The S&S team is proud to be the sponsor of the National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for Afterschool for 2017. We are recognizing the nominees and winners for their accomplishments and dedication to the afterschool community. Benita Blackwell shares her experience as an afterschool professional, and how introducing the field of STEM to her students has had an impact on their lives and life skills.
I was introduced to the afterschool profession six years ago when I served a Certified Secondary Mathematics teacher in the public school system. This particular afterschool profession helped to enhance the academic enrichment with the student body of the school. With my enrichment area of expertise being Mathematics and Science, my students questioned me daily on when they would ever utilize the topics embedded in the curriculum in the real world. No matter how much I related the areas to their real world job content, I was still leaving my students stranded in an abyss, because it was not a part of the world they live in. They still could not see how limits relate to atoms and the atomic number; how basketball related to special right triangles; how vectors are associated with every sport; how mathematics can be a form of literature; how algebra, trig, calculus, physics, outliers, and standard deviations are used in the workplace (engineering, automotive, nursing, doctors, banking, accounting, pilots, scientist, biologist, designers, interior decorators, veterinarians, graphic designers, programmers, coding, architects), basketball, baseball, football, soccer stadiums and buildings, and much more. Continue reading