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Students show off their inventions at the first annual Student Innovation Expo

HIGHLANDS RANCH—A modernized walking cane for the blind that verbally lets its user know when items are in their path, edible water bottles that are environmentally friendly, an app that provides information on why a flag at a DCSD school may be at half-staff on a particular day. These are just a fraction of projects Douglas County School District (DCSD) students presented at the first Student Innovation Expo on Monday, June 6.

For much of the second semester of this past school year, hundreds of students collaborated or worked independently on inventions and solutions to global and local challenges. Many presented prototypes of their ideas using basic tools from a hardware store and even common objects found around the house.

Held at Mountain Vista High School, the Expo was the kickoff to the three-day conference, Create Something Great, a teacher-designed think tank in which teachers, principals, staff and national education leaders came together to share best practices in education through a variety of classes and activities.

“The students are excited,” said Mary Murphy, World Class Education curriculum coordinator. “The students are thrilled and the prototypes and the inventions they brought in here on Monday is a direct result of their teacher. So that’s the best part.”

“I love being able to show what I did and try to inspire other people to help,” said Zoe Zizzo, a student at Rocky Heights Middle School.

“I walked around this room and I had some of the presentations given to me, and I was blown away by some of the brilliance in this room,” said DCSD parent, Mary Graham.

View photos from the Student Innovation Expo here

June 9, 2016 | By CSilberman | Category: Create Something Great, World Class Education

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glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.