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David Jessup

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You Can #ActivateSummer for Charlotte Scholars!

Friends of Digi-Bridge-

Today, we are excited to launch our 2017 #ActivateSummer campaign. This year, our fundraising efforts will support our 2017-18 Robotics squads in the West and Northwest Corridors of Charlotte.

Last fall, we decided to form our very first Robotics squad at Allenbrook Elementary School, a Title I elementary school in our West Corridor. Under the direction of our Chief Academic Officer, Ms. Torie Leslie, our team spent Tuesday and Thursday afternoons working together to complete programming and robotics challenges.

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The SWARM, Allenbrook’s FIRST LEGO League competitive team, represents an opportunity for scholars to participate in a highly-acclaimed and respected STEAM competition that teaches global awareness, teamwork, computer programming, structural development and design, character building and commitment. These 21st century skills will help scholars to become career conscious and college-ready!

Your support will help us extend programming and robotics to students like Harrison in 2017-18.

Harrison: a Leader in the Making
The SWARM was made for scholars like Harrison. He is intelligent, loves LEGOs, and is excited to be around a set of peers with a similar desire and mindset, so it was quite a surprise one afternoon when he came to tell his coach, Ms. Leslie, that he’d decided to quit the squad. He brought his friend with him for support to break the news. He admitted that the squad “stressed him out.” Between his homework, family responsibilities and his other organized commitments something had to go and he decided it was The SWARM. However, by the next practice Harrison was back with us and he explained that his Dad would not let him quit. He had committed to joining and he was to see it through.

It was never our intent to have scholars on the squad that didn’t want to be there, so Harrison sat down with Ms. Leslie and together they developed a plan to help him manage his time. Harrison is a natural programmer so we resolved that programming/coding would be his “area of expertise” on the squad, hoping to relieve his pressure around other areas of the competition that caused him anxiety. Each meeting started with social time, so he would use that to knock out one of his homework assignments to give him more time when he got home. His natural ability, now focused and growing, made him a leader on the team. When his coach would bring him a programming issue, he’d say “hmmm, let’s see” and this new attitude brought Ms. Leslie great pride and joy.
On the day of competition during the robot game challenge, when The SWARM’s team number was called to meet down on the competition floor, it was Harrison who lead the charge down the bleachers to face the challenge. At that moment, The SWARM was just like every other team, present and ready to compete. How many more Harrisons are out there who just need the opportunity to uncover their talent and the chance to showcase it? We’re willing to find them!

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This summer, we are asking for your support to find and support as many scholars like Harrison as we can. Our schools are overflowing with talented young leaders and we are ready to engage them in efforts to #bridgethedivide!

Our goal to raise $5,000 will help to fund a robotics squad opportunity for up to thirty scholars with at least ten from that cohort earning the opportunity to compete. Our friends at Google Fiber have committed to matching donations up to that amount, which means you can help us raise a total of $10,000 for Digi-Bridge scholars! To make your contribution now, click here.

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The SWARM has a slogan they created last year and I think it only fitting that I end with it today.

“We are a team!”

With gratitude,

DJ

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NAYGN and Digi-Bridge: Generating STEAM Together!

Friends,

Partnership is a wonderful thing. When we had the pleasure of being introduced to Alyse Scurlock, a nuclear engineer with Duke Energy, we knew someone had connected the dots because of our mutual passion for STEAM education.

Thanks to Alyse and the support of Duke Energy, we have partnered with NAYGN (the North American Young Generation in Nuclear), a program filled with bright young scientists and engineers in the field of nuclear energy. The organization works to develop professionals who can become leadership figures that inspire others and inform the public about nuclear. This work aligns beautifully with our mission to prepare a generation of 21st century learners with STEAM education!

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On Wednesday night (June 7th), we had the pleasure of joining the group at their img_4665conference dinner that brought together a group of regional scientists and engineers on the beautiful vista of the Duke Energy Center. The young scientists learned a little about what we do at Digi-Bridge and engaged with us throughout the evening in various activities that help us to serve K-8 scholars.

By the end of the night our table had two impressive stacks of paper, one was of the scientists’ favorite experiments that we could adapt for use in our Digi-Bin curriculum, the other was of heartfelt letters written to our scholars encouraging them to consider a pathway to a career in STEAM. The table also got a lot more colorful with the addition of donated LEGO sets! We were truly touched by the generosity of these STEAM professionals.

The next day we were invited to visit the Nuclear Takeover at Discovery Place. The NAYGN team had set up several stations with hands–on activities for the young visitors to explore the world of nuclear energy. From gamma radiation to circuitry to chain reactions, scholars were exploring and learning and having a blast.

We would like to thank Alyse, Duke Energy and NAYGN for this opportunity and for their commitment to the 21st century. Together, we will create pathways for our future scientists, technologists, engineers, artists and mathematicians. Let’s continue this work and #bridgethedivide!

Cheers,

DJ

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The Pathway Revealed

Friends,

In order to bridge the digital divide, Digi-Bridge works to uncover and help create equitable pathways to careers in STEAM fields. Often, scholars begin on this pathway in middle school, where they’ve been assigned a counselor who helps them choose classes that fit their interests and aptitudes. This process continues into high school and college where a scholar chooses their major.

However, times are changing and as the need to fill STEAM careers is growing, we’ve found that the pathway to these jobs may not seem quite so straightforward to many scholars. It seems that the sooner we can help scholars realize their interests and aptitudes the more likely they are to keep moving towards them.

file_002As we work to create the opportunities for scholars to explore and experiment, we meet the most brilliant and capable STEAM professionals who share in our vision. These meet-ups turn into partnerships which turn into opportunities to expose our scholars to the pathway to STEAM careers.

One such partnership we’ve enjoyed has been with Lenora Crabtree, UNCC Biology Services/PhD student and Tiffany Bell, rising Junior Biology student at UNCC. These STEAM professionals brought an exciting chemical reactions lab to our #STEAMSaturdays scholars at Allenbrook Elementary School. Using Tiffany’s previous lab experiments and research, these scientists provided an exploration of the relationship between the oyster shells and changes of temperature and acidity in the surrounding water.

Lenora and Tiffany captivated our scholars both by effectively presenting the science at the level of the 4th and 5th graders, and by relating this change in the oyster’s world to a change in their own world, their neighborhoods and even their homes. I can’t think of a better way to outline the path to being a scientist than by bringing scientists from our local university directly to our scholars.file_001

Would you like to help us continue to provide opportunities like this for our Digi-Bridge scholars? Learn more about how you can help us #bridgethedivide by following us on social media (@DigiBridgeUS), and join us on June 17th at the Google Fiber Space for our Summer Daddy Daughter Code-In. This is another great opportunity to expose our young ladies to STEAM concepts and careers!

Click here to learn more about and register for Digi-Bridge courses and events.

Here’s to revealing the pathway for Charlotte scholars!

Cheers,

DJ

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Bridging the Divide! Read All About it!

Friends,

We have a quick but very exciting announcement. On top of being featured in a Charlotte Observer and News & Observer series about supporting the growth of high-achieving low income students, our work and our scholars have been featured on the front page of the Observer!

We are so pleased to see a spotlight shone on the work being done to advocate for under-served scholars in Charlotte. We are also extremely grateful that the Observer has chosen to include our work in such an important piece.

If you can’t get your hands on a paper copy of Wednesday’s Observer, click here to check out the online version. You will find our work mentioned under “#4 Pay for extra opportunities when parents can’t”.

Thank you, as always, for supporting Digi-Bridge as we work to #bridgethedivide!

Cheers,

DJ

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Prepare for Liftoff, Summer #DDCodeIn is Coming!

Friends,
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We are excited to announce that registration for our second Daddy Daughter Code-In of 2017 is now open! Join us on Saturday, June 17th from 7-8:30 pm for a night of food, fun, and technology.
If you have never attended one of our Code-Ins before, you are in for a treat. After eating together, each Daddy-Daughter Duo will rotate through activities that include exploring robotics, creating constellations, and more!

Did you know that although women fill close to 1/2 of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) jobs? Let’s show our young ladies that their potential is out of this world, because after all, girls code too!

We gear our activities towards K-8th grade scholars, but all ages are welcome. The event is located at Google Fiber’s East 7th street location. Please come prepared to pay for parking that evening at one of the parking lots or decks off of 7th street.

img_3281Come celebrate Father’s Day early with your daughter(s) and enjoy the teamwork of hands-on STEAM learning! Click here to reserve your spot now, as tickets are limited.

Please contact Kelly Carpenter at kelly@digi-bridge.org for additional questions or inquiries. We can’t wait to see you there!

Cheers,

DJ

 

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ICYMI: #STEAMSaturdays in The Observer

Friends,

We are proud to share that our digital consultancy work at Ashley Park Pre-K – 8 was featured in The Charlotte Observer this week!

In case you missed it, here is the link to a piece that informs the community not only img_0567our #STEAMSaturdays programming, but a number of fun learning opportunities we have been able to provide thanks to the generosity of the OrthoCarolina Foundation.

Any opportunity to have our work featured on such a platform means a lot to us here at Digi-Bridge and spreading the word about our programming makes great strides to help us #bridgethedivide. Please check out the article, and if you could share it with your friends on social media, we would really appreciate it! Here is the URL if you need: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/education/article149050544.html

file_000Just as a reminder, registration is still open for our Summer #STEAMSaturdays, which run until June 3 at Advent Coworking (Plaza Midwood) and until June 10th at Hygge Coworking West (West Charlotte) and Birkdale Offices (Huntersville). Classes can now be purchased individually at $25 per course to best work around your family’s Summer schedule!

You can learn more about these courses and register at digi-bridge.org/courses and send any questions to Kelly@digi-bridge.org.

Wishing you a restful weekend,

DJ

 

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Summer #STEAMSaturdays are Just Around the Corner!

Friends,
We at Digi-Bridge are preparing to kick off our Summer #STEAMSaturdays in three different locations. It’s a very exciting time for us and img_3760we want to make sure you have the chance to be a part of our growing efforts to #bridgethedivide.
Registration is still open and will remain open throughout our Summer series as you are now able to register for each class individually. We want our STEAM enrichment to be available to your family no matter what your Summer holds!
As always, in addition to advancing through our coding portal, scholars will have an opportunity to engage in hands-on STEAM activities. Here is a preview of our Summer offerings from our BodyWorks series as well as a special bonus from Careers in the Arts:

May 6th – Analyzing our Airways

May 13th- Moving with Muscles

May 20th- Seeing Eye to Eye

May 27th- The Blood Within Us

June 3rd- Cruising through the Kidneys

June 10th- DJ Bin (pulse, beats, and beat combination) *Hygge West and Birkdale only

Here again are all the details and the link to register:
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Locations : Hygge Coworking West, Advent Coworking, and Birkdale Offices

Dates : Six Saturdays from May 6 – June 10
(Five Saturdays, May 6 – June 3 at Advent Coworking)
 
Time : 9 – 10:30 am
Cost : $25 per Saturday
Register now on our site by clicking here.
 
Feel free to reach out to Kelly@digi-bridge.org with any questions.
Cheers,
DJ

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Get Ready for Demo Day and Summer #STEAMSaturdays!

Friends,
Summer is quickly approaching and we know that your schedules are filling up with lots of great activities and vacations. We wanted to share with you all what Digi-Bridge has on its calendar so that you can include us in your summer fun!

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FREE Demo Day (This Saturday!)
If you are interested in learning more about our #STEAMSaturdays but aren’t quite sure you’re ready to register, we are hosting a Free Demo Day so that you can come try it out.

We will walk you, the parents, through the process so you understand the core principles of #STEAMSaturdays while your scholar gets to experience it firsthand. It’s Digi-Bridge’s “Try Before You Buy” event, if you will! We only have a few spots left, so click here to register now!

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Location: Hygge Coworking West
2128 Remount Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28208
Time/Date: Saturday, April 22nd from 9 am- 10:30 am.
Cost: FREE
Ages : K – 8
Summer #STEAMSaturdays
If you are ready to jump right into our #STEAMSaturdays classes, great! Your scholar(s) will get to experience a hands-on activity from one of our series of interactive Digi-Bins. These activities allow students to explore and play in a constructive way while learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.
They also get to learn the foundations of coding by using to our online activities portal! We spend part of every class exploring online and working in programs that help introduce your children to (or continue their training in) the concepts of coding.
We have 3 Summer locations: Huntersville, Plaza Midwood, and West Charlotte.
We want this experience to be as flexible as possible for your family, so we are now offering individual Saturdays. That means you can sign up for just 1 or 2 specific Saturdays if you need to work around other Summer plans,  or you can go ahead and register for all 6 Saturdays offered!
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Locations : Hygge Coworking West, Advent Coworking , and Birkdale Offices

Dates : 6 Saturdays from May 6 – June 10
(5 Saturdays, May 6 – June 3 at Advent Coworking)
 
Time : 9 – 10:30 am
Cost : $25 per Saturday
Register now on our site by clicking here.
 
Feel free to reach out to Kelly@digi-bridge.org with any questions.
Stay cool out there!
Cheers,
DJ

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It’s Back! Another Free “Demo Day” of our #STEAMSaturdays

Friends,

We are excited to announce that we are hosting another Free Demo Day of our #STEAMSaturdays!

If you are interested in learning about our #STEAMSaturdays classes but you want to experience it in person before signing up, this is for you! Do you have a friend who has been thinking about signing up, but just isn’t sure? Please let them know!

On April 22nd from 9:00-10:30 am we are offering a free demo day to 12 students at Hygge Coworking West. Parents will see a presentation on our classes and students will get to experience first hand what #STEAMSaturdays are all about.

And… admission is free!

If you have already attended a #STEAMSaturdays series or classes in the past, we ask that you leave spaces to new families only.

You can register here.

Again, if you have friends who might be interested, please help us spread the word.

For more info or for any questions please email Kelly Carpenter at kelly@digi-bridge.org

Cheers!
DJ

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This is IMPACT: Digi-Bridge and Google Fiber Moving the Needle in Charlotte

Friends of Digi-Bridge,

Wow. Talk about an honor.

We have been fortunate enough to find recognition and support in a number of fantastic partners these last couple of years: Knight Foundation, OrthoCarolina, Reemprise Fund, Social Venture Partners, even an invitation to President Obama’s White House!

img_3204We are here to tell you, the great news keeps rolling in. In addition to their commitment to hosting our entire 2017 Daddy Daughter Code-In series and powering #STEAMSaturdays at Allenbrook Elementary, Google Fiber has chosen to feature our partnership in their National Community Impact Report. Our work will represent Google Fiber’s efforts in Charlotte on a national stage and we could not be more proud.

Click here to check it out.img_3267

Google Fiber shares our vision of equitable access to technology and education in communities all over the country. And they think our work is a shining example of that vision.

Thank you Google Fiber! Let’s continue this work to #bridgethedivide here in Charlotte and beyond.

Onward!

DJ

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