Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School

#WTHack2017 at Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School

Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School, a Change for Kids partner school, hosted the first-ever elementary/middle school Hackathon in District 23- the local school district that encompasses Brownsville. What The is a Hackathon, you ask?

#WTHack2017 brought scholars and parents from all over Brownsville to Brooklyn Landmark for full Saturday of coding, critical thinking, discovery and fun.

Lydia Smith, the parent coordinator at Brooklyn Landmark, spearheaded the event to show students that no matter where they come from, they can create their own futures through coding and technology.

Notably, there is a lack of diversity in STEM-related fields in the U.S. It’s increasingly important to get students from underrepresented communities interested in coding and technology even as early as 1st grade.

The task of the day required students to develop with an application that could solve a problem in Brownsville through innovation and entrepreneurship. Every scholar had the opportunity to sit and try a new platform – Scratch Jr. and MIT App Inventor – and learn about entrepreneurship.

Once the projects were completed, the scholars presented their projects on stage to a panel of three judges – a Brooklyn Landmark parent who works in the foundations department at Verizon, a high school student who works on coding projects with ScriptEd, and a District 23 representative.

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Scholars present their project to the panel of judges

Some of the incredibly innovative projects included:

  • A digital advertisement for a pool, made by a team of students from 1st to 3rd grade, to show that “Brownsville is a good place to be and lots of fun.”
  • A digital representation of how parks are in Brownsville look now and how they could be improved.
  • A tutoring app to helps students with math.
  • An app that shows users where different forms of art are- aka the “cool things in Brownsville.”
  • “Brownsville’s Little Taskers”– a community-based app to provide transportation to events and help community members (especially the elderly) with every day errands. The app also remind users about educational and recreational opportunities.

While the judges were beyond impressed with all these creative projects, there can only be one winner! And then winner is….

The two 4th grade scholars who developed “Brownsville Trading” – an app that allows people to trade items they don’t want any more for an item they need.

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Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School Parent Coordinator Lydia Smith with the Hackathon Winners- two 4th grade students

Listen to the brilliant developers discuss their app and their experience at the Hackathon!

Scholars left the Hackathon with newfound skills and a passion for coding. But what’s just as important as the experience?

The understanding that anything is possible.

Congratulations to Brooklyn Landmark for hosting such a fabulous event with collaboration from Change for Kids School Manager Zareta Ricks, Digital Girl Inc., ScriptEd, and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship!

CFK Program Partners, P.S. 15

From Clay to Claymation with P.S.15 and the CMA Media Lab – VIDEO

In June, fifth graders from P.S. 15 spent a day in the Media Lab at the Children’s Museum of Art. In the hands of these young artists, chunks of colorful clay became shapes, letters and animals. Then, molding and remolding their creations, a camera captured each subsequent shape. Check out the video below to see the finished product–students’ first clay animations!

5.27.14 PS 15 from Children’s Museum of the Arts on Vimeo.

CFK Volunteers, P.S. 15

Volunteers Bring the Wild to the Halls of P.S. 15

On March 22, volunteers from school sponsors Apollo, Schreck Rose, and Change Team members took to the halls of P.S. 15 for the second annual CFK Beautification Day.  “It was a delight to see our parents and teachers working alongside CFK sponsors and volunteers,” said Laura Salmon, the school’s literacy coach. “It’s amazing to me to see so many people give up their Saturday—it’s corny to say, but—out of the goodness of their hearts.”

There were two groups of painters this year—one revitalizing the third floor hallway with a fresh coat of paint and another creating a new mural on the second floor. Hour by hour, the second floor was transformed into different animal habitats: safari, ocean, and forest, complete with native animals.

 

CFK Board Chairman Nicolas Koechlin, wife Catherine, their two sons and a friend were all on hand to help with the painting, too.

Another group helped give beloved classroom toys a good spring cleaning, while a final group built a cityscape out of milk cartons, inspired by students’ drawings. Their milk carton creations will be placed in the school garden where they will serve as imaginative planters.

Reflecting on the day, Janet, a volunteer from Apollo who had brought her son along, said, “It’s very rewarding to do a project like this, especially when it pertains to kids. I love kids. So, I love it. It’s been great.  And my five-year-old enjoyed it as well.”

“There wasn’t one project that didn’t give me a sense of joy,” said Laura Salmon, “because when the staff comes in and the students come in on Monday they will feel so cared for. It makes a huge difference to everyone in the building. It’s amazing.”

And here’s the reaction on Monday morning–pure joy. Thanks again to all our awesome volunteers, and a special shout out to our wonderful school sponsors, Apollo and Schreck Rose.