My Quest To Teach

November 14, 2018

What is STEAM and Why Parents Should Care

What is STEAM and Why Parents Should Care
By William Jackson, M.Edu
Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics/Music

The world is changing, the incorporation of technology will
not stop in our society, integration of technology is changing
how we function in this world. Educational initiatives use to
train children for the future is ever progressing and creating
a transformative paradigm shift in how teachers teach even
the basics of educational foundation.

Children must be prepared for careers not even available
now and they must be able to solve complex problems that
will challenge our ability to function in an ever shifting world.
The earth is much smaller because of digital communication,
satellites that use infrared, radar and microwave technologies
to survey millions of miles of land, sonar technologies that can
“see” in the deepest of oceans and seas. The same satellites
that have their digital “eyes” aimed at deep space and even
new technology that can detect movement of animals and
intricate weather patterns. Providing accurate weather
predictions for weeks and months in advance.

All provided by the growth and integration of academic elements
being taught in schools across this country. Because technology
has advanced it is important for the engagement of tools to be
fused into educational initiatives like STEM/STEAM/STREAM/CSTREAM
and STEMsquared, they are all connected, but each has a powerful
individual effect in our world.

The goal is to engage the whole child and foster high achievement
in all areas, “as defined by STE[+a]M, which is a website created
to share information about the blending of arts and sciences. The
past error in thinking was that each of these elements were separate
and unequal. The new thinking is that STEAM creates a curriculum
that embraces all these elements which allow students to hone their
personal skills and advance in areas that are new, but just as
important. Project based learning where there is a end result that
is not based on data, but based on evidence of a finished product.

There is a new way of thinking, grounded in research on the brain
shows creativity helps students to learn. The artistic development
and the scientific techniques are complimentary than once first
believed. The blending of these skills require students to engage
in creative, critical and higher order thinking that supports
collaborative and cooperative learning. Learning that pushes and
challenges, and brings about success that is transferable in advanced
areas of appliance and application. In a layman’s explanation, kids
are encourage to do something, given the tools and the parents
are facilitators and get out of the way.

Parents need to understand many careers are now influenced
by STEM curriculum’s and should be more involved in schools
that are preparing students to be future leaders Educators, artists,
and scientists recognize the importance of blending the arts and
sciences and believe that this can lead to richer student learning.
STEAM is complimentary with 21st artistic, scientific and
technological century 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 Communication.
So important are these elements and how instruction is performed
that the organizations of  the National Science Foundation, the
National Endowment for the Arts, and the U.S. Department of
Education are joining to make sure current and future models
of learning properly prepare students to be the skilled laborers
this nation needs to lead in the 21st 22nd and 23rd centuries.

William Jackson is an educator over 30 years experience.
Teaching Physical Education, STEAM/STEM/STREAM
Past Professor with Edward Waters College teaching
Educational Technology, Social Media and STEAM
A national and international blogger and advocate
for WordCamp as a blogger, volunteer, speaker and
organizer.
Hashtag #MyQuestToTeach
20181007_114234

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January 19, 2018

Why Families Should Visit the Orlando Science Center

Filed under: Education,STEAM and STEM — William Jackson @ 12:30
Tags: , , , , , ,

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

 

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.

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