Pelion High School competing for $60K in national contest - - Columbia, South Carolina

Pelion High School competing for $60K in national contest

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Pelion High School is trying to beat out more than 100 other schools nationwide for the chance to win $60,000 in an educational contest.

The Follett Corporation asked schools across the country to make videos that showcased how they take learning beyond four walls. The Pelion Panthers decided to highlight their new Learning Commons. "We have this new initiative changing [our library] from a Media Center to a Learning Commons, and we really wanted to showcase those changes we were making this year through that video," said Nathan Sloane, the broadcast teacher at Pelion High School.

The student-produced video gives viewers an inside look at the Learning Commons which students say is really a 21st century library. "It's not a ‘Shhh, be quiet' library, you know when you come in and everyone's like ‘Shhh,'" said Destiny Thompson, a junior broadcast student who helped produce the video. "It's a ‘Hey! How are you? Good morning!'" added Destiny.

Destiny was one of three students who led the project which detailed the three sections of their Learning Commons including the Open Commons, the Experimental Learning Center and the Virtual Commons.

Students say they spent weeks gathering video of their friends to show how the three sections of their Learning Commons transform their education.

Students say they would do all of the work all over again for the chance to be chosen as one of two grand prize winners who will get a 60,000 dollar grant from the Follett Corporation. "We have some eBooks, but if we win that grant we will have a lot of eBooks," said Destiny.

"We need so much support from the community," said Mr. Sloane. "We're competing with huge schools all over the country, but we have a video that's competitive and we have a chance of pulling this thing out."

Voting lasts until March 18th and each person can only cast one vote for their favorite video each day. To vote for Pelion High School visit:

There are only three schools entered in the Follett Challenge from South Carolina, and only two from the Midlands. It turns out that the other Midlands school caught our eye last November as a Cool School. Doby's Mill Elementary submitted their International Digital Pen Pal project for a chance to win the Follett Challenge.  


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