Clark Magnet Expo connects technology, art and exercise

Last Saturday, the Clark Magnet High School Expo invited parents and potential students to walk the campus, meet teachers and discover all the school has to offer.

Clark is a technology-driven magnet school that provides students an alternative to Crescenta Valley, Hoover and Glendale high schools. Clark’s population is much less than other GUSD high schools. This year’s enrollment is 1,056 students, compared to more than 3,000 at CV High School.

The school has a strong robotics team and several science classes, including a marine biology course. Applied technology can be found in every aspect of academic and physical education courses.

Rosemont Middle School seventh grader Sarah Magee found out that physical education at Clark is slightly different than at most schools.

“I thought it was cool,” Sarah said as she finished her bike/quiz.

“These are our Smart Bikes, part of a circuit of 10 bikes,” explained P.E. teacher Judy Thomsen. The stationary bicycles were lined up along a wall and connected to a laptop computer. As students pedal, they are also integrated with a computer program that tests them on a variety of subjects, including calculus.

“Our students created the PowerPoint programs and our advanced placement students correct [the tests],” Thomsen said. “Two students at a time compete while they are exercising.”

The Jeopardy-like style pits one student against another, exercising not only their minds but their bodies. “You know, they say a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” said P.E. teacher Thomsen. “Well, so is the other 90% of your body.”

Though known as a technology school, Clark also provides enrichment programs such as art and digital animation classes.

“I’m interested in art,” said Sarah. She said that sculpting was one of her favorite fields of art and she was impressed by what she saw at the school.

In art teacher Judith Craemer’s class, parents and students walked around the makeshift studio. Every art medium could be seen, from sculpture to pencil drawings.

Craemer showed pencil drawings of onions that were so true to life that a student couldn’t believe it was not done by a computer. “The student came in here and looked at these drawings and said it was done on the computer,” Craemer said. “[But] these are hand-drawn.”

Craemer pointed out a series of movie posters created by the art students where they uniquely interpreted the films, placing their own twist on classic themes like “Fahrenheit 451.”

“We do the full gamut here,” she said.

Eighth graders who are interested in Clark must fill out an application for acceptance. The students are then chosen through a lottery system. The deadline for applying for the school is today, Feb. 29. For information, call Clark at (818) 248-8324 or the district office at (818) 241-3111.

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