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Southwest Orange Monday, Jul. 31, 2017 3 years ago

Palm Lake Elementary students win at Beta Nationals

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A team of student from Palm Lake Elementary won first place at the Beta Club National Competition for their website design
by: Brittany Gaines Reporter

DR. PHILLIPS It’s only been one year since Palm Lake Elementary School launched a Beta Club, but already, members have attained national recognition for their accomplishments.

The club was started last fall by enrichment teacher Abigail Carter, who had seen the benefits of Beta Club after her daughter joined one in middle school.

“I wanted something to take the kids to the next step,” Carter said. “So this was a way to mesh together things that we were already doing well at Palm Lake.”

The club grew to more than 60 members its first year, and in November 2016, nearly all of them competed at the National Beta Club’s state convention.

“At that convention, we won more than 11 competitions,” Carter said. “And once you place first, second or third, you’re eligible to compete at the national level.”

At the end of June, Carter took more than 40 of her students to the National Beta Club competition. Students competed in visual arts, performing arts, science and math, and a handful walked away with wins.

One student came in second place doing a solo dance performance, and a team of students came in the top 10 for a the Tower Power competition. 

But the biggest accomplishment for the Palm Lake Beta Club was the team of four students who built their own website.

It was a last minute addition to their lineup for nationals, and the challenge was anything but simple.

Palm Lake enrichment teacher Abigail Carter with some of her Beta Club winners.

“They had to create a website and couldn’t use any template program,” Carter said. “They had to write it themselves with code. But one of students had really latched onto coding and taught himself, so he was the lead.”

Even the parents were concerned about the challenges the students faced, which included not only competing against elementary students but also middle-schoolers.

“Some of the parents came out of the meeting and said, ‘I don’t think they can do this,’” Carter said.

But the students were confident.

They spent two days creating their website from scratch and even created video content and animations to show to the judges.

When they were announced to have made it to the top 10, the students were thrilled, Carter said.

“They knew they were in the top ten the night before, but when they announced the winners, at that point (the students) really got excited because they were in the top five,” Carter said.

The team not only was in the top five - it won first place for their website, besting even its middle-school competition.

For Carter, the competition all about watching her students succeed.

“I was just over-the-moon excited to see them so excited and doing things that are different and working together,” she said.

The team of winning students included Christopher Winiewicz, Jonah Proulx, Grace Grant and Dalton Robertson-Manor.

 

Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected].

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