Signature Connections

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The Signature Program integrates education with real-world relevancy by connecting the field of Global Communications and Public Affairs with other fields. Read below to find out how GCPA Signature students found cross-curricular connections during their trip to the United Kingdom!


South River High School: Global Communications and Public Affairs

  • Language: Although English is the dominant language in the UK as it is in America, the dialect spoken in the UK is different in surprising ways! For example, when getting in line for train tickets or to buy food, students did not look for a sign that said “Line starts here;” rather, students looked for the “Queue this way” sign. Many road signs were different as well! Signs that would say “Yield” in America say “Give Way” in the UK. Students were attentive to linguistic differences in order to learn how to communicate with the global audience.

Annapolis High School: Change Engineering

  • Wind Power: As the UK’s energy demands change, so too must their energy engineering. In train stations and store fronts, students saw advertisements heralding the progress that renewable wind energy has made. One billboard states that the capacity of wind energy “is set to double by 2020, supporting a local supply chain, creating jobs, and helping to regenerate coastal communities.” In the UK, change engineering seems to be ushered in by renewable wind energy technology.

Arundel High School: Community Development and Global Citizenship

  • Building the Bristol Community: Through an insightful meeting with Bristol Member of Parliament Karin Smyth, the students learned how Bristol has grappled with acceptance of diversity in the past and continues to stride towards an inclusive future. The students learned that Bristol once played a large role in the slave trade, leading to racial tensions within the community. Additionally, Ms. Smyth reflected on her own experience growing up in England as the daughter of Irish immigrants. Today, Ms. Smyth promotes an educational system that reflects Bristol’s development as a multicultural community and promotes acceptance.

Broadneck High School: Environmental Literacy

  • Rural Farming Traditions: Students stayed at Kiplin Hall, a 15th centuy Jacobean mansion surrounded by farmland. Upon entering and exiting the Kiplin Hall estate, students often saw some of the practices of small-scale family farmers, including crop cultivation and the grazing of livestock. These farms help prevent the area from experiencing overdevelopment and maintain the land’s environmental integrity.

Chesapeake High School: Information Management

  • Safe Data Practices: Because many of the students did not have international phone plans, students often relied on local wifi services. When travelling on the train or to cities outside of Kiplin Hall, students sometimes came across public wifi services that they could use. Students were taught about the precautions they should take before connecting to public wifi stations in order to manage their data and protect the privacy of their information.

Glen Burnie High School: Public Service

  • Uplifting the York Community: One of the most inspirational experiences for the students was meeting the leaders of the Tang Hall SMART Program, an educational program that helps troubled teens by getting them off the streets and interested in creativity and musical expression. One teacher shared his story of growing up in York and going down the wrong path until SMART gave him the opportunity and support he needed to make a change in his life. The vision of SMART and its impact on the community is a touching example of dedication to public service.

Meade High School: Homeland Security

  • Airport Security: In the current era of global travel, nations around the world are taking measures to improve homeland security by improving security at airports. Students witnessed first hand the security practices instituted at airports and at customs, and learned how to travel safely and efficiently. This trip gave one student the opportunity to travel by airplane and leave the country for the first time, so it was vital that the students understand how to minimize risk in an airport.

North County High School: International Trade, Transportation, and Tourism (IT3)

  • Liverpool As an International Port: At the Global City exhibit at the Liverpool Museum, students learned about Liverpool’s transformation into a global shipping hub at the heart of the British Empire. Ships from Latin America, Africa, and Asia all brought trade goods to Liverpool’s harbor. Besides maritime travel, Liverpool also developed an extensive system of rail transportation. In 1893, the Liverpool Overhead Railway was built, using electricity rather than steam. The use of electricity allowed for the installation of a signalling system which stopped trains before collisions occurred, enabling safer trade, transportation, and tourism.

Northeast High School: Human Performance

  • Music and the Arts: The kind and supportive teachers of the Tang Hall SMART Program helped students relax and express themselves through several musical exercises. In one activity, students learned how to play guitar chords and put together their own melodies. As students let go of their inhibitions, some students sang or rapped while others played guitar or invented percussion beats. The experience was fun and helped every student feel accepted for their creativity in human performance.

Old Mill High School: International Economics and Finance

  • International Currencies: Money management was an important skill that students learned while travelling in England. Each student was responsible for exchanging their dollars for English pounds, and they learned the roll that inflation and economics have on the value of global currencies.

Severna Park High School: Business, Innovation, and Leadership

  • A City for the Future: In a personable Q&A session with Karin Smyth, a Member of Parliament representative of Bristol, students learned about Bristol’s continuing transformation into a city that champions high-tech business and innovation. In the past, Bristol developed as an industrial city, and it recently suffered economic decline due to the loss of manufacturing jobs. Ms. Smyth spearheads the city’s efforts to attract financial firms and other businesses to the city in order to bring back long-term jobs to Bristol. Through the leadership of representatives such as Ms. Smyth, Bristol will once again become a hub for business and innovation.

Southern High School: Design–Preservation and Innovation

  • A New Twist on a Historical Hallmark: The English city of Bath was founded by druids who discovered the local hot springs and believed that they possessed healing properties. The Romans continued to use Bath’s hot springs with the construction of a bathhouse that still stands today. On a tour of Bath, students saw the traditional Roman bathhouse as well as a completely modern bathhouse being constructed just a few blocks away. This bathhouse, which will be more functional than the Roman bathhouse, will bring increased tourism to the area. The community of Bath continues to develop as companies introduce innovative new ways of utilizing the city’s iconic hot springs.
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Updated: May 1, 2016 — 10:40 pm
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