My Quest To Teach

April 26, 2014



The voice and opinions of a STEAM educator and
HBCU instructor teaching Educational Technology.
My life, my mission, my ministry and my engagement
in my community.

The acronyms may seem strange and un-defining but the
implications are far reaching for students in Florida and
throughout the nation.

STEAM and STEM careers in aviation – “Red Tails” of WWII

STEM STEAM CSTEAM & STREAM are cross curricular,
multidisciplinary and hands-on methods to teach the skills
needed for students to be 21st century content creators
and agents of thought. The 2nd Annual Florida STEM &
Health Expo is an opportunity for students and families to
see the progression of learning that prepares students to
process critically and apply unique thinking abilities and
integrate higher order thinking skills.

Students in this instructional model are allowed and
encouraged to think out of the box and use their imaginations
along with scientific, engineering and mathematical skills
to solve problems. The solutions to problems, which are the
basis of engineering and science can be creative, dynamic
and even nerdy / geeky which allows for developmental originality.

Skills in STEM influence the presence of companies that integrate
technology in is climbing; the challenge is finding and employing
citizens that have the skills to be employed. The amount of
higher educational institutions and vocational schools are
important to train and provide the necessary professional
development to keep workers employed and ready to move to
new technologies. The challenge is to motivate and inspire
students to engage and study STEAM academic elements.
Students cannot afford to be scared to study sciences and
mathematics which set the foundation for learning nor resist
the efforts to improve reading and comprehension skills.

Cecil Commerce Center in Jacksonville,
Florida as an example of technical employment has shown
the direction of highly technical skills are important;
there are more than 2,500 jobs generated by the various
Cecil Commerce Center companies the majority require
technical skills not needed just five years ago.


Mentioned in the recent “State of Emergency Town Hall Meeting”
hosted by Crown Capital Group and the Florida New Majority,
an important issue of education and employment was discussed.
How can the citizens of this nation seek to improve their
lives and economic status if they are not properly trained in
current and growing technologies? How can African Americans
and Hispanics seek to gain economic and educational parity or
come close to equality if their children do not see education as
an investment in areas as STEAM – Science Technology
Engineering – Arts – Mathematics or STREAM that incorporates
reading and comprehension and even CSTEAM which has a focus
in computer sciences.

The panel of educators, business owners, those running for
political office, school board seats and attorneys, discussion ranged
on education, politics, criminal justice system, jobs and the
Jacksonville, Florida community that is growing and must address
racial, economic, lifestyle, political and educational challenges that
separate citizens and divide each element in the broader communities.
So important was this event and the community impact, present was
Bradford Hall
and Darryl Willie
both running for Duval County School Board seats. Having educational
officials present is important for them to be involved in community
events as this and make a presence to show their continued support
to and for the community.

In many communities nationally the combining force is the educational
investment that parents put into themselves and what they share
with their children. Careers of STEAM are re-shaping and re-defining
the stereotypes of cultures and genders.
The National Science Foundation data shows that women make up
46% of the workforce, only 24% of technical or STEM / STEAM jobs.
African Americans fair much less at 3% to 9% nationally in technical
or STEM / STEAM jobs. To make a difference in employment
African Americans must encourage youth to participate in STEM and
STEAM activities in and out of school. Parents have to emphasis
critical thinking, reading comprehension, and involved in schools
working towards their children’s educational success. Early childhood
education is vital, African American parents cannot just “drop” their
children at school they must expose and engage their children in
outside learning events.

Parents have to work with educational institutions from elementary
schools to high schools to make a solution to the problem of the lack of
students in STEAM STEM STREAM majors. Minority students must be
encouraged and have role models that make STEM careers exciting,
in-line with other careers like sports and entertainment. African American
students do not enter into STEM because of lack of confidence and
family encouragement and support in these areas. Too many African
American families do not see the value of STEM STEAM STREAM
and other careers so will have minimum value in future progression
in technical and technology careers.

“You have to have collaboration across the private sector, education,
the public sector and non-profits working together to solve problems
if you want the solution to be sustainable,” said Reginald Van Lee, a
senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C.
It takes a village with all to be involved.

The importance of STEM for minorities entering into STEM careers
will become increasingly important as the workforce
becomes more diverse and job growth in STEM-related fields
continues to outpace the job growth in other sectors. In the next
decade STEM careers will outgrow other careers. Minorities need
to be involved or they will be left behind as additional technology
is integrated into careers. African Americans will miss out because
this country is going to India, Africa and other overseas nations to
find employees. Our way of life is impacted by the letters
that too many still do not understand, stated by Freeman A. Hrabowski,
president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, also chairs
President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational
Excellence for African Americans. “If you’re going to be really good
at STEM you have to be really good at the other subjects, too.”
“The fact is that whether we’re talking about whether someone lives
or dies, whether we’re talking about whether we can find a cure for
cancer, whether we’re talking about whether we can protect our country,
whether we’re talking about what do with the environment and global
warming even when we’re talking about our quality of life everyday
there is some connection to what we call ‘STEM,’”

“Education is an investment for the future that influences social
standings, economic empowerment, political influence and even
generational well-being. Careers in STEM STEAM STREAM and
CSTEAM are changing our country.” William Jackson
Engineering and Technology Teacher

The push for elements of STEAM have been ongoing for years,
the value is now present and more important because of the
economic influence growing from these areas. Higher education,
vocational education and technical education are important for
all children. As stated by NPR ‘04/14 careers for elementary
children have not even been created yet.

Parents the future is now, where will your child be able to grow
and prosper or will they rely on governmental handouts, EBT
reliance and social welfare’s? Parents are accountable and
responsible just as educators, law enforcement and politicians are.

the 2nd Annual Florida STEM & Health Expo hosted by River City Science Academy.
Saturday, May 17th 2014 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
7565 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32216-3003
(River City Science Academy Campus)
Sel Buyuksarac, MBA
Chief of Public Relations & Community Outreach
Founder/ Charter President
River City Science Academy
(904) 859-1133



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