Students are Voting to See Which Projects at Their Schools will be Funded Through Participatory Budgeting

Posted by Communications on 3/8/2017

There is an election scheduled for five schools in the Phoenix Union High School District, March 20-24, but in this case, there will be no losers.  The students are voting to see which projects at their schools will be funded through Participatory Budgeting.  Three small schools- Phoenix Coding Academy, Franklin Police and Fire and Bioscience will each have up to $4,000 to pay for the projects, while large campuses Carl Hayden and Central can spend up to $7,000 each.  The elections will get a further dose of reality with the Maricopa County Recorder’s office, helping with voter booths, ballots and scanning machines to tabulate the results.  The students worked with District officials to research projects to vote on, their feasibility and estimated cost of the projects listed on each school’s ballot.  The District’s student Civic Engagement Committee has been working with the Participatory Budgeting Project, a nonprofit organization to determine spending through a public process.  Among the ballot items, a campus beautification project, hydration stations with filtered water and a sports concession kiosk. 


County Recorder Adrian Fontes is planning on visiting the Carl Hayden polling station with superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson and Governing Board member Stanford Prescott, Thrusday. 


Six Phoenix Union teams will compete in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon, March 10-11 at ASU West.  Led by Cesar Chavez, the Region II champion and second-ranked team in the state,  Alhambra, Maryvale,  Betty Fairfax,  North and  Central qualified.     Cesar Chavez will be at State for the 11th consecutive year, and the Champions have been ranked #2 both of the last two years.  Canyon del Oro is the top-ranked school.    Chavez has finished in the top 10 in the State for the past seven years.   Last year, Chavez had its highest state finish, placing fourth.  Only the winner advances to the Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin in April.


It was the Phith Annual Physics Phield Day at Castles and Coasters, March 3, and the biggest yet for Phoenix Union.  Ten schools, and over 500 students had a phun-philled day of contests, projects, pizza and rides.  The students, clad in their school team shirts, built and tested gummi bear and toothpick bridges, marshmallow catapults, egg drops, mouse trap cars, paper towers, and tried shooting ping pong balls into baskets with hair blow dryers (Bernoulli Ball, named after the effect behind the aerofoil.), or sweeping a bowling ball through a tight obstacle course (vector bowling), in a dry land version of curling.  There were 12 events in all.  The teachers acted as judges and scorekeepers and had as much fun as the students.


“This event provides an amazing way to celebrate the process of science, mixed in with some phun and good-natured competition, all while creating lasting memories and authentic cognitive connections for the students.  One of the best aspects of this endeavor is how over the years our Physics PLC has worked together to keep refining and adding competitions that allow students to deploy the physics models they’ve developed during the year,”  Metro Tech Physics teacher Andrew Chapman said.


There was practically a three-way tie in the overall, with Metro Tech,  North, Maryvale separated by “the slimmest of margins,, the width of a foosball, one gummi bear, a ping-pong ball or an egg.”