Posts Tagged 'experiential'

Pool session 3/13/11

On January 15, The Schooba Academy launched its pilot program.  On March 13, it went out with a bang.  For their last event of the course, the Schoobents got back in pool to test their wits at some underwater science!  (All underwater photos courtesy of Oceanblue Divers.  Thank you!)

The mile long walk from the L train ain't no thang for The Schooba Academy.

Again, we did our training at Waterside Plaza with Oceanblue Divers.

We took a short detour to bask in the sights, sounds, and smells of the glorious East River.

We got to the pool and began gearing up.

Lassana and Rodney gearing up.

Some more gearing up

The scene upon arrival.

Matt, taking in the Schooba scene.

There was a quick refresher course, and we were all set to go!

Big thanks to JW for coming down and helping out both in and out of the water.

"Hey Zach, can you help me out. Please hurry up because I want to go scuba diving so bad. Schooba rules." - Rolman

"Now that's more like it." - Rolman

Once underwater, some science was in order.

The classic Cartesian diver experiment, not so classic anymore.

"Yo, that's crazy. Let me see that! ...Science rules!" - Rolman

"What are you guys so excited about? Hold on, I don't want to miss any science. I'm coming over." - Lassana

"Hold your horses. I'm coming. This underwater world is new to me." - Lassana

"Ok, I made it. Now, let's see what all the fuss is about." - Lassana

"Oh, no way! Science underwater!! Now, that's cool. No, I won't give it back yet. Not until I experiment with it for a while." - Lassana

Lassana experimenting underwater.

We then turned our science experiment into a football and invented a new sport!  …All the while investigating the amazing properties of water.

Juan examining hydrodynamics.

Rolman doing exactly the same.

The pool was our playground inside of a classroom.  We scuba’d, we science’d, and we had a whole lot of fun.  A few more shots from the day:

Rodney surfacing after his first experience underwater. ... He didn't stay for very long.

Me chillin' with the dudes underwater.

Rolman cleaning up after his science experiment did not go as planned. (It's a balloon.)

Lassana, feeling right at home.

Group shot before our departure.

Big thanks to Oceanblue Divers and all who came down and helped out.  More to come soon, so stay with the tune!

Tutoring attendance at 233%!?

As I have been developing  this program and its pilot, deciding what measures I would use to assess our success was a topic of much rumination. What do I really want?  How will I know if I’m successful?  These were questions I asked myself thousands of times.  (And continue to ask myself everyday.)

It is The Schooba Academy’s mission to foster a sustained engagement in science for students from low-income communities through the learning of scuba diving. That being said, what I would like to see most is that our students choose to spend their free time pursuing science learning.  This could mean that they choose to read National Geographic instead of playing video games, or watch the Discovery Channel instead of MTV, or attend a science tutoring session after school instead of going home and being bored (50% of American students say they are “bored and have nothing to do” when they are out of school, Public Agenda, 2004.)

One of the main measures of our success will be in our attendance, which is completely voluntary.  At the start of the pilot, my goal was for 75% of the Schoobents to have at least a 75% attendance at our activities.  After the second week, the results are pleasantly surprising.  Not only are the Schoobents showing up, but they’re bringing their friends!!  Check out the Wednesday tutoring class at 233% attendance!

The Wednesday tutoring session at 233% attendance ... but missing some media releases.

Services

From the business plan.

The Schooba Academy offers services to both the mentee and the mentor.

For the mentee:

  • Free 1:1 science tutoring in an engaging, relevant, and experiential platform
  • A caring and supportive role model
  • PADI Open Water Scuba Diver training

For the mentor:

  • The opportunity of helping someone in need
  • PADI Open Water Scuba Diver certification

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