MAD-news for May: At the US Capitol with student app developers

Hi Guest,

You did it (almost there)! You made it through another amazing, eventful, inspiring, tiring, but soul-enriching school year. And your students wouldn’t be who they are or where they are without you. Thank you for your persistence and perseverance. We hope you have a wonderful summer break and maybe, just maybe, we get to see you at a summer conference soon? If you are attending ISTE in Philadelphia this year, make sure you join us to our co-sponsored Happy Hour with Teq. Register here.

In mid-April, MAD-learn was honored to participate in the #HouseOfCode Inspiration Fair, one of several events for winners of The Congressional App Challenge at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. “To say it was a career highlight is an understatement.” – Alexandra Kummernes, Curriculum and Implementation Specialist at MAD-learn. 

Students (and their parents and teachers) from all over the country descended upon Capitol Hill in recognition of their achievement and success in The Congressional App Challenge. This annual competition “inspires students to code, engages Members of Congress, and reaches every corner of America,” according to its website. The competition also encourages students to pursue a career in computer science, a sector that is largely in need of qualified and interested candidates (for context, the field of cybersecurity is set to have a national security crisis due to a deficit in the cyber workforce within the next 10 years, according to multiple experts). Congrats to all the incredible winners!

“I am beyond thankful to lead and work collectively with an amazing global team of veteran educators who are committed to expanding student access to STEM, Computer Science skills, technology creation, and App Development in every classroom. Being recognized for our hard work and dedication signifies the importance today of breaking down walls and intermingling curriculum in innovative ways.” – Alefiya Master

Being the world’s largest awards program dedicated to edtech, The EdTech Awards recognizes outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology to enrich the lives of learners everywhere. We are so happy that Alefiya was selected as a Leadership Finalist in The EdTech Awards.

Earlier this month, MAD-learn had the privilege of judging student apps to support the StartUp Tech Showcase at Champion Theme Middle School in Georgia in partnership with NFTE. Business Education Teacher Aisha Harley introduced students to computer programming and entrepreneurship as part of her StartUp Tech course (designed by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship).  During the Tech Academy Showcase, “student teams present[ed] their functional mobile apps, business models and marketing materials in a tradeshow style competition,” according to materials from the event.

MAD-learn CEO spoke to students about their business ideas and apps – created using the MAD-learn platform –  as a judge.  “It was a phenomenal experience,” said Alefiya.  “The students were so engaged and enthusiastic, and had some fantastic app ideas.”  The apps varied in concept from wellness and self-care, keeping students and parents updated on school news and information to apps that would improve a customer’s food delivery experience. The Tech Showcase allowed students to merge coding with an entrepreneurial mindset – two of our favorite combinations here at MAD-learn.  Shoutout to Aisha and her amazing work with students and to Marilynn Hollis, DeKalb County CTAE Coordinator for her leadership in promoting the intersection of entrepreneurship and CS!

MAD-learn is thrilled and honored to be accepted to the CSTA list of Qualified PD Opportunities. The CSTA PD review process is rigorous – each submission is reviewed by at least three different committee members and is scored using a rubric that looks for relevant criteria such as active learning, collaboration and scale, and sustainability. “CSTA curates quality professional learning opportunities for K-12 computer science teachers. We aim to make it easy for CS teachers who have different needs and goals to find relevant PD opportunities through an interactive web display,” according to the website. Search MAD-learn on this page to check out the details.

As we await the launch of the new MAD-store app, some great student projects produced on the new platform have already caught our eye. This month, we’d like to give you a “sneak peek” of what is coming up. There are many apps in the works, with students working toward the goal of scoring 90% or better to be considered for full publication. These apps from Dodgem Middle School students in Cobb County, GA, are definitely worth a look: 

Cool Man Must Know This! is one of four apps created in Sheri Dennard’s math class. It is a simple app that “aims to teach the exponential equation.” This student also created an app about equations and graphs. It is aptly named Exponential Growth! Factoring is Fun when you check out this app! Learn about using the Box Method, and finding the Difference of Square Roots here. Still, another nice-looking math app is Quadratic Transformations. As the title implies, it will show you how to find the Transformations of a Quadratic. One more made on the Legacy platform that we also have to give a shoutout to is a unique app called Birdmaker. Created “primarily for fun and just personal enjoyment”,  this app provides plenty of both!

We are very excited to introduce 20 new members to the MAD-learn Certification recipients! MAD-teachers are recognized for completing a minimum of 10 hours of class implementation with summative discussion and analysis. To be named a MAD-expert also requires becoming involved as a partner and serving as an ambassador and mentor. The following names are recognized with congratulations and appreciation for their hard work:

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:

  • Dallas ISD 
  • Nevada GEAR UP 
  • DLD for Youth Summer Camp 
  • Lufkin Middle School GEAR UP 
  • Lackland ISD 
  • Lincoln Junior High School GEAR UP 
  • Florida State University 

… checking out all the fun we had in Memphis for the Shelby County Tech Xplosionevent! The event was organized by the Tech Xpert team at Memphis-Shelby County Public Schools to expose over 1000 middle school students from across the district to technology trends and jobs of the future. We loved meeting hundreds of students and sharing the idea of developing an app with them. Some were so impressive that we even offered them an internship on the spot! Thank you to Cashundra Jefferson and her amazing team for pulling off such a great inaugural event.