Each year, the New Tech Network issues the Best in Network Award to recognize projects across the network that create rich learning experiences for students and that can challenge and inspire other schools in the network. Winning projects exemplify the goal of successfully combining active exploration, application, authenticity and academic rigor.

The Instruments of Hope project was completed during the 2018-19 school year to connect the playing of musical instruments and the survival or death of Jewish musicians during the Nazis’ persecutions (Holocaust era) with the impact of music on an individual’s life (including ourselves). New Tech Academy partnered with The Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and “Violins of Hope” author Dr. James Grymes. Students researched the lives of Jews during the Nazi reign and created and displayed art pieces expressing the effect of music on the lives of those affected by the Holocaust. The art pieces were created using community-donated musical instruments. Students also created a documentary showcasing the project and developed an understanding of how musical abilities saved many targeted groups from certain death and persecution. Students also connected the idea of music as a saving force with how music affects our current world.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.

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