A lot of people talk about the need to broaden the funnel of youth who pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. Fact is, the changing demographics make it an economic imperative.
Dr. Jamie Bracey, director of STEM Education, Outreach and Research at Temple University, walks the talk.
Dr. Bracey leads Pennsylvania MESA, an initiative that is “designed to prepare students for academic and professional careers in mathematics, engineering, science, and technology.” She says the key to STEM success is OTL and MTP.
Dr. Bracey’s success in seeding the STEM pipeline is recognized in the September issue of Black Enterprise:
Pennsylvania MESA is equipping middle and high school students with the tools they need to compete in the global market.
U.S. Postal Service Judicial Officer William Campbell said:
Frank Sinatra, himself a stamp honoree, once characterized Ray Charles as “the only true genius in show business,” and certainly, if anyone was a musical genius, it was Ray Charles. Despite being blind and having a young life marked by tragedy, hardship and tremendous challenges, Ray Charles went on to have a remarkable 58-year career playing music that blurred the lines of jazz, gospel, blues and, in later years, country. In doing so, he became the personification of the American Dream.
The Postal Service also made available an unreleased recording of a Ray Charles song, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”
Indeed, they can’t take that away from me -- loving Ray Charles.
All That Philly Jazz is a digital history project that is mapping Philadelphia’s rich jazz legacy. Most of Philly’s jazz places were lost to race riots, urban renewal and urban removal. So we are using digital platforms like Lokadot, a location-based audio platform, to bring Philly’s jazz history to life.
All That Philly Jazz is a digital history project that is mapping Philadelphia’s rich jazz legacy. Most of Philly’s jazz places were lost to race riots, urban renewal and urban removal. So we are using digital platforms like Lokadot, a location-based audio platform, to bring Philly’s jazz history to life. We begin our journey at the former home of Local 274 of the American Federation of Musicians, better known as the Clef Club.
We are harnessing technology and oral history to preserve Philly’s jazz heritage for future generations and new audiences. Jazz enthusiasts in Philly and anywhere in the world can go to http://bit.ly/MyPhillyJazz and share their stories about the jazz scene back in the day.
Last weekend was the National Day of Civic Hacking, a two-day event that brought together technologists and subject matter experts “to create tools that make our city better.” I participated in the hackathon organized by TechnicallyPhilly.com and the City of Philadelphia at Drexel’s ExCITe Center.
I worked on a Code for Philly project with Chris Alfano and Jim Connor. We addressed the problem of the lack of a central source for information about after school and summer programs. There are a number of databases that compile information about out-of-school-time (OST) programs, but the information is not current. The demand for such programs will increase in the wake of the “doomsday” school budget recently approved by the School Reform Commission.
There’s no money and in nearly half of Philly households, no Internet access. So many parents and students will try to find out what’s going on at their local library or Keyspot public computer center. While Internet access is free, users are not free to sit there as long as it takes to find a suitable program.
So we built a mobile web app that empowers parents and students to quickly access current information about after school and summer programs.
Users are able to search for programs by grade level, season (summer or year-round) and subject. What’s Going On is at the intersection of technology, education and civic engagement. The public is invited to submit a program. We will verify the information before adding the program to our community wiki, Wikidelphia.
An asset map of OST programs in Philadelphia,
What’s Going On won first place. The project can serve as a national model for how developers, advocates, parents and community members can collaborate to expand access to programs that promote year-round learning and engagement.
My mind began racing down Broad Street, America’s longest street, which once boasted legendary jazz clubs like Pep’s Musical Bar, the Showboat, Fantasy Lounge, Zanzibar Blue and Jewel’s. On June 5, 1945, Charlie Parker performed at the Academy of Music.
By harnessing technology and capturing oral histories, we can go back to the time when the joints were jumping on Broad, South and 52nd streets, and Columbia Avenue from 8th Street to 30th Street.
At the upcoming Apps for SEPTA hackathon, we will build a prototype for a mobile app that will help visitors and residents locate former jazz clubs. Users can jump on a “Jazz Bus” to, say, Germantown and re-imagine feeling good at the Cadillac Club.
In collaboration with Lenora Early, founder of the John Coltrane House, we will re-visit Trane’s Philadelphia.
Are you jazzed? Then get involved with this Code for Philly project that’s at the intersection of technology, art and community empowerment.