Friday, July 30, 2010

Construction is Definitely Underway

Today we continued our marble machine project, finishing the "plinko board." The kids just can't seem to get enough of this machine, and it's inspiring to watch them dream up the next path of their marble, and then actually create it. I love to imagine with them as they woosh their fingers around the room, showing me where the marble is going to go next, and then as they decorate their recycled objects, giving the machine a new fresh look. My job? Just make sure it works, and show them why it works. Their job? Well, the walls are the limit.

I just want to point out one more thing. Notice what each piece is made out of? Yeah, the kids have chosen every part, and have had the opportunity of designing and placing every part. Welcome to the next generation.

~Mr. Chris

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Boats Afloat Challenge

Over the summer, the kids have expressed interest in various topics such as the solar system, insects, earthquakes and boats. I always like to include the kids’ interests in lessons. So, during a series of lessons on water, buoyancy, and surface tension, I incorporated a boat challenge. The boat challenge was designed to cultivate critical thinking skills and creativity using a topic of interest.

The goal for the children was to build a boat using only 10 straws, 10 inches of plastic wrap, and tape. Also, the boats had to be able to hold 25 pennies for at least 10 seconds.

In the video below you will see that the children had to build, test, rebuild and retest their boats. In the end, most of the children were able to build a boat that could hold over 40 pennies before sinking.

Chrystalin W. (3rd,4th,5th grade teacher)

It's Snowing in Ant Town

A few weeks ago Ms. Susie approached me about a problem with the fire ants in the garden (and the entire community); then we thought of a solution; then we applied it. Today we adventured around the community as organic superhero exterminators, ridding our grounds of fire ants while protecting our environment at the same time. This is the culmination of the previous post I made about ants and diatoms, and here is what the kids did to put thought into practice.

~Mr. Chris

Just Beat It (the hunger, that is)

This was the last week for the ASA's participation in Meals on Wheels to help feed the elderly in South Dallas. These are some of the kids' thoughts (and MJ moves).

~Mr. Chris

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Young Photographers: Roseland Through Their Eyes

Photography is a wonderful activity especially for young children. On, this particular occasion I implored the children to really “see” their surroundings and take note of their environment. After discussing some picture-taking tips, I asked each child to take at least 3 photos of the environment and 3 photos of anything they found interesting.

I wanted the children to know that they have the power to make their environment look better or worse through their actions. However, for this lesson to become real, they had to pause and see the impact humans have on the environment. In this case, they were able to see their environment through their pictures.

*Note: This activity took place around the same time we talked about pollution so several of the pictures are of litter.

Chrystalin W. (3rd,4th, and 5th Grade Teacher)

Monday, July 26, 2010

All We Need Is Lov--Diatomaceous Earth?

We're starting a project today to deal with the ants in the garden, so we spent the day today learning all about pests, what they are, why they're here, and what we should do with them. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to create some papier mache ants, and we'll also make some papier mache diatoms soon. Why diatoms? Because what better way to take care of the ants than organically?

~Mr. Chris

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jobs vs Careers

This week the students in the library explored the different between jobs and careers. This was very important for them to learn because they are exposed to jobs all of the time but need to know about careers. After we completed the exercise they had new goals that they wanted to accomplished.

How to Apply to College: Steps in the Application Process

Library Update

There has been a lot of things happening in the library over the course of the last few weeks.

The book clubs are in full affect. Last week we had about 12 preteens including two boys that met on Wednesday. With each meeting the preteens are opening up more. They are enjoying reading out loud and doing the assignments that collate with the book. The adult book club has turned into a walking book club with about 5 parents. It has been growing each week. A Piece of Cake has really been a hit with the parents.

Group reading is also something we are doing in the library with the young kids after the asa program is done in the evening and with the preteen boys. The young kids have completed two Junie B. books. The first time I passed out the books to the group no one wanted to read because they did not think they could read chapter books. However, about halfway through the first Junie B. Jones' book, I had a lot of volunteers wanting to read out loud. Th group reading with the preteen boys started off as something for them to read individually to challenge their reading skills. Then, one day they suggested to me that we all read the book together. Since that day we have been reading Percy Jackson and The Olympians The Battle of the Labyrinth, a few days a week. Group reading not only helps the students with reading but it allows this to practice reading in front of a group which will help their public speaking skills.

Also, today we had a very successful book fair. We sold a lot of books to people in the community. It also help get the word out more about the library. Many of the people who saw the library were very impressed at the fact that we had so many children's books.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Heart Warm"

Today I had the wonderful privelege of taking the MTU boys to do Meals on Wheels. Although I was able to share in the Meals on Wheels experience with the ASA, the MTU boys were able to take it all in and really understand the work that they were doing, which was such a blessing for me to see and be a part of.

When I arrived at the ASA, the boys were already waiting to depart. They proved to be extremely helpful when we arrived at the school to pick up the meals, carrying the two coolers full of meals and beverages. We arrived at our first stop a few minutes later where the boys were able to knock on the door and meet our first meal recipient. At first they were a bit apprehensive, not knowing who we would encounter, but after they hit the first house they were ready to visit the next-so much so, that Noel knocked on the next door hoping that they would receive a meal, too! After we finished our first location, Curtis turned to me and stated: "I feel heart warm!" I cannot tell you how much joy this brought to my day! We had only just begun and they were already beginning to comprehend the vast impact we have on others simply by doing one kind act!

The rest of our visits were just as exciting, as the boys were eager to meet our next meal recipients and hopefully brighten their day with a warm meal. As I said before, it was truly a blessing to see these young men grasp what it is to be a giving person and the impact it has on those that receive.

Until next time!

Sheena Hampton (MTU Teacher)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Humble Beginnings

And so begins the marble machine! It was so great to have the volunteers here to help us as we took our first steps toward the finish line, reusing the old and ordinary to create the new and extraordinary (though, if it was recreated in the extraordinary, that means it must not have been ordinary in the first place, right?), and the kids spent TWO HOURS on their marble machine today (without wanting a break, too). That's the equivalent of two days adult time by the way.

You'll notice that parts aren't connected yet, but that's okay. The connections will come last, after the major parts are put in place. Here's to the beginning!

~Mr. Chris

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trinity River Audubon Center

Today the ASA took an unforgettable field trip to the Trinity River Audubon (North America’s largest urban bottomland hardwood forest). The Audubon Center was once an illegal dump. However, after years of work and dedication the area where the Audubon is located was cleaned up and turned into a 6,000 acre educational environmental oasis.

While on the field trip the children hiked along the forest trail, studied a man-made pond using the scientific method, examined fish, snakes, insects and fossils, lastly the day was ended the by petting a box turtle. Below are pictures of our adventure.

Chrystalin W. (3rd, 4th and 5th grade teacher)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zoo Wee MAMA!!

Miss Katrina and myself took four frequent library visitors, Amaya, Jeremiah, Tatiana, and Ta'Kyra, to see "The Diary of A Wimpy Kid". It was a very popular book within the library and we saw it as a great opportunity to reward a few of the children who utilize the Roseland Library. As we all watched the movie, it was great to see them point out things that we have taught in the library. For example, when the protagonist Greg meets a seventh grader named Angie, instead of saying 'Hi' or 'What's up' like most kids in middle school, she greeted him with a firm handshake, eye contact, and correct posture (All things we do here at Roseland.) It excited me more that Tatiana, piped up in the theater and said "They greeted! They greeted!" Although, she got a little loud in an area that we wouldn't otherwise be too enthused about; the fact that she recognized that Greg and Angie performed a PROPER greeting was a ZOO WEE MAMA moment.

-Brittany Stubblefield

Friday, July 16, 2010

Critical Thinking at the Morning Meeting

Each morning the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade class have a "Morning Meeting". The "Morning Meeting" consists of a Greeting, Message and Activity. On this particular morning, the activity for my class an engineering contest. The contest was to see which team could build a table that was at least 8 inches tall only using tape, eight sheets of newspaper and an 8” x 11” piece of cardboard. Also, the table had to be able to support a 3.6 pound book. After nearly 30 minutes and multiple tries, the boy’s team won. However, the girl’s team did not give up. The girl’s team continued working until they too had built a table that could support a 3.6 pound book. Though this activity was some what frustrating for the class, they all were able to complete the task. In the end, the whole class learned that perseverance, critical thinking, and cooperation are keys to accomplishment.

Chrystalin W. (3rd, 4th, 5th grade teacher)

College 101 "What college should I choose?

Choosing a college can be a difficult decision for students. It is best to start the process early, even if you are not a senior in high school. Wednesday, Teen U students had the opportunity to compile a list of universities and decide which university is a perfect fit by using a point system. If the universities had things they loved such as the student organizations, climate, offered their major, or freshman were not required to live in a dorm, then they would put the number 1 on their worksheet. If they saw things they dislike such as the universities did not offer a large number of student organizations or tuition was too expensive, then they would put a zero on their worksheet. When they finished with the worksheet, they calculated their points to see which university is right by looking at the college with the highest points.

Julian's selected school was the University of North Texas. He stated he loved the numerous student organizations and it is only 40 minutes from his mom.

La’kyra's selected school was the Oklahoma State University. She loved the school because it offered a lot of student organizations and had her major, Zoology; because she wants to become a veterinarian.

Shariah's selected school was the University of California : Davis. She found it fascinating that they give freshman the option of living in a dorm instead of requiring the freshman to live in the dorm. She also liked that it offered her major.

I have enjoyed creating College 101 workshops and encouraging students to learn about higher education at a young age is great.

Library Rules!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today in the library was "Fun Fest Friday" and the kids were having it out with our most famous game ZIPZAPZOP. One of the students who requires extra attention was choosen as the group leader. He didn't mind taking on the task at the end. I learned that Kanye would probably Be the next Dr.Ben Carson.

Who Said Kids do not Like Fruit

This week the farm stand started and I took a few of the kids from the library to see the different types of fruits and vegetables they had. I did not think the kids would want anything because they were kind of reluctant to go. However, when we got there, they begged me to buy them a few bags of bananas and apples. I was not sure if they were going to eat the fruit or just wanted some because the fruit looked so colorful. But, I figured 15 pieces of fruit for $3, even if they did not eat the fruit, there was nothing lost.

After returning to the library from the fruit stand, it was time for my weekly book club meeting with the preteens. Last week to kick off the book club I brought cookies. But, since I know we are trying to encourage healthy eating habits along with promotion of the fruit stand in the community, I decided to take the oranges and apples I had bought for myself to see if the kids would be willing to try them.

I once again underestimated the kids. I ended up leaving the book club without any of the fruit I purchased. They enjoyed the fresh fruit this week more than the cookies. I was a little disappointed that I did not get to try any of the fruit from the farm stand but I was excited that I was able to help promote the farm stand by allowing the students to taste the product being sold. They are all ready to purchase fruit next Wednesday. They also have been telling their neighbors about how good the fruit was. It is often said the best way to advertise is word of mouth. Now, it can also be said children enjoy Fruit.


Up-and-coming entrepreneurs

Every day I find out a new cool thing going on in one of our Education Department programs. 

Our theme for our After-School Academy (ASA) this summer is Environment. The teachers have done absolutely amazing things with the kids. The last time I walked into the ASA, I wondered aloud why there were a series of about six 8 1/2" x 11" pieces of paper stuck to the low ceiling. I was quickly told that the papers were the kids' effort (guided by Mr. Chris) to Google map Dallas to China so they could begin to understand their ecological footprint.

Another one of our teachers, Ms. Danielle, is working on teaching the kids about nutrition, healthy eating, and gardening. She's done some cooking classes with the kids that are combined with literature, nutrition, and the different academic skills that go along with the cooking. The ASA has also started a walking club that involves families in the program. They are even working with our own Dr. Rhonda (pediatrician) to measure their BMI and such to start seeing improvement as the summer progresses.

So, when the farm stands started this week, it folded in wonderfully with our theme and the teachers' lessons. Danielle Evans (different from Ms. Danielle the teacher) has gotten community members involved to oversee the farm stand every Wednesday from 9:00-3:00. Plans are in the works for our Mid-Teen University boys to begin working with the police department on a service project that would take orders from the seniors in the Roseland Gardens high rise and then deliver their produce on Wednesdays. 

Since we are about education, learning, and knowledge...and since we have a theory that part of the reason people in low-income communities don't eat as many fruits and veggies because of lack of access and/or low-quality and high price in the stores, it was very exciting to me to hear that the kids and teens from our different education programs pulled their quarters together to go buy a bag of 4 apples for $1 so they could have a snack for later in the day. (knowing this is leading us to make plans to have the farm stand later in the day once the school year starts so kids can buy healthier snacks once school lets out).

Finally, it was very exciting to me to walk into the building after lunch on Thursday to see Mr. Chris's class with printouts of fruits and veggies on the tables. I love that Mr. Chris took the idea of the farm stand and created a simulation for the kids to learn how to operate the farm stands (which will lead us to our next project of getting the kids to run their own business and operate the farm stands themselves). You can hear them all discussing how the farm stands work, giving me the pitch to sell their fruit and veggies, and learning ways to make extra money.

Our ASA this summer absolutely amazes me every time I visit. Thanks, crew!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

MTU Outreach

This past Monday, I had the opportunity to visit the residents of the Roseland community. Myself, Dranoel, and a couple of the older girls and boys of the After School Academy traveled door to door to inform the residents of the various programs we have for children and adults. Before embarking on our afternoon journey, we split into two groups. Dranoel took the three boys- Neiman, Joshua and John- and I took Niesha and Diamond. Since Dranoel already posted his telling of the boys experience, I'll be happy to share mine.

After splitting up, the girls and I made our way around one side of the community. We were fortunate enough to be able to speak to quite a bit of people. Some of which, Niesha was already acquainted with, which definitely made it more comfortable for Diamond and I. Although we were familiar with a few people, there were a few houses that had no idea what kind of programs the Roseland community has to offer. The girls and I were anxious to fill them in and invite them to come and join our community. The neighbors were very impressed with the girls' ability to greet and introduce themselves. It definitely piqued their interest in our programs and what we teach our students.

All in all, it was a very fun, new and exciting experience for all of us. We will definitely have the opportunity to venture out into the community in the near future. Until then, please enjoy these two videos of both groups responses to their afternoon of outreach!

-Sheena Hampton (UTA Intern and MTU Teacher)

The Mohawk & Alondra Show!

Last week, Ruben & Alonda (from the Green Team) recorded their first episode of "The Mohawk & Alondra Show." They demonstrated the reaction you get when you mix oil, water, and different substances. (Sand, Sugar, & Salt)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Greetings From the ASA

After learning that a greeting is when someone takes the time to show others respect by shaking their hand and acknowledging their presence; the 3rd,4th and 5th graders role-played greeting. The children role-played how to greet acquaintances/friends and how to greet someone whom they have not met before. Also, the children spent the day intentionally greeting others.

Chrystalin W. (3rd,4th,5th grade Teacher)

Below two students demonstrate meeting someone new.

American Airlines Field Trip

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to pass the bread

How to Set the Table

Public Etiquette Demonstration

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Day in Mid Teen University

So, as the teens in Teen University were going through Etiquette Class upstairs, I was sent down to unofficially assist Mr. Adam in running Mid Teen University. I have seen Mr. Terrence and Mr. Adam run this program before, but I didn't think I was going to assist in it anytime soon. No sweat...well maybe a little bit.

In attendance were two of the three young men who helped me pass out flyers earlier in the community, Niemen and Joshua. Along with them, were two others, Noel (who claimed I stole his name, his father's name, and his grandfather's name) and TJ. These guys have a lot of energy I tell you.
Well, we started of playing a board game geared towards prominent African-American figures and African-American history. I have never seen anything like it and I thought it was pretty cool to learn facts about George Washington Carver and George Washington Bush. After that, we played Brain Quest, the United States version. We learned facts about the 50 states and I was appreciative of the involvement of the young men in the program.
After sitting around with board games, they want to be more active, so we played a series of Human Knot and Categories (Joshua insisted). And I don't remember, but someone mentioned having a crab walk competition...Whew! To see them all crab walking for a time was funny and inspiring altogether. So, I volunteered to compete also...I am not old enough to complain, but it has been a while since I crab walked :) After that, we had a bear crawl competition. Even Mr. Adam participated in the activity (which also inspired me to participate). I almost broke a sweat, but it would have been well worth it for the fun of the program. Engaging them in physical activities is a great idea because young men have lots of energy and what is a better way to use it than to have them play a sport, or even bear crawl.

The kids in the program are great, as well as the staff. I am glad Mr. Terrence created this program and Mr. Adam is continuing it. I like the path MTU is going through and if they need any assistance in running the program, whether physically running or just running the program generally, I wouldn't mind. That was my first day of Mid Teen University in a nutshell.
- Dranoel

Showing me the Works

So today, Sheena and I were sent on a mission to go out to the Roseland Community and tell the residents about ASA, MTU, the Farm Stand, and the different events going on through Central Dallas Ministries. I have been around the area, but I have not really been AROUND the area. Luckily, I was blessed with three guides who helped me along the way. Niemen, Joshua, and John were three young gentlemen who are apart of our programs, and were my help along the way. Niemen pretty much took us where he left off from a previous advertising walk, and we went door-to-door from there. I let them introduce themselves, and they did it very well, and in a respectable manner. I heard them tell me which homes had kids, and which homes had dogs (i.e. the homes they would knock and then run back, leaving me to face the canines haha). They presented the information and flyers well, and whatever they left off, I would make sure to mention it.

We received compliments from the residents about how good the kids were, and I even got a compliment for spending the time with them to go out and and pass out flyers with them. As said by one of the residents "I see a future in these young men." I believe that with all my heart.
I have to say it was a pleasure completing this successful mission with these gentlemen. I enjoyed their help and company.
- Dranoel


But unfortunately, that's what trash is.


Today the 2nd-3rd graders got their messy on and went (supervised, that's very important) Dumpster diving! Tomorrow's field trip is to the landfill and recycling center, and before we saw where the trash goes, I wanted them to see what the trash is. Later in the day Aviant and Niemen even got to stop the dump truck as it was leaving and talk to the driver!

Now here's the best part, and the kids did this all on their own. They began to realize that lots of things in the dumpster could/should have been recycled, but now they're going to the landfill instead. So they took some items we found out and put them in the recycling bin! How's that for implementing what you learn?

~Mr. Chris

"The Skin I'm In"

Our Pre-Teen girls are reading and discussing "The Skin I'm In" by Sharon Flake this summer.

D.E.A.R. Time


Friday, July 09, 2010


What an exciting day for Teen U students! Today, we went to the House of Blues and learned about African Americans contribution to music from the past to the present. It was very fascinating to hear the songs the slaves sang when they were being transported through the Middle Passage to America to the 1970's when Muddy Waters sang "I can't be satisfied. " The students enjoyed the experience and cannot wait until next Friday when they go back to the House of Blues to learn about folk artists.

On Wednesday, Teen U students had another college 101 workshop entitled "How to choose a major." Each student had to find a major based on their interests. For example, Sharde loves to help people so she decided to major in sociology. After they found their major, they had to look for universities with their major and pick a profession. Finally, they created a poster or PowerPoint to present their major and career choice to their peers. I enjoyed listening to their presentations and getting to know more about the students.


Listen Carefully

Today for rotations I had the opportunity of participating in a "music" activity with my class and then Ms. Chrystalin's class. The goal? To hear the music of our world. The product? Music of our own. The first scene is my class with their composition of imitated city sounds (yes, they are supposed to be that loud, after all, the city is loud, right?), then we see some footage of Ms. Chrystalin's class collaborating on their song, then their finished project. See if you can identify all the different noises (birds, people, helicopters, ice cream trucks, cars, potato chip crunching, candy shaking, power washers). What else do you hear?

~Mr. Chris

Call for Legos!

Thanks to the Dallas Housing Authority (DHA), we were provided space that allowed us to operate our Teen University, Library/Bookstore and Connect U technology lab in the Roseland community since September of last year. Conversations with residents (youth and adults) over the years had told me that our communities didn't have access to the educational opportunities people want and need in order to be successful. Though we had an After-School Academy, it only allowed us to reach kids up to 5th grade. So, I was very excited once we were provided with the space to expand our programs.

Despite our 300% increase in number of programs, we realized about halfway into the school year that we were still missing something. The middle schoolers weren't fitting in to our 6th-12th grade Teen University concept. They just weren't old enough for it to work for them. So, Terrence, one of our Americorps members, branched off on his own to create Mid-Teen U for the middle school (and sometimes younger) boys.

What he found was that the boys wanted to learn "how to." They wanted to figure out how to build structures. They were interested in knowing how things worked. So, the staff started researching and found some curriculum on aerodynamics. They started dropping things from the bannister to see how fast it would fall. They let the boys experiment. They looked into building wind turbines.

As a result, instead of the boys being on the outside of the building getting into trouble with their friends, several of them began going inside and using their brain power to think about educational concepts. You know that saying, "The idle mind is a devil's workshop"? Over the years, I have begun to understand that if we challenge our kids to think and work with them in our programs on things that cause them to leave for the day still thinking and wondering about how they can do something or what they can create next, their brain power is used up strategizing what they can do next. As a result, they know how to use their brain to create and construct instead of destroy.

Investing in these young men takes staffing, time, effort, and lots of emotional energy. However, not investing in them ends up taking much more staff, time, effort, and emotional energy in a much more negative way.

So, this summer, we have worked to try to continue the program two days a week. (We hope to have it 5 days a week this fall). We invested in Lego Smart kits for each kid with the goal of entering Lego competitions in the fall. The boys have begun to take an interest and now want to create a community with Legos. The only problem is, the Lego kits only have about 15 pieces each. So, we need more Legos!

If you or anyone you know can donate retired Legos (tubs, kits, etc.), we would love to take them off your hands...and maybe when the young guys get their city or other structure built, you can come see it....or at least see them in process.

Fewer Low-Income Students Going to College

A recent report shows a decline in college enrollment and graduation of low-income students.

I know what a lot of people say..."Not everyone is college material." and "We need all kinds of workers...not just those who work at jobs with college degrees." and "People can make a better salary working some of the 'trade school' type jobs." And I agree with all of those statements.

However, I feel that every person deserves information and a choice. So, I feel a personal obligation to provide that information to the people in my network of friends and in the community where I live and work. If, equipped with the information, people choose something different than college, I'll completely support that decision.

So, the latest information out is that there are fewer low-income students going to college. Of course, when you add to that the graph I've attached at the top that shows income is directly related to education, this new report causes me great concern. I don't get the feeling that the drop in numbers of low-income people attending and graduating from college is leading to higher paying jobs for those who don't attend.

The other disturbing factor to me is my many conversations with young people who explain to me, "I can't go to college. My mom is a single mom and she can't afford it," or other misnomers that have led to low-income individuals moving on a path that doesn't involve college and usually ends them in dead-end jobs.

I understand that this report was based on 2004 numbers and that things may look different now--six years later with an economic downturn that has led even high-degreed college graduates to sit at home drawing unemployment. However, I would think an over-qualified, out-of-work executive would be much more likely to land any job (if they would be willing to take such a pay cut) over someone who was much less qualified and less skilled. Personally, I would rather be the one with the resume that demonstrates my education and experience.

To counter the myths out there about college, our Teen University at Roseland has begun doing College 101 classes. You can see the topics here...and feel free to let anyone in the Dallas area know about it. If they are willing to get there, we are willing to include them.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Hands on with Solar Energy

Video by: Danielle Davis

Solar Energy Workshop for the ASA

Today the Green Team had their second environment workshop, Solar Energy. The workshop went off well, although the sunlight was blocked due to cloud coverage. The Green Team worked with what they had and did most of their original activities with a few modifications. I was impressed with the way the Green Team adapted to the sudden change in plans. At no time did they say we CAN’T do something, they just worked with what they had. The workshop concluded with a movie and we finally got a chance to watch Wall-E (YAH!!!!)

Overall I would say this workshop went off better than the last, due in part to the ASA staff. After the first workshop we asked the ASA staff for recommendations. Their help allowed the Green Team to be successful in this workshop.

If you want more information on the workshop check out Ruben’s blog post (below). But until next time remember to tune in to this Bat Channel at this Bat Time!


Solar Energy Workshop!

Today, the Green Team put together a Solar Energy Workshop for the ASA Children.

Not only did they get a tasty treat while watching WALL-E, but they also learned how to make a solar oven, learned facts about the sun, and how the sun evaporates water.

In the beginning, there was some chaos, no sun for the solar energy workshop. (Due to the clouds.) In the end, everything turned out well, and the kids (once again) had a blast.

Our original plan was to have rotation after rotation constantly, and due to weather we had to cancel some activities. So, being the flexible Green Team we are, we had a plan B! What better way to learn solar energy, by with a solar disney movie! (Wall-E)
The kids enjoyed their rice kripsy "Suns" during the movie, and enjoyed every minute of it.

We made the suns to give a scale of the sun and the earth. We showed that it was bigger than the earth, and that the sun (just like the earth) has a core. We created edible paint with whipped cream & food coloring. As we created our edible suns, we spoke to the kids about some facts and myths over the sun.

Overall, the workshop went very well and everyone (including the Green Team, ASA Teachers, and Kids) learned something.

-Ruben Ramirez & Alondra Sanchez

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Trinity loved her green eggs and ham, but she thought it was even better with "just a little hot sauce!"

by: by:shannon,kameshia, and danielle


by:shannon,kameshia, and danielle

How Do YOU See Your World?

Today we embarked on a scavenger hunt, doing our best to look at the world around us from a slightly different perspective, from the eyes of the resource-conscious individual. Where do things come from? Where are they going? What happens when I throw this onto the ground, turning it into pollution? What happens when I put it in that blue bag instead? On this hunt, we looked for ordinary things around us through extraordinary eyes. These are some of the things we found.
~Mr. Chris

We went to college yesterday

Saturday, July 03, 2010

This week at Teen U...

It was a very busy week at Teen U!

Tuesday-- The teens had a very special guest speaker, Mrs. Sharon Grigsby, from the Dallas Morning News. Mrs. Grigsby shared how she became interested in writing and editing for Newspapers, what it took for her to get there, and many other things. Thanks Mrs. Grigsby!

Wednesday-- The UTD Go Center Interns (Jamacah and Dranoel) turned the 2101 Building into a mock University and the students attended "Freshman Orientation". During the orientation, the teens learned about all the services that are offered on college campuses. The students really enjoyed the role-playing and having many of their questions about college answered.

Thursday-- The teens took a field trip to Dallas City Hall. When we arrived, we were greeted and introduced to the City Plan Commission. We had the opportunity to attend a briefing of some of the projects the Commission would be voting on later that afternoon. After the briefing, Commissioner Mike Davis gave the teens around City Hall. They really enjoyed learning about the different careers and services offered at City Hall but their absolute FAVORITE thing about City Hall was the Mayor's Office. Thanks Commissioner!!!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Bringin' On the Green

This summer the 2nd-3rd graders have been studying resources, how they're used, and what happens to them. We've done all kinds of things from figuring out where things come fromn and where they go:

to dealing with the sad consequences of pollution:

to undergoing our own reduce, reuse recycle, go green projects (garden work, recycling our own paper, enjoying the beauty of the butterfly):

And thus ends week 3 (and that's just a taste). We've learned, equipped, and processed, easily and not-so-easily. But none of us intend to quit now. Next week we hope to begin the big project for the environment fair (a case study of chosen objects and their resources), and the big project for the ASA (marble machine!). Let's get busy!

~Mr. Chris

University of Central Dallas: Class of 2013

This week Teen U students’ lived the life of a college student by going through a mocked freshman orientation. My co-workers and I turned 2101 building into a real university. The students went to different places in the university to learn about housing, registering for classes, meal plans, student organizations, financial aid and much more.

The students were giving handouts and instructed to act like their characters. They had to use their Id number to check into the orientation. After they checked in, they were giving a map and their own agendas to learn more about University of Central Dallas. For example, La’kyra was from Plano, Texas and majoring in Education. She had to go to the student union because she wanted to be active in a lot of organizations and did not know where to begin. Next, she went to university housing to fill out a roommate compatibility form because she had to live on campus and did not have a roommate. La’kyra and the other students loved role-playing. They were excited to learn so much about college life.


Pizza & Equality for All!!!

To kick off Civil Rights, on Friday, at lunch, we demonstrated discrimination in a certain way. As excited as the teens were about receiving pizza, it did not match the feelings they showed when we gave the pepperoni pizza to the teens wearing white, and gave cheese to everyone else. We also gave the people wearing white the option to choose between soda and lemonade, which was not an option for the rest. You could see thorough the teens attitudes that it was unjust. The people wearing white were satisfied, but at the same time wondering what's going on. The people not wearing white were feeling disappointed, amongst other feelings. This is a reminder of how people of 'different' attributes are treated differently, such as African-Americans, women, and even young teenagers. With this start off, we hope to establish the importance of respect and equality at Teen University and in their lives.
- Dranoel

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Best Day Ever

I had the best time at City Hall. I learned that the mayor is Tom Leppert and the mayor pro tem is Dwaine Caraway. We also had the opportunity to go to the City Commision Briefing to see some of the projects and things they were working on.

--DeQuaylanRemove Formatting from selection

" almost there''

This week we learned about college and all the things we go through to get ready our freshmen year. For example, we have to go to freshmen ordination and get things (information) on the services that are offered at your school.

by kadriana

A Day At Dallas City Hall

My first day at Dallas City Hall was interesting. A major thing I learned was the name of the Mayor, which is Tom Leppert. Not only did I know his name I saw a picture of him. Whenever the mayor is out the Mayor Pro-tem, which is Dwaine Caraway, takes over. An excitng thing for me was when I we went into Dwaine Caraway's office. My favorite part about the trip was when I saw the history of the Mayors which were pictures of them.

By: LaKyra

*Dallas City Hall*

City hall: I learned so much from the trip we took to City Hall. I learned about all of the AW3SOME CAREERS that you can have there which are council members, mayors, commissioners (chair and vice chair) assistants to the mayors, etc. The field trip somewhat inspired me to become a mayor one day.. because of all of the things they get and perks, nice offices, etc.

College Workshop: I enjoyed the workshop and I also learned A LOT !!!!! I had some great volunteers set up a somewhat 'freshman orientation" that was pretty cool. I learned almost everything that I need to know about college including some things that probably most college students don't even know.

I have had a fun time ! :) by: Julian Randall

The Road to Solar Energy

This week has definitely been a productive one for the Green Team and the Roseland Staff.

On Tuesday, the staff got together for a weekly meeting and each learned a little bit more about each other and what's going on in the Roseland Community. Not only did we learn that everyone has their own definition of words like "caring," "field trip," and "discipline," but we learned that this summer is going well.

The Green Team has been working on putting together the 2nd workshop for the ASA Kids next Thursday.

Not only have we come up with what activities will be going on, but we definitely know the kids will enjoy this more than the Weather Workshop we did last Thursday. We have wood art, paper art, a solar oven, and rice krispy "earths" in store for this workshop coming.

Anyone is welcome to come see the kids make crafts and learn about Solar Energy as well.

-Ruben Ramirez