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Cathy McQuoneCathy McQuone,
Florida State University School
Tallahassee, FL
(Contact Cathy)

Cathy McQuone has 35 years of experience as a teacher and tutor in Math, Science and Computer Programming. She graduated from Duquesne University with a B.S. in Ed and received a teaching certificate in Mathematics and Physics. In 1984, she received a Masters Degree in Computer Education when professors were still trying to figure out what teachers should know about and do with computers. She learned on Apple IIe’s and TRS-80’s with tape drives– the dark ages of technology.

Utilizing her experience with her own 5 children and students, she quickly realized how important computers could be in children’s learning IF USED PROPERLY AND EFFECTIVELY.

In 1983, she created an Electronic Bulletin Board System (BBS) for Children in Cleveland, Ohio. Her computer was on all the time waiting for a child to log on. Children could post messages to each other. Teachers were on hand to answer questions the children might ask. Cathy’s children participated as well. When the floppy drive would whir indicating that there was an incoming call, they would immediately go to the computer to see who was calling in. They could ask the caller if he/she wanted to go into CHAT mode. This occurred often. The family actually had to create a “No BBS during dinner rule” because they really enjoyed getting to know other children in this fashion. When the family moved to Tallahassee, Florida, she created the Rickards High School Bulletin Board, which exchanged messages with the children in Cleveland each evening. By the end of that year, messages were being exchanged among students in 160 cities in over 5 countries – very unique for 1989. For this project, Cathy won the Florida Computer Teacher of the Year sponsored by IBM and Classroom Computer Learning Magazine in 1989 and was one of the 12 national finalists. The following year she was asked to share this project in Brussels, Belgium at the International Conference for Computers in Education.  

In 1994, she organized the first school-to-school videoconference in Leon County Schools. Both the fifth grade students at DeSoto Elementary School and ninth grade students were studying the scientific aspects of the Net Ban Amendments that would be part of the November election. The fifth graders asked questions of the ninth graders over the videoconference.

In 1998, Cathy was awarded a Ground Weather Station that downloads visible and infrared satellite weather images from polar orbiting satellites from Florida Explores, Florida State University Meteorology Department Satellite images of local hurricanes can be found on her Weather Website.

Since then her experiences include: being a web-master, creating on-line courses, and demonstrating leadership in mathematics, science and technology. In 1999, she wrote curriculum for the Weather and Climate Teachers Guide Hurricane Houses Overview, Hands on Activities , Hurricane Houses  Evaluation Form for Live from the Storm, and designed classroom materials. Her own students created Hurricane Houses as a culmination of the Weather unit. For this Cathy won, in June 1998, the Tallahassee Red Cross certificate for disaster preparedness with high school science students. Students also conducted a Solar Eclipse Project, and had fun Building Classroom Roller Coasters.

From 1996 until now, she has maintained websites for Integrated Science, Astronomy, and now programming classes in SQL and Java.

Her speaking engagements include local, state and international conferences.  Florida Educational Technology Conference sessions include: “Building Bridges and Breaking Down Barriers Through Telecommunications” 1989, “The Science Connection – From Supercomputer to PC: A Modern Approach to Teaching Science” 1992, “Using the Internet in the Science Classroom” 1994, and “Data Modeling, SQL, Java and a unique business-education partnership: The Oracle Internet Academy at Florida State University School” 2002.

From 2000 – 2002, she was the New Millennium High Schools Project Director at Florida State University School (FSUS).

In 2002, she won the opportunity with FSUS to receive instruction directly from the Oracle Corporation and to host an Oracle Internet Academy at her school. Courses include: Data Modeling, SQL database programming, and Java programming. After 2 summers of training, she has attained Novice Instructor status in both areas and has passed the Introduction to Oracle 9i SQL Certification exam. In February, her students placed in the top six winners of an International Data Modeling Competition and received local media recognition.

In 2003, she enhanced the learning of her 7th and 8th grade students by providing meaningful and relevant technology projects including on-line collaboration and telecommunication opportunities. The Oracle Internet Academy provided her juniors and seniors with highly academic computer programming skills with a focus on skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.

From 2003 to the present, she teaches Earth/space Science. 

In May of 2004, she and her students participated in Megaconference Jr. Using multipoint videoconferencing equipment and internet2 technology, over 100 schools from 11 different countries ‘taught’ and ‘learned’ in real-time from 7 am to 7 pm EST. Her students shared the "Hurricane in a Classroom" activity. She is now on the planning committee for Megaconference Jr 2005

Recently, Cathy collaborated with Professor Paul Ruscher at Florida State University Meteorology Department to establish the Florida High Real-Time Weather Station at her school. In addition, she has begun the Florida High K-12 Weather club affiliated with the American Meteorological Society, one of the first in the country.

In January 2005, she presented at the Florida Educational Technology conference, 'Florida State University School Goes Global with Megaconference Jr.'

As a Teacher-Editor for Midlink Magazine, she sponsors these projects:

  • Rebuilding a Nation’s Spirit”  will chronicle the Day of Remembrance being held at Florida State University School in Tallahassee, Florida on Sept. 11, 2002. Teachers who wish to share their school’s events are encouraged to participate.
  •  Java for the Teacher: A collection of Java computer programs specifically designed by junior and senior high school students to demonstrate classroom content. Over the course of the year, students will write computer programs to display topics that will help the teacher teach. For example,
    • Algebra II – Display the Fibonacci Sequence up to the sum of 10,000
    • Physics: Create a 3 column Table of Horizontal and Vertical Distances of a Projectile tossed at 0, 1, 2, … 90 degrees.  
  • Hurricane in a Classroom Announcing an exciting science project to teach your students about
    hurricanes and hurricane preparedness: Hurricane in a Classroom.
    Recently, very destructive hurricanes, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan hit the coast of Florida and damaged a significant number of homes. Building homes that can better withstand the winds from hurricanes will be a consideration in all future housing construction. Many people will be building homes on the Florida Atlantic or Gulf Coast. Students can learn NOW how to build and protect homes from hurricane winds. Florida State University Schools Earth/Space students are doing just that!
    What did the students get when they combined a leaf blower, construction
    paper, straws and tape? A Hurricane in our Classroom
  • Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Scientifically speaking The nature of science and scientific inquiry is a fundamental core of Earth/Space Science classes at Florida State University School (FSUS). This fall students began independent science inquiry. Share samples of student's scientific process. You are invited to join us in sharing student inquiry learning.
  • “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink" This quote from the Ancient Mariner by the English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the early 1800’s exemplifies the concern that water can be abundant but unusable. Florida has many beautiful ponds, lakes and rivers. Knowing if they are safe for plant and animal live is a goal for Florida State University School Earth/Space science students in Tallahassee, FL. This fall the students investigated the water quality of a local pond. Here are their stories…………… Teachers are invited to share your water quality projects.

Directions for creating and sending programs are on the website.

  She lives up to her signature title:

Touching the World

With a Passion for Learning

 Building Bridges and Breaking Down Barriers on the Internet

Learning changes forever the way you look at the world.

Being in touch with the world can change forever the way you look at learning.