The Dewitt Creativity Group is a united effort on behalf of the creatively-minded students at DHS to ensure continued innovation and expression in all forms.

DCG Members to Travel to Palau

Please read the following letter by DHS student and DCG member Geoffry Croley regarding his trip to Palau with the Stockbridge Underwater Robotics Team. Geoffry and fellow student Brad Grost will film the efforts of the Stockbridge Underwater Robotics Team to find downed WWII planes off the coast of Palau for a feature length documentary. Funds (http://wwww.gofundme.com/DeWitt-Film-Crew) are needed to help make this trip a reality. Please help support Geoffry and Brad to have an unforgettable learning and life experience


This spring I have been offered a trip of a lifetime along with my friend Brad Grost, another DeWitt student filmmaker. We have been approached to serve as a student film crew for an amazing trip to Palau where a high school underwater robotics team will search for down planes form WWII. We will travel out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean with members of Stockbridge's Advanced Underwater Robotics Team on March 21st through April 3rd to assist in the BentProp Project 2013 "Expedition Palau." This unique collaborative effort between two high schools is the direct result of a newly formed group called (CASIN) the Capital Area Schools of Innovation Network. The DeWitt Creativity Group (http://dewittcreativitygroup.org) believes in uniting districts to better serve the interests and talents of students while working together in a noncompetitive way. DeWitt, Stockbridge, and Williamston, among others have shown great interest in this idea and agree that by utilizing strengths and working together schools can begin to provide unique learning opportunities for students. With stories like this we can change the region and potentially even help to change the way schools and the state think about education.

I am grateful to have this opportunity and very excited to learn not only more about the culture aspects affiliated with the trip but also about the creative and collaborative efforts of those talented and dedicated individuals involved with the trip. Last year the team presented their findings and shared their experiences at numerous universities including MIT and Michigan State as well as NASA. They also made numerous appearances throughout the state. This trip will no doubt provide me with a great chance to learn while I am there but upon returning lead to other speaking engagements, learning opportunities, and entrepreneurial efforts in the areas of filmmaking. I am excited to be part of this team and look forward to being part of their presentation at this year's Michigan Creative Educators Summit at the world class Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

Recently we have received news that it looks like their will be a freelance writer who is writing a story for "Popular Science" magazine which is being coordinated by GoPro. GoPro just sent two new Hero3 "Black Edition" Cameras to be used on the trip. The following is a portion of a letter that was sent to the Discovery Channel by Bob Richards who is overseeing the trip:

While in Palau we will have two high school videographers with us for the entire trip. They are students from a neighboring school district. Their role on the trip is to document our experiences in Palau and prepare 3 - 20 minute short documentaries about different aspects of our trip. Their names are Geoffry Croley and Brad Grost.

There may be an opportunity to collaborate here also. I'm sure they would love to work with you and your team as well. They may be able to augment your team and will be able to capture film before your team arrives and after they leave.

We will also capture video from our ROV and Towed Camera system as well as GoPro's mounted on our equipment and with divers in the water. I have one student who is a dedicated photographer. She will be documenting the trip in stills.

We will be collecting all the photographs and video from our sources on the expedition and storing it electronically on separate external hard drives for future use.

Below I have included an overview of the trip along with an opportunity for you to consider regarding helping us reach our financial goal to fund the trip.


We will be flying from Detroit to Tokyo, then into the Micronesian country of Palau, which consists of various islands; (together they are roughly the size of San Diego). On six of the days we will be seven miles off the coast where students will send their robots to the bottom of the ocean, in search of planes that were shot down in WWII. Last year, the team was lucky enough to locate a serial number on one of the planes and were able to track down the former pilot who was 91 years old and still living in Florida.

This work has been featured in the news at the local, state, and national level. The team is now working with the University of Michigan and was recently featured on National Public Radio. There is a chance CBS News and the Discovery channel will be following this story as well. Brad and I were invited to go on this adventure as student film makers to capture the story and events that unfold, and create a documentary film of the accounts of the trip and findings. While there, we will be working 10 - 12 hour days filming and interviewing people capturing the trip as it unfolds. We will get a chance to experience the local culture, visit a school, as well as other popular tourism spots that are very unique to the country. We will also meet with the President of Palau and the U.S. Ambassador. They have shown an interest in this project and plan on supporting these efforts while bringing new opportunities to the students of Palau.

Although Stockbridge has agreed to pay our lodging fee and other additional small costs, we are responsible for our round trip airfare which runs $2,100 per ticket. In addition, we are hoping to purchase a laptop to capture and edit footage as well as a couple of microphones for interview purposes. Currently, we are in need of approximately $6,000 to fund our trip and offset some of the equipment expenses. The DeWitt Creativity Group, and supporters of the group, along with DeWitt Public Schools, the DeWitt Foundation, and other local businesses are working to help sponsor this unique learning opportunity. We would greatly appreciate any available funding you may be able to provide in helping us reach our goal. Please understand any amount would be useful. No donation is too small.

**Please feel free to forward this note to others you believe might be interested in supporting unique project -based educational initiatives in STEM, filmmaking, military history, or international outreach programs.

The link to the site for donations is below.


With much appreciation,

Geoffry Croley