Rainbow Push Coalition/Push Excel kick off first summer STEM/sports camp since pandemic began, pushing for peace to combat violence

Advertisement
Shop JAYNE

Rainbow Push Coalition/Push Excel kick off first summer STEM/sports camp since pandemic began, pushing for peace to combat violence (Chicago, IL) – For the first time since the pandemic began, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and PUSH For Excellence (PUSH Excel) are hosting a summer STEM/Sports Camp Saturday, July 17th – August 28, 2021 on two sites to promote a PUSH for peace as Chicago’s violence continues to soar.

Advertisement
Elect David Sheppard

The summer STEM/Sports Camp will kick off each Saturday beginning July 17th through August 28th, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for students ages 8-16, at two locations—the RPC, 930 E. 50th St., and the Concordia Place Apartments, 13037 S. Daniel Dr., which is a privately-owned housing complex that is HUD financed.

The free summer enrichment programs offer classes in: coding, robotics, financial literacy, and game design. Also being offered are sports programs including basketball, track fitness and Double Dutch.

Students must follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines that include wearing masks indoors for classes. Social distancing will be enforced, and temperatures will be checked.

Rev. Dr. Janette Wilson, national executive director for PUSH For Excellence, said, “We are using this as a model that we want to be replicated all around the country. It is the PUSH/Excel’s response to violence with creative, organized, recreation and learning. It is PUSH for peace, STEAM and sports.”

“Our summer STEM program is designed to give our students organized, recreational activities for the summer. When school is out, we’re in so that our young people will have the advantage of learning how to design and program games they like to play,” she said.

“We are teaching them the traditional sports but also non-traditional sports; so we want them to engage in basketball but we want every child whether they’re athletic or not to be into fitness. Every child needs to be physically fit and healthy,” explained Wilson.

“We are also teaching them science, technology, engineering and math using Lego robotics. We’re teaching them how to fly drones and program them. We’re teaching them basic principles of engineering. It’s going to be fun but also educational,” Wilson said.

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition/PUSH Excel Summer STEM/Sports Camp has a number of academically outstanding instructors and volunteers including Dr. Martin Pieters an education specialist who is known for his entrepreneurship training and inter-institutional ventures.

Pieters received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering Technology from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is the former STEM coordinator and instructor for the University of Chicago Office of Special Programs—College Prep.

Dr. Pieters said, “Students should come here because we give them an enormous experience about how to look at jobs of the future. It is very imperative for kids to understand that jobs of the future and most of these jobs evolve around technology.”

Advertisement
Monica Gordon for Cook County Commissioner

The students would be learning about general technology, new artificial intelligence network and mechanical engineer robotics. ‘The goal is for students to be able to select from these choices so they can have options for the future. We are closing the digital divide,” Dr. Pieters explained.

Bernard Key, CEO of the Nubian Media STEM Co., is a STEM consultant at the Olive/Harvey College, where he teaches automotive engineering including how to make a Radio Control Car (RC car).  “Kids learn how to race, physics and STEM from racing cars. They learn about motors, suspension, sharp floor, dynamics, rubber tire deposits, and they race nationally for prizes,” he said.

Key works with the Microsoft Black Accelerator program that Microsoft launched in August of 2020 designed to introduce IT technology and computer science to schools especially in black and brown impoverished communities.

Key is also a consultant in public schools and in Richton Park. He is the technology director for the Youth & Adult Technology Center in Chicago Heights. Key retire d from the CPS.

While the STEM/sports camp is free, Rev. Wilson said they are recommending parents take out a RPC membership, which cost $35 per child for the seven-week program.

“We want students to know about the 50 year history of the RPC, of Rev. Jackson and ways they can get involved of doing the work of civil rights in this day and age,” Lee said.

Tim Lee is the director of the Rainbow PUSH/PUSH Excel summer STEM/Sports Camp. “Students should come to this camp because it is a way to enrich their lives physically, mentally, academically and even socially.

“We want students to know about the 50 year history of the RPC, of Rev. Jackson and ways they can get involved of doing the work of civil rights in this day and age,” Lee said.

Other IT volunteers included Etta McChristian, graduated from the Texan University who is a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. She is the Rainbow PUSH/PUSH Excel summer sports coordinator.

“It is important that the students exercise physically and mentally at the same time. We are going to do jumping jacks, jump rope, play basketball and actually learn what civil rights really mean. Now we can play peacefully, and Rev. Jackson, Sr. has played a big part in that,” McChristian said.

Rainbow Push Coalition/Push Excel kick off first summer STEM/sports camp since pandemic began, pushing for peace to combat violence

Related Articles

Responses

Your email address will not be published.