MANY PEOPLE COULD BE forgiven for thinking that today’s kids are so preoccupied with viewing other people’s stories and listening to other people’s music that they are incapable of creating their own.  Those people would simply not be familiar with the work of some of Portsmouth Schools’ 4th thru 12th graders.

A PORTSIDE STORY, an original musical that was written and performed by PPS students and funded by the Portsmouth Schools Foundation, was performed at I.C. Norcom High School on Friday, April 11, to a full crowd.  The show addressed the themes of bullying, humility and pride, plus the effects of judging others based on appearance and peer pressure.  If these themes seem a bit mature for such young folks, don’t be surprised.  These kids simply showed what they can do given the encouragement – and a little funding – from teachers who encourage them to think, and do, for themselves.

   MATRIX SUMMER CAMPS are once again offered to rising 4th thru 12th grade students, offering a rich array of activities to keep young minds sharp and challenged over the summer months.  Subjects include: LEGO robotics; geo-referencing a map of Olde Towne; Crime Scene Investigation (including DNA analysis, handwriting and more); Android App creation; introductory 3D CAD software design; a STEM Academy program (in collaboration with the NNSY and SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic; a 4-day RiverQuest residential gig exploring careers in Environmental Science, Oceanography, and the Maritime Industry; model race car engineering and design and race track construction at Victory Elementary School; and more.  While some activity is centered at ODU and on the Elizabeth River, most groups will meet at STARBASE Victory.  The camps are FREE to ALL PPS students, and are paid for through grants and donations

IN THE CHROME ORGANIZATION’S recent LEGO competition, which included teams from Portsmouth’s 8 elementary schools, students from James Hurst Elementary School enjoyed the benefits of having worked with mentors from the NNSY’s Outreach Program.  Seven volunteers from NNSY met during nine 1 ½ hour sessions with the school’s 38 active CHROME members to prepare for the event.  The result?  2nd place in the “Base Plates” category, 3rd place in “The Submersible,” and a determination to continue the effort for 2015’s competition.  Many thanks go to the NNSY and its volunteers for their commitment to the program and to the kids.

Read more about Portsmouth Public Schools in our June Newsletter.  Portsmouth Partnership Newsletter #45 June 2014