Best in class: UNG, Tech teams’ designs aid students with disabilities

• The University of North Georgia’s Department of Physical Therapy hosted nine industrial design students from the Georgia Institute of Technology and their faculty team leader June 29 - July 3 for a weeklong conference aimed at building innovative assistive technology for several clients with physical disabilities. In the project dubbed “creating rehab engineering and assistance technology experiences,” or cREATe for short, student teams worked with with clients whose physical needs ranged from combating scoliosis to controlling a powered wheelchair with the head. The groups experimented with different materials and structures and made adjustments with feedback from the clients and their families. The Tech students went back to their home campus to spend two weeks building the prototypes, which will then be delivered to the clients.

Catherine Benedict and Rahil Kamath, rising seniors at The Westminster Schools, recently won second place in the 2015 National Federation of Press Women High School Communications Contest, for their article “G.E.A.R. explores complexities of gender, feminism.” It was published in The Westminster Bi-Line, the School’s weekly newspaper, in November 2014. The annual NFPW contest offers 22 categories including news, feature, column writing, photography, videos and graphic design. This year, 144 of the 1,195 entries advanced to the national level, and 87 entries created by 104 students received national honors.

• As part of the band Foreigner’s charity partnership with the Grammy Foundation, they will host the Etowah High School Chorus, who will sing with the band on a performance of their timeless 1984 hit “I Want to Know What Love Is,” at Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood in Atlanta on Sunday, July 19. As part of the charity initiative, Foreigner is donating $500 to the choir to use in its music program.

• The Discovery Education Network has awarded Mark Henderson, math coordinator for Fayette County Public Schools, a Leadership DENny for his volunteer work within the Discovery Education community. DEN is a community of district leaders, principals, and teachers passionate about teaching with digital media, sharing resources, collaborating, and networking. Shayla Rexrode, education partnerships manager for Discovery Education, said Henderson helped the organization identify areas for growth. In just one year, he helped host 100 teachers at a local DENapalooza professional development event, as well as facilitating and hosting the first DEN Ambassador Program, designed to fully support teachers through community activities as they integrate digital media and technology into their teaching practice.

• The University of North Georgia’s debate team, which competed in seven tournaments during the 2014-15 academic year, finished the year with national rankings and several team awards. Students who earned individual awards, include: Anthony Harden of Lawrenceville, who was a quarterfinalist in a varsity 2-on-2 debate and ranked fifth in a Speaker Pro 1-on-1 debate; Chase Yarbrough of Clermont, who was a quarterfinalist in a varsity 2-on-2 debate; Efren Chavez of Gainesville, who was a quarterfinalist in a Novice 1-on-1 debate; and Andre Gonzales of Jefferson, who was a semifinalist in a varsity Spanish Speaking Debate and won a first place Critic’s Award. At the University of Tennessee Volunteer Debate Championship, the UNG debate team won first place in two-on-two debate, second place in one-on-one debate and second place overall. The UNG team also placed second at the Tom Preston Study Break Tournament at Webster University, the UNG Test Drive Novice Debate Tournament and the Georgia Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Speech Championship Tournament hosted at UNG. The debate team made it to the Pan American International Debate Championships at University of Miami, Florida, and the Georgia Parliamentary Debate Association State Debate Championship Tournament at Piedmont College, Georgia.

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