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Paul Duke STEM High School Students Build a Legacy at National Conference

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The PDSTSA chapter holding their trophies

From June 28 to July 2, the Paul Duke STEM High School Technology Student Association (PDSTSA) chapter left a lasting mark at the 2023 National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Louisville, Kentucky. The group’s dedication to their work and unwavering support from chaperones and advisors led to nine Top 10 finishes and four Top 3 placements. 

The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a national Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) compiled of passionate students who are thoroughly involved in STEM. TSA has over 200,000 members nationwide and 2,000 involved schools across 49 states.  

The theme of this year’s conference was “A Legacy of Innovation,” a theme that the PDSTSA chapter certainly excelled at. 

The PDSTSA chapter competed in the following areas: Data Science and Analytics, Video Game Design, Manufacturing Prototype, Future Technology Teacher, On Demand Video, Virtual Reality Visualization, Biotechnology Design and Geospatial Technology. Within each respective area, Paul Duke STEM High School (PDHS) had great success. 

Aside from regional and state-wide competitions, the PDSTSA chapter competed at the annual National Conference where expert judges score groups and individuals on more than 70 different STEM-based educational challenges that covered topics such as architecture, communication, engineering, leadership and technology research.

Pursuit of excellence

Within their group, the PDSTSA chapter had an impressive four awards given out to groups and individuals within places first through third. 

Notably, members Donald Iwejuo, Rohan Kumar, Hannah Le, Caleb Odunade, Mihir Pai, Rohan Pai, Phuong Truong and Keon Wilson won an astounding first place for their work in the Manufacturing Prototype category.

Manufacturing Prototype Team
Manufacturing Prototype Team

For their challenge, they were asked to create a Fourth of July-themed decoration. The team problem-solved and worked to create a customizable condiment and utensil holder with replaceable tops that incorporated the shapes of fireworks and the Liberty Bell, and symbols of the American flag, winning PDSTSA their first national title.

Additionally, within the realm of Data Science and Analytics, PDSTSA members Oswin Cervantes, Meagan Harris and Rohan Kumar took home third place by using and studying data found online and provided by them through science experiments involving Blue Zones teas, JASP (an open source program for statistical analysis) and the aging of Saccroymeces cerevisie (more commonly known as brewer’s yeast or baker’s yeast).

Data Science and Analytics Team
Data Science and Analytics Team

In the category of Biotechnology Design, Chloe Au, Brandon Auyoung, Meagan Harris, Joshua Odunade, Quincy Robinson and Phuong Truong won third place for finding a solution to adequately address food preparation, storage and sustainability issues in space, specifically for a trip to Mars.

After creating a rocket-shaped display containing their solution, the team was awarded based on their problem-solving abilities. 

Biotechnology Design Team
Biotechnology Design Team

Caleb Odunade won third place in the solo category of Future Technology Teacher. For this category, competitors were required to choose an application that could be used for teaching and then demonstrate how to implement it in the classroom.

Odunade made a video for the preliminary round on how to use TinkerCAD, an engineering and 3D design application, and was challenged to also present a lesson plan he had designed. 

Caleb Odunade Future Technology Teacher
Caleb Odunade Future Technology Teacher

More notable accomplishments

However, the accomplishments didn’t end there. Others include:

  • Fourth place in Video Game Design for members Ali Akbar, Frank Hammock, Varun Iyengar, Rohan Kumar, Joshua Odunade and Sahana Parekh
  • Fifth place in Virtual Reality Visualization for members Aqil Afsar, Charlie Boalch, Rohan Kumar and Mihir Pai
  • Sixth place in Geospatial Technology for members Aqil Afsar, Mihir Pai and Rohan Pai
  • Sixth place for Future Technology Teacher awarded to member Myra Wu
  • Tenth place award in On Demand Video by members Baylor Brown, Abigail Donkor, Princess Igwe, Tristan Kim, Rohan Kumar, Caleb Odunade, Joshua Odunade, Rohan Pai and Landon Shell
Video Game Design Team
Video Game Design Team
Virtual Reality Visualization Team
Virtual Reality Visualization Team
Geospatial Technology Team
Geospatial Technology Team
Myra Wu Future Technology Teacher
On Demand Video Team
On Demand Video Team

More to come

This was only the PDSTSA team’s second time participating in the NLC. The team is excited with their success and are looking forward to working towards even greater success in the future. 

Check out the PDSTSA Instagram at @pdstsa. Learn more about TSA at tsaweb.org.

Zoey Schlueter is a senior who attends Greater Atlanta Christian School and has lived in Peachtree Corners her whole life. She enjoys written journalism inside and outside of school and plans on pursuing journalism in college.

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Education

International Charter Academy of Georgia’s Japan Day at the Capitol [+ PHOTOS]

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International Charter Academy of Georgia students hosting "Japan Day" at the Georgia State Capitol

International Charter Academy of Georgia, located in Norcross, GA, offers a dual language education for students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

On January 23, 2024, International Charter Academy hosted a “Japan Day at the Capitol,” during which 20 students from fourth and fifth grade were selected to sing a variety of songs in both English and Japanese.

Ms. Norika Harada conducted the performance with assistant Ms. Mayuko Nelson, while Governor Brian Kemp and Consul General of Japan Mio Maedawatched on.

Kemp and Maeda recognized the school and the students performing as well as the 50th anniversary of the Consulate General of Japan’s office in Atlanta just before the performance.

During the performance, the students performed “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” “My Country Home,” “My Grandfather’s Clock,” and “It’s a Small World.”

Many families, supporters and businesses attended the event to support International Charter Academy of Georgia on this special occasion.

Photos by Peachtree Corners Magazine

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Education

Peachtree Corners Business Association (PCBA) Accepting Scholarship Applications

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Focused students studying in the park // Image by Freepik

The Peachtree Corners Business Association (PCBA) has announced its annual scholarship opportunity for local high school seniors who demonstrate community spirit and initiative. 

The scholarship program was established to raise awareness among high school students, of the need to give back to the local community and schools.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 to 2024 Student Scholarship Program.  The PCBA will award two $1,000 scholarships to deserving graduating high school seniors.

Students are invited to apply now by completing the Scholarship Application through midnight on Mar. 7, 2024.  Submit the complete application by Mar. 1, 2024 to enter a special raffle.

Applications should be emailed to scholarship@peachtreecornersba.com.

Sealed Transcripts may be sent to the PCBA office at:
4989 Peachtree Parkway Suite 200
Peachtree Corners, GA  30092.


Click Here for the Current Scholarship Application for Eligible Graduating Seniors

Qualifications

Must be a senior and at least one of the following to qualify:

  • Resident of Peachtree Corners
  • Senior at Norcross HS, Wesleyan HS, Paul Duke HS, or Duluth HS
  • Child of PCBA Member

Applications must include the application form, a copy of the student’s sealed or official transcript showing cumulative GPA, and essay of 500 words or less describing why they are the best candidate for the scholarship.

The essay must include three things the student has learned that they believe will help them in the future and a separate page listing any of the following the student has been associated with, and give a brief description of their involvement with:

  • School Organization Affiliation
  • Sports Affiliation and Extra-Curricular Activities
  • Areas of Community Involvement
  • Personal time donated to Charitable/Humanitarian causes
  • Activities completed or participated in to support the community, healthcare workers, first responders, and others.

“The PCBA is proud to continue this scholarship opportunity, which recognizes local students who have positively impacted the community,” said Donna Linden, PCBA Board member. 

“In previous years, we were impressed at the dedication to community service we saw from applicants. We look forward to honoring the deserving students who receive these scholarships, especially during these challenging times” shared Linden. 

Funds for the scholarships are raised throughout the year from PCBA membership, sponsorship, and our annual charity event.

For questions regarding the scholarship program, please email scholarship@peachtreecornersba.com.

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International Charter School of Georgia Opens 2024-2025 Enrollment Period

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International Charter Academy of Georgia's Mochitsuki Rice Pounding

The State Charter School Commission (SCSC) of Georgia has expressed its intent to extend the contract with the International Charter Academy of Georgia (ICAGeorgia) for an additional five years.

This renewal decision stems from ICAGeorgia’s track record of academic excellence and community engagement. The forthcoming approval of the school’s plan to introduce a Grade 6 middle school further shows ICAGeorgia’s commitment to growth and development.

Established in 2018, ICAGeorgia has achieved a “Content Mastery” score of 91.4%, placing it in the top 18% among all elementary schools in Georgia.

Notably, the school has a student mathematics score of 98.28%, showcasing its dedication to academic achievement.

ICAGeorgia sets itself apart through its Japanese teaching approach, prioritizing problem-solving skills over rote memorization, coupled with a high-quality dual-language curriculum.

ICAGeorgia’s Japanese calligraphy activities

The school’s commitment to maintaining a diverse student body, selecting and retaining exceptional teachers and engaging students in global cultural activities has been crucial to its academic success.

Signature events such as the rice pounding festival (Mochitsuki), Japanese calligraphy (Kakizome), Hispanic Week and Black History Month enrich the educational experience.

ICAGeorgia’s Japanese calligraphy activities

The involvement of parents and teachers in local festivals, including the Peachtree Corners Children Festival, Atlanta JapanFest and Japan Day at the Georgia State Capitol, underscores ICAGeorgia’s dedication to community engagement and service.

The school enjoys robust support from the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta and collaborates with organizations like the Japan-America Society of Georgia and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia.

Enrollment is open now for school year 2024 to 2025. Learn more here or email Jessica Kennett Cork, Secretary of the Governing Board for ICAGeorgia at j.cork@internationalcharteracademy.org.

Photos courtesy of Jessica Kennett Cork and the International Charter Academy of Georgia.

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