Chesapeake High School
Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland
Justin Patterson is the interactive media production (IMP) instructor and technology education department chair for Chesapeake High School in Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland.
Mr. Patterson has a unique way of breaking down barriers and building community through his IMP classes, according to his nominator. He leads students in developing authentic simulated environments to tackle real-world problems, affording them opportunities to develop critical skills like failure and perseverance.
Currently, students are creating a virtual Fort McHenry environment, along with customized simulations that have been designed for science and business teachers. This collaboration began with conversations around the school progress plan and teacher goals conferences. Teachers were identifying traditionally tough concepts for students to master. Having tried several new pedagogical approaches and tweaked lesson plans for years, Mr. Patterson and his IMP students leveraged their creativity to offer a new way of learning – games. By establishing a classroom culture rooted in a growth mindset and engaging students in authentic tasks tied to the Chesapeake community as a whole, students are filled with pride as they see their work being used schoolwide. He is excited to on-board social studies, music tech, and math teachers later this year.
For Mr. Patterson and his IMP students, community does not end within the schoolhouse walls. Understanding the power that magnet school options provide for students and families, another project his magnet students are committed to is designing a game to allow prospective students and families to learn about the magnet academies at Chesapeake High School. He has taught these students to function as a team to produce games that align with customer needs. This student-led team recently video chatted with 8th graders from a nearby middle school to examine their gaming preferences and obtain feedback. Mr. Patterson intentionally modeled how to ask powerful questions and accept feedback with grace, using that information to drive innovation, rather than disappointment.
Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.