My Quest To Teach

February 23, 2017

What is STEM and Why African Parents Should Care in 2017

What is STEM and
Why African Parents
Should Care in 2017
William Jackson, M.Ed.
#MyQuestToTeach @wmjackson

When Education Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh
expressed concerns over the low grades
students had in science and math in
Ghana this raised increased awareness for African
parents that their children may not be prepared
for many careers that require science and math
skills. GhanaWeb General News 19/Feb/17

Dr. Prempeh understands how critical these subjects
are for the nation’s development and ability to
compete on a continental level. Citing the West African
Examination Council (WAEC) report the last several
years there is continued failure in the mathematics
and science areas.

There is great change on the continent of Africa,
the incorporation of technology in education and
business and in homes is changing how people
communicate on the African continent. The
engagement of educational initiatives that will
train children for the future creating a transformative
paradigm shift in how education is prepared for
more students as the national infrastructure
is updated.
African children should be preparing for developing
careers in STEAM to solve complex problems that
will challenge the ability to function in a
technology environment.

Better educational opportunities build the
intellectual abilities of youth, teens and young
adults dreaming of being entrepreneurs, building
businesses, involved in commerce and high tech
industries. Training is paramount and vital so
STEAM and STEM initiatives are being provided by
the growth and incorporation of academic courses
being taught in schools.

Parents must know the difference between
These are the infusion of computers, science,
technology, reading, engineering, arts, math
and in some cases medicine.
“The black man in Africa had mastered the arts
and sciences. He knew the course of the stars in
the universe before the man up in Europe
knew that the earth wasn’t flat.” Malcolm X

The mission is to engage the whole child and foster
higher order thinking and critical thinking skills
in all areas,” defined by STE[+a]M. The changing
thinking of building African minds is that STEM
creates core values that embraces diversity in
learning and understanding that all
learning is connected and transferable.

The blending of STEM skills requires students to
engage in creative application, critical and higher
order thinking that supports collaborative and
cooperative learning. Learning that challenges
thinking, bringing about success that is
transferable in advanced areas of application
in society. Many careers are now influenced by
STEM curriculum’s that help determine the paths
for students and their choice of careers.

As an Educational Technology, Social Media and
STEM instructor at Edward Waters College,
educators, artists, business people and scientists
recognize the importance of blending the arts and
sciences believing that this can lead to richer
student learning.

STEAM is complimentary with 21st century artistic,
scientific and technological skills. There is much more
than just teacher centered instruction, the student
must be the center of learning and involve the “4 Cs”:
Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and

So important are these that foreign nations that come
to Africa to assist are using similar instructional
parameters taught in their nations and transferring
to Africa.
The issue is that African students are playing catch-up
because they are missing critical components. As the
infrastructure is upgraded or built students at a
rapid pace will be the educational, technical, commercial
and commerce leaders it needs to take African nations
into the 21st and 22nd centuries as a leaders and visionaries.

“I believe it is an important developmental tool inasmuch
as it also an issue of social justice that people of this country
no matter their circumstances can have access to good
schooling. It is important that we develop the “human capital”
of our country. The policies that we have will make it possible.”
President Akufo-Addo of Ghana
Matthew Opoku Prempeh is Minister designate for Education

These sentiments can be shared with many African nations
working to improve educational access from early childhood
to higher education and even vocational education.
It is important for the future of Africa when Africans can
invest and re-invest in their own nations, on their own
continent than waiting on others that do not have the same
passion for the continent and do not have the same wish
for cultural and national stability and pride.

About STEM and STEAM
Africa’s Future Depends on STEM
STEM Education as a Solution to Youth Unemployment

February 20, 2017



William Jackson, parent, educator, blogger
#MyQuestToTeach @wmjackson

Since the inception of the TEDTALKS and the
budding TEDx and even the birthing of TIGER TALKS
with Edward Waters College, there have been dynamic,
inspiring, funny, intellectual and emotional discussions
about every aspect of human life. The sharing of stories
has created an intellectual feeding frenzy of information,
facts, statistics, data, ideas and opinions that are shared.

The TEDxFSCJ held in Jacksonville, Florida is a
wonderful example of the spirit of storytelling and
exchange of information. The continuous process
that has been conducted since human existence of
sharing information through oral communication
or “storytelling.” FSCJ TEDx is an awesome example
of community collaboration and the celebration of
diversity that makes Jacksonville and rising global

There is no topic that is taboo (to the best of my
understanding), the exchanges are respectful and
sprinkled with just enough gusto, spunk to sassiness
and classiness to keep those in attendance guessing
what direction the speaker will go in and intrigued
as the dialogue changes with the emotional
attachments to the personal stories being told.

The infusion of culture, gender, lifestyle, religious
and community connections helps in the sharing of
knowledge in a relational way that people connect
and bond.

The speakers open their hearts, their minds and
even their essence of spiritual substance in an
attempt not to change minds, but to build a
relationship that creates a possible change in
behaviors and actions to improve the human
exchanges that sometimes makes us wonder
how we can all be human beings and treat each
other with the disrespect and violence that we
see in news media with wars, discrimination,
racism, and bias. The other side can be seen the
compassion, love, respect, trust and overcoming
of misconceptions that keep people separated.

We question where is our compassion, empathy,
contentedness and respect for cultural understanding,
tolerance and acceptance. This country can be
described as a “salad” of cultural diversity, a “gumbo”
of simmered and spiced flavors of human complexity
and simplicity. TEDx TEDTALKS and TIGER TALKS
allows for communication and encourages open

TEDxFSCJ  can be found at
and the Team can be found here.

HBCU’s like Edward Waters College are involving their
students in “talks” similar to TEDx expose their students
to  formal speaking opportunities that prepare them for
careers where they will have to speak and prepare
them for opportunities of dialogue and intellectual
sharing and collaboration.

Each semester Professor Jackson an accomplished
speaker, national and international blogger and
instructor at Edward Waters College requires
his students to speak about what they are passionate
about, what they care about and their experiences as
a project in the Educational and Social Media class.
As stated by Professor Jackson, “every Tiger has a story
that needs to be told.” Emma Kent of Library Services
provides her expertise as a master librarian and
researcher in helping to prepare the students for each
discussion. “Team work makes the dream word.”

TIGER TALKS Experience developed by William Jackson,
guides EWC students to improve their writing through
blogging on WordPress platform and encourages students
to attend conferences, even paying for their travel.
HBCU students sometimes lack the professional
experiences so any assistance financial,
advice and mentoring is appreciated.

Exposure and Application allow HBCU students to
build skills to help them to be competitive in a global
economy and builds positive digital footprints when
incorporating technology.
Community invitations are extended to join TEDxFSCJ
and the Tiger Talks Experiences at each school are
shared on their web sites.
Wonderful collaborations by FSCJ and Edward Waters
College have allowed students from EWC and even
DCPS – Duval County Public Schools to participate.
Sharing their experiences and talents in education
and technology.
Follow TED on Twitter at
or on Facebook at
Educational Technology at Edward Waters College


February 18, 2017

The Hidden Magic In Children of Color

Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 6:00 am





The Hidden Magic
In Children of Color

by William Jackson,
Blogger and Professor
Breyonna Fox, Intern
with My Quest To Teach
Inspired by the movie Hidden Figures and the book
by Margot Lee Shetterly
Picture accompanying is of Taylor Richardson,
Asya Fox, Breyonna Fox, Alandra Hill




How many girls of color are super
smart in mathematics,
how many want to be engineers,
how many girls of color
want to be doctors and lawyers,
scientists and pilots?

How many want to be veterinarians and writers like
Breyonna Fox a sophomore attending High School in
Jacksonville, Florida, she is interning with My Quest
To Teach writing blogs that are read nationally.

Taylor Richardson of Bolles Middle School, her dreams to be an
astronaut traveling to Mars and exploring the Red Planet, there
are more girls that want to follow her and increase their reading
literacy. How many want to be like Angie Nixon’s daughter Natalie
creating a national following with
“The Adventures of a Moxie McGriff”







How many boys of color love to read and how many enjoy building
with Legos and other materials that could make them the next
architects and designers of our national infrastructure for roads and
buildings. Young men like Elisha Taylor an 8th grade students that
loves robotics, reading and has spoken at conferences;
TEDxFSCJ and attending
WordCamps and EdCamps in Florida
Young men such as Jon Gregory of Edward Waters College studying
to be an elementary education teacher working with TEAM UP in
Jacksonville, Florida. He has spoken at EdCamp NASBE and
attended WordPress and WordCamp events. One of the first to
speak at the Edward Waters “TIGER TALKS Experience.”






Each of these dynamic and success driven visionaries are embracing
their talents as smart creatives and innovators for the future. How
many boys and girls of color will be able to design future space ships
that will take astronauts beyond Mars and to the stars? These are
dreams that many do have. There is Hidden Magic in children of
color and culture that needs to be cultivated and encouraged.

The movie Hidden Figures has sparked a renewed interest in the
need for girls and women to enter into #STEM careers, it is a call
for boys and men also to get involved in #STEM and #STEAM that
allows the imagination to know no limitations. Girls and women
shatter glass ceilings, boys and men demolishing walls that keep
them out of innovative and historic careers with tech.

There was a time as seen in the movie Hidden Figures where Black
girls and boys were honored as scholars and intellectuals, what
has happened in the 21st century?

There are too many
that are scared to
read books in public,
too many being

bullied because they love math
and science.
The question WHY is a question
that needs to be answered!!
Not just in schools, but in homes
where parents are the first educators.
How can kids bring guns to school,
but struggle to bring books
to and from school and parent not be aware?

Why are our Black girls and boys that can be honor students
scared to be academically successful? What has happened
since the days when Blacks had to secretly learn how to read
using the Bible that was hidden away. That was a “hidden
treasure” because it was the tool that Blacks used to start the
educational process that even continues today.

HBCUs had to struggle to teach not because of money, but
because society did not think Blacks were smart enough to be
anything other than field workers, hired hands and property.
These stories are not science fiction, but science fact how
Blacks have influenced a time in national history.

“If Not for Them” there may have not been a journey to the moon
or if there had been, it may have cost more human lives. Look at
the facts that Blacks helped put a man in space, Blacks helped
put a man on the moon and Blacks continue to do this.






HBCUs have contributed to
thousands of #HiddenFigures
that are still unknown and their
contributions are historical in
the benefits we enjoy today.
Parents and teachers need to
work together to create cultures
of learning for the betterment
of our cultures and society.
It is because of the diversity that
America has that is why this nation is still the best place in
the world to live because we enjoy freedoms that our
constitution allows for everyone. The embracing of diversity
brings a strength and value to our educational systems,
industry, commerce, research and development.

America is strong because of the diversity of cultures and
minds. Black do have opportunities and they must be prepared
for new growth in new careers.

To participate in a continued discussion centered on
women and their growing influence.
Attend the Real Talk Real Change – Real Talk Real Change
by E3 Business Group
RTRC VIII: “We Are Women, Hear Us More!!

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