A.T.O.M STEM Academy Monthly News

February Edition

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February's STEMtastic News

Happy Black History Month!!!! I hope all have stayed safe and warm during these inclement weather days! February has been eventful, to say the least; filled with MAP testing, grade submissions, weekly Black History month trivia, Friday STEM Celebrations, flurries of snow and ice, and not to mention the illustrious Super Bowl!!! Go TEAM BRADY!!! Nevertheless, through it all, our students have persevered to show up and show out in this virtual setting! Four more months in the school year, let's continue to motivate our scholars to strive for greatness in every facet of their education!!!

We appreciate your partnership STEM families, and as previously stated, "It takes a village to raise a child." I want you to know that we are in this together, and we want to support you and your scholar in any way possible.

Important updates for February:

  • Happy Black History Month (BHM) everyone- please take some time to speak with your scholar about the BHM honorees that we post on our social media pages and discuss in class daily
  • February 8th: No school due to a Professional Learning Day for teachers
  • February 15th: No school due to President's Day
  • February 15th- 19th: BHM SPIRIT WEEK (see the flyer below)
  • STEM students have a chance to win a $10 gift card for answering our weekly STEM Trivia questions correctly
  • BHM Contest due Wednesday, February 24th- see the below flyer
  • Every Friday in February, we will have local eminent figures present to our scholars about their STEM journey while mentioning historical people who influenced them over the years. Our presenters will focus on the acronyms of STEM-please see the post below for more information. Below are some pictures from our session on February 3rd, where Devin Canaday presented about Engineering and how it changed his life!!

In preparation for our Friday STEM Celebrations, parents, we need your help:

Please encourage scholars to be early to class on Fridays of February for our special presentations. We want to start the program no later than 9:20; therefore, we ask that you have your scholar log into Google Meet by 9:10.

Lastly, for any questions and/or concerns relative to the A.T.O.M STEM Academy, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Smith directly. You can reach my work cell phone at 804-835-4505 or email me at dsmith23@rvaschools.net

January's STEM Student of the Month goes to Eryk Moore

We want to send a HUGE shout-out to Eryk Moore for being named MLK's A.T.O.M. STEM Student of the Month! When voting for candidates, it was unanimous that Eryk would be our STAR of the month. Teachers reported that Eryk has great mannerism and is respectful to peers and adults. Not to mention, several teachers reported that Eryk strives for greatness and is a pleasure to have in class. We are PROUD of you Eryk!!! Keep up the good work!!! #IamKing
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Also, we want to shout-out La'Sheed Lewis for being brave and presenting in our History Department BHM Program! Keep up the great work, La' Sheed!!!

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Black History Sprit Week Delineated Below:

2/15: Monday- HBCU Pride Day

2/16: Tuesday- Who am I? Dress as your favorite black person in history!!!

2/17: Wednesday- Dashiki Day

2/18: Thursday- African Heritage Pride Day- 6th: Wear Green; 7th: Wear Red; 8th: Wear Black

2/19: Friday- Rep our VP Day- Wear your favorite Blazer, Chucks, and Pearls to celebrate our VP!!!

We ask that ALL students participate! Let's have some fun as we celebrate BHM!! See the flyer below!!

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Meet Crystal Suber or Ms. Crystal as the students call her!

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What does RAA do for our scholars?

Richmond Action Alliance is a brand new grassroots non-profit that supports the local community with voter registration, racial justice, education, and bridging gaps within the community and local government. We have grown under the love and support of the community, and we are thrilled to be able to put all that love and support right back into the community that we call home.

Specifically, at MLK, RAA representatives (Mr. Cory and Ms. Crystal) worked with our scholars on coding and software development. They spent class time learning how to code and creating cool software! The main device used for coding was the Scratch Program. In Scratch, scholars had the opportunity to create gaming applications that others could play. Scholars reported that they enjoyed seeing their creations come alive; one of Scratch's features is that students created a game where they were taught how to control all aspects of their characters, from movement to giving their character's sounds. Also, Mr. Cory and Ms. Crystal spent quality time building relationships and developing a computer science foundation for our scholars to build on. Towards the end of the semester, scholars worked on the Software Development Process, which exposed them to all software types!

RAA met with our scholars weekly during the second 9 weeks. Students reported that they enjoyed RAA facilitators and using the Scratch program to code. We thank you, RAA, and look forward to continuing this partnership. Our scholars miss you!

Below are some pictures from previous sessions:

  • The first highlights various careers in programming and key historical black figures who made profound contributions to Computer Science.
  • The last two pictures are from our last coding session of the semester. Pictured on the screen are students and teachers working in the Scratch program.
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Below are pictures of our new State of the Art, SMART Lab!!!!

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Please remember No Cell Phone, Hangout chats, or ZOOM Chats during class

We need all students to follow MLK's cell phone policy. Students should not be using their cell phones or any other communicative app/device during instructional time unless it is a part of the teacher's lesson. At MLK, we aim to provide every student with a world-class education and we cannot achieve this if students are occupied texting or chatting during class. Thanks for your assistance with this.

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For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are here for our students, families, and community! We want to continue to strengthen our family and community partnerships for the well being of our scholars.