Twin Valley ninth grader Caroline Brenek has English first block, Graphic Arts second, Wellness and Fitness third, and Introduction to Engineering Design fourth. After school, she is part of the Twin Valley Stage Crew that helped with performance of the this year’s Theatre Arts musical The Addams Family and plays AA ice hockey for the Philadelphia Junior Flyers.
Caroline is much like many of her peers who enjoy technology, listening to music, and hanging out with friends. However, while average in some respects, this year Caroline demonstrated an interest in design and process, and desire to achieve that was anything but average. Each year ninth graders from Twin Valley Middle School arrive at Twin Valley High School (TVHS) full of anxiety, interest, and wonder about what the next four years might be like. It can take time to get comfortable with new procedures, a new building, and new teachers. It also takes time to determine what courses and experiences are available at the high school. Ninth grade is a year when students are able and encouraged to take several introductory courses to learn about and gain experience in areas where they have interest.
Twin Valley High School Technology Education department has much to offer students in all four years of their high school career. This includes a full array of technology and engineering courses, and a very active Technology Student Association (TSA) that regularly has students place in state and national levels of competition.
Caroline took multiple courses from the Technology Education menu this year and was able to fuel her passions for design and process in Twin Valley’s STEM, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Introduction to Engineering (IED) and Graphic Arts and Animation courses.
In Twin Valley’s IED course, under the instruction of Mr. Paul Bowman, Caroline won first place in the Berks County Media and Design Competition and advanced to state competition. Mr. Bowman commented on what Caroline does to stand out, “Caroline is a great listener and planner. She likes to learn new things. Sometimes students move too quickly and might skip important steps. Caroline does not do this, she seldom works without planning. She stands out and achieves great things because she understands the importance of the planning process to produce a quality final product.”
After inspiration from a Graphic Arts class project, where students designed and produced custom Twin Valley Raider decals from vinyl, Caroline had the idea to create the same style of decals for members of the faculty and staff at Twin Valley. Caroline imagined, planned, designed, and implemented an independent exercise where she designed and processed graphics, vinyl, audio, and video.
Caroline began her project by collecting a list of TVHS faculty and staff names. She updated the list in efforts to not leave anyone out. She then designed several custom decals for each using the Twin Valley raider logo and surname of each faculty and staff.
At project’s end, Caroline had created 100 vector designs and cut and weeded over 300 custom decals for Twin Valley High School faculty and staff. The project continued to evolve when Caroline decided to create a video to explain how to apply the vinyl decals. For this Caroline filmed and edited a video tutorial to demonstrate the process of vinyl application.
Graphic Arts teacher Mr. Vanemon comment on Caroline’s enthusiasm. “Caroline’s level of interest to help and learn in the Graphic Arts lab is tremendous. Caroline is always interested in learning any new idea or process that she can, and she help anywhere she needed. She was regularly designing something, helping others, or preparing materials. She volunteered to help with other duties and responsibilities in the lab often.”
When asked what she enjoys most about the technology courses she took this year Caroline said, “We have so many great opportunities to make cool things here at Twin Valley and the teachers are great. I love to design and process different materials. Paper, vinyl, plastic, metal, wood, it really doesn’t matter, I love seeing my ideas come to life, and I can’t wait to make more great things next year.”
Twin Valley High School and the Technology Education department stand out in the selection of courses and experiences they offer to students. Caroline is one great example of the many students who get involved and make the most of their high school career at Twin Valley.