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Alpha Academy February 2024 Session

Alpha Academy February 2024 Session
Overall: We are excited that attendance is holding steady after the new year. After introductions, presenting the overview for the day, and feeding the mentees, we introduced the Origin of Black History Month to all of the mentees. This topic was both informative and engaging for the mentees. The focus on the origin of Black History Month was particularly relevant and essential for the mentees to understand and learn about. We introduced the topics in a way that allowed for discussion and reflection on the contributions of famous African Americans that are in relation to the 2024 Black History Month theme – African Americans and the Arts.

After our group discussion, we split up so that each age group could continue with their projects and learning journeys. Elementary school mentees continued their STEM learning journey by learning more about the EV Storm robot and created a program that they downloaded to the robot that focused on its movements. The middle school mentees were guided through the recap of each step of the car design process, from sanding to discussing potential and kinetic energy. They have been asked to bring their completed cars to the March session. The High School mentees were split into two teams and played Black History Month Kahoot it where the winner will receive gift cards in March. The questions focused on notable African Americans who significantly contributed to society, African Americans in the Engineering Field, and important Black History facts.

Elementary: The elementary school student portion of the February session went very well. The students were very enthusiastic and highly motivated. During the session, students learned the various components that make up the EV3 Mindstorm robot and how they function. In addition, students created a computer program to download from the desktop to the robots. Their programming focused on robot’s movement. After the session, one of the students came up to me and said, "You did good!"; As a teacher that comment really meant a lot.

Middle School: For the individual middle school curriculum, we planned activities like the Black History card game and Kahoot trivia, which likely added an element of fun while still reinforcing crucial historical knowledge. Incorporated the Pinewood Derby car recap session of hands-on activities was fantastic for teaching practical skills and principles of physics and car maintenance. Bro. Boles, Askins, Wilson and Hood actively guided the mentees through the recap of each step of the car design process, from sanding to discussing potential and kinetic energy. Encouraging the mentees to bring their completed cars to the next meeting fostered accountability and a sense of accomplishment. A few mentees still needed to complete the sanding part, but they ensured the team they would have the cars completed for the next AAMP meeting on March 9, 2024. The mentees were instructed to bring their cars in the shoe box.

High School: The high schoolers were divided into groups. They played Black History Kahoot it against each other where we focused on important Black History facts and notable African Americans in the Engineering field and who have significantly contributed to American society. Two captains were named by Bro. Hardman: Evan and Tobias. Then, we went around the room as they selected their teammates. It was the Ravens (Evan's Team on the right side of the room) vs the Patriots (Tobias' Team on the left side). We proceeded to play the game; it was fun, as we had a few lead changes. We then proceeded to address the answers to the questions using the notes to the questions as a starter. Brothers Kenneth Williams, Dillard, and Simmons assisted Bro. Hardman and Bro. Hood with leading conversations around the Kahoot it facts.
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