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High school students compete in Second Annual Building Tomorrow PBL HCS Division Showcase 

On Thursday, March 21, 2024, students from all four Hampton high schools competed in the Second Annual Building Tomorrow Hampton City Schools Division Showcase. Since August of 2023, students at Bethel High School, Hampton High School, Kecoughtan High School, and Phoebus High School participated in project-based learning to make an impact on the greater Hampton community, culminating in school-level showcases that took place in February. The top three teams from each school went on to compete by delivering formal presentations at the Division Showcase, with the fourth place teams competing in a poster presentation.

Each project allowed students to examine current issues through the lens of their Academy, then work with community partners to make a measurable impact on the issue. The winners of the formal presentations were as follows:

First Place ($500 award/student): Phantoms READ – Phoebus High School – Virginia Peninsula Community College Academy of the College Experience (ACE)

PHS students Layla Witherspoon, Zahra Sandifer, Robert Beach, Aziah Samuel-Johnson, and Simone Harris are members of an initiative where the ACE Academy students visited elementary schools each month, starting in November, to encourage a love of reading for elementary schoolers. They worked with Smith, Barron, and Forrest elementary schools, motivating younger students to read more through  mentorships. The ACE Academy students developed relationships with the elementary schoolers through multiple visits to read with their younger counterparts, helping to improve literacy for all. 

Click here to view the 1st Place PBL Presentation 

Second Place ($300 award/student): The Missing Ingredient – Phoebus High School – Academy of Hospitality and Tourism TEAM SPARK

PHS students Kyla Smith, Naveah Parker, Renea Orange, and Michaela Woods tackled the issue of food insecurity problems in the area of Phoebus. They worked with numerous community partners, including Zion Baptist Church, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, and the Veterans Administration to produce, package, and deliver nutritious meals to the doors of participating families and their children. They used feedback from their community partners and those receiving the food to improve the practicality and sustainability of their project and the quality of life for families and their children. Throughout their PBL, they produced, served, and/or delivered over 1,000 meals to those in need.

Click here to view the 2nd Place PBL Presentation 

Third Place ($200 award/student): HBCU Connect – Bethel High School – Academy of Transportation, Analytics, Information and Logistics

BHS students Cameron Love and Daylon Smith developed an app that educates young people about Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Users have access to the top 25 HBCUs with a detailed college checklist and the team is working with J&F Alliance to integrate augmented reality virtual tours into the appIn addition, they entered and won the Congressional App Challenge. Their app is now on display in congressional buildings for one year.

Click here to view the 3rd Place PBL Presentation

Fourth Place ($100 award/student): Success 100: The Etiquette Edge Thriving in Today’s Society – Phoebus High School – Freshman Academy Innovators

This team, consisting of PHS students Layla Price, Josiah Porter-Jordan, Morgan Miles, Michael Bender, Ja’Ron Duncan, and Cassius Peacock identified the issue of students not being adequately prepared for social interactions. They developed a digital course that teaches etiquette related to dining, dress code, hygiene, social settings, and digital interactions. They visited Smith Elementary, where they taught the students how to use the digital course. The course can be teacher-led or self-paced and they are talking with the HCS Curriculum teams to determine how the app can become part of the official HCS curriculum.

Click here to view the 4th Place PBL Presentation 

Other projects included:

  • HHS Health, Human and Financial Services Academy: “Powering into OUR Community,” in which students competed in activities to deliver handmade food bags to 40 families. Their goal was to help people in the community survive and thrive by taking away some everyday worries.
  • HHS IB Academy: “End Human Trafficking E. H. T. 1491,” in which students raised awareness of human trafficking by informing the public through flyers and public awareness. They partnered with Walmart, Transitions, and the Hampton Police Department to donate bags to victims of human trafficking.
  • KHS On Stage Performing Arts Academy: “Staging Inclusion,” in which the students conducted a 12-week program to include acting technique, directing, costumes, and a dress rehearsal for students with special needs. They held two performances and included all students regardless of their verbal or academic skill level.
  • BHS Academy of Transportation, Analytics, Information and Logistics: “Hampton Future Bike Riders,” in which the goal is to have every child in Hampton have a bike and understand bike safety. They held a bike safety event and bike drive, partnering with Hampton Strong.
  • KHS Academy of Teaching Education, and Learning: “Community Cupboard,” which had a goal to address the needs of individuals with food insecurity in the community. They collected donations and planned to build cupboards around the area. They partnered with Nourishing Neighbors, THRIVE Peninsula, and Hampton Fire & Rescue.
  • BHS Academy of Transportation, Analytics, Information and Logistics: “Team Take Flight,” in which students  assisted the Newport News-Williamsburg airport to increase foot traffic. Their plan is to develop an app for customers to pay for parking online at the airport and to create a social media calendar for marketing.
  • HHS Freshman Academy: “Love of Literacy – L.O.L.” which worked to boost literacy scores to reduce crime rates by hosting online Zoom reading sessions for elementary schoolers.
  • KHS Freshman Academy: “Unsheltered Families,” in which students organized monthly collection drives for school supplies, hygiene products, t-shirts, soup, and cleaning supplies for families experiencing homelessness.

Click here to view all of the PBL Presentations 

All students who competed at the formal presentation level will receive a cash prize of $50.

Winners of the poster presentations included:

  • 1st place ($150/student): HHS Academy of Technology and Engineering “Hampton High FIVE Tour” 
  • 2nd place ($100/student): BHS Law & Public Safety Academy “DUI Awareness Campaign

All students who competed at the poster presentation level will receive a cash prize of $50.