Five stories that have North Texas talking: A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School stars in a viral video; NPR’s Michel Martin is in Dallas to tackle football ethics; why do Dallas students take so many AP exams?; and more.
A dance video featuring Dallas ISD students is starting to go viral. Students at A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School performed in a video set to “Uptown Funk.” Scores of students dance down the halls, shaking their hips, stepping back and forth. Mashable reports: “A well-dressed, hip-shaking teacher at A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School in Dallas brought students out of the classroom for an impressive dance break set to Mark Ronson’s infectious hit ‘Uptown Funk.’” Theater teacher Scot Pankey, who is featured in the video, told The Dallas Morning News: “I heard the song before Christmas and fell in love with it. We are a project-based school — there are only two in the Metroplex — and that means you give the students a project, put them in teams, and they have to come up with solutions. They had three weeks to work on it, then present as a group what they learned.” Here’s the video:
- NPR’s Michel Martin is in Dallas today to tackle football ethics – and you’re invited. The special event, Offense or Defense?, takes place tonight at 7 at the Hoglund Foundation Theater at the Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas. NPR reports: Football has “become one of the most controversial [sports], and conversations around it now tackle much more than what happens ON the field. From concern over the long term health effects of the sport, to worries that its culture encourages violence off the field, who speaks for football?” Guests include Nate Jackson, former Denver Bronco and author of 'Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival From the Bottom of the Pile'; Melani Ismail, who was featured on VH1's Football Wives and is married to former Dallas Cowboys player Rocket Ismail; and Texas high school senior and star running back Nahshon Ellerbe, who plans to play football for Rice University next fall. Buy tickets here. Learn more here. Michel talked with KERA about the event.
- Gas well drilling was the focus of a heated meeting in Mansfield. WFAA-TV reports: “A permit renewal for a gas well site in Mansfield drew heavy opposition at a Monday night City Council meeting. Edge Resources is applying for a renewal permit on a drill site they operate along East Debbie Lane. There are two wells at the site now, but the permit could allow for more than 30 additional wells. … A partner with Edge told the audience the company ‘didn't take lightly’ their concerns, and said that they were committed to being a good neighbor. The city is currently reworking its drilling ordinance, thanks in part to an effort put together by a local grassroots group.”
- Black and Latino Students in Dallas high schools pass the Advanced Placement exams at the highest rate in the country. KERA’s Dianna Douglas reports a Dallas-based non-profit called the National Math and Science Initiative helps Dallas ISD with the AP effort. “NMSI offers Saturday study sessions, pays the hefty exam fees for students, gathers teachers together for professional development and even gives teachers better books or lesson plans if they need them. Gregg Fleisher, the NMSI Chief Academic Officer, is trying to get more students ready for jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—sometimes called STEM fields.”
- The woman who made podcasting into a must-listen medium is headed to North Texas. KERA’s Stella M. Chavez reports: “Sarah Koenig will be the keynote speaker at this summer’s Podcast Movement conference in Fort Worth. The conference [was launched] last year after a Kickstarter campaign raised nearly $32,000. The event drew about 600 people from around the world. This year, [the founder is] expecting more than double that. It brings together people just starting to experiment with podcasting to those who’ve launched their own programs that listeners can download online.”