Carter In The Classroom

Focusing on unique things school districts are doing to help children succeed.

Brag About Your School: Frisco's Memorial High School

When the bell rings at Memorial High School the students don't always immediately hit the books.

A recent class got started with students breaking out their cellphones, talking to their peers and taking some time to set goals.

"We're leaving a video message for ourselves to check halfway through the summer to see how we are doing with the steps we wanted to take," teacher Brent Holtrup said.

Holtrup challenged his students to better themselves in some way and make a pledge to follow through

"I think it's extremely important and helpful to the student as high schools a time of finding yourself and truly becoming an adult and maturing," student Kaylyn Wilson said.

It happens in almost all the classes here, and is a requirement from principal Jennifer Redden. Redden's campus is in its first year of existence.

Students may have needed a boost to feel united, and could benefit from personal growth too.

"It's really important that we teach them how to problem solve and critical think, so when they graduate they're prepared for whatever lies ahead of them," Redden said.

The students said it's working, but it's authentic and self-driven.

High school students and smart phones go hand in hand. Young people love snapping photos and sharing them to the world in seconds.

At Memorial High School, they're going back in time a bit, learning about cyanotypes

"They used it in the 1800s," student Caleb Ramos said. "It's how they took pictures."

It's a joint class, half of the students are in an advanced art class, the other half advanced chemistry. They're working together hand painting and taking photos, using chemicals that react to light.

The art is brought out into the sun where the photo, created with invisible light gets "burned in" to the paper.

"We submerge it in water so we can see the photo, then put it in hydrogen peroxide," Ramos said.

The art students are experimenting with a craft rarely used these days, while the chemistry students are trying to understand the chemical reactions at work to create the photos. The teachers are watching them work together and achieve success.

"There is meaning behind it, it's more than just this pen and pencil situation they can see the real world applications behind it and having to work with a group that has a different goal than them," teacher Brynn Stephens said.

Student Tess Sakakini got so into it she started to experiment with even more art.

"To be able to apply it to something you do in life, like photography and art, it was cool to see it in the world," Sakakini said.

Memorial High School's mascot is the Warriors. The school focuses on heroes, like fire, police and the military, and recognizing the work they do to build a better society.

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