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The Smartinis

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Watch out for the KCAPA Smartinis, who have earned the high school division’s “Team of the Month” honors!  This group of 9th, 10th, and 11th graders at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School is exploring the problem of bullying in their school.  The team noticed that cyberbullying on social media is contributing to an increase in physical fights in their school this year.  The student designers meet after school to work towards a solution that will make students feel safe and will address the underlying issues that contribute to bullying.  

One of the team’s teachers, Ms. McCarthy, shared with us how excited she is to be involved with issues that the students experience outside of academics.  She also enjoys leading the students through a process that teaches them how to create change rather than just accept an undesirable situation.  All of the team members were able to share personal stories about bullying in their lives, and they framed their design challenge by asking, "How might we help students who bully with their problems in life to prevent them from bullying further?" 

KCAPA is no stranger to DT Philly.  Now in its fourth year of participation, the school has the benefit of a returning  DT Philly team teacher, Ms. Szablya, and a few returning students as well.  Their experience last year taught them how important it is to invest time in preparing for the final presentation.  In order to make sure their ideas come across clearly, the team is already planning to spend extra time rehearsing with an audience before the DT Philly Challenge in February!