Saturday, July 16, the Mechanical Mustangs teams were ecstatic to exercise their servant hearts as they helped run the FIRST Access event at Morgan's Wonderland.
According to FIRST, "With the pilot of the FIRST Access programs, FIRST in Texas aims to make FIRST robotics programming more accessible to students with disabilities. The diversity of disabilities leads to the need for greater awareness and opportunities to make our programs more accessible."
As a Christian High School in San Antonio, Texas, LHS wanted to be in on the ground floor of this movement. Teams 6407 and 7615 jumped in and were happy to partner with Kinetic Kids to form FIRST Access team Mechanical Mustangs Justify.
Mechanical Mustangs Justify first competed at the Blackout event at Brandeis High School and was a part of the winning alliance. Saturday's event, hosted at Morgan's Wonderland, was a chance for team Justify to compete against other FIRST Access teams in the same way our high school teams compete during the school year.
LHS students served as coaches for the Justify team made up of Kinetic Kids members, giving great on-field directions and ensuring that the team got to the game field on time. They shared roles helping navigate the team through roles such as lead mechanic, pit boss, and team coder.
LHS team members also helped serve as scoring referees. Coach Andrew Schuetze said, "It was a true body of Christ type of moment as each student served the needs of this community with skill and expertise in a harmonious effort."
LHS differentiates itself from other Christian High Schools in San Antonio through our Innovation Lab time.
At the end of each day, our students have forty minutes to pursue a passion project. For many of our students, that means preparing themselves physically for athletic competition, and for others, it means finding a project and pouring their time and energy into it.
This year students created their own business using a Cricut, a multi-language coloring book, learned 3D design and printing, and other fun projects. This self-directed learning time allows students to seek out relevance and design their own path to success!
LHS started an eSports team in 2020 to offer something for students on campus and those who were learning remotely. Since then, it has grown and now includes teams for Rocket League, Madden, Splatoon, Super Smash Bros., and Mario Kart.
eSports is more than just playing video games, and that is why the city of San Antonio is supporting eSports in schools by building physical infrastructure to help build a talent pipeline of technology and engineering for a growing workforce need (https://www.portsanantonio.us/EIEF).
“Port San Antonio understands the increased role of eSports in both education and workforce development. As a result, the Port is further supporting San Antonio’s burgeoning gaming sector through its partnership with EIEF as it helps develop tomorrow’s tech leaders.”
Lutheran High School is proud to be one of the partners Port San Antonio has used to build the local eSports community and provide a new avenue for students to pursue careers in technology.
“Over the last few years, Port San Antonio has built a strong relationship with our local eSports community, and we are committed to supporting its success and growth,” said Port San Antonio Business Development Specialist Stephanie Garcia. “It is equally important for the Port to grow along with the community, and our partnership with the EIEF is only the beginning. We want our local gamers to feel that the upcoming innovation center, particularly the eSports arena, is their home – a place where they can have fun gaming while mastering their acumen to help build their futures.”
Relevant learning empowers students to gain knowledge through subjects that have meaning. One way we do that is through science fair projects such as this one that measures sunscreen formulas using phytoplankton!
Freshmen and sophomore students in honors science classes enter projects in the Bexar County Science Fair. This project allows students choice in their topic, depth in their research, and relevant learning opportunities that garner feedback from professionals in their field. What a great way for our small Christian high school students to reach out into the world!
According to an article in Education Week, a study published by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University found that “Student-teacher relationships are a key and core feature of a successful school, and one way to help develop those is by giving teachers and students more time to get to know each other.”
At LHS, relationships are prioritized in preparing our students to lead lives of impact. This is why we have one lunch period where teachers are available for extra help or to talk with a student in need. As a small Christian High School, LHS offers students the chance to take multiple classes with the same teacher, so deeper relationships are built, and deeper learning happens.