Educational Coursework

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2018 Winter #STEAMSaturdays – Programming and Robotics

Friends of Digi-Bridge,

Happy New Year!

Starting on Saturday, January 20th, our #STEAMSaturdays return to Hygge Coworking in West Charlotte and Northpointe Offices in Huntersville. Back by popular demand, this winter’s series will feature LEGO WeDo 1.0 building and coding. Torie Leslie, our Chief Academic Officer says, “We built this series to provide flexibility for scholars who love to build and design with LEGOs and for programmers who enjoy using Scratch to code challenges and adventures for their robot designs.”

Take a look at our course offerings:

Jan. 20th – Building and Coding – Scholars will choose a LEGO design, build it according to blueprint instructions and use Scratch to program it to move.

Jan. 27th – Emphasis on Coding– Scholars will choose a pre-built LEGO robot and use Scratch to program the robot to move and create a scene to match the build.

Feb. 3rd – Emphasis on Building – Scholars will use LEGO WeDo motors and hubs to design a programmable robot.

Feb. 10th – Emphasis on Coding – Scholars will choose a pre-built LEGO WeDo robot and program the tilt and motion sensors, using Scratch, to automate robot movement.

Feb. 17th – Building and Coding – Scholars will choose a LEGO design or create a LEGO design and use Scratch to program it to move.

Remember, there is no prior building or programming knowledge required. Each scholar has the opportunity to begin each course at their learning level.

In addition, every course will have time allotted for work in our coding portal, in which your K-8 scholar will be introduced to a variety of object-oriented computer programming languages. The personalized learning platform allows individuals to move at their own pace, making this course valuable for learners of all levels.

The series will run for five consecutive Saturdays, from January 20th to February 17th, at 9am and will run for 90 minutes each. Click here to register your scholar for courses at whichever location is most convenient for your family. Don’t forget to tell a friend!

We look forward to exploring the world of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics with your scholar soon.

Here’s to a new year filled with learning!

Cheers,

DJ

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2,068 in 2017: we will #ReachOurFuture!

Friends,

That’s right, thanks to the support of our community we served 2,068 scholars with hands-on 21st century learning in 2017!

We at Digi-Bridge are grateful to look back on 2017 as a year of significant progress towards bridging the digital divide.

This year, Digi-Bridge has:

  • Grown our #STEAMSaturdays family by adding two more sites – Briarwood Academy and Montclaire Elementary
  • Hosted four community Code-In events with the help of Google Fiber, including our first ever #FamilyCodeIn
  • Surpassed our fundraising goals with two different giving campaigns – #ActivateSummer and #GivingTuesdayCLT
  • Launched our second successful Robotics Squad programming, this time at Renaissance West Community Initiative
  • Renewed our commitment to computer science education for all students (#CSForAll)
  • Created new educational partnerships with other passionate organizations, including Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, Freedom School Partners, Cabarrus County Libraries, Opera Carolina and Brookstone Schools

We’ve made tremendous progress this year and look forward to continuing this work in 2018!

How can you help us Reach Our Future?

  • Head to digi-bridge.org/reach-our-future to learn more
  • Click here to join our mailing list
  • Follow us on all social media at @DigiBridgeUS to stay updated

Tonight, 2,068 scholars in Charlotte are going to sleep with newfound knowledge and skill thanks to you! Together, we will #ReachOurFuture.

With tremendous gratitude,

DJ

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You made #GivingTuesdayCLT a huge success!

Friends,

Wow! We at Digi-Bridge are blown away by the support from our community during #GivingTuesdayCLT. We raised $10,214, exceeding our goal! Here’s how that breaks down:

  • $6714 in individual gifts
    • Including $1915 in gifts made as a part of a three year commitment to Reach Our Future
  • $2500 as a match committed by Tresata
  • $1000 as a match committed by OrthoCarolina Foundation

As a reminder, these funds go directly to providing 21st century learning opportunities to Charlotte’s K-8 scholars in the form of hands-on STEAM learning, robotics and computer programming.

If you were unable to give yesterday, know that we’re still eager to engage you! The Reach Our Future campaign, which aims to raise $1M in a year to keep these opportunities available to our scholars for the next three years, will run until next November. You can learn more and make your gift here.

Thank you for your commitment to Digi-Bridge on Giving Tuesday. Now, let’s Reach Our Future!

With gratitude,

DJ

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Our First Code-In for the Whole Family!

Friends,

You asked. Digi-Bridge listened. Our team is very excited to invite each of you to our first ever Family Code-In! Together with Google Fiber, we are hosting a Code-In event for the whole family on Saturday, December 2nd, from 7-8:30 p.m., complete with music, food, a photo booth and STEAM challenges that will engage the whole family.

Fundamentally, the purpose of the Code-Ins has always been to create a support system around scholars and their interest in STEAM. The K-8 years are vital in growing and maintaining our scholars’ interest in these disciplines that are shaping our collective futures.

At this Code-In, we’ll be taking on a LEGO bridge-building challenge, creating animations with Scratch coding and building three-dimensional, symmetrical snowflakes.

We know that scholars engage – and stay engaged – when they’re inspired, supported, challenged and having fun. That’s what this #FamilyCodeIn is all about: not just building bridges or snowflakes, but building a lifetime of curiosity and learning.

Tickets are $10 per person and families of four or more pay $40. If you have any questions, please email zach@digi-bridge.org.

Come join us on Saturday, December 2nd for a family night out where creativity and code collide!

We can’t wait to see what you create together.

Cheers!

DJ

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Thanks for connecting with us at #TBT 3.0!

Friends of Digi-Bridge,

We had a totally tubular time last night at #TBT 3.0. A big thank you to all who joined us! We were so pleased to have spent the evening with you as we kicked off our Reach Our Future campaign.

At its core, Reach Our Future is about coming together as a community to ensure that the scholars who live here have access to the tools and opportunities they need to thrive and build a better tomorrow. We are so thankful to have the support of our community behind us in making this commitment.

We’re still going through the photos of all the rad 80’s outfits we saw. The winner of a brand new Amazon Echo will be determined by social voting, so head over to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so you can share and like photos from the event. Don’t forget to tag us @DigiBridgeUS and use our hashtag, #ReachOurFuture, so we’re sure to see you! Once we post an album with all of the photos, you will have one week to vote.

As we mentioned last night, the Reach Our Future campaign is about offering high-quality programming to all scholars in our community and strengthening our voice in rooms where policies are made. And we can’t do it without you.

We need your support to amplify our reach. Please share our campaign widely, encourage others to engage, and reach out to us if you have any other ideas about how we accelerate these efforts.

The scholars in this community are our scholars, and investing in them is investing in a future we all share.

We would love to have you join us on this journey. Let’s #ReachOurFuture!

With tremendous gratitude and anticipation,

DJ

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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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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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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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