Our goals for this training experience was to increase confidence levels of our participants in integrating computer science into their maker-spaces. We will let the data speak for itself…
Pre-training confidence level:
Post-training confidence level:
City of Houston PARD Superintendent of Recreation Programs Nikia Lewis
CONNECTION: Nikia is on the Cities Connecting Children with Nature Education Committee. I am on the CCCN Education Committee as a Keep Houston Beautiful Commissioner. My passion is bring computer science computational thinking and gardening on the same pathway to save time. “A minute saved is a minute earned.” To create networks like tree roots.
ACTION ITEM: Get Watershed map to use under the Bee-Bot clear mat for the U-ROC Lesson
MY FEEDBACK on efforts to help students in the park
- ISTE 2019 Presentation:
Community/School Library MakerSpaces: How can you add a makerspace to your community that incorporates intentional computational thinking and computer science opportunities? Join the Houston Parks Administrators as they share how they helped empower school campuses, child care agencies and community centers throughout the Houston area to bring CS4ALL to low-income families.
- Email Cancelling presentation:
From: “Thompson, Twonda – PRD”Subject: RE: proposal infoDate: April 5, 2019 at 6:03:54 PM CDTHeidi/Karen,I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for seeking to partnership with my office to co-present during the ITSE conference. I’m sure that the conference is going to be filled with fantastic workshop sessions and technological programming. However, after our conference call, and further discussion with my supervisor I am respectfully withdrawing from further participation with the ITSE workshop presentation. Based upon our discussion and in-depth questioning, it appears that the presentation is beyond the initial scope that I understood. It was my understanding that the session would be solely focused on the Bee-Bot training/implementation. However, now I’m understanding that it’s focused on sharing funding source strategies for other activities such as the library incorporating computational thinking/computer science into their marker spaces.Thanks again for your partnership, and professional training with out office. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me at 832-395-7244.Thanks for all you do,Twonda
- My response April 2019:
Dear Maria and Twonda,
Happy Earth Day. I keep thinking how much I could be doing for Houston especially with the parks. Just coordinated a Rosie Rose Garden at Herman Park and would love to share this with your children. Remember that Nikia was going to do something with bee-bots and water sheds. Hope all your after-school programs are having some fun Earth Day projects. Would love to see them.
I am very disappointed that you cancelled your commitment to present at the International Society for Technology Education conference. I was really looking forward to sharing what Houston is doing for our low-income families. Sorry you did not understand the initial scope.
When Heidi and I did the training for your parks department, we used the systems model to show a process for learning. The Bee-Bot with the arrow represents the quality control that is needed through-out each step. And we documented the whole process at https://knorth.edublogs.org/learn/maker-space-training-houston-parks/. The training and kits were the input. I feel an ethical responsibility to make sure the process of implementation for products I train on are being used. That is why I have been trying since September to get a list of the centers that have the 30 maker space kits and Heidi’s “No Fear Coding” book.
I wanted to observe and see the output of the learning by the students to see how I can help in the goals for your funding. The feedback is the accountability to show how the money impacted learning. To continue the systems model we asked if you wanted to present at ISTE to share what Houston is doing. That way the output can be improved by sharing our ideas Internationally. I have learned that “Together is Better” and that is the only way to improve quality control. The feedback comes from the auditor who looks at the books, the administrator who observes the teacher, the safety inspector, the manager who improves the work flow, the robot that automates the system through AI. All collect data and give feedback for improvement.
Therefore, I ask one more time for a list of the where the 30 kits and books are located. And the name and email of the person at that site responsible for implementation. As we would like to do a follow-up survey to maintain quality control. Vendors who sale products that do not gather ongoing feedback and support the implementation are costing our educational system to much time and money. That has been my life’s work, and your answers are a part of my research, https://knorth.edublogs.org/planning/research/ .
Thank you for your information,
- Twonda’s Response:
On May 3, 2019, at 10:14 AM, Thompson, Twonda – PRD <Twonda.Thompson@houstontx.gov> wrote:
Good Morning Karen,
My apologized for the delay in my response from your email inquiry below. I greatly appreciate your continuous efforts to share resources and to further seek areas in which you would like to extend our partnership efforts. Your expertise on the Terrapin Bee-Bot MakerSpace system is evident, and I’m hopeful that in the future we can identify avenues upon which we can further work together. I will reach out to the Terrapin organization should we need additional professional development training, resource and materials and technical support. Please be advised that implementation of the materials are underway, and the youth are greatly benefiting from them.
While I had to respectfully decline from further participation in the ITSE conference workshop session, my decision was based upon our conference call and the change in topics. Based upon the initial discussion for this great opportunity, the session was intended to highlight the product and it’s implementation in our programs. During our conference call the questioning and discussion was heavily focused on the funding source and not the product nor the partnership with Terrapin.
By Cc of this email correspondence, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Terrapin organization, and I look forward to potentially extending our relationship in the future. The implementation of the product has contributed in a positive way to enhance youth attendance, academics and behavior. Should Terrapin desire to conduct a post survey of their product, please forward the survey instrument to me and I will facilitate the process. If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me at 832-395-7244.
Thanks for all you do,
- My second response:
Twonda, sorry for the miscommunication on the ISTE presentation. The session was not to highlight any product, but to highlight how libraries and community centers through physical computing and hands-on problem solving build the mindset for computational thinking.
I also think there is miscommunication on what I do. I am a community volunteer. It is challenges that make life interesting. I like to add a little challenge to what teachers do. This is what I would like to observe, as I enjoy helping children and teachers enhance and share their creations and excitement for computer science. Together is better to accelerate learning.
One example: Volunteered at the Aldine ISD Coding STEM Fest Saturday. Helped a student debug HTML programming and others with an eatable shape building project. Saw an amazing poster presentation on Code.org’s Dance Party. Discovered I trained this 6th grade student’s CS teacher at a code.org workshop. This sparked the idea of a CT Houston video competition.
I am coordinating a panel discussion at the WeTeach CS Summit in Austin on “Building the Computational Mindset in STEM Education to scale Computer Science For All”. I was hoping to share the good things you are doing and successes. I am pleased that “the implementation of the materials are underway, and the youth are greatly benefiting from them… and the result is enhanced youth attendance, academics and behavior.”
Maybe one day you will be comfortable sharing what you are doing. When that times comes, I will still be here growing Rosies in the Park. Looking forward to seeing that list of sites in the future and attending a community Coding STEM Fest.
Thanks for all you do,
My son teaches in London so keep up with what they do. See their inspection framework report that says need to place greater emphasis on curriculum and give less weight to exam results. The Texas Education Agency has hosted a listening tour. Alas they changed the date for the one in Houston so I missed it; very frustrating. But in listening to the recording of the meeting found nothing new. Instead of spending all this time and money on collecting data on needs, TEA needs to focus on the implementation through an inspection framework like UK. A local reporter asked the question “Why don’t we have more Houston ISD schools participating in the FIRST Championship?” I tweeted I know why and the solutions. But need my voice heard to make it happen.