Broadening the world's classrooms one student at a time, through a Science, Technology,Engineering, Art and Math(STEAM) Enrichment Program.
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
I had a shared passion for Science and Art with 3 friends of mine as well as a realization that we have always been able to learn better when we are made to think outside the box, and use our imagination, creativity and talents. We realized how being able to learn this way to prepare for tests, presentations, among others, shaped our growth mentally, emotionally and academically.I am stepping up for change because the restructuring of the classroom experience is long overdue, and the gap between Science and Art needs to be bridged.
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
There is a stigma that revolves around the Sciences as being too difficult and the Arts as being not worth pursuing as much as it really is. From our academic experiences, we realized that if this stigma is addressed more individuals would be free to tap into their creativity and potential so that the process of learning would not feel like a burden but an enjoyable experience, because the Sciences and Art do go hand in hand.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We created a program that would give students an enjoyable learning experience and would also educate others on how to do so and why it is necessary. We plan to design curriculum that factors in various areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math and gives students an opportunity to use their creativity, feelings and energy to study to their fullest capacity. For example, when we had a session on colors with the children of the Virginia Marx Center in Valhalla New York where we started implementing our project, some of the children came to the classroom with various evident feelings; anger, joy, etc. We had them choose colors to paint with based on how they were feeling. Yellow meant happiness/joy, Black-Anger, etc. After the session one of the kids who seemed so disturbed and upset was more relaxed, another student came to us and said "he was feeling yellow" to represent his mood of happiness. By coloring their feelings, these young ones created amazing works of art, explored colors, released whatever emotional stress they were under and learned new ways to express their feelings. This is what we want to, to our best capacity help students worldwide achieve.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
When a person joins our group, they will participate in group discussions and the creation of curriculum that would be compatible enough to be carried out in classrooms around the world. After the research and planning phases we will go out into the classrooms and apply what we have studied and organized. For instance, although I was born here, I spent most of my childhood in Ghana, West Africa,I was a below average student but have achieved the highest academic honors here, Solely because, I have been able to tap into my creative side(Taking music classes and performing) while doing the hard stuff and helping my community. Seeing how this overall experience filled and non-rigid learning shaped my personal development,I suggested that we made our project global starting in Ghana,I did my research and shared my story with the group and we decided to start our global expansion there.
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
So far we have served students between the ages of 3 and 5 years old but we hope to introduce our program to students from the age of 3 till 5th grade for now. And hopefully when we have more resources, we could reach the older ages as well. Each team member of Fleurisse comes from an immigrant family, we know how important STEAM education is because of the impact it has had on the children we have introduced it to so far. Also, we are not only focused on academic advancement through our program but we hope to aid the physical and social development of communities that Fleurisse operates in.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
We have introduced STEAM education to over 10 students so far and the children expressed a great understanding as well as an enjoyment of the areas of STEAM introduced to them. Whether we were counting and sorting out of numbers, learning how magnets work, coloring our feelings, creating rocket fuel, or just dancing to the kids favorite songs, each team member of Fleurisse got to share a part of ourselves and make an impact on the children through the classroom experience that we created for our project.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
By the summer of 2019, we hope to have enough funds and resources that would enable us to make the global impact that we aspire to make.We plan to organize STEAM focused projects in schools across Ghana,West Africa starting at Mariah Estee Learning Center, our first partnering school.This school's mission goes in tandem with Fleurisse's goals. Mariah Estee and Fleurisse believe bridging the gap between Science and Art in education can lead to a more productive and enjoyable system of learning for students that will make them more innovative and well rounded academically and socially.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
We mainly need funding, school sponsorships, art supplies, and space.
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
I am embarking on this project with 3 friends and schoolmates of mine. 3 out of the four of us were in the Kathryn W. Davis Global Community Scholarship Program at Westchester Community College in Valhalla NY and we were challenged to create a community project that would be presented at the end of the school year so we created this project and piloted it under the scholarship program. Our friend who was not a part of the scholarship program also contributed in the planning throughout the school year and was integral to the expansion process as well. If we could get other young leaders who have a passion for children, and for making the learning experience more accessible and enjoyable, we would love for them to assist us.
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
Communities of color
How did you hear about this challenge?
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?
Jay Versace on Instagram