Wednesday, September 1, 2021

AEC joins International Day against Nuclear Tests

The Alternative Education Center in Odessa, TX, joined the International Day against Nuclear Tests celebration on August 29, 2021. Students watched declassified films of US nuclear tests and U.S. employment of nuclear weapons during the Second World War. They read the background and rationale of the International Day against Nuclear Tests and discussed the many effects of nuclear tests worldwide. Students integrated the celebration into their lessons by describing using functions the number of nuclear tests conducted globally from 1945 to 1998. They identified graphical trends of nuclear tests that were significant to the world and wrote how the annual International Day against Nuclear Tests helps promote the global sustainable development goal of peace, justice, and strong institutions.

The United Nations General Assembly's 64th session on December 2, 2009, declared August 29 the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Its resolution stressed that every country's effort should be made to end nuclear tests in order to prevent their destructive effects on people's lives and health. Global nuclear test termination is the most practical and civil mechanism of achieving the ideal nuclear-weapon-free world.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

IJWC adviser participates in 2021 Global Teaching Dialogue

The International Junior Writers Club adviser participated in the U.S. Department of State's virtual Global Teaching Dialogue on June 22 - 24, 2021. This year's Global Teaching Dialogue was graced by the Keynote Address of John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. Department of State, and the following sessions by global education experts:

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

  • Alumni Panel, Educating Youth for an Interconnected World: Teaching Climate Change, by Fulbright TGC to Morocco Natasha Agrawal, Fulbright DAST to Uganda Annalise Klein, Fulbright DAST to New Zealand Lauren Zappone Maples, and Fulbright TGC to Brazil Noah Zeichner, and moderated by Betsy Devlin-Foltz, Senior Program Officer, Teacher Exchange Branch, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Educating Communities for Global Careers in STEM by Fulbright TGC to Indonesia Anuradha Bajpai
  • Locally Sourced: Exploring the Implications of a Community-Based Pedagogy on a Global Classroom by Fulbright DAST to New Zealand Nathan Ramin
  • Diplomacy Simulations for the K-12 Classroom by Lauren K. Fischer, Education Program Specialist, National Museum of American Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State
  • Leadership for the Global Educator by Longview Foundation for World Affairs and International Executive Director Jennifer Manise and Ferris ISD Dean of Students Michelle Neely 
  • Using Inquiry to Enrich Student Engagement and Enhance Global Awareness by Fulbright TEA to Ghana David Bosso
  • The Inclusive Global Classroom: Special Education and Global Competence by Fulbright DAST to Singapore Christine Powell and Fulbright DAST to New Zealand Brian Ristow
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
  • Social-Emotional Learning in the Global Educator's Classroom by Fulbright TGC to Colombia David Eisenberg and Fulbright DAST to Finland Argine Safari
  • Climate Change Education: A Global Issue by Fulbright DAST to South Africa Kottie Christie-Blick
  • Social Media Literacy in a Post-Truth World by Fulbright DAST to the United Kingdom Shana Ferguson
  • Diplomacy Simulations for the K-12 Classroom by Lauren K. Fischer, Education Program Specialist, National Museum of American Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State
  • Investigating in a Democracy: Globalizing Discussion, Deliberation, and Debate by Fulbright DAST to the Netherlands Al Schleicher
  • The Intersection of Mindfulness, Mental Health, and Wellbeing in the Global Classroom by Linda Yaron Weston, Fulbright TGC to India and Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad to Brazil
  • Teaching Sustainability in the Global Classroom by Fulbright DAST to Israel Michael Cruse and Fulbright TGC to Indonesia Guy Hamlin
  • Using Foundational Stories to Decolonize our Schools: Lessons in Hard History by Fulbright DAST to New Zealand Susannah Remillard
Thursday, June 24, 2021
  • Virtual Exchanges for the Global Educator by Andrea Dinan, Fulbright DAST to Mexico, U.C. Greater Good Science Center Program Director Maryam Abdullah, New Hartford CSD Reading Specialist Shelley Bartolotti, and Empatico Program Associate Verónica Vázquez Ugalde
  • Addressing Global Competence in Dual Language Education by Fulbright DAST to New Zealand Angela Palmieri
  • Epic Global Educators Bringing Students Closer with Innovative Technologies by Fulbright TGC to Morocco Michelle Carton and Fulbright TGC to India Tammy Dunbar
  • School Swap: A 35-mile Journey to Enhancing Global Competence by Fulbright TGC to India Robert Lurie and teachers Dana Blank, Jenna Davis, and Julie Keck
  • Teaching Social Justice and Human Rights in the World Language Classroom by Fulbright TGC María Eugenia Zelaya to Colombia and Centropa Education Director Lauren Granite

Since 2016, the U.S. Department of State has welcomed teachers, educators, and global education experts to attend the annual Global Teaching Dialogue. Alumni of the Department’s Teacher Exchange Programs and other global education leaders share best practices for globalizing curricula, implementing virtual exchanges, and learning from and sharing educational strategies with colleagues in other countries.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

AEC donates used clothes to Asia

Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX, shared its blessings by donating used clothes to a Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. The package was sent to the Philippines through a cargo shipping service early this month. Principal Adam Portillo and Math Teacher Lacey Moore volunteered to donate each a bag of used but decent clothes. IJWC adviser bought clothes from Odessa's Door of Hope Outlet Center and some can goods to be included in the package. 

No poverty is the leading global sustainable development goal. Sharing blessings especially with poor countries like in Asia is one of the many ways we can help meet this global goal. By modeling it, students will see and apply the value of the noble and humanitarian gesture of sharing. Blessings to be shared do not need to be material or expensive as long as they come from the heart, wrapped with good intentions.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

AEC holds t-shirt idea contest for family day

Alternative Education Center, through the leadership of Art Teacher Whitney Carter, held a T-Shirt Idea Contest for AEC students, in celebration of the International Day of Families on May 15, 2021, with the theme, "Families and New Technologies." Entries were school-appropriate and included designs for International Day of Families, new technologies, and an AEC symbol. The winning design would be used for the faculty t-shirt next school year.

This year's observance of the International Day of Families focuses on the impacts of new technologies on the well-being of families. The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic signals the significance of digital technologies for work, education, and communication to maintain families' safety and some sort of normalcy. The T-Shirt Idea Contest allows students to raise awareness of the use of new technologies in the lives of families across the globe to help meet the global goal of strong institutions that impacts other goals such as no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, decent work and economic growth, and reduced inequality. 

Friday, April 30, 2021

AEC commemorates space race, celebrates earth day

Students at the Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX, through the leadership of Social Studies Department Head James Porter, commemorated the Space Race through week-long interdisciplinary space education-related lessons in Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, and English that culminated in a rocket launch event on April 22, 2021, at Ratliff Stadium, Odessa. TX. The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between the Soviet Union and the United States to achieve superior spaceflight capability. The competition originated from a ballistic missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations after World War II.

Concurrent with the Space Race commemoration was AEC's celebration of the International Mother Earth Day with the theme, "Restore our Earth." During the week of Earth Day, students in Mathematics classes studied and modeled mass vs. time in space shuttle ascent, watched and analyzed the Shuttle Atlantis STS-132 launch, built model rockets, participated in the rocket launch, and wrote a reflective essay about the significance of space exploration to improve lives on Earth. In English classes, through the mentorship of Teacher Pamela Ryan, students read articles, watched videos, and studied about the tragedy of the first teacher in space (Christa McAuliffe) and the astronauts onboard the Challenger in 1986 and the Columbia in 2003; read the autobiography of the first American woman in space (Sally Ride); and discussed how space exploration benefits the Earth. 

The space education-related activities addressed the global sustainable development goals of climate action, life below water, and life on land. The rocket launch was AEC students' last activity for the Aerospace Education Excellence Program. International Mother Earth Day is observed on April 22nd each year, urging a call to action to promote a holistic approach to harmony with nature that is suffering from irresponsible human behaviors.