Guest Post via @wmjackson: STEAM Embraces All Children of Color and Culture

STEAM Embraces All Children of Color and Culture

Black kids can change the world if given a chance to shine.
The educational system must inspire and illuminate the
greatness and innovation inside children that should have
the same opportunities for a quality education no matter
what zip code they live in.

The beauty of STEM / STEAM / STREAM / CSTREAM / STEM2 is the opportunity for instruction to be on a level of integration that demands the instruction to be student centered and not teacher centered. Everyone from the administration, faculty, students and even office, cafeteria, and custodial staff can and should contribute to the climate of acceptance, high expectations, and educational success.

Students are exposed to new areas that require critical and higher order thinking skills. These new learning directions do require innovative teaching strategies, but the potential to provide opportunities to grow educationally and cognitively far outweighs the alternatives of educational neglect and instructional staleness.

Schools that are consistently underperforming have a
responsibility to make the necessary changes to provide
quality and equitable educational opportunities. Teaching to
“the test” is not working nor is it preparing students for future
educational experiences, preparing for careers or fostering
creativity in children. If schools are teaching to a test, then they
are not worthy of the titles they have to prepare students to
be future leaders and contributors to society. The contributions
will only be in the criminal juvenile justice systems of this nation.

Urban schools are often neglected, given limited resources; money is not always the issue, the access to quality educators, books that are current and relevant to learning in today’s digital world and access to professional educators that are leaders in their careers and have the skill sets to motivate both students and parents. How can students strive for success if they do not see successful people or have access to mentors that have been where the students are and made it out? Success breeds success.

Educational leaders make the necessary platforms to teach and
parents make the necessary sacrifices to make sure their children
are learning despite their current socio-economic situations.

Watching Black Girls Code and seeing the eagerness to learn in the eyes of Black girls, listening to the hope that reverberates from their hearts, it is evident that they as well as thousands of others that education is their way out of their current economic and environmental circumstances. Teachers need to understand this to see why sometimes students don’t get the value of education, but once exposed their eyes are open. Parents don’t understand the sacrifices necessary because they are already sacrificing to stay alive.

Children are children and their limited experiences in life
don’t turn into appreciation and even love until years later
when the light bulbs  of comprehension illuminate the galaxy
of learning, creativity, confidence, self-esteem and innovation
that was buried beneath the  depths of immaturity, economic
neglect and even institutionalized economic despair.

The reality is that educators hold the keys to inspiring kids to grow beyond their current situations. If educators lack confidence in their children and parents do not understand the intrigue educational nuances with curriculums, testing, interpretation of data, not valuing nor respecting the educational process then students are placed at the bottom before they can strive to succeed as they work to the top.


Black children are talented, Black children are capable, Black
children are intelligent, and Black children are innovative if
given the right tools.
Provided the resources and teachers that want to be there to
teach regardless of zip codes or income brackets. Technology
is not the magic potion, but can be the key to opening
intellectual doors of Black and minority children of color
and culture. To allow Black children to be innovative and
creative. Tech companies owned by Blacks are only 1% of
the companies nationally; this has to chance.

Episodes of Black Girls Code shows that collaboration with
community partners can inspire students to embrace technology
and how to effectively apply that knowledge to building a product
that Black girls can see the development of their product.
“Seeing is believing and believing leads to achieving.
“William Jackson, TOTY 2015

As an educator in elementary and higher education, I see the dynamics of both sides of the educational coin. As a past STEAM educator teaching Engineering and Technology in the elementary environment, I have seen the excitement of learning, the explosion of confidence in my students when they grasp complex concepts and also the pride in seeing how Blacks have made dynamic and historic achievements when watching YouTube videos of Blacks in history.

Teaching my Educational Technology classes on the college level
my students, mostly minorities learn to value and importantly
incorporate technology to prepare them for careers that demand
skills that are futuristic and engaging.

The dialogue continues and should inspire innovation, ignite
imagination and cultivate creativity in our children especially
children of color and dynamic culture.

Church of Christ Lectureship 2015


Black Girls Code Part #1 Oakland, California

Black Girls Code Part #2 Miami, Florida

Black Girls Code Part #3 The Revolution is Digital

William Jackson discusses Black Girls and STEM


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