Trends | New Tech Funk

This school has funk. The mission of A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School is to be “an outstanding school of choice where students are engaged in project-based learning that develops 21st-century skills supported by technology that prepares them for a competitive global society,” according to their own site. So what better way of coming through on that promise than to produce a feel-good viral video for YouTube? Five million views later, a fun-loving Theater Arts teacher and his group of spirited students have even stunned themselves — Bruno Mars himself is among those inspired by their production. Founded in Napa, California, the New Tech Network (of which this school is a part) began as a partnership between local high school and business leaders. The objective was to re-invent teaching and learning to ensure that all graduating students are truly prepared to meet the needs of a new, emerging economy. To date, the network has successfully supported transformation of 62 schools across the nation, including Maceo. Project-based learning (such as the production of such a video) plays a large role in their approach. The video was produced with the hard work and dedication of Director/Theatre Arts Teacher Scot Pankey and his classes with help of camera crew Bryan Urraca, Albert Robledo and Johan Cruz — accomplished in a single take. Edited and produced by Jonathan Vega AKA #TrippyJ, musical credits go to Mark Ronson – “Uptown Funk” features Bruno Mars. The video was recorded at A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School in Dallas, Texas. From their self-written YouTube description: “This is a great example of how a bunch of technology students let go of their fears, trusted their teacher and got down to Uptown Funk!”

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