driving simulators and expert speakers from the fields of law enforcement and the insurance industry. Students took a survey to assess their understanding and attitudes about distracted and impaired driving, and they received a bracelet with the campaign slogan – Yeah, it’ll just take a sec.

“The students’ thinking with the slogan was that it only takes a second while you’re driving for things to go horribly wrong,” Erickson said. “People think they can safely check their phone or text or fix their hair while they’re driving, but they need to realize how incredibly dangerous it is. It is the number one killer of teens and it’s just so important that we get the information out to students.”

Farwell senior Chloee McMann, one of the leaders of the campaign, said the group is using social media to simultaneously engage students and spread the word.

“We’re running a social media contest between all the schools,” McMann said. “The school that generates the most likes, comments and shares using a unique hashtag will not only gain bragging rights over all the other schools, but they’ll win a huge #DriveSafeCTE assembly for their school, with excellent guest speakers, contests, games and driving simulators.”

“We wanted to take this out to a whole lot of kids, so the impact is greater,” added Clare senior Tyler Dilecki, another project leader. “By sharing it through social media and our events, we hope to reach a broad span of students and help come up with a solution to this problem.”

For his part, Erickson is impressed with the above-and-beyond efforts of his class leaders.

“I’ve been blown away by their effort,” Erickson said. “They’re out there grinding, really working to bring this important message to their peers, and they’re doing it in a creative, engaging way. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids.”

POSITIVELY ELECTRIC: Jon Damzyn

(Note: In recognition of the vital role hands-on education plays in our schools and communities, this is one in a series of stories of success achieved by local students who participated in the Career & Technical Education program through the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District.)

On campus at SVSU

Clare-Gladwin Career & Technical Education serves many students in many different ways. Jon Damzyn arrived a little late to the CTE party, but that’s probably because he was busy doing 14 other things.

Damzyn is your classic do-it-all high-achiever with an impressive list of accomplishments at a young age: Top Ten at Gladwin High School, four-time MVP on the varsity golf team, two-time All-Stater and state qualifier, Positive Athlete awardee, four-year employee at Gladwin Heights Golf Course, home-based entrepreneur, National Honors Society member, Relay for Life Team/Staff Leader, Robotics Club Electrician and Rube Goldberg champion.

Damzyn, who graduated from GHS in May with a 4.0 grade point average, is studying Electrical Engineering at Saginaw Valley State University. His experience in CTE’s Advanced Integrated Manufacturing & Engineering program gave him a great early look at the career he’s now chasing.

On the links

“I’m attending SVSU to study Electrical Engineering,” Damzyn said, explaining what drew him to this career pursuit. “The magic behind electricity inspires me to know more. After looking into the future it could lead me to, the experience and the impact the job could have for the future of electrical power, I was intrigued to know more.”

Damzyn credits the passage of the CTE millage in 2016 with nudging his interest in the AIME class, which is offered as a dual enrollment with MMC.

Receiving a $2,500 scholarship from the Central Michigan Manufacturers Association

“AIME was introduced to me when the millage passed through and newer classes started to form, like Advanced Manufacturing,” he said. “I hoped to learn something new, and not only did it do that, it also contributed to a third of my entire résumé in experience and skills gained. Our high school couldn’t provide the same shop experience that I received in AIME.”

Receiving the Positive Athlete Award at Comerica Park

Damzyn’s interest in Electrical Engineering got a big boost in CTE.

“Having shop experience opened new areas to pick from and gave me a level of respect for shop work,” he said. “I had my mind set on Electrical Engineering and I found this was a good starter class to know more about general engineering processes through the shop aspect.”

While CTE aims to introduce students to potential careers and offer certifications that may apply, students also pick up valuable soft skills that have the potential to last a lifetime. That was certainly Damzyn’s experience in CTE.

“The experience in the shop and knowing more about MIOSHA safety is something I’ll take with me for the rest of my life,” he said. “What I learned in CTE was something completely new that I may add to my bag of tricks and experience.”

Asked what he would tell students considering CTE, Damzyn is unequivocal.

“Any student should take as many CTE classes as they can take that pertain to their major,” he said. “I wish I started sooner so I could take advantage of the many benefits. I find some of the knowledge I gained from class helped in knowing on a college level which next level classes I should take, which is better than going with whatever the advisors think you know. Having college credits can not only translate to your profession, but it can also give experience and confidence to know what level you can perform at.

“Because of CTE, I was able to spend my time experiencing things related to my major,” he added. “Not one human’s career is exactly the same, so why should everyone follow the same curriculum?”

CTE STUDENTS OF THE MONTH ANNOUNCED

The Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District’s Career & Technical Education program has announced its Students of the Month for December.

CTE administration and staff congratulate these students, who were selected by teachers for positive performances in their respective CTE classes:

Ben Miller and James Witte, both of Gladwin (Advanced Manufacturing); Kole Thurlow of Gladwin (Agricultural Science); Tyler Warner of Farwell and Walter Doak of Gladwin (Automotive Technology); Austin Mangus of Farwell and Caleb Good of Gladwin (Construction Trades); Lauren Cotton of Clare and Chloee McMann of Farwell (Criminal Justice); Kade Tripp of Beaverton and Kaylea Anderson of Harrison (Culinary Arts); Cody Smith of Beaverton and Alexis Card of Farwell (Digital Media); Elizabeth Smith of Beaverton and Mariah Walters of Gladwin (Education Occupations); Amanda Zuriel of Beaverton and Killeen Kladder of Gladwin (Health Occupations); and Richard Johnson of Farwell and Tucker Roehrs of Gladwin (Welding Technology).

The CTE program is grateful to the sponsors who support the Students of the Month program by donating gift certificates to the honorees. Sponsors include Buccilli’s Pizza of Clare and Farwell and Hungry Howie’s Pizza of Gladwin.