Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Looking to the Past and the Future

Tuesday at Tech Club we did three main things:

  1. Learn about the contributions African Americans have made to science and technology
  2. Discuss what classes are helpful to take in high school to prepare for science and engineering programs in college
  3. Work more with Alice, the programming tool, to learn more about how to add stationary objects and how to make the moving objects interact with them

We read several of the bios on, to learn about African Americans in science and engineering. One person who stuck out was George Washington Carver, but not because he invented peanut butter. Things we didn't know about him were that his parents died when he was young and had to move from home to home, and sometimes the area he moved to didn't have a high school that would allow African Americans to attend. Fortunately the people he lived with then payed for him to have a tutor. I also learned he did not initially go to college for science, but for art. It wasn't until he transferred to Iowa State University did he study this in college. He was the first African American to attend Iowa State, and eventually went on to become a faculty member, until Tulane University offered him a job on their faculty and great research opportunities.

After we spent some time reading and discussing these important figures in the history of science and engineering, we talked about some of my first year college experiences with math and programming in the University of Michigan engineering program. I shared which classes I took, or didn't take in high school that helped me, or could have helped me during that first year of college. I felt the two most important areas of study to have a solid foundation in for the first year of college were math and programming, though many high schools do not offer programming courses.

Lastly, we did some Alice programming. Sean built a mini city and added a few characters and had a dragon flying off of one of the sky scrapers.

Next week we hope to do some more programming with Alice, and talk about how Facebook newsfeed works and how people make games for Facebook. That's all for now! See you next week!

1 comment:

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Thanks for sharing. There are many Black inventors and creators who could be inspirations for all of us. As our teens learn to use these tools to share their own stories they will build skills that might make them the heroes read about in the future.

Dan Bassill
Cabrini Connections