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Sarah Janssen | The Journal Gazette
Viking New Tech students Layne Mitten, front, a sophomore, and Joshua Loar, a freshman, study for a test in their BioTech class.

Group projects boost New Tech learning

– Ashley Gonterman’s bio-tech class at Huntington North High School was unusually quiet Oct. 4. Most students were reading or studying on their iPads or desktop computers, preparing for an upcoming test.

“Usually the volume level in here is much higher,” said Gonterman, facilitator for the Viking New Tech. “Our classrooms tend to be louder, … but you listen to the conversations taking place and they’re good ones.”

Viking New Tech is in its third year as a New Tech school within Huntington North High School. New Tech is a nationwide network of high schools focusing on project-based, or hands-on, learning. Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Wayne New Tech Academy is another New Tech school that opened four years ago.

At New Tech high schools, students more often work in groups on projects to better understand concepts in all subject areas. Courses such as English and history are often combined. Gonterman’s bio-tech class is a combination of biology and computer applications in which students create biology projects using technology, learning how to use computer programs to create the projects.

Freshman Megan Currie said working individually was always a bit harder for her. She said the members of the group feed off one another, helping each other and coming up with ideas together. She remembers a recent project on cells where she was struggling with her group role. She said she called a group meeting, during which other group members helped her with researching and making a presentation.

For junior Holly Bickel, school was always pretty boring. “I was tired of being lectured at,” she said.

Collaboration with other students and combined classes help her to learn the application of what she’s learning, another focus of New Tech schools.

As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, Bickel said she struggled at first with the group work, but she’s learned that it’s not always just about her.

“It’s definitely beneficial because it’s something I will probably have to do in a future job, plus it reinforces my own learning,” she said.


•Bishop Luers High School is hosting an open house from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 15. All families are welcome to attend. Tours and information about clubs, sports, financial aid and more will be available. For more information, call the Bishop Luers admissions office at 456-1261.

•On Nov. 10, Bishop Luers will administer the Henry Keefer Merit Scholarship Exam to any current eighth-grade students interested in competing for $10,000 in scholarships to attend Bishop Luers. Pre-registration cost is $10. Testing will begin promptly at 8 a.m. and finish about 11:30 a.m.

•Canterbury School will have two admissions informational meetings 9 to 10 a.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Prospective families interested in kindergarten through eighth grade will attend at 5601 Covington Road. Those interested in high school will attend at 3210 Smith Road. For more information call 407-3553 or email


Sean McManus of St. John the Baptist School and Nancy McNamara, of St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School qualified as National Merit semifinalists based on their performance on the PSAT.

•Concordia Lutheran High School students, Taryn Admed, Arie Friedrich, Heidi Gottschalk, Austin Harris and Alexander Jonker were named commended students in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program, placing in the top 5 percent of students entering the competition.

Indiana Tech

•Victory Media has named Indiana Tech to the 2013 Military Friendly Schools list. The list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. For more information on the list, visit

•Students interested in enrolling in the fall 2013 are invited to spend a day on campus from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m Saturday. Prospective students and their families will have the opportunity to tour the campus, meet with professors and current students and participate in information sessions on a variety of topics. To register, visit or call the admissions office at 422-5561 or 800-937-2448 ext. 3103.

•Registration deadline for Session 4 of the undergraduate program in the College of Professional Studies is Oct. 26. Session 4 runs from Nov. 11 through Dec. 22. The College of Professional Studies includes Indiana Tech locations in Elkhart, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Greenwood, Huntington, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville, Kendallville, Louisville, Mishawaka, Munster, Northern Kentucky, Plainfield, and Warsaw as well as online courses. Contact an admissions representative at 800- 288-1766 for information on programs, admissions, and registration or visit

Education Notebook listings appear on Mondays. To have an item listed, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46802-0088; fax 461-8893; or email at least two weeks before the desired publication.