Silver Chips Online

Second annual Academy Day to be held Tuesday

Activities and speakers planned to prepare Blazers for future careers and goals

By David Zheng, Online Entertainment Editor
December 16, 2007
The second annual Academy Career Day, featuring over 75 speakers from various professions, will take place Tuesday, according to Academies Coordinator Jennifer Kempf. The day is designed to give students opportunities to meet professionals from fields of their interests and explore possible career paths.

The school day will follow a half-day schedule, with Academy Day activities beginning after fifth period at 11:46 a.m. Sophomores, juniors and seniors will meet in their advisory blocks and move between three 35-minute sessions, according to Kempf.

Freshmen will be assigned three sessions to attend based on their answers to a career survey. Since freshmen do not have academies, the presentations will be an opportunity for them to explore possible career paths, Kempf explained.

Professionals working in careers related to each of the academies will lead the sessions. The Human Service Professions Academy will have speakers in the fields of early teacher education and administration, psychology, sociology and health, said Health and Human Services Academy head Myriam Rogers. Doctors, engineers, zoologists and forensic scientists, among others, will speak to the Science, Math and Technology Academy, according to the academy's lead teacher, John Haigh. Lead teacher Stefanie Weldon plans for the Media Literacy Academy to attend presentations by artists, a radio broadcaster, a film producer and a stage combat professional. The International Studies Academy will hear from from a U.S. Institute of Peace lawyer, a member of the Fair Trade Federation, a police officer and Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, lead teacher Kevin Moose said.

Several academies are planning special events. The Media Literacy Academy will be attending a presentation with an African drum group in the Blair auditorium, according to Weldon. Alumni will be returning to Blair to present their work to the Entrepreneurship Academy, according to lead teacher Kevin Murley. "National award winners of business plan competitions will present to the students," Murley said. "Some students will also present their own business plans." Entrepreneurship Academy students will also attend a sales fair in which students can sell their own homemade goods.

The Communication Arts Program (CAP) and the Magnet program are organizing their own activities. CAP sophomores will be working in writing, reading, video and government workshops, according to CAP teacher Lansing Freeman. Juniors will be giving presentations to classmates. "They will be using the griot story telling technique. It's a method originating from West Africa," Freeman said.

Magnet students will be taking a field trip to the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA for a screening of the IMAX movie "Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag," according to Magnet Coordinator Dennis Heidler. They will also visit the center's museum, which houses the largest collection of aircraft artifacts in the world. "This is a great opportunity to observe engineering marvels," Heidler said. The buses for the magnet trip will depart after seventh period.

Last year, seniors were allowed to leave early. This year, all seniors have Academies and are expected to attend Academy Day activities. "Everyone is now in an Academy and is expected to attend the presentations with their academy," Kempf said.

Kempf hopes that students will take Academy Day as a pathway to a successful future. "It's important to be looking beyond high school," Kempf said. "Students seem to just be focused on graduating but they need to understand what comes after that."

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7993