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.

April 24, 2017

When You Educate Women You Educate Generations

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When You Educate Women You Educate Generations
by William Jackson, #MyQuestToTeach
STEM and STEAM Advocate

The goal of education is not to just educate that specific
person, it is a goal to educate generations that come
afterwards. Establishing education as a foundation to
achieve success can be seen when families continue to
send their children to higher educational institutions,
vocational school and even military service to work
towards a level of degree in the service of their country.

The past decade has seen an increase in careers that
require technical skill, certificates and diplomas. At the
forefront are women that see these as stable careers
to raise a family and have access to the benefits
that they may not have had from their parents. Families
of color are beginning to encourage their children to
think out of the cultural box and aim for the stars,
the seas and medical professions that explore
the inner spaces of the human bodies.

STEM, STEAM, STREAM are seen as the gateways
to achieving the American Dream and dreams that
are deferred because of social-economic situations.
The increase in mentoring groups is exposing
girls and young women to careers not thought
of that require higher order thinking, problem
solving, critical thinking, thought leadership,
creativity and out of the box developmental
abilities that foresee future challenges that
may threaten humanity on local, national
or international levels.

When you educate a mother your educating a generation
because mothers will continue to open the minds of her
children and her children’s children. Fathers provide
the support systems and help build foundations. The
recent Markerspace presentation at the Jacksonville
Public Library “STEAM INTO STEM” brought together
women in Jacksonville, Florida that show the diversity
of parenting, careers, business applications, educational
levels and entrepreneurialism.

20170412_172752

Jax Markerspace panelists:
Shawanna Brooks, the hostesses, Akia Uwanda, Latonja Richardson,
Princess S. Rashid, and Angie Nixon. Each woman involved in
Jacksonville as community activist, business leaders and have
children in the schools systems of Jacksonville either public
or private.
The aspirations are the same for academic success, the goal of
graduating their children from high school and attending higher
education is similar, but the roads to achievements are
diverse and different. Each women are successful in their own
ways, are unified in their goals for their children to be better
educated and have better access to the resources that are open
in today with the integration and implementation of technologies
that involve STEAM INTO STEM.

Trans-formative statements: “The biggest danger of unemployment
today is not of immigration it is the advancements of technology
in robotics,” made by Princess S. Rashid a Physicist, educator,
parent and Artist. This shows that science can embrace the Arts,
there is coexistence.  The blending of STEAM and building a
relationship with careers comes into place when Angie Nixon
and Latonjay Richardson comment that the holistic approach
to education comes to play that children will not change if they
continue to be limited by their environments. The value of
exposure and relevance is real when education is applied to
careers and the changing of the mental and relevancy of what
is learned when applied in real life.

The FIRST LEGO LEAGUE, is the dream of Mark McCombs,
“I teach people how to build robots and to do what they used
to think was impossible.” Mark McCombs is the visionary of the
FIRST LEGO League competitions going on at middle and high
schools across the state of Florida . This creates dynamic
opportunities for team building in youth, teens and young adults.

Engineering, building and coding of robotics that are involved
in competitions and can be applied to real world or off world
future exploration. Women are playing key roles in these areas,
looking at the recent Hidden Figures movie that careers in NASA
and other aerospace, inner space, space travel and applied careers
are the keys for generational success academically and culturally.

STEM, STEAM and STREAM are not just acronyms to decipher
they are Real, Relevant and Ready to help youth, teens and young
adults reach their dreams and beyond. Parents check your child’s
school to see if they have a STEM or STEAM curriculum that builds
your child to reach beyond their potential and abilities. Never put
limits on the learning of your children or you will limit their
abilities to take care of themselves and their children.
Generations depend on the advancements of the children now.
If your children do not know how to aim, how will they aim
high for success?
Resources:
Jacksonville Public Library:
http://jaxpubliclibrary.org/

 

September 28, 2016

STEAM and the Educational Growth of Children in 2016

STEAM and the Educational Growth of Children in 2016
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College @wmjackson
Educational Technology, Social Media and STEAM

10

This blog was originally written in 2013,
much has changed in the opportunities for
children of color and culture to grow and
develop into Nerds, Blerds, Geeks and
Entrepreneurs.

In our educational systems nationwide,
where children of color and culture are taught
not just the educational curriculums and
strategies for successfully passing
assessments, educators teach the value of
education by integrating project based learning.
It should be known that the development of
knowledge in itself is not transformative,
the application of knowledge, creativity
and innovation is powerful.

The educational initiatives of STEAM, STEM,
STREAM CSTEAM and even STEM2 are
vital to prepare youth for current and future
careers. Students of color and culture
do not care about statistics, graphs, charts,
Excel spreadsheet. They want to know how
they can use these skills to provide for their
families and build their communities.

This is why educators at all levels must
make their instruction relevant and apply
to real world situations not to pass a
mandated state assessment.

Print

The investment of STEAM Science
Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics
can be seen in the development of hand-on
projects, collaborative and cooperative learning
activities that show the significance of
hands-on learning that is interactive and
educationally engaging for students.
These activities are also the precursors to
career selections for students that have
unknown talents and abilities to do great things
in this world. Teachers cultivate and nurture
critical thinking skills in their students.

Society can no longer teach with old school
traditional lecture methods. Today’s students
are interactive, they need to be engaged, involved
and even entertained.  Instruction in schools can
no longer be teacher centered in its direction to
teach concepts, strategies, standards, there needs
to be a transition to student centered learning in
today’s schools even in higher education. Tech
labs must be available to allow individual
research and learning, group learning and gender
collaboration.

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History = Alton Yates Future = Taylor Richardson
Both of Jacksonville, Florida

STEAM/STEM integration encourages students
to be the center of attention in learning, the teacher
sets the parameters and learning objectives to
accomplish tasks that are fashioned
to teach diverse areas of interactive learning.
The students understand that learning can be
fun first, engaging second, and transformative
third.  The connections from Science
Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics
involving higher order and critical thinking skills.
When incorporating the “R” for Reading students
apply comprehension for understanding. Instead
of hearing from teachers that they “better”
understand what is being read, there is a “reason”
why comprehension is important.

Chinua Achebe, Nigerian author states that
children should never be afraid of reading and
should be excited to go to libraries and museums.
It is the responsibility of parents to make this a
reality.

See Dick and Jane run up and down a hill do not
cut it, students could be building bridges, rockets
or robots along with reading what is the speed of
Dick if he falls down the hill or how fast would
Jane have to run to catchup with Dick as he rolled
down the hill. Reading is important to follow
directions to complete tasks, but teaching it like a
Dick and Jane book ruins the excitement and
the fun!!!

Real world experiences in careers shows children
of color and culture to see past traditional careers,
they get a chance to see what the future potentially
holds.

STEM2 (squared) integrates Medical aspects
and CSTEAM incorporates Computer
initiatives. Students are learning that they can be
Geeks, Nerds, Blerds, and start their own businesses.
Society cannot afford to dumb down learning because
early childhood students are watching Star Wars,
Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers,
Iron Man, and Captain America, they’re wondering
how they too can build robots, drones, spaceships
and have an influence in the world.

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News reports from NPR show that the direction for
careers is changing and students must be exposed
to information and resources to keep up with change.
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/09/08/492954687/how-coffee-is-perking-up-engineering-education
The Airforce is in need of drone pilots, children
of color and culture and women need to consider
careers that open new directions and demand new skills.
http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/09/08/493004533/the-rise-of-the-drone-and-the-thorny-questions-that-have-followed
What was once thought of as out of bounds for
children of color and culture are now new
opportunities to receive high tech education and
advancement not seen in the last 10 years.
http://www.npr.org/2015/01/24/379550383/the-drone-war-hits-a-bottleneck-too-many-targets-not-enough-pilots
Parents, especially parents of color and culture must
understand the future implications
in employment and careers for their girls and boys.
Higher educational access to resources that
encourage community engagement and a higher level
of interaction and educational attainment
for students that involve learning outside the classroom
and involved in the community.

If parents do not want their children to return home
after graduating from college or stay home
after high school graduation they must continue
to be parents, to guide their children far away to start
careers that allow for occasional visits. If you have adult
children, you understand the importance of stable,
progressive careers that allow your children to grow
away from home.  To spread their wings to fly….

The choice is simple for 180 days of school, learning,
growing, exposure and adapting
to new ideas for development, teachers must
challenge their students engagement and
build their intellectualism and how to apply
their intelligence. There should not be any
consideration of color, culture, gender of lifestyle.

All students matter in any educational
arena and teacher must be prepared to teach the
diversity of our world.
                           STEM – STEAM – STREAM – CSTREAM – STEM2

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