My Quest To Teach

January 16, 2017

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us

Dr. Mae Jemison and Taylor Richardson

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us
by Prof. William Jackson @wmjackson
Edward Waters College

“I’m just amazed at the shoulders that I’m standing
on to allow me to work to achieve my dreams.”
Taylor Richardson, attending “Hidden Figures”
premiere at the White House 2016

Dedicated to the past Hidden Figures that allowed
girls and boys to embrace STEM – STEAM – STREAM
and grasp new opportunities to fulfill dreams from the
depths of the sea, to the height of the clouds to the
deepest of space.
The movie ”Hidden Figures” 2016 is inspiring thousands
of girls and women to eliminate the fear of learning,
to understand the fun of exploration, embrace artistic
creativity, develop themselves as “thought leaders” and
“smart creatives.” To understand that it is ok to be smart,
gifted, talented and special. The perceived glass ceiling of
career limitations has been shattered by the flames of
curiosity to explore not just the limitations of earth’s
atmosphere and her seas, but has moved into the air less,
weightless and limitless expanse of space and time.

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE of Jacksonville, Florida

The emergence of STEM – Science Technology Engineering
Math is looking good to girls and women as careers explode
in diversity in the embracing of girls and women into areas
at one time exclusively open to men, white men.
The irony of “Hidden Figures” is that research has proven
that women are more analytical and able to comprehend
and apply mathematics skills faster than men. They are more
detailed oriented and specific about applying learning to
real world situations.

African Americans and others of color have been involved
with most if not all space agencies, this involvement is not
just as custodians, cooks, maintenance and other support
personnel. These positions are important, they help the
people do the jobs they to do and service this country.
The other aspect is not just as service personnel, but the
intellectual abilities that allow for NASA and other agencies
to meet with success and build a legacy through the
intelligence of everyone that contributes. People of color
have always and will continue to contribute, they have not
received the recognition they deserve.

STEM / STEAM are the hottest sectors in the U.S. job market
and has grown to international levels. Even before it became
a commonly used word the elements of STEM have been
important. Because of movies like “Hidden Figures” and others
doors of imagination and dreams are growing for girls,
women, boys and men of color and culture.

STEM does not start in high school or higher education, it
starts in elementary education labs, classrooms and weekend
competitions and events. It starts in after school programs and
new curriculum’s that teachers have a passion to apply new
and exciting ways to engage students that were once thought
slow or different, but were actually higher order and critical
thinkers, just bored with cookie cutter teaching strategies
dated from the 1950s and 1970s. Today’s students need to
be engaged and active learners.

William Jackson teaching a STEAMS
class – Science Technology Engineering
Math Sports – engaging studnets.

When I taught STEAM at an elementary Magnet it is important
that learning is relevant and students can apply their past
learning to new learning and integrate it to everyday life.
If students are not engaged mentally, actively involved, have
hands on activities and allowed to explore environments there
are lost opportunities to build the excitement to allow future
scientists, mathematicians, engineers, innovators and even
technical expertise in computers and robotics.

HBCUs are important in the education
of future STEM employees.

Many people still do not realize that STEAM and STEM run the
U.S. economy, look at the growth of careers that not only require
a college degree, but certifications. “The future of the economy
is in STEM,” says James Brown, the executive director
of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C. Even
President and Mrs. Obama have encourage STEM education
through grants and national programs.

Parents must understand as well that their children’s employment
are influenced by STEM. Employment in occupations related to
STEM science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is
projected to grow to more than 9 million jobs by 2022
nationally and internationally. Children now may now have to
find jobs in the U.S. and have to travel overseas, they must be
prepared to keep this nation competitive.

U.S. relationships with the world are important because if the
U.S. does not have friendly relationships globally then research
opportunities, international collaborations, joint projects and even
educational research will be at jeopardy. We cannot afford to be
secluded because the world is diversified in economic and social
Students should be asking what their STEM futures are and how is
their current educational instruction preparing them for the future?
Parents should be asking are their children being prepared to be
employed or setup to be under or un – employed.

“One of the things that I’ve been focused on as President is how
we create an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology,
engineering, and math… We need to make this a priority to train
an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure
that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the
respect that they deserve.”
President Barack Obama, Third Annual White House Science Fair,
April 2013


Events like the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE by Mark Douglas McCombs
are foundations to engage youth, teens and young adults into
robotics, programming, design, innovation and as developers.
There are hundreds if not thousands of “Hidden Figures” in homes,
schools, communities, cites and this nation. They should be
encouraged, mentored and provided role models to spread their
wings to take flight to be unHidden…

Mark Douglas McCombs, center celebrating the
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE competition at The Bolles

Parents your child may be the scientist to discover a cure for cancer,
diabetes, heart disease; your child may be the next deep sea
explorer or engineer to develop light speed, force fields or even
new fuels to power the world. Uncover the hidden talent in your child
by supporting their education, their thirst for exploration and their
gifted abilities.

Statistics uses data from Occupational Employment Statistics


Jacksonville Florida FIRST LEGO LEAGUE

The Office of Science and Technology Policy

Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson



April 21, 2016

What Do You Do Before High School Graduation??

image 7

What Do You Do Before High School Graduation?
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
@wmjackson #MyQuestToTeach

Dynamic scholarship information
at your finger tips.
@prepforcollege (Twitter) #CollegeChat,

These suggestions are to help parents, grandparents
and guardians as graduation for their children
becomes a reality for high school seniors.
Graduation is a great accomplishment and
the end to an educational journey from Day Care
to High School. Before this momentous occasion
parents need to make sure all the i’s are dotted
and t’s crossed to make a smooth closure to a
continuing journey. These are just a few suggestions
from my experiences as a parent and teacher in
elementary education and higher education.

image 9

1. Make sure you obtain the most recent high
school “official” transcript(s) to mail to colleges
or potential employers. Many organizations and
schools require a transcript to see if
academically students are “qualified” to be
eligible. If an “official” one is not ready ask for
an “unofficial” transcript until the “official”
one can be sent.

2. Make sure you have current and up to date
medical and dental records. Even after graduating
from high school students are still dependent
on their parents for certain medical information.
Parents must understand “their” graduate is not
an adult yet, they are still maturing, learning
and growing. There is some information and
documentation only parents can obtain until
children are 21.

3. Make sure there are boundaries and expectations
on behaviors, actions, and even chores in the
home for the soon to be graduates. There should
be mutual understanding on everyone’s duties and
responsibilities and always respect. Stop telling
your child they are “grown” until they are out
of your house.

4. Talk to your child’s teacher(s) about consistent
communication so projects, homework and assignments
are kept current and get completed. Do not take the
words, “I got this,” as being responsible and accountable
by your child. Remember your personal urgency and
priority is not a priority for everyone else if you miss
deadlines and due dates.

5. Make any hair, nail or beauty appointments
months ahead to avoid the rush and chaos.
Have your monies available and get receipts
for all services and jobs.

6. Remind your child of the two institutions that
want their attendance:
Correctional (Prison) and Instructional (Higher
Education) and to make wise decisions.

image 3

7. Check your child’s academic (Cumulative) folder
for items that may delay graduation or entrance
into college, trade school or the military. You
have a right to see their records and ask questions
and if not provided seek an attorney for help as a
last resort.
Check for discipline referrals, changed grades,
teacher notes, etc. All documentation is important.

8. Make sure all deposits and fees are paid in
full before graduation. Check for lost books, needed
forms and other items that should be completed.
Do not trust your child unless they show they
are responsible and then consider the source!!!

9. Know what your child’s GPA is, weighted or
unweighted and if they have all their credits.

10. Make sure your child takes the SAT and the ACT
several times. Many schools only require one, but
better safe than sorry. If your child is attending
and HBCU check about further tests they will
have to take the week before school starts.

11. Check on Bright Futures scholarship information.
This can contribute to monies for school

12. Many HBCU’s accept ACT scores and SAT. Use whichever
gives you a better chance of getting into college
and this may affect monies.

image 8

13. Work on your child’s Marketable skills to
help them network and build their Brand.

14. Set Academic, Professional, Monetary and Career
goals now so your child will have a flexible plan.

15. Have your child volunteer consistently, stay
involved in your community, and church. Volunteer
hours can still help with networking and build
marketable skills to use later.

16. Search online and inquire with local
businesses about summer internships paid and
unpaid. Your time is valuable so unpaid is
important also.

17. Join local business organizations like
Chamber of Commerce to gain
marketable skills and get a jump on career goals.

18. Participate in church events and activities
helps build your resume or CV curriculum vitae.

19. Take college tours over the summer, visiting
schools to make sure you are familiar
with college or even the military.

image 5

20. Social Media entries; post positive content,
pictures, text and video. Your
e-Reputation and e-Personalities tell a story
about you. Social Media content will define you
and may be your first representation of you
to others.

21. Register with LinkedIn to start networking
and connecting. There is an NEW LinkedIn for

22. Continue to research educational options
and inquire even now about Masters and
Doctorial programs.

23. Make sure you and your child understand
what type of diploma they will have. It is
painful to expect a High School Diploma and
receive a Certificate of Attendance,
an ESE Diploma or others.

24. On Social Media unfriend and even block
those that are openly using drugs, weapons
and involved in criminal actions.
You may be “guilty by association” with them.

25. Have a “real” Social Security card, and
Birth Certificate, and if necessary a
Visa to travel abroad.

26. Check with your local police department
to make sure there are no records of
mistaken criminal activity from someone
impersonating you or looks like you.

27. Financial Aid and Scholarship
Information can be found online.
@prepforcollege (Twitter) #CollegeChat,

27. Google and Hashtag yourself to
“see” what is online about yourself to be
prepared for questions.

Be careful with unprotected sex, illegal
drugs and last minute booty calls,
drug binges and other stuff that can
cost you a scholarship or your life.
There are too many young people that
almost “made it” and have died or
been arrested by bad decisions at the
last minute.


September 13, 2015

The Art of Storytelling in the Digital Age

Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 00:14
Tags: , ,

Blogging While Brown

Oneika Raymond – Speaker at Blogging While Brown

The Art of Storytelling in the Digital Age

This blog is inspired by my participation in the conference:
Blogging While Brown 2015 in Austin, Texas –
Video is an original presentation about Storytelling

Before you begin Blogging, Vblogging, Microblogging or Podcasting,
the words you intend to use are a visual representation of a story,
whether is it a personal event, community activity, religious experience,
parenting episode, poetry posting, spoken word, career changing event
and even class project. Using the words needed creates a mental
picture for the people reading/viewing your story.
Blogging is a form of storytelling, because you are working to attract
readers to your written Blog or even viewers to your Vblog or ears to
your Podcast or replies to your Microblogging.

Your Blog is your signature that people will be able to trust you to take
them in the right direction and provide useful information that will not
waste their time. Storytelling helps attract readers and engages them
to read the whole post, makes them come back consistently and shows
what Bill Gates says is true, “content is king.”

A key skill is how can you tell that story in an effective way?
There is more to it than posting intriguing pictures, snappy and
swaggin words, references to philosophical quotes, and links
to YouTube videos, diversity is important in how you present
the information. There is an interactive engagement with words that
make the readers/viewers mind work. To embrace the content and
seeing their eagerness to come back for more.
Even though blogging has been around of years, it has morphed
into a media medium where no subject is untouchable by the
incorporation of words, sentences, paragraphs and diction that
carries the reader on a journey. Some things to consider are
listed below on a Blogging, Vblogging or Podcasting journey.

Storytelling develops into an art form that will take the reader
and viewer on a journey that is not just academic, it covers the
broad spectrum of ideas, emotions, challenges, successes,
that humans are involved in. There are no subjects that are
taboo. Information on the Internet is free and open for
engagement. Many people disagree with the openness of
the World Wide Web, but how do you manage and limit the
amount of knowledge that is in a persons brain?

Those that are courageous enough to put pen/pencil to
paper, fingers to keyboards, voices to microphones and
even allow past writings to be deciphered and digitized
from paper/parchment and inputted into diverse technology
devices all are involved in sharing information that will create
a response on some level.
Blogging/writing allows a person to create their own
language that is distinctly theirs with words. The ability
to tell a story is not just through verbally retelling and
sharing, it is the ability to sense how to communicate
with people of diverse backgrounds, cultures and
generations. Applying the right tool/platform to share
the words, phrases, and exchanges that are multilingual
and diversely culturally relevant.
Below are some thoughts on how to create content.

The Art of Story Telling in the Digital Age

1. Before you begin your story consider:
* What makes a good story for your readers, you should remember
that you’re not creating content just for you but for others.
* What is the main point or idea of the story, this should not be
hard to figure out for the reader and easy to follow.
* Who is your audience 12yr olds to 35yr olds or older?
* What problem does your story address and what questions are
answered, does it add value to someone’s life?
* What is your purpose?
2. The words (nuts and bolts) to the point or a perspective.
* There is value in a title – is it hype
* Have a URL that is friendly
* SEO friendly – Search Engine Optimization
* How provocative or incendiary is the blog?
3. Define your personal voice
* How influential do you want your voice?
* Your voice grabs your readers attention.
* The more you write/post/speak your voice is your brand.
* Don’t imitate, emulate others, write in your voice –
your voice is your brand and you should expand it.
4. The Layout of your post
*Structure and organizing your blog posts.
* 500 to 700 words – what is your range?
* Write clearly and concisely.
* Organize your blogs so that they can be archived.
5. Choose your images wisely
* Each image carries a story for your blog.
* Make sure your images enhance your story.
* Be careful that your images do not take away from your blog.
* Your images can draw more people to your blog than just words.
6. The value of Microblogging on Twitter
* It is easy, it is quick and it helps you stay connected.
* Use Microblogging when you don’t have the time to blog
on a traditional platform.

“You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built into
the human plan. We come with it.” Margaret Atwood

Storytelling video snippets from Blogging While Brown
Video 1 Presenter: Who Iam as a Blogger

Video 2 – Explaining Storytelling in Blogging

Video 3 – Expanding Storytelling in Blogging

Blog at

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