My Quest To Teach

January 19, 2018

Why Families Should Visit the Orlando Science Center

Filed under: Education,STEAM and STEM — William Jackson @ 12:30 pm
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family time
Why Families Should Visit the Orlando Science Center

by William Jackson and Aida Correa
@wmjackson @laphoneix

The visit at the Orlando Science Center (OSC) was
one of the highlights for our family during the winter
school break. A great period for family time, learning,
participation in activities that were fun, educational
and creating “ah ha” moments. There were many
instances that highlighted the day included those

1. The interactive play areas at OSC are fun and educational.
They have the family involved and engaged.
2. OSC embraces the STEAM educational initiative
that 21st century careers demand.
3. OSC embraces the diversity of cultures visiting
the center with a welcoming atmosphere.
4. The presenters of the programs are knowledgeable,
engaging and entertaining.
5. The building and infrastructure is inviting and
sensory stimulating. The visuals are colorful.
6. Families are welcomed and assisted by the staff.
7. There are opportunities for children to be
involved in multiple activities that require different
8. Children with disabilities are welcomed and
9. The facility is clean and well maintained.
10. Families with autistic or special needs will
find activities that are hands on and stimulate,
but not overly excite the senses.
I (Aida) would like to add a few additional points
to this list that, as a mom, I noticed.
11. The OSC has something for everyone in the family.
As William mentioned above, we had as much fun as
the kids did.  What he didn’t mention, however is that
one of the kids is 9 and the other is in college yet,
they both enjoyed themselves. There is even a
section of the museum set-up exclusively for
children 7 and under.  Knowing that there is something
for everyone can be a stress reliever when trying
to find something to do with the whole family.
12.  Along the lines of “something for everyone,”
the exhibits varied. There were dinosaurs in one
exhibit, complete with animatronics and a
fossil dig in one area and a complete
gingerbread village in another area, which I
thought was wonderful. Also, while everyone else
was enjoying the show on space, my little one
was having a go at being a weather forecaster –
so no one was “bored.”
13. The exhibits change.  While we were there
we noticed some areas blocked off in preparation
of new exhibits, which made us decide that we
need to come again and check them out.
14. There’s plenty of interaction.
As William mentioned above, there are plenty of
interactive activities throughout the entire museum.
We cut out paper snowflakes, jumped in the
hurricane simulator, “dug” for fossils and so much
15. Location and practicality.  Firstly the OSC is
conveniently located and offers plenty of parking.
We also noticed that in same location as the OSC,
there are other centers and museums we can check
out during future visits. As for practicality, there is
a cafeteria located on the ground floor of the museum
and there are plenty of restrooms.
16. The cost is reasonable.  While the regular cost is
fairly reasonable, check out their website for
additional discounts you may be eligible for.

Activities from the hurricane simulator, to the
dinosaur discovery, to the high tech presentation
about our solar system provide unique learning.
There is evidence of STEM, STEAM and even STREAM
learning. Aida and I (well past our teen years) had a
wonderful experience, not just watching
our girls, but participating with them as well.
Family time is about enjoying the experience
together and building lasting memories.
The OSC employs traditional and hands on
activities that allow for touching (tactile)
stimulation, video and auditory presentations.
Visual acuity and auditory sensory experiences
are not overwhelmed. The VR or virtual reality
provides a full range of learning.
Parents take the time to schedule family
time and arrive early enough to have
children participate in a rich learning
environment. There is plenty to do see,
hear, learn and experience.
Orlando Science Center –



November 3, 2017

2017 Promoting PSTEAhM Learning During the Summer

2017 Promoting PSTEAhM Learning During the Summer
by William Jackson
Tristan’s Accelerated Academy, Inc.
PSTEAhM Camp Jacksonville, Florida

Summer learning is becoming increasingly valuable for
preparation for careers.
The summer is a perfect time to encourage applying learning
to everyday situations and building learning as fun. Applying
learning to real life experience to build relevancy and
connections. Applying math to help building a budget, reading
to build an appreciation for literacy and understanding
the value for comprehension. Art for diving into STEAM where
discovery can be enlightening and a drive towards careers.
Teaching children how to budget money early will allow for
them to process the value of money and build a respect
for work. Parents should use the summer to incorporate
STEAM into their children’s life and teaching children how
influential even in a small way STEAM is important.

Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics – STEAM
Teaching children and teens early will help them learn to
survive when there is no one around to give advice, it will
already be in them thinking creatively and being innovative
with their resources. Instead of telling children that money
does not grow on trees the summer should have been used to
show them by allowing them to practice saving and spending.
Provide a budget and some funds so it can be seen in a
realistic format. Children and teens need to be allowed
to shop, compare items and compare the cost helps to
understand the monetary responsibilities in feeding a
family; also helping children learn the sacrifices parents
make for even small things as prices fluctuate.

Children and teens perspectives are different when parents,
family and even summer camps teach how to manage money that
is not infinite, there is a limit.
The science of shopping, preparation, cooking and serving
can be fun and open discussions as to why parents or guardians
only purchase certain foods or why parents or guardians
shop at certain stores. Understanding and comprehension
come when a child applies what they are learning to real
world situations.

Just think what your child may be applying when they are
learning to connect the pieces of STEAM that are filled with
events that allow for increased blood pressure or an increase
in blood sugar content. Why candy can be dangerous not just
for teeth, but high levels of blood sugar can cause
serious issues later in life.

There are diverse games that children are playing at summer
STEAM camps like Tristan’s, the dream of Arlene Lloyd an
educator in Jacksonville, Florida and STEM/STEAM advocate.
Tristan’s Accelerated Academy is incorporating STEAM has
found a connection to learning, growing and fun this summer.
Involvement of skills related to STEM, STEAM, and STREAM are
not limited to just science and those areas that kids
expect academically.

Education allows for the accumulation of information, facts,
access to data, students still need to learn how to apply
these to real life experiences especially money. Parents
must understand that value of “exposure,” the purpose of
application and implementation is valuable.
The first teacher is the parent, but if the parent is also
lacking in information that makes a dangerous situation,
because ignorant parents, create ignorant children and
this creates a generational problem of ignorance or lack
of knowledge.

During the summer children should be visiting museums,
library events, cultural activities, field trips.
Summer camps fill a void in learning gaps and exposure.
In this world of Technology, Drones, Social Media, Virtual
Reality, scientific break through, medical discoveries,
etc, children must be prepared especially children of color.
There does not have to be any learning gaps when parents
involve summer camps with structure, capable educators and
a vision for improving the lives of children.
2017 is still a new beginning to bring about a better future,
and the summer of 2018 will again bring rise to choosing
where to put children for learning and exposure.
Careers are not just available because children like them,
they must grow to respect and appreciate the sacrifice
and hard work it takes to advance in careers and the
education required.

Parents of color and children of color, make sure you’re
preparing yourself for future learning and being an
agent of change that promotes generational change for
the better, STEAM, STEM and STREAM have the capacity to
change lives if applied the right way.


September 11, 2017

STEM and its Influence in Africa Students

STEM and its Influence in Africa Students
by William Jackson STEM/STEAM Advocate
Twitter @wmjackson
As more students become interested in dynamic careers that
require skills that apply Science Technology Engineering
and Math African nations have begun to accept the growing
STEM educational opportunities that men and women are
providing in their respective nations. STEM and STEAM
are applied educational initiatives that have a foundation
in the scientific models, but integrate hands-on learning,
team work, building leadership skills and incorporate
higher order and critical thinking skills.

Africa rich in natural resources is increasing its STEM and
STEAM opportunities to increase generational opportunities
to contribute to the growth in economics, commerce, education
and global trade that will benefit and increase Africa’s
influence globally. Africa can not continue to rely on foreign
investments only that place it deeper and deeper in debt to
others that in many cases still do not respect the African
citizen and their generational place in building Africa,
their homeland.

The more African’s are involved in STEM and STEAM the more
they can assure they will have a stake in how their nations
and continent are growing and influential in the diverse
markets and even foreign investments by outside nations.
“I believe more women should be in STEM roles because
of the message it sends to younger girls. Some of the
girls think they can’t because they haven’t really
seen a lot of women who do the jobs they want to do.”
Leticia Oppong shares her journey from being an intern
to a field engineer at GE Africa.
Statements made by Leticia Oppong ring a new bell of change
for girls that in the past have not been included in
the educational engagement and empowerment of STEM
that requires hands-on learning, experimentation and even
mentors. There are growing numbers of African women
that are role models and mentors ready to share their
knowledge and experiences to build future “Agents of STEM.”

Developing the necessary critical and higher order thinking
skills that are applied to problem solving and even complex
thinking in the development of new ways to harness
natural sources of energy and exploration in new areas
of engineering and tech that are needed
to forge Africa as a global influencer.

The growing news reports in and other media are
showing that STEM and STEAM are being celebrated to inspire
boys and girls that they can be whatever they dream. The
resources and people are available to help them move from
dreams to reality to the implementation of their developing
skills and talents.

There are Nigerian robotics entrepreneurs who are founding
new robotic companies like Surrogate Robotics Nigeria.
“I thought if you start when you’re really young to find
models to solve real world problems using robotics and
artificial intelligence, when you get older you’ll have
that confidence to approach problem solving.”
Christian Chime – Surrogate Robotics Nigeria

The key parts of STEM and STEAM are solving real world
problems that help to build the continent and build the
confidence of rising youth, teens and young adults who
are excited about the ability to create change.

The building of critical thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs,
and inventors in Africa will build the continent’s economic
structure to engage more individuals that have the
knowledge and understanding to attack the challenges that
have plagued Africa and meet future challenges.
African higher educational institutions now see their
responsibilities in building new generation of STEM innovators.
Educational institutions are being held accountable in adapting
their instruction to address the need for students to be
prepared as future STEM advocates and leaders.

Even in countries like Somalia the rise of innovation hubs
making digital waves across a country devastated by wars and
poverty. Integrating the #SomaliaRising hashtag to show the
growth of collaboration and connections.
Founder Abdihakim Ainte, “iRise,” states, “there’s an increased
need for these kinds of spaces in order to realize the full
potential of Somalia’s technology sector.”
The vision is bright for the growth of technology and the
building of hubs that encourage and support new ways of
applying, integrating, creating and building an avenue
that supports innovation.

One of the dynamic aspects of tech integration is cell phone
technology that allows for communication and access to global
resources. This is allowing young entrepreneurs to share their
knowledge and build connections that encourage the creation
of new companies and business initiatives.

STEM, STEAM, STREAM, STEMsquared and other related initiatives
are empowering, Africans with the platforms and tools needed
to make their dreams realities and to be the future employers
that create wealth and economic, educational and generational
progress and stability.

Somalia just unveiled its first tech innovation hub
by Abdi Latif Dahir
September 07, 2017 Quartz africa
Twitter: @qzafrica

Robots are Giving Nigerian Children a Head-Start on STEM

NGOs Focusing on STEM Skills Development in Africa

WAAW Foundation
Working to Advance African Women (WAAW)
Lagos-headquartered company inspires African women to be innovators.

Her2Voice was founded in 2013 by six Rwandan women who share the
same vision of fighting for gender equality and inspiring girls.

Located at Kenya’s Strathmore University, @iLabAfrica
Research and incubation facility that promotes technological
innovation and supports entrepreneurship programmes.

The Visiola Foundation
Mentors young girls and women in the STEM fields to create a
generation of leaders who will help transform African economies.

Girlhype has reached more than ten thousand girls and
introduced them to opportunities in computing and engineering.

JJiguene Tech Hub
Established in 2007 with the aSenegal’s first technology hub
run by and for women. Jjiguene means “woman” in Wolof, the
most widely spoken language in the country.
Addressing the shortage of ICT skills in Ghana.

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