Report to the Board of Education of Baltimore County From the Student Member of the Board

December 5, 2017

Good evening and happy Tuesday!

This week, many students around Baltimore County will participate in Hour of Code, a global event where students are introduced to computer science. From Kindergarten to Grade 12, students are able to create games, mazes, Google Doodles, robots, and music, all while learning the basics of computer programming. This will open doors to the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) for many students who through one hour of coding in school found their passion. I am so glad BCPS gave students the opportunity to expand their learning past traditional school subjects and find an activity that they love.

Speaking of STEM, 100 students in Career and Technology Education programs throughout the county met last week at the second annual Shark Tank at the Engineers Club! Since the beginning of the school year, engineering students have been working to make an invention to solve a real-world problem. At the Shark Tank, the students presented their ideas to professional engineers to try to take their invention from an idea to a reality. I am so proud of these insanely smart and creative students for coming up with solutions for improving drinking water, water conservation, and overheating smart phones, just to name a few. Again, it is so important for students to have the chance to take specific classes or do certain activities that they see themselves pursuing after they graduate.

I met with students from Franklin High School on November 15 with Baltimore County Student Councils’ president Jake Turner to discuss their school's climate and culture. Baltimore County is a very large school district with a diverse student body, so it is important for me as a board member to understand student life at different schools. Even though I am a student, my experiences at Pikesville are not the same as Franklin's. I had such a great time talking to students about issues that are important to them such as air conditioning, class schedules, bathrooms, and devices. I would like to thank the students that sacrificed eating with their friends to speak with Jake and me, and I am grateful for Franklin High School's Student Government Association advisors for setting up the meeting. I can't wait to visit more schools very soon.

Lastly, a few hours ago, BCPS-TV and I filmed my first episode of “On the Move with Josie,” a show that goes around to different clubs throughout the county. The show is designed to highlight student leaders who are not just from Student Government or National Honor Society, because there are leaders in the Art Club, Key Club, gaming club, or It's Academic. Today we started with Pikesville's Young Engineer's Club—led by my friend Lauren Losin, who won the CTE Shark Tank I mentioned earlier. I hope that my show inspires students to get active with clubs offered at their schools, or if they see a club on “On the Move” that they really love that isn't at their school, they can create one! Clubs are vital because that's where many students find their voice, and I hope that “On the Move” helps one student find theirs.

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