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Ladybug invades school classrooms
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Brock Elliott School science teacher Blaine Hipkins accepts his “Ladybug” portable multimedia unit at a recent school board meeting as one of the Lumens Lesson Plan contest winners. - photo by Photo Contributed
The “Ladybug” could be the latest technological innovation to hit the classrooms.

Thus far, several teachers of the Manteca Unified School District received the portable multimedia visual presenter thanks to the Lesson Plan contest by Lumens.

The “Ladybug” offers six-time optical zoom and ultra-high resolution, delivering clear images along with crisp text.

Anne Alustiza, Blaine Hipkins and Robin Carmen-Bradshaw, winners of the lesson contest, were presented with “Ladybugs” for their classrooms at last Tuesday’s school board meeting by Matt Marks of Lumens and Bill Pizner of Troxell.

Casey Cavanaugh, as an honorable mention, will also receive the Lumens DC265 model.

“The lesson plans were wonderful to read,” Superintendent Jason Messer said.

The top three are published and currently available online on the district website,

Alustiza, a sixth-grade teacher at Neil Hafley School, for example, put together a lesson plan – incorporating the “Ladybug” – entitled “Wonderful Water!”

According to her objective, “students will be able to identify ways in which water becomes polluted and list behaviors that can reduce water pollution.”

Her water supply examples consisted of runoff, sewage, acid rain, illegal dumping, household pollutants and litter.

Hipkins, who teaches science at Brock Elliott, worked on a lesson plan entitled “Composting: The Making of Dirt.”

His plan included for each youngster in his class to bring a Ziploc bag of yard or food scraps.

“Students will understand the compost process,” Hipkins wrote in his objective. “Students will predict and evaluate information.”

He used the “Ladybug” to document stages of decay.

Hipkins added, “In the U.S. each person produces approximately 3.5 pounds of trash a day, in which 25 percent is food and yard waste.”

Carmen-Bradshaw, who is currently on maternity leave, did her Lumen-inspired lesson plan on energy conservation, putting students in position of learning to distinguish between renewable and non-renewable resources while reading an electric meter.
To reach reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail