|Posted on September 29, 2019 at 3:05 PM||comments (23)|
There she was working faithfully building her beautiful creations with building straws . She was a diligent one picking out the right colors to make her formations just the way she liked. As I watched her from a far something came into view that I hadn’t noticed during our class. No one was partnering with her she was doing it all by herself. I’d usually join a student ask if there was anything they wanted help with. Not with this one. She was definitely use to working hard by herself because she had to. The whole time in class I saw her working so hard I never noticed that she only had one and a half arms.
She was a reminder to me that anything is possible.
In another school we’ve made an area for our electrical kits. Now some of our students get frustrated quickly with this area. While others stay the course and get lost amongst the wires , speakers, light bulbs and more. Their faces scrunch up as they read the instructions. But when they see it all coming together they began to get excited. Then it happens. The sound comes from the speaker. The fan starts spinning and the light bulb comes on. The students smiles become electrified with joy.
Our program travels nationally and internationally. From preschools to colleges or on the dirt floor in a hut the reactions are the same. There is a sense of accomplishment. There is an extra light and wonder in their eyes. It says I can do more or learn more than I thought I could.
We have the privilege of educating our future. What I love about our STEM program specifically is that we don’t only stimulate the mind but we engage the soul. Creativity is released. Motor skills are improved. Teamwork simply happens and minds are open. This is why I do what I do. I believe in the gift of education. It can literally change lives forever. Our children are our future.
|Posted on September 29, 2019 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
The first school I walked into I had three wonderful little girls with the most gorgeous smiles and energetic attitudes grab a hold of me. After that I had sidekicks for the rest of my tour of the school. They were fascinated with everything about me. They would walk around pointing things out and feeling everyone’s skin and hair. There was a pure joy and curiosity that flowed through them.
As I walked through this school my heart sank in my chest. Indescribable bathrooms. Broken chairs or not enough of them. Buildings falling apart and totally unsafe. Barely no supplies for the students or the teachers. Our worst school in the US would be the best there. But what we found were 100% committed teachers. They want to serve their students well . Some of the very things I teach were on the chalkboards in their classrooms. But they needed more help with their facilities and teaching supplies.
The opportunity to visit another school came . I didn’t know what to expect. I was joining two other teachers that day to do a training we called Teachers teaching teachers. This school was totally different. It had a great structure. A large water pump and much more. We were greeted in song and different presentations from the students in their yellow and green uniforms. I found three major similarities which were joy filled students ,100% committed teachers and a need for more supplies to improve the teaching experience.
The day had finally come. A dream of 23 years was coming to pass. I was teaching in Africa. I was equipping people to equip students. It was exactly what I had been waiting for. It was extra hot that day. We taught for almost 9hours with few breaks. But the teachers were hungry to learn. In years pass we’ve sent microscopes, building straws and much more. Which the teachers pack up everyday and take home so that it won’t be stolen. In November 2018 we sent a plethora of different items. The teachers were in awe.
At the end of the day the two schools left with at least two suitcases of supplies for their schools. Each teacher received a messenger bag full of school supplies for them and much more. One of the best moments was when we were able to give all the students brand new backpacks. There was singing and shouts of joy. That day was great for them but it was one of the best days of my life. I love education. STEM is the wave of the future and I’m glad to be a part of it.
|Posted on September 29, 2019 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
Multiple flights, searching for a Starbucks, flat tires and a 5 hour trip to the border of Haiti up and down mountainous roads. This was the first 36 hours of the trip. The plan was to stay a month, teach STEM and Jesus to kids in the village and in the school. It was an amazing trip where I learned just as much as the students.
As the days progressed I began to walk around the small village. Sometimes alone speaking broken Spanish and on rare occasions I had an interpreter.
I had come to share with them the joy of learning through our STEM products.
I brought gears and shared about mechanical engineering and teamwork. I brought building straws and shared on structural engineering and a strong foundation in life.
Sometimes with STEM I add art. One day I filled my backpack with a bottle of water, an empty salsa jar , a notebook and a package of brushes with a water color packet from the dollar store. Then I headed to the village. I wish you could have seen their faces. They were so happy . Their smiles shined so brightly.
I sat down and poured some water in the jar and watched them paint to their hearts content. Then I went to some of the little huts with the half naked kids and sat in the dirt and painted with them. The children were in shock that I would sit on the dirt and come to their level. It was truly one of the best days of my life that still brings tears to my eyes.These children are worthy of us coming to their level and encouraging them to dream.
During the month stay in the mountainous jungle I had the privilege to teach at a school. We walked to another small town with suitcases of stem products. The teachers and principal were enthralled to see their students fully engaged in our STEM class. I was blessed to have an interpreter that day as I shared about different inventors, scientists and engineers. They were able to know that there are people like them who’ve been in their shoes and look like them too.
It’s such a privilege to do laundry in the creek beds with these kids and also open their minds to a world they’ve never known. They truly are Dominican Delights.
|Posted on November 10, 2018 at 5:25 PM||comments (1)|
What is STEM?
Do you remember your teacher's saying ”You’ll use this everyday when your older?” Well, we actually do use STEM on a daily basis. Sometimes I still have a hard time believing that when it come to Calculus. But when it comes to shopping I know about discounts.
What I love about STEM is that it's for all ages.
For the preschooler with colorful building blocks, it’s the first steps to structural engineering. Your favorite 9yr old who needs you to buy a couple more cases of glue to make some rather epic amounts of slime its science.
To the student who begs for just a little more screen time to code, it's technology.
Then there's the nephew who always wants to get in your purse and count all the change and dollars.
That is mathematics and possibly the beginning stages of an investment banker.
We want to encourage you to recognize all the STEM around you and share it with others. Encourage them to partake in it in a more intentional way. The next generations are running with it. They are shaping their future one STEM moment at a time. Dive in!
MEP.Inc is traveling all around the nation and other nations facilitating opportunities to dive in. If you are interested in having us come to your location please contact us. We would love to share about the many different exhibits and programs that we offer. As always don’t forget to take your daily dose of STEM.