Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gold Girl Scout Spotlight

         This month's featured Gold Girl Scout is Kavya Ramamoorthy who created a                          documentary on Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. Congratulations                on becoming a Gold Girl Scout, Kavya!

When I was in 8th grade I researched a federal law called Title IX for a Nation History competition. Like many other students today, I did not even know that a law like Title IX existed. By learning about this law and the enormous impact it had on society, my appreciation for the rights and opportunities that I have been given has increased. I want to be an advocate for the law and for the power that it gives students. I also want to encourage girls to pursue higher education in any area, be it in STEM, Liberal Arts or any field of their choosing and to dream big. Today, thanks to laws like Title IX, educational opportunities in our country are available equally to boys and girls. This is not the case in many other countries around the world.

For my Gold Award Project, I created a ten minute documentary on Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 to show how this law has impacted higher education in America. I collaborated with Social Studies teachers at Round Rock ISD to ensure that the documentary covers the TEKS for Title IX and to ensure that the documentary can be used as a supplemental lesson by teachers in the district. I researched Title IX, interviewed experts, used information from my project on Title IX created for the National History Day competition, and gathered information to present. After gathering the information, pictures and video clips, I worked with the technical staff at RRISD to piece together my documentary. My sponsor, Ms. Tina Melcher, who is the lead Social Studies Curriculum Specialist at RRISD, reviewed my status every step of the way. After I had a complete draft version of the video, I sent it for review to various people including Ms. Nita Hornbeck at the American Association of University Women (AAUW); Mr. Brown with RRISD Tech support; and Ms. Melcher, my sponsor. Each of these people helped check the documentary for historical accuracy and clarity. Ms. Melcher helped me in identifying a Social Studies teacher, Mr. Bradley, who did a test run of the documentary with other Social Studies teachers at Westwood High School. This confirmed that he and other teachers will be able to use my documentary in their classrooms. After gathering all the feedback, I made the final revisions to the documentary before submitting it to the school district for them to distribute to teachers district-wide.

From my project, I hope that students will gain awareness about the opportunities they have in higher education today. The documentary can also be used in presentations done by RRISD to promote higher education.

I gained confidence in myself by doing this project. By talking to many influential adults, I learned not to be shy in asking for help. I even got a response from Dr. Bernice Sandler, the Godmother of Title IX. People are willing to help if you ask them. Collaborating with others opens doors to lots of new opportunities. I gained valuable networking skills in this project and have built relationships with organizations like the AAUW.

By teaching about the history of Title IX, I hope to motivate other students to appreciate their opportunities and to empower them to make use of the educational resources that are available today. I also want to show them that the government in our country values education for all.

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