MAD-news for September: From the mouths of teachers…

Hi Guest,

All you need to know, from the mouths of fellow teachers, is in this video. Enjoy!

– Alefiya Master

Don’t miss out on the chance for your students to enter this engaging, challenging, and fun competition! The Congressional App Challenge is underway and the deadline to enter is fast approaching. Middle and high school students have until Nov. 1, 2023, to enter apps in this national contest that started as a way to encourage students to learn code and inspire them to pursue careers in computer science. MAD-learn had the privilege of attending the House of Code event in April to meet last year’s winners and to say we were impressed is an understatement. Learn more about this exciting and prestigious competition and guidelines here.

We love a good surprise, especially when it’s one we know will bring joy to a student. Earlier this month, MAD-learn surprised summer intern Alix Bennett-McMyne at Barber Middle School with the posters she created as part of our virtual internship program. She worked hard to create and design posters about our internship program. Our marketing department told her if she could perfect and finish them, we would print them and use them to promote the program. As her final intern project, Alix revised and refined her posters – and got to see them for the first time as we surprised her during class to present them to her. The MAD-learn team had the chance to meet several of our interns and say hello to one of our favorite MAD-teacher ambassadors, Saundra Watts, while we were there. Next time, we might pop out of a cake to up our surprise game!

Last month, MAD-learn traveled to New York for a two-day App Camp in Syracuse. Director of Curriculum and Implementation Gregg Stone and Curriculum and Implementation Specialist Alexandra Kummernes had a blast working with 8th-grade GEAR UP students to teach them how to create their own apps.

MAD-learn had the privilege of demonstrating our mobile app development process to STEM leaders in DeKalb County. We are so excited to continue our work with our DeKalb County Schools! Shout out to STEM Coordinator Andrea Wright for inviting us to share with your STEAM cohort.

We would like to extend a special thank you to our MAD-teachers Saundra Watts, Jaqueline Johnson, and Heather Miller for hosting our Teacher Takeover event. These three amazing teachers shared their strategies for incorporating mobile app development in their classrooms and the takeaways were powerful! Many teachers shared with us that they gained new ideas for using MAD-learn in their classrooms. We couldn’t do what we do without our phenomenal and dedicated teachers. 

You all are the best!

In the rapidly evolving landscape of education, educators like Dannette Margarini are lighting the path for their students toward a brighter future. As the 7th and 8th-grade Computer Science Career Academy Coordinator at Verde K-8, Margarini boasts an impressive eight-year tenure in teaching, during which she’s not only nurtured young minds but also instilled a profound love for computer programming.

Margarini’s classroom is a hub of innovation, thanks to her strategic use of MAD-learn. She kicks the year off with students creating an app with flashcards, so they can quiz each other about themselves, fostering an environment of learning through collaboration. 

As the year progresses, the young programmers level up, tackling more complex challenges. Students venture into creating apps designed to address real-world problems or cater to their passions. It’s this connection between technology and personal interests that Margarini believes sparks a fire in her students.

Margarini and her students share a mutual passion for mobile app development. They find immense satisfaction in the process of crafting an application from inception to completion. Witnessing their creations come to life and having the ability to share them with friends and family is a source of pride and accomplishment. This tangible sense of achievement empowers her students, not only equipping them with technical skills but also fostering a mindset of creativity and problem-solving that transcends the classroom.

In the ever-evolving world of technology, Margarini firmly believes that computer science and app development are essential skills for today’s students, “Computer science/app building opens doors for students that might have otherwise been closed. It offers limitless possibilities in their future,” she said. 

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:

  • Jupiter MS
  • Chapin Intermediate School
  • Avonworth 
  • Coldspring-Oakhurst GEAR UP 
  • Guardians of Heritage 

Checking out this full-circle moment from one of our former team members. LOVE LOVE LOVE this story Britney! Thank you for sharing it with us.