My Quest To Teach

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 Africa.com 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
http://skillsdevelopment.africa.com/robots-giving-head-start-on-stem/

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
https://qz.com/1071505/
irise-hub-the-first-innovation-hub-in-somalia-has-opened-in-mogadishu/
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.

Resources:
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
http://skillsdevelopment.africa.com/robots-giving-head-start-on-stem/

NGOs Focusing on STEM Skills Development in Africa
http://skillsdevelopment.africa.com/ngos-focusing-on-stem-skills/

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

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

@iLabAfrica
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
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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February 6, 2017

My Hidden Figures Reflection

20170121_134337
Taylor and students from Venetia Elementary and Lee High School

My Hidden Figures Reflection
By: Breyonna Fox,
Blogging Intern with My Quest To Teach
Jacksonville, Florida
My first thought when I finished watching Hidden
Figures was, “Wow, they actually did all of those
things, like they accomplished their goals.” I thought
this was very inspirational, because back then it was
very hard for other races besides Caucasians, to do
the things they wanted and love. In the movie there
is a part when Mary Jackson’s husband even doubts
her accomplishing her dreams, showing how
un-motivated people were and how many dreams
were simply crushed and forgotten.

Then there was Dorothy Vaughn who wanted to be
a supervisor for her group of women who are highly
skilled with computers. She wanted to move on with
her dreams when she realized Katherine and Mary
was moving up with theirs. NASA wouldn’t make
her a supervisor though, she worked hard and even
acted like a supervisor to her group of woman. Then
one day she got a huge offer, but she would only do
it if her girls were with her as well. So they allowed it.
She finally became a supervisor. She is the first
African American woman to supervise a staff
at the West Area Computers Division. Another part
in the movie shows when she took her sons to the
library to get some books to help her out with work,
they ended up getting kicked out, just because
Dorothy needed the book, but the library was whites’
only.

20170121_111854

It was upsetting to see how she couldn’t check
out the book and then the security guard pushed
her sons out as well. Then when she got on the
bus she still had the book on her and when her
sons asked why and she said she pays taxes
and those taxes help the library out. I know
Dorothy is a very witty and strong person. She
stayed determined in what she believed in and
knew she could accomplish her goals, she didn’t
leave her girls and moved them up with her.

Mary Jackson, wanted to become an engineer,
in the beginning she had doubts about it. She
was talking about it with her co-worker and she
said how impossible it felt, her co-workers told
her she could do it, because they were already
doing the impossible. I thought about what she
said and how she had hope that Mary could
accomplish her goals. It showed me even when
things feel impossible, they aren’t. She even
went to court to fight for what she wanted and
got night classes at University, an all-white
school! That was amazing. I really loved that part,
because that filled so much hope in Mary and
made her believe more in herself that she could
accomplish a lot more things after that, Mary
Jackson became the first female African
American NASA engineer. Mary is a sassy, brave
and determined for what she fights for.
Last, but not least was Katherine Goble,
she was strongly skilled in mathematics and
had an analytical mind. She got a new assignment
by Al Harrison, so she had to move to a new
part of the company.

When she was getting escorted, the woman told her,
“you will be the first black person here. Don’t make
me regret choosing you. Most people only last a few
days, so don’t get used to it.” Then when Katherine
entered everyone stared at her. Her co-workers were
rude towards her as well. She went to grab some
coffee and everyone was staring at her. She
immediately felt uncomfortable and sat down and
sipped her coffee slowly. After that incident they
got a second coffee maker and it said “colored”,
she went to use it, it was empty, sending a message.

This showed me how even though Katherine
accomplished her goals, there will always be people
trying to bring her down. Then she got upset and
explained to Harrison how rude everyone was acting
towards her and how she never got pearls and how
no one wants to use the same coffee maker as her,
since earlier she was always in the bathroom and he
would ask where she went. Then the next day he
tore down the “whites only” bathroom and the
“colored” signs and he said, “no whites or colored,
we’re all the same here.” That showed me how
Al Harrison really cared about Katherine as an
employee and he didn’t care about skin color.

Then when Katherine got engaged, her co-workers
got her a pearl necklace, which was Harrison’s ideas
too, which she wore to her wedding. Then later on in
the movie, when John Glenn was going to orbit
around earth, he said he only trusted Katherine with
her calculations and with his safety, he knew she
was brilliant and he only trusted her not the computer
machine. He was right too, he had trouble up in space,
but he got back safe.

Katherine played a huge roll in John Glenn’s journey
and Apollo space program landing a man on the moon.
In 2015, Katherine received National Medal of Freedom
from President Obama.

breyonna-fox
Breyonna Fox, blogger

This movie showed me that anything you set your mind
to you can accomplish. You just have to stay determined
and full of courage. This movie is very inspiring and
does prove to other women and girls they can do things
even when they feel it’s out of their reach.
Edited by Prof. William Jackson  #MyQuestToTeach

Resources dedicated to women
TEDxFSCJ Salon: Lift as We Climb:
Women Race and Politics
Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm
FSCJ – Downton Campus
Auditorium A-1068
http://www.tedxfscj.com/events/

Real Talk Real Change
We Are Women Hear Us More..
Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Riverside North – 2711 Edison Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida
rtrc20viii20-20fb20cover20-20320sponsors_0

October 1, 2016

Africans Start to Hashtag and Google Yourselves Part 1

african
Africans Start to Hashtag and Google Yourselves
William Jackson, M.Ed.
@wmjackson
Edward Waters College
Educational Technology and Social Media
#MyQuestToTech

The elevation of Africans having access to the
Internet is increasing the digital footprint of
those denied access to information for years.
Internet access supplied by providers is allowing
people in cities, villages and towns unprecedented
access to information.

Africans are embracing their Afrinerdiness
(African Nerds) that encourages global collaboration,
cross cultural connections, access to entertainment
media, and educational resources never seen before.
There is so much digital eye candy that African teens
and young adults need to be cautious of the glitz and
glamour of global content.
As Africans grow in engagement, their words
will have new meaning in the global context of their
digital content that will expand. The perceptions
they create will define them, the digital ether can
quickly and unmercifully absorb the
attentions of Africans and present a unfathomable
world of cultural.

africa_google

Googling will have a new meaning for Africans,
their created content is fresh, unfiltered by world
exposure and lack of  Internet etiquette and guidelines
in some cases. African children are in many ways no
different than European, Asian or American, many
want their content to go viral, with the potential of
making them instant superstars and celebrities.

African parents like others from around the world
must be very cautious of their children’s access to
online content because it can literally be addicting
and life changing. Unfiltered access to the Internet
in some cases may be a Pandora box because African
children like those of other nations may not
inappropriate content being created and read
or viewed.

hashtags

For African parents to keep up with their children
they should Hashtag and Google their children
regularly. To digitally follow them, not stalk but
check to make sure they are not being lead or
drawn into dangerous digital territories.

African parents must be educated on setting
boundaries for their families in the absence of
local, national and continental laws safeguarding
children from predators, stalkers, scammers and
even terrorists. As a professor teaching
Educational Technology and Social Media safety
in higher education, youth, teens and even
young adults do not understand the dangers of
posting to much information online about
themselves, their families and even their
ideologies related to religion, sex and education.

There are still parts of Africa that are not and
may not embrace the ideas of freedom of speech,
and open society to information and even the
freedom of girls and women accessing
educational resources. Educational institutions
across Africa are going to have to develop
policies and procedures to make sure all
students no matter their religious background,
cultural upbringing, economic status, political
status and even mobility will have to have
equitable access and support.

As a parent of two I demand equal educational
resources for my daughter like my son. My
daughters value is just as important as my son
from elementary to university levels.
As an educator I have equal expectations of success
for my male and females students. My educational
diversity is that I teach on the elementary and
college levels and see all sides of educational
success and the results of educational failure by
lack of involvement by parents.

290982

The development of policies, procedures and
practices cannot be made by one entity, it must
be inclusive of Internet Service Providers,
educational institutions, departments of
government and even involve African parental
groups because  they are the grassroots of
addressing issues and concerns.

There must be further opportunities to teach
parents about the online world so they can monitor
their children through Googling and Hashtags.
Many in government and business are of the
opinion that it is too early to address these issues,
I say there is not a level to early to empower parents
to teach their kids and to be  cautious and aware
of their safety.
Just as in the United States, I travel to teach
parents about Social Media Safety, Etiquette,
prevention of cyberbullying,  cyberstalking,
Sexting and other online activities are creating
social issues that have direct influence in the
social and educational order for families.

google

For too long Europeans have tried to determine
what is best for African people without asking
them, Internet access creates a  platform where
education is for everyone – equally.
The power of Google searches, Hashtags,
Branding, Marketing,  collaboration and even
association has a powerful place in global
communities. African parents learn to
Google their children,and Hashtag them.

hashtags2

Part II Suggestions for African Parents
When Monitoring Their Children Online

marcus

Hashtags
The Africa the media never shows
#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou

Twitter
https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou?src=hash

Elle Decoration
http://elledecoration.co.za/theafricathemedianevershowsyou-2/

The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/jun/30/the-africa-the-media-never-shows-you-in-pictures

Blogging about Africa
https://blog.fh.org/2015/07/theafricathemedianevershowsyou/

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