MAD-news for March: Register for The Unveiling event: March 23

Hi Guest,

It’s happening! The official Unveiling Event is here and we would love nothing more than for you to join us at the virtual party to check out and celebrate the brand new MAD-learn with some of our phenomenal national partners and special guest speakers. They will be sharing more about their work, latest updates, and how you can get involved with NCCEP, CSforALL, Teq, and the Congressional App Challenge.

Register HERE.

Don’t miss your spot. Register today!

Alefiya Master

Founder & CEO

“This would work so [well] for our project,” said a McEachern High School student to her friend as she walked away from the MAD-learn booth at Cobb Future Fest 2023, held at the Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA) in late February.  Cobb middle and high school students flocked to the career and tech fair to learn about future careers and job opportunities and MAD-learn was grateful for the opportunity to showcase our brand-new product. Many students stopped by our booth to share that they are already using MAD-learn to build apps in their Cobb County computer science, business, STEM, and graphic design classes!    Jewel O., an 8th grader at Lindley Middle School,  shared her experience with MAD-learn and creating an app about interior design.  “When [my teacher]  first told me I was going to be making an app for my assignment, I thought it would be…super hard…programming and all that. But when we tried MAD-learn…it was actually really easy and it was really a relief. I got it done a lot faster than I thought I would,” she said.

The event is part of Cobb County’s Career Education mission.  Cobb CTAE Supervisor Arthur O’Neill shared in a letter that their goal is to “prepare students for competition in a global workforce by providing unique opportunities to explore emerging career fields, experience industry-based practice and extend industry-specific skills development into the classroom.” Sapph, Alvin, Art and the whole Cobb CTAE did a phenomenal job with this event!

Students at the DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts (DESA) in Georgia won 3rd place in the First Lego League (FLL) State Championship at Georgia Tech on February 11 for their MAD-learn created app “LL Energy Tracker”.    Linda Stewart, a STEM teacher DESA, and her colleagues Kristen Jones and Allison Mulkey, introduced students to mobile app development for their FLL Innovation Project – a task that requires teams to create a solution to a problem. DESA FLL students developed an app concept that would allow people to track how much nonrenewable energy they use monthly. Their goal was to educate consumers by making a personal connection to their home usage in hopes that it would motivate them to reduce the amount of energy they use in their homes. In turn, if people on a smaller scale reduced their energy consumption it could reduce the overall usage of nonrenewable energy on a global scale. 

 “The FLL experience was like riding a wave,” said Linda. “[Students] continued to reference MAD-learn [and a virtual class visit regarding] what an app should look like and how to draw viewers to your app,” she said. “[The students] learned so much about themselves…The work that we did with engineers and the MAD-learn staff brought the real-world integration to life for the students.”

When you’re a veteran teacher like Cobb County School District’s Saundra Watts, you lose count of how many years you have been teaching because you have it down to a (computer) science – one of the many subjects Saundra has taught in her nearly 30 year career as an educator Saundra has taught everything from middle and high school English to her current role as a 6-8th grade computer science and STEM teacher.  

    This year, she and her students dug into MAD-learn and used it for the CS4GA App and Design Challenge – a Georgia computer programming competition to allow middle and high school students to gain recognition for their app design and development skills, according to CS4GA’s district guidelines.  The theme of the contest was “Community Advocacy Project” and students were challenged to create apps that “promote awareness, community service and innovation, ” according to the guidelines. 

While all groups created stellar apps that were “pretty deep for their age,” said Saundra, two groups’ apps, in particular, are moving on to the state level for their innovative designs and ideas:  Lockdown and Unify.  Lockdown is an app designed for students to report lost or stolen items and damaged areas in their school.  Unify, on the other hand, is an informational app to raise awareness about hate crimes.  Both apps help the community in their own way. Check out the student-created apps from Saundra’s classes that are moving on to the state level of the CS4GA App and Design Challenge: View Lockdown here and Unify here.

But that’s not all her students have done.  They have also built academic apps for topics such as Black History and science as well as portfolio apps.  “Before, I taught my students how to make apps using [another program].  The coding was hard for them.  With MAD-learn, they love that there is no coding unless they want to.  They have more fun building apps this way,” she said. 

Saundra wants her students to be producers – and not just users – of technology, a value that strongly aligns with the MAD-learn mission as well.  She also said it’s important for them to gain exposure to computer science and app building now so that they can become experts as adults and potentially have careers in the constantly growing and expanding field of computer science.  “Plus, students have great ideas and can cause positive change, even at their age,” she said. 

… watching the MAD-learn magic from the year! Just launched and hot off the youtube. Check it out – you might just be in it! 

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