Some Efforts to Institutionalize Learning Opportunities... So Far
The DeWitt Creativity Group is working with other DeWitt High School teachers to tie more schoolwork and curricular objectives to activities and events. A good example of this is the creation of the DeWitt Research and Development Lab. This is an independent study class that was created due to the networking of the DCG. Students determine the topics that they want to research (they decided upon bio-fuels).
The DCG has contacted numerous individuals and organizations throughout Michigan to create opportunities for students to develop partnerships with the following: Oakland University Clean Energy Center, OUINCubator, Michigan State University Biotechnology Labs, and MichBio (statewide organization that promotes the biotechnology industry in Michigan). Students have toured research facilities, received donations of equipment to build a bio-reactor, and worked alongside professional research scientists.
Additionally, the DCG met with Dr. Stephen Rapundalo, head of MichBio, to integrate DHS students into MichBio events such as "biomixers" where biotechnology professionals gather once a month to network. Several of our students attended one of these events and gained many valuable contacts as a result. Also, Dr. Rapundalo is in the process of setting up guest speakers from the biotechnology industry to come speak at DeWitt High School. One individual who may speak at DeWitt High School next year is the co-inventor of Lipitor, Roger Newton. Finally, Dr. Rapundalo will help to locate and help The DRDL to acquire reconditioned lab equipment for low cost (please refer to the DCG Web site and YouTube channel for documentation of these activities).