North Texas

Brag About Your School: Saginaw High School

The stakes are getting higher at schools all over North Texas. Topics once covered in high school are now happening in many elementary schools. Meanwhile, some students at Saginaw High School are diving head first into topics that are difficult for many scholars to tackle.

Student Ashley Gonzales is looking into how social media and terrorism are linked.

"Social media actually has a tendency to divide society," said Gonzales. "What we don't see in the dark Twitter and dark Facebook is there are actually these terrorist groups. They're using social media to insight terror, insight threats and conspire to commit acts of violence."

From ethical decisions with genetics to our use of fossil fuels the students pick a topic and dive in, researching it from every angle possible the whole semester.

"I feel really prepared for research in the future. I've learned to write essays better than before. I've learned how to present, which I used to be really bad at and just do research on things that are really important and get it from good sources," said student Sierra Kirkwood.

The class is a final course for mostly seniors at Saginaw High School. It's designed as a bridge to what life is like on a college campus not just tackling tough topics, but doing it on their own.

"They set deadlines for themselves, they are responsible to each other," said teacher Sara Mullins.

Mullins encourages the kids to confront their own bias, be critical of the information they find online and be good consumers of information.

She challenges her students to think more critically, while on the other side of Saginaw High's campus chemistry teach Christopher Brown wants his students to get their hands dirty.

Brown knows that while teaching about energy, he needs to exert a lot of energy to help his student embrace and understand the concepts he's teaching.

Chemistry allows me a lot of opportunities to come in and play. I strive to play and do anything I can not to be at this side of the room but be back here really learning the why about science and what's going on," said Brown.

In a recent class he set up several different stations around the classroom where students could walk up and see a real life demonstration about the relationship between pressure and volume.

Student Abby Godwin saw how temperature and pressure worked together to crush a soda can. She credits her teacher with helping complex scientific terms make sense.

"Mr. Brown is my favorite," said Godwin. "He's a big jokester but he's a really good teacher though."

Brown knows it works because he said one of his former teachers inspired him the same way and he hopes his students will pass that message on to others.

Students at Saginaw High also pass long their success with younger students.  The seniors board busses a few weeks before graduation and go back to their former elementary and middle schools.

They high five younger students and talk to them about chasing goals and dreams and thank teachers who helped them along the way to be able to achieve their high school diploma.

 Student Lauren Hudnal said it was amazing seeing how much the younger students were inspired by their visit.

The Class of 2019 currently has earned more than $5 million in scholarships.  Sixty percent of their students are enrolled in AP, pre-advanced placement or dual credit classes.  

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