Vandeventer Middle School

VMS Students Explore Latest Technology at Alcatel-Lucent

Feb 19, 2015

Students and science teachers from Vandeventer Middle School visited Alcatel-Lucent in Plano on February 11, where they got the opportunity to explore and see firsthand how research and development create products and jobs in the real world.

Peter Burns of Alcatel Lucent, who is also president of the Frisco Education Foundation Board, was instrumental in setting up the study trip. He shared his thoughts on exposing students to corporate environments.

“It is important for our students to continually be exposed to the ever-changing technology landscape in order to give them confidence that they can participate in and contribute to that landscape," he said. "It gives them an opportunity to peek into the future and hopefully, carry their experience over from the classroom to their vision of possibilities. Field trips like these create a vital link for students to understand the skills they are developing in the classroom and how they relate to the industry they are interested in exploring.”

The 13 eighth grade students included in the tour have all participated in the VMS Math and Science Team for the past three years and all plan to take challenging science, technology, math and engineering classes in high school.

The tour included the following stations:

  • ngconnect - students saw full demos of cutting-edge products that have not yet hit the market.
  • "LTE area" - discussions were held about the latest wireless technology and the Bell Labs museum was featured.
  • Innovation Center - students explored prototypes of Alcatel's core technology products.

Micki Karlan, a science instructional coach at VMS, said that the visit was very important to the students' understanding of how their current studies will make a difference in their future.

“The students were able to see first-hand the importance and value of STEM education," Karlan said. "Most of these students are taking STEM-related classes next year in high school. This experience only elevated their excitement and passion for careers in STEM.”