Friday, June 24, 2011

RAMP Comes to Cross Keys to Serve Area High Schoolers

I am privileged to be the first to let you know about an amazing program to be launched this fall at Cross Keys HS that is available to students from Dunwoody HS, Chamblee Charter HS, Cross Keys HS, Tucker HS, Lakeside HS, Clarkston HS, and Druid Hills HS. The Remote Automation Management Project (RAMP) will be offered via a partnership between DeKalb County Schools and Moultrie Tech.

Moultrie Tech is only the second site in the United States to become a platform for this type of innovative instructional support for robotics and automation. Cross Keys HS is the second site in Georgia to become part of the Moultrie program (I believe Forsyth may be the first).

A nationally recognized instructor, Patrick Gunter, has been hired by DCSS and assigned to Cross Keys to lead the class on site. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Gunter on the day of his contract signing and can tell you that he is the sort of mentor and thought leader to which you want your kids to have access. Students will also have video conferencing access to Moultrie Tech faculty for support of their hands-on work with a $40,000 piece of SMC Corp robotics.

How cool is that? Check out the video below for in-depth look at how RAMP works in high schools.

The instructional leader in the video, Mr. Estes, met with Mr. Gunter recently at Cross Keys to make arrangements for the robotics and video conferencing equipment to be placed at the school.

Mr. Patrick Gunter, CK's newest teacher, is an advisor for the the Georgia Institute of Technology's "Solar Jackets," award-winning solar car design team and is exploring the possibility of starting a high school car team. Stay tuned to CK Foundation's Facebook Page or web site for more details but spread the word by sharing this unique educational opportunity with your neighbors NOW! I asked Mr. Gunter what sort of pre-requisites he had for working with students (math, sciences, etc.) and he looked at me without hesitating and said, "Work ethic."

Mr. Gunter notes, “There just aren’t enough high school students choosing technology-related majors when going to college. Most students who would qualify to major in Engineering lack interest in the field. Robotics has a strong appeal to today’s students, and these competitions use robotics as a very powerful platform to attract students to the study of science and technology.” Mr. Gunter plans to foster a top-notch robotics team at Cross Keys starting this year. With many regional, national, and international wins under his belt, he is quite serious about the prospects for a CK-based team.

CALL your home high school counselling office or CK's at 678-874-6102 for registration details! What an extraordinary opportunity to work side-by-side with an exceptional engineer like Mr. Gunter. Spread the word and let's make this opportunity available to as many young people as possible!

READ about the RAMP program from Moultrie Tech.


Dekalbparent said...

DAMN, KIM! A-MAAAAZING! I am so thrilled by this! Congratulations to CKHS on this wonderful news!

I only wish my own personal kiddos could still take advantage of this.

Sagamore 7 said...


How involved was DCSS CO in this endeavor or was it strictly CKHS?
What qualifications / GPA are required for HS student participation?
Your input is greatly appreciated.


Kim Gokce said...

@Dekalbparent: "DAMN!"

Just wait, the Foundation has just closed a deal for an Information Technology program that may require additional four-letter expletives :) ... I will start sending out teasers tomorrow with hopes of a formal press release within two weeks.

@S7: "CO" and "requirements"

The Career Tech CO is completely responsible for bringing RAMP to DeKalb via CK. Regarding qualifications/reqs ... I specifically asked this of Mr. Gunter and he was adamant that there are no requirements other than the willingness to put in extra effort. He specifically mentioned that his expectation is that kids in this program would be in the lab after school at least three times a week. So, no barrier to entry but a high bar for participation!

andi said...

Great news Kim!

Cerebration said...

Awesome! This is a really big coup for DeKalb! I hope the administration supports it and the program blossoms!!

Kim Gokce said...

I think the administration will support it if our community's families do. It will be an interesting one to watch. When I publish details on the Foundation-supported "Interactive Media" year-long pathway that will have a major private sector component, I think folks will really prick up their ears. These two programs are truly of unprecedented scope.

If you have a high schooler who is interested in the latest web and mobile technology and real world applications, be ready to change their fall schedule so they can jump on this amazing opportunity that will include Spring internships.

themommy said...


Excuse my confusion -- but is this something that students do during the school day or after school? Can a student only do it after school?

Kim Gokce said...

During school ... haven't seen the schedule yet, though. I'll have the exact schedule this week and will update here. I probably caused the confusion by mentioning the instructor's observation that after school, add'l lab work will likely be required for the successful students.

I'm guessing the course will be offered twice per day - half day in the morning or half day in the afternoon.

Fred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred said...

Kim, thanks for sharing this important infomation! There is a saying, Publish or Perish. If citizens are not made aware about opportunities like this for our children, these opportunities may go away. You are doing your part in publishing information about this.

The word is out. It is now up to the community to take advantage of it. Congratulations to Dr. Watkins, Mr. Edwards, and all others involved in bringing this program to CK.

Kim Gokce said...

Folks, this just keeps getting better and better ...

I had coffee with Mr. Gunter this morning and learned that he is bringing even more that I thought to the table for DeKalb students.

Here's a punch list of what we can expect to see this coming year (with Foundation support and community support):

1. Two robotics teams based out of CK that will compete at the highest levels by spring.
2. A solar car team that will have engagement of the Georgia Tech "Solar Jackets" solar car team (Mr. Gunter is one of the two advisors/coaches for the Solar Jackets and a key sponsor, too.)
3. Two-day STEM workshops for fourth and fifth graders - one in Nov. and one in May.
4. Fall courses in Intro to Material Sciences and Robotics & Automation with spring interships.
5. A County-wide Inventors' Program culminating in a spring tournament/judging. The top inventor judged will earn a trophy, $500-$1000 scholarship, and services of patent lawyer (a recent winner from Mr. Gunter's previous assignment is the subject of a multi-million dollar investment by Suntrust and will manufacture and distribute the invention partnering with Starbuck's and other partners).
6. Student enrolled in his courses will conceive a product, design it, design the manufacturing process for its production, build the lean manufacturing production process, and produce a product for community benefit (toys for children for christmas??).
7. His students will go into the middle and elementary schools to teach younger students in managed sessions.

Simply extraordinary ... get the word out about this guy and his programs!