Local school project catches attention of state leader from Columbus

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The alleyway project is part of a group of projects being presented in an entrepreneurship class

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – In March, we told you about a project Columbiana High School students were putting together. Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction heard about the project and wanted to see it for himself.

Right now, it looks like a simple alleyway — a few picnic tables and that’s just about it. But last month, Columbiana High School’s entrepreneurship class was presented with an idea — make it more attractive for city residents.

“We’ve been working on this since about October and it’s been non-stop every day just trying to come up with new ideas,” said junior Ava Bryant.

Things such as an interactive chalkboard, multiple seating areas with electronic fireplaces, a canvas ceiling with a retractable roof and more. It was part of the learning experience of the class.

“A big portion of this is to be creative and share our ideas, and then, another part is teamwork. To work as a team to share ideas and to present their ideas together,” said senior Daniel Wilczak.

State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria was so impressed that a group of students could come up with these ideas, so he had to check out the presentation for himself. Each student came up and presented at least one slide. Afterward, he tested their knowledge of the project and they passed.

“So every one of them, you could tell really understood the project from start to finish and were really prepared to talk about it from a very personal and involved way,” DeMaria said.

DeMaria is a fan of project-based learning. What really impressed him was how these ideas are going outside of the school walls.

“I loved the fact that it’s being done in partnership with the city, who is looking for a way to tackle an interesting project and said, ‘Hey, high school students might have something to contribute,'” DeMaria said.

The city hopes to start bringing these ideas to life over the next few months.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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