Tag Archives: technology

Burbank High 3D Printer Puts 21st Century Tech In Student Hands

Burbank High School’s arts and digital media teacher James Bentley speaks with clarity and enthusiasm as he describes the technology his classes access during the school day. One of the more frequently used of the 21st Century Classroom buzzwords right now is ‘3D printer,’ and Bentley talks about how the tech is being used in his high school classroom.

As Bentley lays out all the elements of a miniature turbine engine, built in his classroom’s 3D printer using a plastic filament material source – something like the plastic cord used in a household WeedWhacker, he explains.

“The turbine we create parts for is not actually functioning, but when we assemble all the parts and hook it up to a power drill, we can demonstrate how a turbine engine works,” Bentley says, meaning that the plastic parts won’t hold up under regular and demanding use, but they can show how each part of a turbine engine works together.

Burbank High School art students (from left to right), eleventh-grader Lizbeth Najera, twelvth-grader Mark Gonzalez and tenth-grader Storm Lamoureaux, show some of the pieces created with the school's 3D printer. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Burbank High School art students (from left to right), eleventh-grader Lizbeth Najera, tenth-grader Storm Lamoureaux and twelvth-grader Mark Gonzalez, show some of the pieces created with the school’s 3D printer. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“Three-dimensional printers are great for building prototypes but not for manufacturing parts right now,” he adds.

Burbank High School’s MakerBot Replicator Z18 was purchased with a grant a team of BHS students won in the 2014 Burbank Airport Authority competition and a grant from the Burbank Arts For All Foundation.

Bentley also shows off a bulldog replica built by the 3D printer. He had created the figurine for the school’s principal Michael Bertram, so he could physically see and touch an object the printer made.

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“We often forget it is creative ideas that are the foundation of innovation,” comments Bentley. “You have to draw up the idea, the creative thinker and the artist, then the engineers and the mathematicians take the idea and make it work.”

“It is the artist who makes products acceptable – the people who make it beautiful, who design objects,” he adds, emphasizing the STEAM concept, the importance of Arts to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields that are expected to drive world economies and a primary focus in education right now.

“Everything is designed by creative people in U.S., things are designed right here,” Bentley continues. “We need the people to make them here, too.”

Parts of a miniature turbine engine printed by Burbank High School's 3D printer.  (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Parts of a miniature turbine engine printed by Burbank High School’s 3D printer. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Bentley mentions the example of entrepreneur Elon Musk – his Tesla car, an electric car that can compete with performance and technology of a BMW, and his SpaceX company’s Dragon spacecraft.

“I want the kids to buy into his vision,” says Bentley.

The MakerBot Replicator Z18 follows a model created through a 3D modeling computer program or via a scanner. The printer uses plastic cord pushed through an extruder, like a hot glue gun, to rapidly build a prototype according to the model. Some printer builds can takes hours, one layer at a time, depending on the size of the object.

The built objects can be sanded, painted and put together with other printed items or other materials to build a complex creation, or stand alone as an individual piece.

Burbank Unified School District plans to purchase additional 3D printers for the high schools as part of their 21st Century Classroom plan and in conjunction with a recent California state grant to develop career pathways for public school students via the Verdugo Creative Technology Consortium.

Both John Burroughs and Burbank High Schools have plans to add additional digital media and manufacturing courses in the very near future.

 

Keyboarding Program Approved For BUSD Grades K-8

After the Burbank Unified Board of Education approved the purchase of mobile Chromebook carts, the members unanimously agreed to put the UltraKey 6 keyboarding program at the fingertips of students at every district elementary and middle school.

BUSD logoDistrict officials are able to use Microsoft Voucher Funds to pay for licensing the 14-site program, with a one-time cost of $13,737.

“The other thing that our students need to do is to not only have access to a computer but be able to use that computer,” commented Sharon Cuseo, BUSD Director of Instruction and Accountability, after the Chromebook carts were approved. “We haven’t had keyboarding, really, in our schools as a regular part of the curriculum, so our students need practice.”

The UltraKey 6 keyboarding program approved for BUSD is web-based, so parents can help students at home or the library. Students will be able to practice keyboarding outside of school.

All 11 elementary and three middle schools are slated to incorporate UltraKey 6 into the school program.

Burbank Unified had nearly half a million dollars in Microsoft Voucher Funds, explained Charles Poovakan, Director of Information Technology and Educational Support, after a lawsuit resulted in Microsoft paying out vouchers to school districts that could be redeemed for Microsoft software or similar such programs.

After purchasing the Accelerated Reader program and UltraKey 6, BUSD will still have more than $200,000 remaining in voucher funds.

“I know we have a lot of consternation, especially at the elementary level, of how the students are going to be taking these tests and typing,” commented Board of Education President Dr. Roberta Reynolds, referring to the Common Core Smarter Balance testing scheduled for spring 2015. “So, this is a good thing.”

UltraKey 6 keyboarding program is a highly-rated tutorial, ranked as one of the top programs for teaching keyboarding skills and isolating various types of errors in order to help students learn. The manufacturer states that students as young as six can effectively use the program and it emphasizes proper typing technique and accuracy.

 

Tablet And iPad Testing Begins In Burbank Schools

Tablets and iPad testing is underway in Burbank Unified schools as the Technology Task Force works with teachers to determine their next recommendations to the Board of Education.

The Tech Task Force recently put forth two items, an interactive white board and a document camera, as integral components of the 21st Century Classroom BUSD plans to roll out district-wide in the coming years.

Luther Middle School students in Stefanie Enokian's 7th grade Social Studies class work on iPads alongside traditional pen and paper. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Luther Middle School students in Stefanie Enokian’s seventh-grade Social Studies class work on iPads alongside traditional pen and paper. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Funds for the selected device(s) will come from the Measure S Bond allotment. The task force is also having teachers try out and compare Microsoft Office and Google Docs as an interactive response solution.

“We are currently working with Amplify to receive two class sets of tablets and software at Jordan Middle School and Miller Elementary,” said Bob Martin, BUSD’s Teacher on Special Assignment for Instructional Technology. “We are testing an iPad cart at Luther. We are also working with other companies to see about testing other one-on-one devices.”

Testing with the Amplify tablets begins April 14 at Jordan and Miller, added Martin.

“We are hoping to put forth a recommendation at the end of this school year,” Martin continued. “If needed, we will continuing testing devices into the start of the 2014-15 school year. The important factor is to find a device that works for the students and provides the best solutions for the schools.”

Vivian Iniguez and Alexa Garcia work on a visual project about stained glass artists in the Middle Ages. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Vivian Iniguez and Alexa Garcia work on a visual project about stained glass artists in the Middle Ages. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Seventh-grade Social Studies teacher Stefanie Enokian has been using iPads with all of her students throughout the day at Luther Middle School. Various paid and free applications are employed for teaching, testing and special projects.

Using the iPad in class takes extra effort by to manage the kids and keep them on task, Enokian said. But, she has been impressed with the level of engagement from the students using the one-to-one technology.

“I could give them an assignment where they have to use pen and paper to write their answer and they will hardly write anything,” she said. “But if I give them the same assignment and have them type their answers using the iPads, they beg me for more time and every kid is engaged and typing away. It’s amazing!”

Teacher Stefanie Enokian works with two students on their visual project about jobs in the Middle Ages. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Teacher Stefanie Enokian works with two students on their visual project about jobs in the Middle Ages. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Enokian’s students use the iPads for research and to create poster presentations using the ComicLife app. They can word process documents via the iPad’s Pages feature and use the NearPod app for notes, imbedded video and quizzes. Students can also easily create video presentations.

“It’s a great teaching tool for kids to have non-fiction text at their fingertips and make connections with what we are studying,” added Enokian.

In-class use begins with students logging in to an individual iPad with their student number and then accessing the learning app with a class-specific code. As each class moves through the material, the app remembers which parts of the lesson were covered in class and the next day, the teacher can pick up where individual classes left off, if a lesson was not completed.

Student tech director Jay Vassaux highlights some text for the seventh-grade Social Studies class. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Student tech director Jay Vassaux highlights some text for the seventh-grade Social Studies class. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Enokian has one student act a tech director in each class. The tech director projects the day’s lesson on a screen in front of the class and may zoom in on a specific item to highlight as the teacher talks.

Enokian walks around the class with a master iPad and controls the pace of the lesson and the motion of the instructional slides. She can see each student log in and track their answers and responses to questions and quizzes.

If a student exits out of the app the class is using and opens another app, Enokian can see that immediately and correct the issue. Whatever students draw is visible, so if a student draws a doodle, instead of the specified activity, Enokian can see that too and get the student back on task.

Although students can log on to specific apps, another app allows Enokian to push programs and tests to student iPads. Scores from the tests and quizzes are sent immediately to her iPad and she can then send the grades to her grade book.

Students work on a lesson about feudal power structure utilizing both pen and paper and iPads, in preparation for a quiz. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Students work on a lesson about feudal power structure utilizing both pen and paper and iPads, in preparation for a quiz. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Enokian has 40 iPads on the lockable cart in her classroom, allowing for a few spares if a device should have unresolved technical issues requiring support.

Other Luther teachers have borrowed the cart for specific lessons. One science teacher recently used the iPads to teach about the human eye, related Enokian. Students could see inside the eye and three-dimensionally and perhaps understand more clearly the structure of the eye.

Vivian Iniguez and Alexa Garcia, both 12, collaborated in class on a visual project about work in the Middle Ages. They found examples of stained glass windows online and added them to their poster presentation about work as a stained glass artist.

“Using the iPads just makes it more interesting,” said Garcia. “I remember what I do more.”

“Taking the quizzes are better on the iPad than on paper,” added Iniguez. “We get to look at the words we are learning and then can take the quiz right after.”

Students work in project groups using the iPads. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Students work in project groups using the iPads. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The iPads connect with a wide range of students and differing styles of learning. For students, many of whom have grown up with access to technology, one-to-one tablets are familiar and easy to use.

“Reading on an iPad is more fun than reading a textbook,” said 12-year-old Maki Salvador. “There are videos.”

“We don’t have to write a lot and learn from the textbooks,” added 12-year-old classmate Hermine Keshishyan. “Textbooks are boring. Since we’ve been using the iPads for a few months now, learning about social studies is more exciting.”

Students take a quiz on the iPads. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Students take a quiz on the iPads. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Nickelodeon Donates Computers And Monitors To BUSD

Burbank-based Nickelodeon Animation Studio donated close to 100 computers and monitors to the Burbank Unified School District earlier this month of March.

On Thursday, March 13, Nickelodeon’s Carson Smith, Omar Haro, Dominique Austin and Rafael Torres loaded up the Nickelodeon truck and their own private vehicles with 43 Mac Pros, 23 iMacs and more than 20 monitors and delivered them to BUSD’s Technology Services Divison.

“We at Nickelodeon think it is extremely important to partner with the community, and since our motto has always been ‘Kids First,’ we thought it was fitting that the gently used computers would benefit children in the area,” commented Smith.

“Additionally, they are in perfect working order, and by donating them we were able to keep them out of a landfill and put them in the hands of someone who could put them to good use,” he added.

Coordinated by BUSD administrators Sharon Cuseo and Charles Poovakan, the district’s technology department received the donation to prepare for disbursement to John Muir Middle School and George Washington Elementary School. Muir and Washington will receive the donated equipment as part of their ongoing partnership with Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon in Burbank donated computers and monitors to Burbank Unified School District in March. (Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon Animation Studio)

Nickelodeon in Burbank donated computers and monitors to Burbank Unified School District in March. (Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon Animation Studio)

“This is yet another example of Nickelodeon’s commitment to supporting Burbank Unified schools and students,” said BUSD Arts Coordinator Peggy Flynn.

“Russell Hicks and Carson Smith are visionaries who understand the impact donations like these have on our efforts to meet the needs of our students,” Flynn continued. “Their leadership and the contributions of the entire Nickelodeon team help to ensure we will have the tools our teachers and kids need to develop the twenty-first century skills. We are so fortunate to have such amazing neighbors!”

Nickelodeon in Burbank donated computers and monitors to Burbank Unified School District in March. (Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon Animation Studio)

Nickelodeon in Burbank donated computers and monitors to Burbank Unified School District in March. (Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon Animation Studio)

Burbank Unified continues to develop their 21st Century Classroom plan, as the need for additional technology interfaces in the classroom grows. Educators see technology as a way to connect with a wide group of students, as well as a way to prepare young learners for their futures past secondary education.

As professional purveyors of media, Nickelodeon, along with other area studios, often quickly outgrow the abilities of their computers and monitors used for cutting-edge technology and creative services. While not old by consumer and average user standards, the hardware can often find a second life for use in local schools.

BUSD Tech Task Force Issues Recommendations To School Board

After more than a year of testing, the BUSD Tech Task Force has settled on two items to recommend for placement in Burbank Unified classrooms: SMART interactive white boards and Aver document cameras. Task force member Bob Martin and the District’s Director of Instruction and Accountability Sharon Cuseo presented these recommendations to the Board of Education recently.

“The projected roll-out is this coming summer for the first round,” commented Martin, a former Muir Middle and Burbank High English teacher who has been working for BUSD as Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) for Instructional Technology since 2012. “This is based on expectations of board approval.”

“Subsequent roll-outs will be determined by the second and third issuance of bond funds,” he added. “Our goal is to eventually have every classroom fitted with new technology.”

Teacher Debbie McHorney interacts with the SMART Board. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Teacher Debbie McHorney interacts with the SMART Board. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“While we do not have a definitive number of teachers willing to take on the new technology; based on conversations with teachers, our on-line survey, and interest at the October meeting where the technology was demonstrated, we believe that we will have more volunteers than available technology,” Martin explained.

The cost to outfit an individual classroom with an interactive white board, a document camera, an audio system and an interactive response solution for teachers and students, including labor, is approximately $10,000, according to Charles Poovakan, Director of Information Technology and Educational Support for the district.

While the current plan is limited to 20 classrooms because of the $200,000 budget the task force was initially given, the cost for complete district-wide implementation of the initial elements is expected to be close to nine million dollars, for over 800 areas in schools and offices, Poovakan explained.

The technology funds in the first issuance of the Measure S bond are being used to strengthen the infrastructure required for the 21st Century Classroom and typical daily operations. A relatively small allotment of funds in the first phase of the bond is planned for use to purchase the actual technology items.

Burroughs teacher Kevin Hiatt uses the Aver document camera daily. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Burroughs teacher Kevin Hiatt uses the Aver document camera daily. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Eight teachers who tested the items for the task force will be among the first to receive the new technology. The other 12 systems will be placed at eight elementary schools, the Burbank Adult School, Monterey High School, Community Day School and the District Office.

“Anything you can do on a computer you can do on the SMART Board,” commented Burroughs High School teacher Debbie McHorney, who is also the high school JV Girls Basketball coach. “You can write right on the board, mark it up, with a pen or your finger.”

McHorney also finds Google Docs very useful to ask study questions of her students. She uses the voice amplifier system that came with the SMART Board, so she doesn’t have to stress her voice to be heard clearly throughout the classroom.

Burroughs High School teacher Kevin Hiatt also uses the Aver document camera every day. He is able to run a timer for the classroom to see while students complete in-class work and uses the device to go over student answers.

Kevin Hiatt fills in his answer during a timed in-class assignment.(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Kevin Hiatt fills in his answer during a timed in-class assignment.(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“The document cameras are wonderful. I can now show my students demos, notes, pictures, diagrams, drawings, etc. up on the large projector screen for everyone to clearly see,” commented Burroughs Biology teacher Jill Tobin.

“I haven’t yet used the microscope adaptor, but am excited about its capabilities. I honestly use my document camera every single day, and it is as vital to my instruction as my computer,” she added. “I couldn’t imagine teaching without it. Being a visual learner, as many people are, it is nice to be able to show my students virtually anything we’re learning about; live and in color!”

At a February School Board meeting, Board Member Larry Applebaum expressed frustration with the relatively small number, 20, of classrooms for the initial roll out.

“I don’t care what we have to do, we need to come up with a plan to get one hundred of these into the classroom in the next year,” Applebaum said.

“We need to get on this post-haste, but let’s make sure that our plan is exactly what we want,” commented Board President Dave Kemp about getting technology components for the 21st Century Classroom project up and running in the schools. “We’ll get it out there and get it in the hands of kids, ’cause they do need it.”

Teacher Debbie McHorney uses the SMART Board in class. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Teacher Debbie McHorney uses the SMART Board in class. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“This is how we reach those GATE students and special ed. students,” Applebaum added, emphasizing ways technology can help with teaching to differentiated levels of learning in the classroom.

“Mr. Poovakan and I are happy to move in any direction the Board directs us. That is not a problem,” Cuseo underlined at the meeting, indicating the district’s ability to increase the number of classrooms outfitted in the initial 21st Century Classroom roll out, if the Board of Education allocates additional money to the project.

The current Technology Task Force started meeting monthly in spring 2013 and is headed up by Poovakan. A typical meeting usually has around 12 members, including teachers from elementary, middle and high schools, classified staff, technology personnel and administrators.

“The task force is an open committee that anyone can attend. In the past, we have had a parent present as well,” said Martin.

During the meetings, the technology department updates the members with the current projects regarding infrastructure, explained Martin. They “discuss needs throughout the district, ways technology can better support teachers and software/hardware that should be researched for possible inclusion in the classroom.”

A student selects an answer on the SMART Board. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

A student selects an answer on the SMART Board. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Board of Education is expected to reach a decision soon on approval and scope of the initial outfitting of classrooms with the SMART Boards, Aver document cameras and accompanying components. The Tech Task Force is currently overseeing testing of additional elements, including tablets and one-to-one devices, at various schools this spring.

 

 

 

Nickelodeon Provides Python Tutorial After School At Muir

Nickelodeon Animation Studios recently wrapped up a weekly after-school Python tutorial for interested sixth, seventh and eighth-graders at John Muir Middle School. Held in Rebecca Southward’s Digital Media classroom on campus, approximately 25 students attended the free-of-charge 90-minute-long series of classes.

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Karl Goldshmidt (right) explains steps in the programming process. Mardine Pouryousef (leaning on table) assists. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Organized by Carson Smith, Human Resources Manager at the studios, and put together by Nickelodeon’s VP of Television Production Technologies, Boris Beaubien, the programming class introduces middle school-aged kids to the widely-used language of professional game design, Python.

“There’s a big push now to get kids to learn how to program and the reason we picked Python is that it’s the common language of game design,” commented Beaubien. “The idea behind this is to get the kids to create something quick they can see by the end of the class. Python is the perfect language for this.”

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

A student concentrates. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Taught by a former aeronautics-industry consultant and current Media and Technology Services Liaison/Research and Development Technical Director for MTS at Nickelodeon, Karl Goldshmidt, the kids were able to create a short game by the end of the six-week session. Goldshmidt was assisted in the classroom by Mardine Pouryousef, Technical Specialist at the studios.

“The great thing about the programming language is that it teaches options,” said Beaubien. “You have to plan everything out, draw the diagram and then the language creates the actions of the game.”

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Karl Goldshmidt teaches Python programming language to Muir middle schoolers. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The kinds of questions and planning Goldshmidt teaches include movement and choices in a game. If a ball moves left, Beaubien posed as a question, what do you want to happen next in the action?

The animation part comes later, Beaubien added. In game programming, Python controls what happens behind the scenes of people’s favorite games, he explained.

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Karl Goldshmidt explains a programming point. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

At this stage, there are no specific plans to offer another Python class in the fall but discussions are ongoing, said Beaubien. Other media-friendly technical classes are also being considered.

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Students work in an after-school class on Python programming language taught by instructors from Nickelodeon’s Media Technology Services. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

 

 

 

 

BAFA Forum Examines Arts, Sciences And Technology Future

Burbank Arts For All Foundation (BAFA) presented another in its series of Creative Circles Forums with “Arts Education + Technology: Experts Explore Innovation In Burbank Schools” on Monday, February 24. The BAFA forum discussed the importance of Art and Design as crucial aspects of education, to be included along with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM.)

The advent of the nationwide Common Core standards will support the recent emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art + Design, Mathematics.) Art and design concepts add innovation to the STEM subjects and many experts point to creativity as the way to keep America and its economy growing.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tom Vice, Amy Heibel, Joe Reed and Dr. Ewan Branda converse. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The BAFA forum brought together Fotokem Senior Vice President Tom Vice, Luther Middle School science teacher Joe Reed. LACMA’s VP of Techonology, Web and Digital Media Amy Heibel and Woodbury University’s Associate Professor of Architecture and Coordinator of History-Theory Curriculum Dr. Ewan Branda.

Falcon Theatre owner Garry Marshall kicked off the conversation and welcomed the audience with a humorous opener. Moderated by Steven Mallory, Director of Ideation at Edelman Public Relations, the goal of the forum was to create conversation between educators and organizations and businesses from throughout the city about the connection of the arts and technology in the schools.

Falcon owner Garry Marshall welcomed all to his theatre prior to the panel talk. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Falcon owner Garry Marshall welcomed all to his theatre prior to the panel talk. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The panel discussed the major changes in art, science, business, education and culture in general brought about by widespread use of technology.

“We’re seeing a huge shift in people as makers of culture, not just consumers of culture,” commented Heibel, who is working on an arts and technology lab installation to be unveiled at LACMA in the coming year. “We are seeing artists who are technologists or who collaborate with technologists.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Vice mentioned the major changes in image and movie technology over the past eight years, switching the industry standard from film to digital media, and shifting the services Fotokem offers from film finishing and development to include software creation for the production community.

The changes Fotokem has undergone mirrors the creative and artistic changes happening throughout in K-12 and post-secondary education. The skills and talents young people must possess for entry into the contemporary business and creative worlds go hand-in-hand with the continuing advances in technology.

Reed mentioned the successful Luther Mobile project from 2013, built by students in his Exploring Technology elective class at the local middle school. The lab class uses concepts from applied physics, microbiology and robotics, among other fields, along with technology and creative skills to rebuild an engine-based project every year.

The computer interaction along with the hands-on work inspires kids to innovate, Reed said. He went on to describe one student’s persistence in outfitting an old BMX bike with a motor and making the contraption work.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tom Vice, Amy Heibel, Joe Reed, Dr. Ewan Brands, BAFA Director of Development Trena Pitchford and moderator Steven Mallory. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

While technology has provided labor-saving help with calculations and digital drawing, on the creative side of things, the digital tools also help determine the building’s ultimate design based on plugged-in factors including dimensions and needs, said Branda.

All four panelists agreed that whatever the advancements may be in creating and technology, the ability to work with other people and differing personalities has become paramount. Reed pointed to the building of executive functioning skills – determining the end goal and then planning the steps to achieve that goal – as something he’s working on with his middle school students.

Branda mentioned testing early and failing early as hallmarks in any process, be it in building, science, production or art. He also talked about the recent rise in design-your-own games and the distinction between being a passive consumer of media and using technology to create something new.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

John Muir Middle School Principal Dr. Greg Miller speaks with forum attendees.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

While STEAM has become the new buzzword to move America forward, in education and business, the innovative and creative aspects of technology also help engage students in science, math and engineering fields. An artistic approach and application can make the technical fields a lot more fun, the panelists agreed.

Monday evening’s event was sponsored by Fotokem and held in front of a full house, with members of the BUSD School Board, BAFA, City government, BUSD teachers and administrators, parents and students present. Members of the local business community and creative media industry were also in attendance. At a post-discussion reception in the Falcon Theatre lobby, panelists and attendees continued to talk about the future of technology and the arts in Burbank schools.

BAFA Board Members and Guest Panelist . ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

BAFA Board Members and guest panelists. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Creative Circles Forum Discusses Technology And The Arts In Schools

Burbank Arts For All Foundation (BAFA) presents the first Creative Circles Forum of the year on Monday, February 24,  with Art + Technology: Experts Explore Innovation in Burbank Schools. Experts in the fields of science, the arts and technology will discuss the ways in which artistic perspective and approach helps develop greater scientific and technical applications for many businesses and creative endeavors.

Panelists include FotoKem’s Senior Vice President Tom Vice, Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Vice President of Technology, Web and Digital Media Amy Heibel, Woodbury University’s Associate Professor of Architecture and Coordinator of History-Theory Curriculum Dr. Ewan Branda and Luther Middle School science teacher Joe Reed, a recent Grantee of BAFA for the “Luther Mobile” project.

Photo Courtesy Burbank Arts For All Foundation

Photo Courtesy Burbank Arts For All Foundation

“In post-production, we use software and hardware to paint images and create worlds that truly defy the imagination. As technology becomes more accessible and the artists become more adept in its application, an amazing deluge of art and innovation fuels modern storytelling,” commented Vice, Senior Vice President of FotoKem.

“We are continually inspired by what technology can bring to the creative table and the ways it can enhance and elevate the audience experience,” Vice added. “Burbank Arts for All Foundation is embracing this wave by collaborating with professionals from many walks of life to engage in a creative conversation at the Creative Circle Forum. I look forward to an open and eventful dialogue.”

“We are seeing the presence of advanced technologies in nearly every aspect of our lives. What does that mean for our Burbank students? CEO’s are now requiring knowledge and skills in both the arts and the sciences,” stated Trena Pitchford, Director of Development for Burbank Arts for All Foundation.

“We are thrilled to present this prestigious panel of experts from a cross section of industries influenced by innovation,” Pitchford continued. “The evening allows for an open discussion between guests and panelists to explore how we can create a truly comprehensive education that prepares students for life where everything is increasingly interconnected in the 21st century.”

Art + Technology: Experts Explore Innovation in Burbank Schools will be held Monday, February 24, from 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. The evening is sponsored by FotoKem, a post-production facility located in Burbank, and is open to the public. General admission tickets are $20.

Following the discussion there will be a hosted wine and cheese reception with the expert panel and attendees in the theatre’s lobby. All proceeds from the Creative Circles Forum will benefit Burbank Arts For All Foundation, a nonprofit organization funding arts programs in Burbank public schools.  For more information regarding speakers and tickets visit: http://www.burbankartsforall.org/creative-circles-forum/.