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Jackson County Students Sweep State Competition

East-Central-Middle-School-300x200 Jackson County Students Sweep State Competition

Jackson, Miss.—Middle and high school students from around the state recently competed in the annual Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC™) Bridge Building Challenge at the Clyde Muse Center on the Rankin campus of Hinds Community College in Pearl.

TRAC™ is an education outreach program of the Mississippi Department of Transportation and introduces students to a variety of career opportunities in the field of engineering. The program teaches students how to apply math and science concepts to help identify and resolve engineering barriers in the transportation industry.

MDOT utilizes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education as a learning tool in the program and provides each team with a TRAC Challenge Entry Kit, materials and guidelines to construct a bridge. Each participating team then submits a portfolio with their bridge design, a PowerPoint presentation and the strength-to-weight ratio of their bridge.

“This TRAC™ competition gives students the opportunity to learn about bridge building through hands-on experience,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath, P.E. “MDOT’s goal is to inspire young students to explore the world of engineering while they have fun learning about the functionality of bridges in a transportation system.”

During the competition, teams present their PowerPoint presentations and test their bridge for mechanics and strength-to-weight ratio. The top three teams in each grade category are honored.

The 2017 Mississippi TRAC™ Bridge Building Challenge winners are as follows.

7th and 8th Grade:

First Place – ECMS 8th Grade Team from East Central Middle School in Moss Point
Second Place – Team Phoenix from East Union Attendance Center in Blue Springs
Third Place – Master Bridge Builders from Long Beach Middle School

9th and 10th Grade:

First Place – MTN Engineering (MP STEM Team) from Moss Point Career and Technical Education Center
Second Place – Three Engineers from East Union Attendance Center in Blue Springs
Third Place – Trilet from Forrest County Agricultural High School in Brooklyn

11th and 12th Grade:

First Place – Engineering Knights (MP STEM Team) from Moss Point Career and Technical Education Center
Second Place – Quest (MP STEM Team) from Moss Point Career and Technical Education Center
Third Place – Mantachie Macho Men from Mantachie High School

On Tuesday, June 27, the first place winners in the 7th-8th grade and 11th-12th grade division were recognized at a meeting of the Mississippi Transportation Commission at MDOT Headquarters in Jackson.

This competition displays how Mississippi’s students are learning about transportation while excelling in STEM education. For more information about MDOT’s STEM education outreach programs, visit http://mdot.ms.gov/stemeducation/.

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PGSD Hosts Tech Camp for Kids

Students from Trent Lott Academy, Singing River Academy, Colmer Middle School, and Gautier Middle School enjoyed learning all about technology at Tech Camp for Kids. Students learned how to fly drones, green screen and video editing, video creation, coding with Tynker, Dash and Dot Challenges, and C++ programming.

0021-tech-300x282 PGSD Hosts Tech Camp for Kids

Henry Ros takes a photo of Parker Simkins during a green screen video class at the Pascagoula-Gautier School District’s Tech Camp for Kids. Students from Trent Lott Academy, Singing River Academy, Colmer Middle School, and Gautier Middle School enjoyed learning all about technology at Tech Camp for Kids. Students learned how to fly drones, green screen and video editing, video creation, coding with Tynker, Dash and Dot Challenges, and C++ programming.

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County schools rank in sports top 10

Two school districts in Jackson County have been ranked in the top 10 of their respective classes. 

The Clarion-Ledger has decided an all-sports champion in each MHSAA class for the past 29 years. This season’s totals included 22 sports, and up to 16 teams received points in 10 boys sports, 11 girls sports and combined teams for tennis.

Ocean Springs School District was ranked fourth among 6A schools. Vancleave and East Central was ranked eighth among 4A schools. 

Full rankings for each classification are listed below:

Class 6A

1. Tupelo 373

2. Clinton 310.5

3. Madison Central 300

4. Ocean Springs 264

5. Brandon 237

6. Oak Grove  213

7. Starkville 212.5

8. Pearl 208

9. Northwest Rankin 206

10. Gulfport  185.5 

Class 4A

1. Pontotoc 205

2. West Lauderdale 191.5

3. Corinth 190

4. Amory 182.5 

5. Lafayette 175

6. Caledonia 171

7. St. Stanislaus 151

8. Vancleave and East Central 148.5

9. Newton County 131.5

10. Senatobia 122

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Children experience Sound at Sea Camp

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Sea Camp at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab is celebrating its 30th year this summer. 

That is three decades of educating Gulf Coast children about the Mississippi Sound and the larger environment of the Gulf Coast.

“Children in 1st through 6th grades get hands-on experience learning about their local environment,” said Summer Dorcik, Marine Education Specialist with the GCRL. “We take them on several different field trips, so it’s all very hands on.”

One of such field trips involved taking some of the kids out on the water.

“We talked about the estuary and salinity and the Mississippi Sound,” Dorcik said. “After that we pulled a trawl and got a population sample of the animals that were in there, like shrimp, crab, baby white trout, and even an alligator gar.”

The GCRL’s Sea Camp is a series of one-week day camps, allowing different age groups different adventures.

“With the 1st graders, because they are younger, we tend to stay more on property with that group,” Dorcik said. ” For kids in 3rd through 6th grades they get to go to Ship Island on Thursdays, so they are really excited about that. Wednesdays 5th and 6th graders they actually go out on the Pascagoula River.”

But why send your child to Sea Camp?

“It’s something awesome if you are looking for an experience your kids will never forget or something that might help them decide they like science or being out in the environment and being a steward of the environment,” Dorcik said. “That’s something I think kids take away from this experience.”

For more information about Sea Camp, visit the GCRL website.

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PGSD Administrators Share Importance of Literacy

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Administrators in the Pascagoula-Gautier School District visited with shoppers at the Pascagoula Wal-Mart distributing literacy materials and asking parents to please read with their children everyday especially during the summer months.

The literacy distribution is part of the district’s READ! READ! READ! campaign to help children keep their reading skills sharp while they are out of school and to stress the importance of reading with parents.

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MGCCC offers Maritime Technology Pre-Apprenticeship Training

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, in partnership with Ingalls Shipbuilding, is offering a new Maritime Technology Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program to qualified individuals.

Students enrolled in the program are eligible for the Ingalls Shipbuilding Apprenticeship Program and will be able to work toward an associate degree.

Geared toward unemployed or underemployed individuals with or without a high school diploma, the program guarantees successful completers an interview for the very competitive Ingalls Shipbuilding Apprenticeship Program.  This training goes hand-in-hand with the Adult Basic Education program at the college, where participants will also be working toward their high-school equivalency, if needed.

Once participants have passed the pre-apprenticeship requirements, had a successful interview with Ingalls Shipbuilding and entered the Apprenticeship Program, they may begin taking classes toward an associate degree in Maritime Technology.

Participants in the Pre-Apprenticeship Program must be WIOA-qualified and have a successful score on the TABE. 

For more information about the Maritime Technology Pre-Apprenticeship Program qualifications and registration, visit www.mgccc.edu/ MaritimeTech.

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PGSD offers summer reading

Pascagoula-Gautier School District is offering students a summer reading opportunity thanks to the STAR Bus. 

Students entering the 1st-7th grades for the 2017-2018 school year are invited to come aboard the STAR Bus to read and take AR tests. Students must be registered by a responsible adult and may stay on the bus for one hour.

The program lasts from June 5 through July 7. Students can read on the bus from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The STAR Bus will be located at:

Monday: Pascagoula Boys and Girls Club

Tuesday: Gautier Boys and Girls Club

Wednesday: Jackson Elementary June 7, 21, July 5/Gautier Elementary June 14 and 28

Thursday: City of Pascagoula Summer Program

Friday: Pascagoula Walmart

For more information, call (228) 938-6491.

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OSMS teacher receives national recognition

erica-scott-osms OSMS teacher receives national recognition

The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese has recognized an Ocean Springs Middle School teacher for her outstanding work in the classroom.

According to The Greyhound Echo, Erica Scott will officially receive the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award: Elementary Level from the AATSP during the organization’s awards banquet on July 8 in Chicago.

The elementary level of the award covers teachers who teach students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Ocean Springs Middle School Principal Adelle Register said Scott’s contributions to OSMS and its students highlight the reasons Scott was nominated for and received this award.

“Mrs. Scott has been asset to our foreign language department,” Register said. “She always maintains a positive attitude and demonstrates superb qualities in the classroom to engage and challenge her students.”

Scott, who just completed her first year at OSMS, has taught Spanish for a total of 11 years.  This past school year, Scott taught Introduction to Foreign Language and Spanish 1.  As part of the award application process, Scott wrote as to how she loved seeing the lightbulb moments occur with her students, which can make teaching the introductory levels of a foreign language so exciting.

“My favorite is the introductory level because I love seeing kids going from only speaking English to becoming an emergent Spanish speaker,” Scott said.

The AATSP promotes the study and teaching of the Spanish and Portuguese languages and their corresponding Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and other related literatures and cultures at all levels of education. The AATSP encourages, supports and directs programs and research projects involving the exchange of pedagogical and scholarly information. Through extensive collaboration with educators, professionals, and institutions in other countries, the AATSP contributes to a better and deeper understanding between the United States and the Spanish-and Portuguese-speaking nations of the world.

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Moss Point Places in National Competition

18581823_1089467481183916_2131527646179285093_n-300x214 Moss Point Places in National CompetitionThe Moss Point STEM Team recently competed in the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) National Bridge Engineering Competition in Portland, Maine.  Team members applied math and science concepts to real life problems engineer’s face in the transportation industry as they conducted action research, designed a 3D model bridge with CAD software, tested the 3D model bridge with a simulation program, and constructed a model bridge out of balsa wood. The competition consisted of three categories: Design Portfolio, PowerPoint Presentation, and Bridge Design Efficiency. 

Initially, AASHTO provided middle and high school students across the nation with a TRAC Challenge Entry Kit, bridge building materials, and competition guidelines to construct a bridge. Each participating team was required to submit a Design Portfolio including their final bridge design. Based on their Design Portfolio, qualifying teams were then selected to compete at nationals. 

During nationals, teams conducted PowerPoint presentations and tested their bridge for strength to weight ratio. Cash prizes were given to the top three teams. In their very first attempt at the national competition, the Moss Point STEM Team won second place in the 11th/12th grade division and fourth place in the 9th/10th grade division.

“We would like to thank Steven Nelson, Wess McMillan, and Danny Juarez from Chevron for their support during this competition for the last three years and to Singing River Electric for providing the funds to purchase our Pitsco Structure Testing Instrument” said Mr. Carroll.  Billy J. Carroll is the founder and coach of the Moss Point STEM Team. Dr. Durand Payton is the director of the Moss Point Career and Technical Education Center.

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PGSD offers free summer meals

In an effort to reduce childhood hunger in the community, the Pascagoula-Gautier School District Child Nutrition Department is offering free summer meals at three select locations in the district.

Through June and July, breakfast and lunch will be served to anyone under the age of 18 years at cost with no registration required.

Breakfast will be served from 7:30 until 8:30 a.m., and lunch from 11 a.m. until noon. 

The following locations will offer free summer meals through select dates:

  • Gautier Elementary
    • May 30- July 27 (Tuesday through Thursday only)
  • Jackson Elementary
    • May 30- July 27 (Tuesday through Thursday only)
  • Pascagoula Opportunity Center
    • June 1- June 30 (Monday through Friday )

For more information about summer feeding, click here.

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