Varnett’s 5th graders got a taste of the technological advances at Texas Southern University March 28, then presented a $4,500 check to TSU President John M. Rudley for scholarships.
The 95 students watched and took part in a science experiment and visited the Leonard H.O. Spearman Technology Building that was dedicated in February and houses the academic departments of Aviation Science and Technology, Computer Science, Engineering Technology, Industrial Technology, Physics and Transportation Studies.
It was all a part of TSU showcasing its campus in the hopes that someday Varnett’s students will make the historically black university its school of choice when the time comes.
“I think I’m going to TSU,” said Dayanna Franco of the Northeast Campus. “I like the stuff in the classrooms and the work the teachers do.”
The students were divided into four groups and watched demonstrations in various laboratories, including air traffic control, aviation traffic and driving simulation. They also watched and took part in an iodine, starch and water experiment in a lab room.
Later at lunch, students Dayanna, Norma Diaz of East Campus and Amiyah White of Southwest presented a $4,500 check to Dr. Rudley as Dr. M. Annette Cluff, Varnett’s superintendent, and the other 5th graders looked on.
Dr. Rudley and TSU students Brett McKinley, Tiffany Heard and Terrance J. Bolton gave brief speeches in a show of thanks. “If it were not for these donations, I wouldn’t be here,” Heard said.
The 5th grade classes came up with the money through fundraisers that also involved other grade levels and staff. It was the fourth year 5th grade students made a donation to TSU. Years before that, 5th graders annually contributed to the United Negro College Fund. In return this year, students were given TSU backpacks.
“I think this was good for the students,” East Campus Director Gayle Voltz said after the ceremony. “The tours showed there are other options in technological fields, including science and aviation."
The Spearman Technology Building was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008 and rendered uninhabitable. It was demolished and replaced by a 107,791 square foot building with the latest technology of instruction and research.
Also visiting the TSU campus were Mrs. Twilet Alexander, Northeast Campus director, and 5th grade teachers from each of the three Varnett campuses.
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