DPS students compete at first-ever Midwest C-STEM Competition and iSTEM Olympiad

Students from Carver S.T.E.M. Academy and Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy put their skills in communications, science, technology, engineering and math to the test during the first-ever Midwest C-STEM Challenge and iSTEM Olympiad at Cobo Center on Saturday, April 11. Approximately 1,200 students from 21 schools across Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Illinois participated in this year’s C-STEM Challenge.

The C-STEM (communication, science, technology, engineering and mathematics) competition is an innovative, team-oriented competition which encourages competition that engages students to collaboratively solve challenges that are project-based learning activities. The projects consisted of robots, murals, sculptures, 3D prints, films, photographs, and mobile tech innovations. Students also showcased their project solutions related to sustaining and transporting energy produced from wind, oil, and natural gas.




Western junior shortstop Aaron Betancourt named PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Western International High junior Aaron Betancourt, who drove in the winning run and made a pair of stellar defensive plays in the Cowboys’ 4-3 victory against Renaissance, has been named Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week.

PSL baseball Western 4, Renaissance 3 474 (3)Betancourt’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning enabled the seven-time defending PSL champions to win the battle for first place in the league’s Mega Division.

“He’s our anchor at shortstop,” Western coach Juan Sanchez said. “We rely on him heavily to play solid defense and to help us on the mound.”

In addition to his big hit and strong defense against Renaissance, Betancourt had a save and a victory in two relief pitching appearances in Western’s nonleague doubleheader sweep against Madison Heights.

The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys’ and girls’ athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and is sponsored by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators


NAACP Middle School Essay/Art Contest winners

Detroit Public Schools’ students scored the top spots in the 2015 NAACP Middle School Essay/Art Contest, “What the Civil Rights Struggle Means to Me.” The contest was sponsored by the Detroit Branch NAACP and Coca-Cola. Students will be honored during a special ceremony on Wednesday, April 29 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

DPS winners:
Essay Award
First Place: Marcus Barham, Brewer Academy
Second Place: Jennifer James, Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy
Third Place: Devin Powell, Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy

Art Award
Third Place: Kemonte Brown, Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy

Carver S.T.E.M. receives first place award at WOSO

Congratulations Carver S.T.E.M. Academy fourth grade students Jacara Webb and Mariah James, who took first place at the Wayne-Oakland Science Olympiad (WOSO) on Saturday, April 18 for their project “Crash Car Eggspert.”

About the “Crash Car Eggspert”
Each team was instructed to build a structure on top of a PineCar Racer. All teams were given 25 minutes of build time. The structure was designed to hold and protect an egg as the car is rolled down a progressively steeper series of ramps and crashed into an immovable barrier.

Harms Elementary hosts Red Wings assembly

The Detroit Red Wings Foundation visited Harms Elementary School on Friday, April 17. Students in grades third through fifth were introduced to the sport of hockey through a youth street and floor hockey initiative. The Red Wings provided equipment and hands-on instruction to familiarize kids with hockey and to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.

The Harms school assembly team opened the program with an interactive lesson on exercise and healthy eating, followed by an energetic hockey shootout competition pitting students against teachers. Additionally, the assembly addressed the growing issue of bullying.

Harms received two full sets of floor hockey equipment complete with hockey sticks and nets courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, with every student receiving a Red Wings folder, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan life-size growth poster featuring Brendan Smith, a Defenseman for the Red Wings, as well as a healthy eating cookbook from the Kroger Company of Michigan.

Cass Tech students receive multiple awards at 78th Annual Detroit Public Schools student Exhibition

Cass Technical High School students received multiple awards at the annual Detroit Public Schools Student Exhibition. The event features hundreds of imaginative works created by DPS students in grades K-12, ranging from paintings, prints, drawings, photography, ceramics, videos, jewelry and more.

The 78th Annual Student Exhibition kicked off Saturday, April 18 and will run through May 31, 2015 at the Detroit Public Library – Main Branch.

2015 Cass Tech Special Award winners:
Drawing Award
1st Place- Yazmon Ector, 12th grade

Sculpture Award
1st Place- Joshua Powell, 11th grade
2nd Place- David Haliburton, 11th grade

Ceramics Award
1st Place- Surayla Chowdhury, 9th grade
2nd Place- Daniel Frank, 12th grade

Jewelry Award
1st Place- Adriana Garcia, 12th grade
2nd Place- John Pinchum, 12th grade
3rd Place- Chavonne Gault, 10th grade

Fibers Award
1st Place- Dejah Sanford, 12th grade
2nd Place- Theo Chillis, 11th grade
3rd Place- Denyne Carter, 12th grade

Painting Award
2nd Place- Chantel Booker, 12th grade

Photography Award
2nd Place- Samuel Trotter, 12th grade

Renaissance slugger Breanna Lawrence named for the fourth time PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Breanna Lawrence, whose hard-hitting bat has driven Renaissance High’s softball team to an unbeaten start in defense of the Detroit Public School League championship, is the PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week.

The Lady Phoenix entered Thursday with a 3-0 league and 7-2 overall record. At the heart of their success is Lawrence, a fourth-year starter who’s batting .677 (14-for-21) with one home run, one triple, seven doubles and 21 runs batted in. Her homer was a grand slam in a nonleague victory against Ferndale.

PSL Softball Renaissance tourney Ren 14, Cass 0 210 (2)Lawrence has a cumulative 3.3 grade point average since her freshman year and is in line to accept a full-ride academic scholarship or attend college on an athletic scholarship, which ever she chooses.

“She’s a solid player and a solid student and she’s a leader,” said Garrard Taylor, coach of the 10-time defending PSL champion Lady Phoenix. “She’s a force, one of the best players I’ve coached. She usually plays second base but I use her where I need her most to help the team.”

Lawrence has the distinction of being the first student-athlete in the five-year history of the award to be named PSLer of the Week as a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior.

The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys’ and girls’ athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and is sponsored by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators

Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford donate jackets made from recycled plastic bottles to kids for Earth Day

DETROIT, April 22, 2015 – In celebration of Earth Day, the Detroit Lions donated 95 REPREVE-based jackets made from recycled plastic bottles to each of the students at the Detroit Lions Academy today. Each REPREVE-based jacket is made from over 30 recycled plastic bottles.

The donation is a result of the 2014 #TurnItGreen recycling effort in which Lions fans recycled nearly 60,000 plastic bottles.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford and mascot “Roary” were onsite to lead the Earth Day assembly educating students on the importance of recycling, the cool things that can be created from recycled plastic bottles and encouraging them to “Make the Smart Throw” by tossing their bottles into recycling bins instead of trash cans.

School of the Week Special Feature: ALL Schools for celebrating STEM on Open Doors Day!

The amazing creativity and boundless enthusiasm of Detroit Public Schools’ staff, students, partners and volunteers were on full display on Saturday, April 18 as schools across the city celebrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) during DPS’ first-ever STEM-themed Open Doors Day!

Visiting families also had a unique opportunity to visit the Detroit Children’s Museum free of charge.

The activities were part of the district’s “See It Believe It Week,” in which parents and their children who have not yet selected a school, as well as currently enrolled families, were invited to tour any DPS school after-school on Wednesday, April 15 or take part in STEM events on Saturday.

The STEM-themed Open Doors Day, held in conjunction with the district’s Office of Science, showed off creative STEM activities and offerings at every DPS school, including lava lamp-making and tabletop hovercrafts at Burton International Academy; robotics demonstrations at Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School; experiments with the Chemistry Club at Chrysler Elementary; projects with dinosaur fossils, mealworms and magnets at Gardner Elementary; homemade sanitizer and other green team activities at Mann Elementary, and much more!

“We had a great team of teachers doing wonderful hands-on activities for children and parents to enjoy,” said Munger Elementary-Middle School Principal Deborah Hurst.

DPS Superintendent of Academics Karen Ridgeway, appearing in costume as a Mad Scientist, made special visits to schools with the most creative STEM itineraries, delighting children with pocket experiments.

The S.T.E.M Day at Mason Elementary/Middle School was a tremendous success.

“Our annual Science Fair partnered with our S.T.E.M. Day and a plethora of Science Projects were proudly displayed in our gymnasium,” said Victor P. Frosh Jr., Academic Engagement Administrator for Mason Elementary/Middle School.

In addition to viewing science projects, parents and participants got an opportunity to experience fun and exciting hands-on activities, Frosh said.

“Families built towers with marshmallows, created tornadoes, watched soda bottles erupt in 6 foot fountains and basked in the ambience of hydrochloric eruptions and explosions outside in the parking lot,” he said. “The Mason S.T.E.M. Day was an exciting day for all who attended and we appreciated the opportunity to create Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics interest within the hearts of our attendees.”

Dozens of families also turned out for a special free visit to the Detroit Children’s Museum. Families of current DPS students, and those who are planning to enroll their children, made terrariums and bird houses, learned how to “re-grow” kitchen scraps and experimented with making nutritious smoothies.

Families and their children were able to explore the Gallery and learn about some of the Museum’s nearly 2 million historical artifacts, take in a Planetarium show, and experiment in the Museum’s Sound and Music Room. While federal funding currently mandates that the Detroit Children’s Museum is only open to DPS’ Title 1 families, the Museum was open to the public thanks to a sponsorship by Lawrence Technological University.

DCM educator Nichelle Daniels said parents and children, alike, enjoyed the opportunity.

“Families were engaged in healthy activities that involved nature, the outdoors, and increased their understanding about their impact on the environment,” she said.

Highlights of the activities at the Children’s Museum were a towering portable climbing wall and archery demonstrations to showcase activities that will be available this summer at DPS’ Camp Burt Shurly, a Title I-funded Summer Camp Program, located in Gregory, Michigan for Detroit Public Schools students. DPS parents who have children between the ages of 8-12 are able to register their children for a free week of camp.

“My son loved the rock climbing, archery, rock climbing, building an insect, rock climbing. You get the point!” said Audrey Richardson, whose son attends Bates Academy and was thrilled with the rock climbing experience in the DCM parking lot. “Everything was well organized, colorful, and there were great variety in activities…Thanks for making our day one of positive energy!”

See It Believe It Week concluded with the opening of the annual Detroit Public Schools Student Exhibition, featuring hundreds of imaginative works created by Detroit Public Schools students in grades K-12, ranging from paintings, prints, drawings, photography, ceramics, videos, jewelry and more. The exhibition will run through May 31, 2015 at the Detroit Public Library – Main Branch.

DPS students and staff to celebrate third annual Green Week with environmentally-friendly and sustainable projects, healthy foods

Last school year, DPS Go Green schools saved $403,027 in energy costs – earning those 42 schools $29,000 in incentive awards

As part of the third annual “Green Week” in Detroit Public Schools, students and staff throughout the district will be focusing on environmentally-friendly and sustainable activities, including energy and water conservation, recycling, healthy foods, gardening and more.

In addition, the Office of School Nutrition will offer special menu selections in cafeterias, highlighting the many colors of healthy foods found in the Rainbow Plate Challenge, during Green Week, to be held April 20-24.

In conjunction with the DPS Office of Energy and Sustainability and the Office of Science, schools also will continue their participation in Detroit Public Schools’ “Go Green” Challenge, which was established in 2012 as a call to action for all schools in the district to become more green and sustainable.  The DPS Go Green Challenge focuses on four areas of impact: energy and water conservation; recycling and resource management; gardening and nutrition; and innovation.

“DPS students and staff should be proud of our efforts in going green.  Over the past few years, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of school gardens, the amount of recycling taking place at schools, and the intentional focus on reducing energy and water usage in our school buildings.  Our Go Green Teams have done an excellent job!” says Alycia Meriweather, Executive Director for the Office of Science Education.

Last school year, DPS Go Green schools saved $403,027 in energy costs – earning those 42 schools $29,000 in incentive awards. DPS schools completed over 446 green projects at schools – from planting gardens, to energy audits, recycling challenges and many more.  This year, schools have already completed over 635 DPS Go Green Projects, more than 850 parents have attended energy workshops, and 24 DPS Pilot Recycling schools have increased their recycling rate this year from 14.11% to 21.86%.


Green Week Schedule of events:


Healthy Food Color of the Day: BLUE

  • Schools will be celebrating their “Go Green” teams members and thanking them for their service

Tuesday, April 21: RECYCLING

Healthy Food Color of the Day: YELLOW

  • The Scrap Mobile from Arts & Scraps will visit two schools to engage students in creative, hands-on activities from recycled material
  • Creativity Challenge for all Schools – What can YOU make from recycled materials?

Wednesday, April 22: EARTH DAY

Healthy Food Color of the Day: GREEN

  • Earth Day assemblies


Thursday, April 23: HEALTHY FOODS

Healthy Food Color of the Day: RED

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Rainbow Plate offerings in school cafeterias, courtesy of the Office of School Nutrition

Friday, April 24: GARDENS

Healthy Food Color of the Day: PURPLE

  • Schools will be cleaning and planting gardens

Throughout the week, schools will also be encouraged to:

  • Hold a Green Spirit Day by allowing students to wear green T-shirts and other green clothes;
  • Hold an Eco Scavenger Hunt;
  • Conduct a Lights Out Contest to see how many classrooms can go the longest on natural light and keep the classroom lights off;
  • Offer Green Team Presentations, allowing Green Teams go room to room and present what they do and how the students in each class can conserve energy;
  • Hold a Community Clean Up;
  • Conduct a Recycled Art Project;
  • Discuss the 3Rs and determine which class can recycle, reduce, or reuse the most items in one day;
  • Create Go Green commercials that Green Teams share with their school;
  • Hold a Re-purposed Recycling Contest in which students are judged for the most creative re-purposing of an item of their choice.