Proos welcomes St. Joseph students to Capitol for technology showcase

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LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Wednesday met with students from Upton Middle School in St. Joseph as part of the 17th Annual Student Technology Showcase at the Capitol.

“It was great to talk to an outstanding group of Southwest Michigan students, who are illustrating that today’s modern classrooms are offering exciting educational opportunities unimaginable just a generation ago,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “While it is clear that education is no longer limited to the classroom walls or even our local surroundings, it remains a product of creative teachers, hardworking students and dedicated parents.”

The showcase featured exhibits from more than 30 schools providing hands-on demonstrations of how technology is being used in Michigan classrooms to enhance learning.

The St. Joseph students’ exhibit was “That Moment When: A Facebook Comment Led to Celebrity Connections Beyond the Classroom.” After using a video of actor Siaka Massaquoi explaining the origin of his name to introduce a writing assignment, a comment on the video led to a response from Siaka. After exchanging videos, 33 students created Google slides to introduce themselves prior to a Google hangout, where they talked with the actor in real time. The production company liked the connections so much that they flew Siaka and a camera crew to St. Joseph to meet the kids. Footage from that meeting will be made into its own documentary.

“I have long supported this type of applied learning, because it can help us prepare all Michigan children for success in a job market increasingly reliant on skilled workers who know how to use new technologies and innovations,” Proos said. “Congratulations to teacher Dana Walsworth and her students on a wonderful exhibit and a remarkable endeavor.”

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.

Print-quality versions of the above photographs are available by clicking on the images or by visiting www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Photowire.