McKinney ISD

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Leadership and Science Ensure Results at Annual MISD/Raytheon LASER Competition

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

McKinney, Texas – On Friday, April 22, McKinney ISD hosted its 6th annual high school LASER (Leadership and Science Ensure Results) competition at the district’s Central Administration building to close out another successful year of collaboration with Raytheon through the district’s physics classes.

Group photo of team holding winner certificate

John Green’s Dream Team (MNHS) — Overall Capstone Winner – AP-1: (l-r) Alejandro Santiago Rivera, Brenden Bishop, Ishpinder Walia and Jackson Pitt (Additional team winner photos posted below.)

Throughout the year, MISD physics students benefit from the opportunity to interact with Raytheon engineers who visit classrooms in support of the LASER curriculum which was developed collaboratively in 2010 by Raytheon and MISD. Raytheon supplied approximately $19,500 to fund the original program which was embedded in the district’s high school physics classes during the 2010-2011 school year.

Each spring, student teams are presented with a unique challenge to serve as a capstone project for the curriculum. This year’s problem called upon students to create a vehicle that would carry “passenger” eggs safely through a violent collision.

By placing limitations on the materials, resources and specifications allowed in the design solution, the project tested not only the participants’ knowledge of physics but also their creativity and resourcefulness. And, the structure of the challenge required students to put into practice the leadership skills emphasized throughout the year.

Fifteen teams whose vehicles performed most effectively at their respective campuses qualified to compete in the districtwide competition.

“It is inspiring to see students get excited about the product they built and their overall success at the capstone,” said Jodi Roepsch, a Raytheon engineer who has been involved in the program since its inception.

“Through the LASER engagements, our objective is to enhance the MISD curriculum while providing project based learning opportunities which enable students to apply both the technical and leadership skills that we teach,” said Roepsch. “There are many aspects of LASER that support the growth of all students regardless of career interests such as a personality assessment, opportunities to work on a diverse team, guidance on planning a project, encouragement to be innovative as they work on their designs and career discussions.”

The program isn’t just for high school students. In 2012, Raytheon donated another $10,000 to expand the LASER program to the district’s 6th grade classes, and this spring, the program was implemented in the district’s 3rd grade classrooms as well.

With the continued support of business partners such as Raytheon, McKinney ISD is preparing students for success in an increasingly competitive, ever-changing global market.

Group photo of team holding winner certificate

Team Tank (MHS) — Capstone Winner – Innovation (Academic): (l-r) Justin Deike, Victor Mendoza, Tyson Wilson and Charles Weber

Group photo of team holding winner certificate

Team 4 (MHS) — Capstone Winner – Innovation (AP – 1): (l-r) Andrew D. Earnest, Ayden P. Hardy, Isaiah J. Moorehead, Justin T. Burch and Jinsung Jeon

Group photo of team holding winner certificate

Car-O-Line (MBHS) — Capstone Winner – Teaming: (l-r) Iain Kennedy and Lauren Patton

Photo of two female students holding winner certificate

Team 1 (MHS) — Capstone Winner – Communication: (l-r) Lauren Chung and Brittany Hancz

Group photo of team holding winner certificate

The Hams (MBHS) — Overall Capstone Winner – Academic: (l-r) Khyree Ali, Maci Hall, Meg Dickson, Shelby Green

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If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

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