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Lunch & Learn goes digital at Davie High

In its eighth year, the Davie High STEM Lunch & Learn series is off to a strong start for the 2020-2021 school year.

Nine guests interacted with more than 250 participants, and two more Lunch & Learns wee on the calendar before semester’s end.

Facilitated by a committee of STEM Center teachers, the purpose of the series is to give students in the center many opportunities to interact with professionals, education leaders, and accomplished peers. The goal is to help broaden students’ understanding of the choices in front of them as they think about themselves post-Davie High School.

So far this year:

• STEM CTE teachers, Jesse Ledbetter and Sandie Hinkle, presented Feast on Agriculture, a cross-curricular introduction to the sweet potato.

• Student journalists, Madelyn Kenney, Rachel Quance, Aria Tronsen and Hazel Marion presented details about The Weekly Talon, a student-run, digital publication.

• Entrepreneur of Y’all Sauce, Josh McGee, shared his experiences with starting his own business.

• Journalist of Gaston Talks, Coleman Montgomery spoke about becoming a member of the media at a young age.

• Public Health Consultant, Dennis Harrington shared details about his long career in public health and safety.

Sophomore, Stephanie Chiquito said: “I think L&Ls are a great experience to give you insight on different career paths that you may have not thought about. This year I have only attended one L&L; it was for Y’all Sauce. What stood out to me was how he made his own business out of scratch and explained to us that consistency is key to having a business of your own. He gave us an idea of how a day in his life is.”

Elijah Kennedy, junior, said: “I have attended about six L&Ls so far, and I have learned a lot from them. At the Universal Technical Institute last year, I learned that the demand for technician jobs is increasing yearly. That caught my attention because those jobs didn’t require heavy education after high school. I chose to go to this L&L because I have an interest in automotive.”

According to sophomore, Avery Yount: “Lunch & Learns are great opportunities to learn something new. I’ve attended some ranging from graphic design, engineering, service projects, business, and journalism.  I want to be an architect after college. So I attended one on civil engineering and I got to see the layouts of cities like Winston-Salem. Seeing how much detail goes into creating the plans and the logistics behind it was really cool.”

Amber McCullough, sophomore, said: “The L&L that stood out to me the most was the Gaston Talks with Coleman Montgomery because I got to see how someone close in age to me was able to accomplish what he wanted to do, which in his case was working on the news. It was very cool to hear about all that he has to do at such a young age and to hear about how successful he has gotten.”

“Of the career ones, what stood out to me most was the sentiment that you should do what you want to do with your life and be passionate about what you do. It inspired me and helped me look towards the future, both college and beyond, with the hope that I can do something I will enjoy too. I chose several of the Lunch & Learns because they just sounded interesting to me, and I wanted to find out more. I like that we get the opportunity to learn about different jobs and can explore different paths we might take,” said Emma Green, sophomore.

Student presenter and one of the Weekly Talon leaders, Aria Tronsen said: “I wanted to host my Lunch & Learn along with other leaders of the club because I wanted to give others a chance to express their individuality in a fun, relaxed, judgement-free place. There are a lot of people interested in journalism, photography, and design, but it is hard to have a place to start if there is no audience for your work.”

As a result of the hurdles Covid presented last school year, STEM teachers had to get busy planning virtual opportunities. In previous years, guest speakers came to campus and students attended during Smart Block.  However, now students interact with guests via Google Meet on Wednesdays.

Two Lunch & Learns occurred in August before school started.

Agricultural Sciences teacher, Jesse Ledbetter, interacted with 16 students in his Don’t Worry. Bee Happy! Lunch & Learn about the importance of honeybees and beekeeping.

David Stevenson, admissions counselor from Catawba College, discussed the general college admissions process and answered the questions of the 21 students attending his Lunch & Learn.

Teachers Tani Caudle (chair), Megan Baker, Jaime Johnson, Jesse Ledbetter, Ty Woodring, Shane Young, and Robin Seamon serve on the STEM committee that facilitates the Lunch & Learn series.