Building the Xylophone February 21st PD

The Scientists for Tomorrow (SfT) program held their second Professional Development (PD) for this academic semester, for the module Physics of Sound and Mathematics of Music. The PD was held Saturday, February 21st 2015 with thirty-six instructors from twenty-eight sites in attendance. In adittion we had a guest speaker, Linda Keane, from  www.Next.cc and Yahvi Pichardo from Rush Hour Music participating in the PD.

Several SfT student leaders from Columbia College Chicago attended the PD to document the event and help the instructors. Jose Perez and Martin Bayang, both Film majors and SFT videographers, took video of the PD to produce tutorials needed as a resource tool for instructors. Maria Dantas, a first year photography student took photos of the PD, while  Filip Zadro and Tyler Davis, both Audio majors and SfT instructors at Shields Middle School, participated in guiding instructors during the building process of the xylophone.  Daniela Cortes, a Film student was also in attendance, working side by side as the associate coordinator for the program  with Evelyn Oropeza and Marcelo Caplan.

Marcelo, associate professor in the Department of Science and Mathematics at Columbia College Chicago and co-founder of Scientists for Tomorrow, began the PD at 9:00am by explaining the mathematics behind the construction of the wind chimes that were built during the last PD. Marcelo then moved along to the main lesson: the building of the xylophone. Instructors began the construction process at 11:00am, teaming up into groups of five to efficiently complete the xylophone on time.

There was a break halfway through the construction for a presentation on www. NEXT.cc given by Linda Keane, the creator of the website. Linda explained how her website explores digital media by leading students on a journey through across the board activities such as nanotechnology, architecture and ecology. The website is offered as a tool for instructors to guide students through the “five goals of environmental education:  Awareness, Knowledge, Attitudes and Environmental Ethic, Citizen Action Skills and Citizen Action Experiences.”

After Linda’s presentation, instructors continued to work on their xylophones. Many instructors who have been through the Physics of Sound and Mathematics of Music module before finished early and proceeded to help other participants who were still working. Some instructors finished constructing their xylophones as early as 12:30pm while others took the full four hours to complete theirs.

The PD ended at 2:00pm as intended. The SFT team will follow up the PD by sharing the Activity Journal folders with those who did not have access to the file and with new instructors. For more information on how you can get involved visit www.scientistsfortomorrow.org

 

SfT instructor- First Term Experience

I was first introduced to the Scientists for Tomorrow initiative in a rather vicarious manner through the vibrant teachings of Marcelo Caplan. Before he became my mentor, co-worker, and overall wealth of knowledge for all things related to education, he was my professor. One afternoon, he invited my fellow classmates and myself to attend the STEAM conference he was hosting at NEIU. That gave me the opportunity to see how many people were in fact benefiting from the work done by the Scientists for Tomorrow team, of which each member carried the same form of excitement and enthusiasm for the proverbial “wow” moment I myself now try to introduce the children I teach to.

My very first class was also my most stressful one, only because I had never evaluated my public speaking skills in front of children. That said, once I stepped into the classroom and introduced myself to the class, the atmosphere became very fluid and comfortable. I treated every class as a learning experience for both myself and  the children in my classroom.

The Professional Developments really helped me keep a solid pace with the curriculum I was teaching. Not only that, but they provided an environment that invited all of the instructors to get a better understanding of the tools and materials that they would be using, including a chance to ask questions and get advice from Marcelo and Evelyn, who were always more than willing to help explain certain concepts or send over lesson plans and extra materials when needed.

As an instructor, I was given the opportunity to take part in many of the events that Scientists for Tomorrow put on over the course of the semester, such as the Fiesta Familiar (held at the Lincoln Park Zoo) and Family Science Day (held at the Museum of Science and Industry). Not only did those events give me a chance to interact more broadly with the families of the children I taught, but managing large groups of one-hundred or more people over the course of an afternoon definitely helped strengthen my time management skills and allowed me a chance to see children interact with family and friends, as well as impart them with the same knowledge and interesting facts that we covered over the course of our ten weeks together.

Being part of the Scientists for Tomorrow initiative has given me the chance to meet some of the most diligent educators, including some of the most ambitious children I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. Their tenacity and perpetual movement towards success and accomplishment has made my time with Scientists for Tomorrow more than worthwhile, and I look forward to meeting and working with the next group of talented young minds and hopefully giving them a chance to chase and realize their own “wow” moment.

By: Filip Zadro -SfT instructor at Shields Elementary School and Senior at Columbia College Chicago majoring in Audio and Design Production.

8th grade/High school Spring 2015 Programs

2015 Spring Programs- 8th Grade Girls
After School Matters (ASM) is looking for 8th grade girls who attend James Hedges Elementary to participate in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) after school program, Scientists for Tomorrow. Girls must attend Hedges in order to participate.
Benefits:
– Learn about the Physics of Music and build three musical instruments using hand tools.
– Participate and present at the STEAM Conference May 2, 2015 where they will get a certificate and recommendation letter.
– Visit and explore the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for free with their families at the Family Science Day May 23, 2015
– Learn about other programs where high school teens get paid to learn and have FUN through After School Matters!
Contact dcortes@scientistsfortomorrow.org

High School Teen STEM Program
The Junior Research Scientists program at Columbia College Chicago is looking for teens interested in learning about Astronomy, Solar Energy and other STEM related topics. The program begins in February and runs Tuesday and Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30pm at Columbia College Chicago.
Benefits:
– Design, engineer, and build solar power and astronomy based projects!
– Conduct college level research and science projects in a college setting. Gain real work experience and work with established scientists.
– Teens conduct collaborative research projects and increase their competence in conducting scientific investigations by designing and building personalized products such as a programmable solar powered rover and a desktop planetarium (nanotarium).
– Participants present their results of their engineering designs and research through oral presentations supplemented with PowerPoint slides and physical models in a public symposium at the College. The symposium is attended by participants’ friends and family, members of the scientific, engineering, and artistic communities, and the community at large.
– Attend and present at the STEAM Conference May 2, 2015
To apply register at http://afterschoolmatters.org/teens
Look for: Junior Research Scientists-Columbia College Chicago
This is an Advanced Apprenticeship and participants will be eligible for a small stipend through After school Matters. For more information contact eoropeza@scientistsfortomorrow.org