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



June 8, 2016

The 7th Annual Man Up For Health Summit



The 7th Annual Man Up For Health Summit
in Jacksonville, Florida
For males 13 and older includes “free”
health screenings, workshops and exhibitor fair.

Those attending will learn how simple lifestyle
choices can enhance the quality of their lives,
reduce illness and injuries. Health screening
provided advanced notice of potential health

Fathers are encouraged to bring their sons,
mothers bring your husbands and daughters.
Dads bring your dads and grandfathers.
Uncles bring your nephews and cousins.

Workshops and demonstrations will be provided.
Attendees will learn how to get healthy and stay healthy!

Saturday, June 11, 2016
9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School of the Medical Arts
1701 North Davis Street
Jacksonville, FL 32209

Provided by:
Healthy Jacksonville Men’s Health Coalition, Inc.
Organizer of 2016 Man Up For Health Summit for Men & Boys
The Healthy Jacksonville Men’s Health Coalition Inc.
is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Eventbrite Registration:

June 19, 2014

Social Media and Community Involvement

Jacksonville University hosting Learn2Earn Experience 2014

Social Media and Community Involvement

Wm Jackson w/ Learn2Earn students

Speaking to over 100 Duval County high school students participating
in the Learn2Earn Experience at Jacksonville University and students
at the Black Male Explorers Program at Edward Waters College,
discussing Social Media and Social Networking safety is very important
because of the content that is created by teens and posted on interactive
and dynamic platforms that can extend globally.

Social Networking is booming for youth and teens, it is on the rise because
of the integration of technology and its ease of use and potential abuse.
Content is important because of its ability to create an impression about
a person. Perceptions are important especially when accessing Social
Media or Sm content. Youth should not be viewed as violent and
destructive. Videos like this are showing a dangerous side of youth and
teens that will affect their futures
Black youths rampage through Florida mall,

Technology, an ever emerging tool, expands the reach of youth, teens and
young adults past the boundaries of neighborhoods and distances. Sharing
my experiences as a STEAM educator and knowledge as a teacher
in higher education and Social Media consultant, the over 100 teens in
attendance at both places had great questions and concerns, all teens need
to understand the power and engagement of their content. It does not take
a technology degree, or a marketing degree (learning the basics is important)
about the use of Social Media and Social Networking platforms. Empowerment
comes from education and research.

The misconception for online use is joining every social network, making
thousands of friends, sharing personal information and gaining multiple contacts.
Managing personal access and implementation of resources is common sense
and parents should teach their children that they (their children) do not have
to be friends with everyone and share personal information with strangers.

Speaking to City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Youth for Summer Employment

Social Networks are designed to be “Social,” there are guidelines that should
be established to keep everyone safe from predators and stalkers. Sites like
Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, and others are user generated content creators
meaning that the content is created by the user. Sites like Twitter enable
micro-blogging using content that contains 140 characters or less. Each
is powerful and allows for diverse connectivity with diverse audiences.
Youth and teens use can be questionable and harmful in multiple ways.
Speaking to youth at the Prevent Crime In The Black Community content
produced and posted never goes away and content can influence relationships
in multiple ways as seen in this short video clip from the conference:
Preventing Crime in the Black Community short clip.

Several areas were covered during my 90 minute presentation that is
interactive and engaged the teens at conferences. Content is very important,
content is king and Social Media changes the social paradigm of engagement;
Lecturing on the importance of content and creating a positive perception
and positive presence online. At risk is the very delicate personal reputation
and far-reaching perceptions that create a personality. High school students
need to learn that having a web presence; social media presence does not
mean that everyone needs to know who you are, where you are and where you
are going.

Speaking at Preventing Crime In The Black Community Conf 2014 Jacksonville, Florida

Social networking has grown in billions of people in short years, the explosion
of the diversity online shows how the world has embraced and implemented
SM into their daily lives. SN / SM allows for peer collaboration on projects
and services that teens would never have imagined only 5 years earlier.
Surveys by the Nielsen Company have showed through studies teens spent
approx. 5 to 9 hours a day on social sites ranging from Facebook, Twitter,
Vine, SnapChat, YouTube and others.

The resulting globalization of Social Networks and Social Media Platforms
are the most popular online category followed by youth and teens. Parents
should be knowledgeable and set high expectations on their children’s
involvement and engagement online. Teens can be victimized by social
media sites and their posted content. There is stalking, bullying, porn,
sexting and other dangers that create questions for youth and teens about
their safety online.

Education and being proactive is very important for parents. Parents should
not have to wait looking at Google+, Facebook, SnapChat, Vine, and others
to see what their children are doing online. Parents should Google their teens
to keep track of online content that can keep them from earning scholarships,
internships, deny job opportunities and other opportunities that may be once
in a lifetime opportunities.

The implementation of Social Media and Social Networks has changed the
rules of monitoring and managing electronic devices for parents. Programs like
Learn2Earn Experience, Black Male Explorers, Upward Bound and
other programs provide unique chances for youth and teens to learn about
Social Media, Cyberbullying and Internet Safety.

The upcoming Life Choices A Youth Workshop will focus on Social Media
Safety, Bullying and other social issues teens and young adults face. Free to the
public parents are encouraged to bring their children this weekend, Saturday,
June 21st from 11am to 6:30pm. Lunch and Dinner will be served.
For more information contact:!upcoming-events/c2fz


Life Choices Workshop for Teens and Young Adults

Events like Prevent Crime In The Black Community should be attended,
supported by teens and young professionals that are role models in the
community. Preventing crime and equal education are paramount to improving
communities. Parents should work with organizations that share information
about Mental Health issues and the challenges and resources to address
serious issues of mental health, stress, social, emotional, cultural and
economic challenges. These resources are available to help people cope
and work to overcome seemingly impossible situations and


Mental Health in the African Community (MHIAAC)

Mental Health in the Community

The citizens of our community must be engaged, involved and active to
build our community stronger and healthier. Events like these for citizens
are important:
Attention Business Owners, Organizations, Concerned Citizens
Community Wealth Building Briefing w/Mayor Brown Today
Thursday, June 19, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Main Downtown Library
303 North Laura Street
1st Floor Lounge


Blogger / Writer / Speaker /
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Blogging at: My Quest To Teach
Social Media workshops available

June 10, 2014

Graduation Is A Foundation

Graduation Is A Foundation

Graduation ceremonies are culminating the school year, from
Early Learning Centers, Day Cares, Charter Schools, Public
School Institutions and in Higher Educational Institutions.

Sitting here in Palatka, Florida waiting for my daughter’s high
school ceremony to start I reflect on the two previous graduations
I attended; my son from #FAMU and my mentee whom we claim
each other as family, she graduated from elementary school.
A proud father and mentor working to be a good role model and
involved father and mentor to other children. I learned from
my mother a high school business teacher over 30 years (Camden
High School, Camden, New Jersey) that being involved and being
active is important to help youth get to a point where they are
emotionally and mentally capable of making mature and responsible
decisions. My mother, as too many of today was a single parent
raising three children, she not only raised her own, but helped and
mentored others that she taught.

“Educational Preparation Through Parental Involvement” is important
for all children to be successful, this preparation starts at birth and
does not stop until that child boy or girl can sustain themselves.
The key is teaching the skills necessary for children to have high
self-esteem and a drive for success. Incorporating a frame of mind
for educational success, high academic performance, again support
of parents is vital. That support starts at conception and transitions
even in some cases to college. Children need support even
in high school and college. Why do parents yell at their children
and ask questions about “why” did they do something, obviously
they still have lessons in life to learn and still need to grow and
mature. Everyone does not reach adulthood (maturity) at the same
time, each of us has our time line to maturity, sometimes as parents
we seem to forget this in our own children.

Learning is continuous in the 21st century and the prominence of
graduation ceremonies are inspired to continue high expectations
of success and high levels of academic achievement for these
graduates as they progress to adulthood. Parents even in today’s
society must stay vigilant and active to keep distractions to a minimum
that may cause children to go down the wrong path to self-destruction
or chaos and confusion.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, “What lies behind us and what lies
before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Words
of wisdom that show the importance of parents always showing
and speaking the good in their children. Imagine how our children
would grow if parents spoke peace, health, intellect, love, achievement
and success in their children every day. Anointing them not just with
physical oil that is blessed, but spoken oil of praise and prayer.
Graduation is a time for celebration of the achievements of academic
success, reflections of the school year and commemoration by awards,
recognition of the hard work of students; the commitment and sacrifice
of parents and professionalism of teachers.
During graduation ceremonies tidbits of information about the struggles,
accomplishments of students; the times of challenge, study and even
times of tears. The hope is during these ceremonies students understand
the depth of the commitment that is needed to keep rising and parents
understand their responsibility and accountability to keep parenting.

Dad and Autumn

Graduations are not just a conclusion, graduations are opening doors
to paths not walked, new adventures and challenges that must be
conquered and overcome. The transition from Kindergarten through
Fifth grade for many students progressed at the same school. There
develops a elementary bonding that helps lay the foundation for
learning. Teachers become role models, physical representations of
what education means and professional role models that allow for
connections that extend into the future.; in some cases teachers become
surrogate parents of students because of the amount of contact during
each day and the lessons of not just educational knowledge shared,
the real life reflections that can inspire, motivate and encourage students.

Parental involvement is powerful; it influences behaviour challenges,
academic shortfalls or successes, emotional connections to stability or
the instability of family confusion and chaos. The development of dreams
and aspirations for the future in children can be created by parents.
Parents must have high expectations for all their children because
parents are the first educators in the educational process.
Birth is a developmental process just as education is; birth encompasses
the complete aspect: physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of growth
and development. These elements must be molded and shaped at
birth to establish a foundation that is solid and stable, something to
build on for the developmental aspects of a child.

Birth in education comes during graduations, when the diplomas are
awarded, recognitions given, experiences shared, prayers answered and
appreciation is given to parents and teachers for their sacrifices, support,
encouragement, prayers, discipline and not giving up on students who
may have struggled or who “just didn’t get it yet.” The graduation (birth)
is shared; the students are progressing to the next level of growth the
next level of development.

Early education lays the foundation for students so parents cannot afford
to wait until formative educational opportunities in Kindergarten. Learning
activities are important in the years Birth to 3 years that allow a foundation
of language development, curiosity, exploration, engagement with the
environment and skill set development that allows for learning to take
place, creating life-long learners in children. Early child education is
important Pre-K classes are the foundations to schools either being
successful or struggling along with dedicated and trained educators.
Robert Louis Stevenson statement to teachers, “Don’t judge each day
by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” Gain strength
and comfort in knowing that teachers are planting seeds for the future of
doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, preachers, Presidents, Mayors,
engineers, and for professionals in careers that have not been discovered yet.

Taken from, Why is Education Important?
“The school years are the grounding years of one’s education. Schools
are institutions that lay the foundation of a child’s development. They play
a key role in developing children into responsible citizens and good human
beings.” Each society that embraces education and the equal education of it
citizens has risen to historical prominence and global influence. Societies
that do not embrace equal education eventually crash because of the
dissention of its citizens, declining economic power and the
lack of positive contribution to global commerce and weak political
influence. Stated by John F. Kennedy on the importance of education,
“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.
The human mind is our fundamental resource.” John F. Kennedy

Quotes share the importance of education, there is a passion that
parents and educators must infuse in children to get them to understand
the value and empowerment even during difficult socio-economic times.
“Education is not limited to that obtained from educational institutes.
Learning is a lifelong process. Rather, self-learning begins at a point where
institutional education ends. The process of self-learning continues throughout
one’s life.”
This statement is supported by President Barack Obama and his push
for all citizens to gain a quality education; “”… Every single one of
you has something that you’re good at. Every single one of you has something
to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is.
That’s the opportunity an education can provide.”

Parent stay involved with your children, keep encouraging
them and continue to support their efforts to build positive
and productive lives. No matter what level; support, encourage
and keep your child or children engaged in learning.

Education, Students, the Youth…
“Without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world.”
Malcolm X

Engineering from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade

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