MAD-news for July: NCCEP, CSTA, and ISTE, Oh My!!

Hi Guest,

NCCEP, CSTA, and ISTE, OH MY! It sure is conference season in full swing! If you are going to be in DC next week for the NCCEP Annual GEAR UP conference, be sure to visit the MAD-learn booth #215 to say hello and pick up your #STEMinist shirt. If you are here in Chicago at #CSTA2022 with me, be sure to attend our APPy Hour session tomorrow at 1030am in W184bc to learn how easy it can be to bring app development to your students. Thank you for visiting our poster yesterday about Successful Computer Science Internships. If you were with us at ISTE a few weeks ago, we hope you had a great time at our co-sponsored evening Happy Hour and learned 1,000,000 things while you were there 😉

Alefiya Master
Founder & CEO

What’s hAPPening

Guardians of Heritage Project

MAD-learn continues to prove itself as a valuable tool in helping students communicate a variety of intellectual topics in unique and engaging ways. This has been further supported by our involvement in the Guardians of Heritage Project, led by one of America’s foremost leaders in cultural awareness for young black students, Dr. Joyce King. It includes students from throughout the United States, as well as a group from the Odara Institute in Bahia, Brazil.
The guardians, mostly of high school age, are supported by adults in a variety of roles, including Jegnas (facilitators), graduate students, and Elders (parents). The essential question guiding their work is whether the young people know their history and African identity and using the Kwanzaa principles to share their heritage with their communities. Several sessions were completed, which included information on an African community that was displaced (gentrified) to build Central Park, a Jegna’s Africatown family lineage, as well as information about Bahia.
Work began after stories of our own were shared. The guardians and adults were mesmerized by both Alefiya’s and Doreen’s tales of their appreciation for their own heritages. Students are now in the process of taking the information they have gathered and building it into mobile apps that can be shared with the world. These young people have worked hard throughout this project, and we can’t wait to see what apps these Guardians of Heritage produce!

Putting the H in APPy Hour at #ISTELive22

After years of offering APPy Hour sessions to introduce MAD-learn to new teachers, we were finally able to co-host an actual HAPPY Hour. And what better place to enjoy food, drinks and camaraderie than in The Big Easy! Along with our friends at Teq, Otis for Educators, SMART, Spaces and Quivervision, MAD-learn played host to over 200 party goers during the ISTE conference in New Orleans. This small sampling of photos acts as proof of a great time being had by all!

1st Summer Cohort of Interns Finish Strong

Over the years, MAD-learn has made virtual internships available to students around the world. As a global team with offices in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Delhi (India), and Accra (Ghana), we believe in connecting students around the world to learn from each other, sharpen their skills as well as acquire new skills for future careers. Our goal is to have students experience what it is like to do meaningful work virtually in a global team.

We are very proud to share that our first set of 2022 Summer interns just completed their time with us and that it was a huge success for all involved! Several of the interns completed relevant work over the month-long experience, and by their own accounts, enjoyed it immensely. Here’s what one of the interns, Uchechi had to say about his experience: “ I honestly really enjoyed the past few weeks here with the MAD-learn team. The staff is very kind to each other while still being critical of their work, and they are incredibly passionate about their careers. Things like the Plan of Action shared folders, and meeting schedule were all very organized and were constructed with genuine effort to make things as clear as possible. The work assigned each week was very coherent and even had organized folders for me to submit them through.”

It was also refreshing to hear what Shiv, another intern, had to say: 
“Overall after completing this internship I feel like I have grown a bit more in many fields. In communication, I was able to learn how to properly interact with others through different forms such as emails and group chats. This skill is really important and I feel that I have improved upon it since joining the program. Along with that, I noticed my problem-solving skills have grown too as when I was completing the tasks I saw myself slowly overcoming obstacles. I enjoyed the variety of tasks given. Even though some were tedious I was able to develop skills such as editing, programming, and data entry from them. I liked the morning meetings as it was a cool refresher before talking about business.”
We are looking forward to welcoming our second group of Summer interns next week!


We are honored to be working with Dr. Joyce King on the Guardians of Heritage Project (see article above). She is a true visionary and powerful catalyst for positive change. Widely respected in both urban and social education, Dr. King has advanced teacher preparation in diversity and pedagogy through her scholarship, teaching practice and leadership. The author of nine books and many scholarly articles, she also served on the Curriculum Commission for the Georgia State Board of Education. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Social Education from Stanford.
Dr. King’s accomplishments reflect an emphasis on innovative interdisciplinary scholarship, which explains her being drawn to MAD-learn. Her work has also been driven by culturally connected teaching and learning and “inclusive transformative leadership for change often in creative partnership with communities.” These qualities are the heart of the GoH mission, and we are thrilled to be working with her and her staff. To learn more about this exceptional “change agent” check out Dr. King’s animated bio! 

MAD-family Continues to Grow

We want to thank schools that have either renewed their partnerships with MAD-learn or are just joining our MAD-family. We are so happy to know we will be continuing our work to help students at:
  • Duval County GEAR UP (FL)
  • Hudson Falls CSD (NY)
  • Cobb County School District (GA)
  • Putnam Valley School District (NY)
  • Colonial Middle School (PA)
  • Allentown GEAR UP (PA)

Don’t leave without…

…checking out our new teacher-made video: How to Teach App Development WITHOUT a Computer Science Background. Share it with your colleagues and invite them to join the ever-growing MAD-learn family!

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