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
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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
below.

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
skills.
8. Children with disabilities are welcomed and
supported.
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
more.
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.
Resources:
Orlando Science Center – http://www.osc.org

 

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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.

 

October 27, 2017

Jesus 4

Girls In STEM and STEAM Make History Every Day
by William Jackson
Co-authors Tierra and Deyona
Empowerment Resources, Inc.

There are many events that encourage learning and
reflection in life journey. Thousands if not
millions of girls of color and culture across
the United States and even the world have
experienced the wonder and exhilaration of
Hidden Figures just a year ago, the movie that is
inspiring girls and women of color across the nation
and the world.
The understanding that math is a necessary skill
and that STEM- Science Technology Engineering Math (Arts)
is a real foundation for careers needing this educational
initiative for the growing numbers of girls and women of
color that are changing their thinking in choosing
careers once dominated by men. Even girls and women of
African backgrounds that were once denied entrance
into educational centers, schools and higher education.
Educational opportunities are opening the STEM doors
because the foundation is in STEM and STEAM.

The Jacksonville, Florida girls mentoring initiative
Empowerment Resources, Inc (ERI) – (JIW) Journey Into
Womanhood has a different perspective of the sciences,
math and working in careers that at one time girls did
not even consider.
Now, literally the sky is not the limit, but traveling
in space is a possibility and inner space, exploration
of the oceans and seas.
Hidden Figures showed the mental strength, emotional
resiliency and the passion for education that children
of color and culture needed to witness and understand that
they cannot allow anyone to stop their educational,
personal and professional growth. Girls are creative and
innovative in their talents and thinking. Girls of color
and culture are learning they are Dope, Lit and Unstoppable.

Racial barriers are still present, it can delay or slow
progress but it cannot stop it. Women are key in the
progression and success of NASA, this can no longer be
denied, hidden, silenced or false truths created to show that
women and even men of color are important to the exploration
of space. Diversity breeds success in STEM and STEM.

In the educational system students of color cannot
be lied to and told that Blacks did not contribute to the
success of the space program. Too many students of color have
been lied to, and their aspirations crushed because they wanted
something that their dreams saw they could achieve. To many
years students of color have been denied the education
necessary to be influential agents of change and told they
should only enter into manual labor jobs of low stature, low
responsibility and even lower wages.
JIW Youth Advisory Council Member and High School senior
Tierra and Deyona an 8th grade Middle School student share
their thoughts about the movie and its influences.
Their voices and others need to be heard and applied to
inspire and encourage others to follow their dreams and ignore
the ignorance of racism, s*xism, bias and hate.

Feedback from Tierra:
The movie Hidden Figures was a great movie because it
inspired me to want to do more for my community. It
showed me that women and men are capable of the same
things. The movie showed that black women played an
important role in landing the first man on the moon.
It also shows that to make a change you don’t have to
be disrespectful or aggressive you can be assertive.
My favorite part was the discussion after the movie.
It was very interesting to see that many of the younger
girls were inspired to make a change. I was also
surprised by how many of the girls had similarities
to the women in the movie.

Feedback from Deyona:
This movie was by far the most empowering movie I’ve ever
seen. In the movie there are three African American women
fighting for their rights. It shows the hardships and
struggles of people who look like me. This movie has shown
me that sometimes we have to be the first. There will be
times when we have to set the example for future generations
to come. Your destiny is not your job, it’s your calling.
Kathrine was just a computer for her job. But her calling
lead her to her destiny being a direct influence and
programmer for the Freedom 7 and even the Apollo 13 years
later. Overall this movie has shown me when you walk with purpose,
and strive toward your goal, you’ll collide with destiny.

Calling in your purpose can be applied to Taylor Richardson
a member of JIW and her mother, they raised several thousand
dollars in 2017 to allow hundreds of girls and boys to see this
historic movie and create a movement of change so that boys
and girls of color can see their opportunities are unlimited
by someone else’s standards. That when you walk in and towards
your purpose you are unstoppable.

The efforts of Taylor and her mother are making direct changes
with the advocacy of STEM and STEAM being provided
across the nation and even on global platforms in Africa and
Asia. This energy must continue to create more opportunities
to be available for girls, women, boys and men of color and
culture to continue to make changes that influence not only
outer space, but inner space as well.

Educational paradigms are changing to empower children of color,
their visions are expanding to careers that once were not even
imaginable. STEAM STEM STREAM CSTEM and others are growing
that encourage diversity in color and gender.

February 26, 2017

A Girls Journey Into Social Media

A Girls Journey Into Social Media
by William Jackson and Breyonna Fox
My Quest to Teach

JIW Group Photo.jpg

Journey Into Womanhood a wonderful collaboration of
young ladies from elementary age to high school held a
workshop  dedicated to teaching about Social Media
safety and responsibility, the prevention of Cyberbullying
and the problems Sexting causes in destroying a girls
reputation and potentially their future career choices.

Elexia Coleman the director and visionary of the program
provides educational,  intellectual, culturally bonding and
community experiences that help girls and young  ladies
grow and blossom in an environment that is encouraging
and engaging.

JIW is an opportunity for girls and young ladies to experience
presentations on multiple levels of activity; professionals like
William Jackson and his intern Breyonna Fox talked to the
ladies on serious subjects that potentially influence decisions
that can have social and career influences.

20170211_101647(0).jpg
Asya and Breyonna Fox

Ms. Fox spoke on her experiences on being bullied and how
Sexting can destroy lives and involve law enforcement.
Ms. Fox shared how girls in high school are under the false
ideas that Sexting is glamorous until their photos are shared
with others that where not intended to see them because of
breaking up with friends and trying to impress a boy or girl.

Boys are involved in Sexting as well and can suffer social and
criminal investigation. There are legal issues that could result
in charges of pornography and child endangerment that may
follow a boy or girl through their life. Ms. Fox shared that  each
girl present  should have personal self-confidence and
self-respect. “The unfortunate reality is that  girls and women
have committed suicide because of Bullying and Sexting.”
Breyonna Fox

william-jackson

William Jackson a teacher in the public school system and a
Professor at Edward Waters College shares with the young
ladies that there is nothing a boy or man can provide that is
more important than personal respect and pride. Through
education a young lady and woman can achieve great things
above and beyond the material things a person like a boy or
girl can give them.

The title of the workshop, “How to be Dope and Responsible
on Social Media,” is available to other organizations that work
with youth, teens and young  adults.  Mr. Jackson speaks at the
international conference Preventing Crime in the Black
Community on preventing bullying, cyberbullying, the power
of incorporating STEM in  education and many aspects of
Social Media.

Volunteers are key to the success of JIW program that will be
celebrating the end of another program year on
Sunday, April 9th  2017 at their annual banquet. JIW is a 501c3
program and accepts donations to provide services to the
participants that will have life-long influence to help the
young ladies grow into future leaders in business, finance,
commerce, education and other careers that fulfill dreams.

The rewarding results of JIW can be seen in the community
involvement of girls and young ladies like Taylor Richardson
#AstronautStarBright, she is working to become an astronaut
and travel to Mars and back,  Taylor and her mom are working
to help girls and women in Jacksonville to see the movie
“Hidden Figures.” They were both invited by the Obama
administration to the White House premiere. Sitting with
current and past NASA astronauts, the actors of Hidden
Figures, First Lady Michelle Obama and other dignitaries.

20170211_101554

Taylor along with other young ladies are doing extraordinary
things in the community and bringing awesome media and news
reports of the great contributions young ladies are providing in
Jacksonville, Florida.

Sponsorship’s and donations are welcomed by JIW to help
continue the works they do in the community that influence
positive directions and accomplishments.

 Resources:
Journey Into Womanhood – http://theconnectory.org/program/journey-into-womanhood-2
JIW Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/empowerment.resources/
The Program
http://www.empowermentresourcesinc.org/what-we-do/journey-into-womanhood-program/

Additional Photos from 2017 -2016 – 2015 Workshops on
STEAM – Cyberbullying – Social Media – Sexting – Education

January 1, 2017

Taylor Richardson Receives Historic White House Invites

5

Taylor Richardson Receives Historic White House Invites
by William Jackson, M.Ed
Inspired by Taylor Richardson, student at the Bolles School
Literacy Advocate and Aspiring Astronaut

Taylor Richardson is on the move to achieve her dreams of
becoming an astronaut and traveling to Mars. She is not the
only one, there is a national movement by girls and women to
be the first to safely travel to the red planet, explore its’
mysteries and return home safely.
The difference is Taylor is a resident of Jacksonville, Florida
just several hours way from the home of space travel central,
Kennedy Space Center located in central Florida.
In just the 7th grade, a student at The Bolles School, her
academics are preparing her for the rigors and challenges of
higher education, building a foundation in the areas of STEM
and STEAM where future careers are linked to.
Taylor is sometimes referred to as an Agent of STEAM, Part of
the Mars Generation, and AstroStarBright on Twitter
https://twitter.com/LatonjaR seen with her mother.
In order for these dreams to turn to realities requires a lot
of community work, networking, community support and a love
for STEAM and STEM.

4

Taylor and her mother have been working to achieve this
dream since Taylor as a young child started dreaming of space flight.
They have been blessed to be noticed by the White House on
several opportunities and have been invited to events like the
“2016 United State of Women: The Movement”
http://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/
and the recent “Hidden Figures” celebration attended by
politicians, actors, community activists, astronauts, scientists
and educators.
https://twitter.com/HiddenFigures both in Washington, D.C.
Hosted by the White House with presentations from First Lady
Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama.

1

The struggle is real for the single mother that has strategically
guided and managed Taylors journey, but the rewards are awesome
for Taylor to achieve her goals that allow her to be a mentor
to younger girls that are learning about STEM and
those interested in expanding their knowledge through reading.
Taylor, a shy and soft spoken young lady puts aside herself and
speaks to youth teens and young adults about careers that are not
out of their reach. That girls of color and culture are valuable and
carry within them a magic that they can harness to achieve anything
they want to. There is no glass ceiling just the stars to reach
for. Taylor inspires boys not just girls by letting them known that
kids of color can be astronauts, scientists, engineers and that other
careers are open to them not just sports and entertainment.

2

This is seen when Taylor and her mom are invited to events
from the Governor in 2016 when receiving honors for volunteering
in the community, promoting literacy and being a member of the Girl
Scouts and participating in Journey Into Womanhood an initiative
to provide mentorship to inner city girls and women in Jacksonville,
Florida.
Taylor and her mom were sent invitations to attend the event
highlighting the 2017 movie Hidden Figures recognizing the
history of space exploration and how African American women were
pivitol in the success of space travel because of their mathematics
knowledge. This historic event featured the stories of African American
women who have made significant contributions to human space flight,
space science, and innovation, but who have not often had their
stories told. There are thousands of African American, Latino and
many others of culture that have not received their just recognition
that contributed to the success of the space program, NASA and other
scientific success stories.

1

Events like these help to elevate Taylor and inspires her to continue
to work hard to achieve her goals and even lift up other girls and even
boys to see they can achieve great things no matter their
backgrounds and challenges.
The movie Hidden Figures is a fantastic story written by
Margot Lee Shetterly http://www.hiddenfigures.com/bio/
The story of Hidden Figures
http://margotleeshetterly.com/hidden-figures-nasas-african-american-computers/
Taylor is just one of thousands of girls and young ladies that have
astronomical dreams. As her mother states, “it takes a village to
raise astronauts.” This is a testimony that collectively we need
to support children of color and culture to help them contribute
to the growth of our nation and provide praise and resources to make
sure they grow and share their knowledge for those following behind them.

taylor-and-me

Wm Jackson
Parent, Blogger, Educator, Speaker
Blogging at My Quest To Teach
http://MyQuestToTeach.WordPress.com

 

 

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