Wednesday, February 3, 2021

AEC hosts interactive social justice essay contest

In celebration of the World Day of Social Justice on February 20, 2021, with the theme, "A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy," Alternative Education Center in Odessa, TX, is hosting an Interactive Social Justice Essay Contest for Middle/High School students. The essay contest allows students to engage in interschool discussions about how they can help promote social justice and the global goal of peace, justice, and strong institutions by applying any applicable knowledge or skills they have learned from their classes and personal experiences. AEC students will use the essay entries of students from other campuses in their essay analysis activities to learn how to write good essays in preparation for their TELPAS and STAAR. AEC students will choose the 10 best essays to be awarded $20 each. Students' discussions will last until February 25th, and winners will be announced on February 26th. Prizes and thank you letters will be sent to the schools of the winning students.

If you want to participate, please click here.

Monday, February 1, 2021

AEC students pay tribute to the new admin

Students at the Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX, paid tribute to the new administration by doing academic activities that celebrated President Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.'s inauguration, together with Vice President Kamala Devi Harris, on January 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Under the leadership of English Department Head Velma Nunez, AEC students examined the U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman's poem, “The Hill We Climb,” delivered during the inauguration. Gorman’s poem complemented Biden’s inaugural address and was written to reflect on America's history and the future it stands for. Students answered the big question about how they thought Biden's speech signaled a change from the previous administration. They then analyzed the message, goal, meaning, tone, and impact of Gorman's inaugural poem and draw connections between the moment in history, the poet’s message, and students' own lives. 

English Language Arts Teacher Pamela Ryan supplemented the activity by having the students researched prior inaugural addresses after watching the live streaming of Biden's inaugural address. Students discussed how and why Ronald Reagan's inaugural address changed where the previous addresses were given.  Since Reagan's inauguration, the inaugural address has been held with the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial in distant sight.

In mathematics classes, students worked on mathematics problems embedded in a picture puzzle activity using Biden's and Harris's coloring images. Students organized the puzzle, solved the problem from each piece, and then colored the picture formed. Sidebar conversations revolved around supporting the new administration despite differences in opinions or views. Before the national election, AEC students were also engaged in a mock election for the presidency through Social Studies Department Head James Porter's leadership. The mock election held in the school cafeteria allowed the students to experience exercising suffrage and having their voices heard. 

All these activities before and after the national election and the president's inauguration gave AEC students avenues to discuss and reflect on their observations about the importance of national unity in spite of America's unending political divide. They were able to express their own political views and learn to be understanding of others' views. Such experiences led AEC students to more political awareness and involvement that helped promote the global sustainable development goal number 16: peace, justice, and strong institutions. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

AEC students compare U.S. and Germany education systems

In celebration of this year's International Day of Education, students from the Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX, researched and compared the education systems of Germany and the U.S.A. Germany. was the country of interest because it is where the IJWC adviser is set to travel through Fulbright after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. AEC students studied the evolution of education outcomes of the two countries in terms of literacy, school enrollment and attendance, years of schooling, and attainment by level. Using a Venn diagram, students then compared and contrasted the current education systems of the two countries in terms of the 10 targets of SDG 4: quality education, namely: (1) universal primary and secondary education, (2) early childhood development and universal pre-primary education, (3) equal access to technical/vocational and higher education, (4) relevant skills for decent work, (5) gender equity and inclusion, (6) universal youth and adult literacy, (7) education for sustainable development and global citizenship, (8) effective learning environments, (9) scholarships, and (10) supply of qualified teachers. 

International Day of Education is observed worldwide on January 24th annually to celebrate the role of education in bringing global peace and sustainable education. On December 3, 2018, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to proclaim January 24 as International Day of Education. With the theme, “Recover and revitalize education for the COVID-19 generation,” this year's celebration was memorable because it occurred in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a global learning interruption of unprecedented scope and gravity. This year's theme signified humanity's resilience and determination to continue education despite the pandemic.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

IJWC joins International Human Rights Day

International Junior Writers Club joined the 2020 International Human Rights Day by hosting an international student discussion about using any applicable class lessons to promote human rights and the global goal of reduced inequalities. The activity ran for the whole month of December 2020. Under the mentorship of Art Teacher Whitney Carter, AEC students created a human rights puzzle, used human rights designs in their ceramic project, and discussed the significance of human rights to reduce inequalities. In math, AEC students explored the application of systems of equations to the world's human rights scores. Using Padlet, AEC students discussed, together with students from Asia, ways they could help promote human rights and the global goal of reduced inequalities. Students from Jose Rizal Memorial State University High School Department, Dapitan City, Philippines, under the leadership of Principal Paterno Baguinat III and students from Philippine Science High School, Dipolog City, Philipines, under the mentorship of Special Science Teacher Araibo Elumba participated in the Padlet discussion.

Human Rights Day is observed every 10th of December each year. This year's theme is: "Recover Better - Stand Up for Human Rights." This year’s celebration relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring human rights are central to recovery efforts. We can reach our common global goals only if we create equal opportunities for all, address the failures exposed and exploited by COVID-19, and apply human rights standards to tackle entrenched, systematic, and intergenerational inequalities, exclusion, and discrimination.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Texas, Georgia students collaborate to study world population

Students from Odessa, TX, and Atlanta, GA, collaborated with each other on a week-long project to study the world population. Culminated on November 6, 2020, the project allowed students to analyze the world population data obtained from Our World in Data website using tables, graphs, and equations. Students generated the mathematical model that best described the world population trend. Using Flipgrid, they introduced themselves and interacted with each other. Using Padlet, they discussed the implications of the world population growth and offered recommendations in terms of applicable global sustainable development goals. Some of the global goals students discussed that could be influenced by world population growth were no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, clean water/sanitation, affordable/clean energy, responsible consumption/production, and peace/justice/strong institution. The majority of the students recommended comprehensive and inclusive family planning programs. Some of them suggested government-funded methods of contraception to be available even to those whose cultural or religious beliefs contradicted contraception.

This inter-school activity between students from Texas and Georgia was made possible through the active partnership of AEC with Dr. Roxanne Comegys, a 3DE Math and Go TIP Induction advisor at Banneker High School. This was the first time that AEC tried to network with a school from another state. It gave the students the opportunity not just to collaborate with each other but also to experience the cultural diversity of America.