National Defense Engineers Visit New Tech Academy

By Maureen Mespell
By John Davis
By Scott Sarvay


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December 15, 2010 Updated Dec 15, 2010 at 11:47 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Dozens of New Tech Academy sophomores at Wayne High School - participated in defense engineering workshops on Wednesday.

In its second year, the New Tech Academy program at Wayne High School is centered around science, technology, engineering and math project based learning.

New Tech Academy Director Liz Bryan hopes project based learning will make education relevant to every student's future goals.

"I really enjoy math and science and I thought that engineering was cool because you can help other people with what you're design and creating," said New Tech Academy 10th Grader Alyssa Ringswald.

Right now, 192 freshman and sophomores attend New Tech Academy.

In the 10th grade, engineers and other science, technology and math based guest speakers visit classrooms.

However, in the 11th grade, students will begin job shadowing.

"We are trying to create those partnerships with our community, so that we open those opportunities for our kids to actually be in those facilities, in those buildings, in that industry," said New Tech Academy Director Liz Bryan.

Defense engineers from Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon spent Wednesday afternoon at New Tech Academy.

Students learned military applications for familiar mobile devices.

"Cell phones and the iPads and how it helps out with our troops. I thought that was really neat if we could create something more upgraded and better that could help them," said Ringswald.

"Simple stuff like how they put different things in the newer inventions and stuff like that. That's part of what I want to do since like the fifth grade," said New Tech Academy 10th Grader Dion Walker.

They also learned about a million dollar fully operational unmanned aerial spy plane.

"They can use UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to actually detect enemies. He was telling us how they can detect a sniper and even what they're saying to their troops," said New Tech Academy 10th Grader Tyler Neaville.

Another highlight was finding out local defense engineers - earn an average of $60,000 dollars.

"I was a bit surprised. I didn't think engineers made that much money," said New Tech Academy 10th Grader Jason Cromwell.

“When I get to see what I could be doing, it motivates me to wanna do better in school instead of just slacking, you know I'm gonna do this when I'm older. But if I actually see this, it's like man I gotta get these grades, I gotta get there," continued Cromwell.

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