¿Qué son las carreras STEAM?

Inspirando a las Nuevas Generaciones

En Genius Plaza creemos que la educación y la superación personal y profesional es algo muy importante en nuestras vidas. Además reconocemos que nuestros jóvenes no pueden soñar sobre lo que no conocen. Por eso hemos estado enfocados en identificar y crear perfiles de profesionales en los que los estudiantes se puedan ver reflejados.

Perfiles de Profesionales en Carreras STEAM

Hemos entrevistado a varios  profesionales exitosos en las áreas de ciencias, tecnología, ingenierías, artes y matemáticas, para conocer más acerca de su trabajo, sus roles y cómo lograron llegar a la posición que tienen.

 

Con cada perfil hemos creado videos, libros electrónicos, ejercicios, hojas de trabajo y más materiales para que los maestros y padres de familia puedan usar todo el contenido que está disponible en inglés y en español.

Los invitamos a aprender más visitando www.geniusplaza.com.

 

 


Weekly Education News Update!

This past week, EdSurge discussed the lack of female leadership and diversity on corporate boards, specifically among startup technology companies. “If, as a company, your goal is to make an impact in education, then you need representation in your leadership that can relate to the population you are trying to impact.”

The goal is not just to add a diverse group of leaders to your board because you think it’s the right thing to do, but there has to be real support and accountability on both ends for people trying to improve the pipeline and those coming through it.” The key is to promote diversity from the very beginning, making it easier to maintain a diverse work culture once the company starts growing and more people are hired.

US News reported earlier this week that students in Madison, Wisconsin were asking the Madison School District to hire more teachers of color. Many students from this school district used signs, speeches, and poetry to get their message across, the message being they wanted teachers who could relate to their experiences and connect with their identities.” Research shows that having diverse teachers can help students of all backgrounds and students of color to graduate.”

There was a recent discussion on KPCC Radio about an all-girls science camp and the power this one week of camp had on these middle school students. This camp specifically exposes underprivileged girls to fun science experiences with more one-on-one interactions.  For instance, the girls were taught how to make different types of makeup and perfumes, and learned that perfume chemists are one of the highest paid chemists in the science business.

One of the middle school girls at the camp stated, “The boys, they like being the leaders, but here, girls [have to] be the leaders and they’re telling us the girls are powerful to do whatever they want.” On the last day of camp, it seemed the efforts to sell these girls on science, math, technology, and engineering careers had worked. “How many of you think you might be a scientist?” one of the adult camp leaders asked. Almost all of the girls’ hands shot up.

Recently on Edscoop, it was reported that more educators are becoming more confident about the use of technology in the classroom. Edscoop examined a survey that consisted of more than 1,200 K-12 teachers and administrators. It was discovered that 65 percent of these educators are confident in their ability to use technology in the classroom, which is a seven percent increase from 2016.

This report came from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), which also “revealed that 98 percent of respondents use some form of educational technology to aid their work.” Technology continues to increase its impact on K-12 classrooms, so making the technology process for educators more straightforward is key to the proper use of technology in the classroom.


¿Quiénes trabajan en Genius Plaza?

Somos un equipo de gente diversa, entusiasta y apasionada por la democratización y mejora de la calidad de la educación, especialmente de los más desfavorecidos.

A través del uso de la tecnología queremos llegar a cada rincón del mundo, para brindar una educación de calidad.

Somos un equipo multicultural, por ende entendemos la necesidad de aprender un segundo idioma y queremos hacer que su experiencia en la plataforma deje huella en su vida.  Cada uno de los que formamos el equipo de Genius Plaza tiene un papel importante para poder brindar una educación de una manera divertida y con calidad.

Nuestros maestros y maestras calificadas se encargan de elaborar el contenido de nuestra plataforma. Nuestro equipo creativo se encarga de la producción de videos y la telenovela. Nuestro equipo de desarrollo se encarga del desarrollo de la interfaz de la plataforma, como también del desarrollo de videojuegos.

Para nosotros es muy gratificante saber que el trabajo que hacemos día día, tiene frutos, escuchar y leer historias de cómo nuestra plataforma ha ayudados a niños y padres a mejorar en ciertas áreas es nuestra mayor recompense.


Connecting Directly with the Communities We Serve

This summer, some members of the Genius Plaza team, including Alejandra Hurtado, Darlene Cordero, and I attended the UnidosUS – formerly known as NCLR – Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  We hosted a booth at the National Latino Family Expo, which consisted of different types of companies engaging directly with the communities they serve.  Many different businesses participated, including FedEx and Univision.

As an intern who had only been working at Genius Plaza for six weeks, I was nervous to be attending my first conference, but excited about the opportunity and the confidence the team had in me.  I was worried I did not know enough about the company, and that I would not be able to answer questions.  I was pleasantly surprised with myself at how much I had learned about this innovative, revolutionary company.

During the conference, I was able to discuss how Genius Plaza’s content is designed for Pre-K through 12th grade with an emphasis in math, science, English language arts, and STEAM careers.  In addition, I was able to explain to parents and educators that our programs are all available in Spanish and English, while implementing diversity throughout.

I enjoyed talking about our co-creation option, which allows students to become protagonists of their own learning. One of the highlights was providing attendees with a sneak peek into our newly launched Pre-K program.

As I talked to people about Genius Plaza, it was amazing to see the reactions of parents and educators who loved our mission.  They expressed a need for Genius Plaza in their children’s and students’ lives.

One of my favorite parts was watching kids who had never used a virtual reality (VR) headset before.  They loved walking around our booth with their arms out, entering a new world of information, just by putting on one of our VR headsets.  It was often hard to get the headset back from them, because they were enjoying themselves so much.  Their reaction when we did the raffles was priceless.

Sharing these memorable moments with parents, educators, and children at the conference really gave me a sense of pride for the company I have been working for this summer.  I believe attending different types of conferences and being able to talk directly to our target audience are very beneficial ways for us to explain how Genius Plaza would be perfect for their children or students.


Just the right word

In recent years, people – especially women – have become more aware of the use of their minimizing language, like “sorry” and “just.” In a number of articles and blog posts, people have written that women should stop using such language immediately, or risk having less successful careers. These writings state that the use of words like “just” in person and via email diminish the value and validity of what is being said.

Not everyone agrees with this logic. There are also a number of people who believe the nitpicking of language used by women is but another form of sexism. People argue that rather than focusing on how women are expressing themselves, we should be focusing on the subject being discussed.

Former Google employee Ellen Petry Leanse wrote about her experience with the overuse of the word “just” in the workplace. Once Leanse became aware of the frequency “just” appeared in her own communications and those of female colleagues, she actively worked to decrease their usage of the word. Leanse wrote that after making an effort not to use weak language, she and her coworkers felt their communication changed. “I believe it helped strengthen our conviction, better reflecting the decisiveness, preparedness, and impact that reflected our brand.”

 

Shane Ferro and Debbie Cameron argue that Leanse is using an antiquated form of feminism to defend her argument. They write that linguists have recently almost completely debunked the myth that women must use more forceful language. Ferro writes the issue is not with the words women choose, but with the people who feel the need to critique the words chosen. She states, “I can’t think of a worse use of my workday than having to check myself every time I said something out loud,” and goes on to say if anything, this would hurt her confidence.  

Cameron draws a parallel between people policing the language women use to policing women’s bodies. Although this may seem like a stretch, Cameron writes that, similarly to how the media and beauty industry profit from the insecurities they sell to consumers, articles and radio programs, like the one she wrote about on her blog, sell a different insecurity to women. She writes:

“Instead of focusing on what we’re saying, we’re distracted by anxieties about the way we sound to others. ‘Am I being too apologetic?’ and ‘Is my voice too high?’ are linguistic analogues of ‘Is my nail polish chipped?’ and ‘Do I look fat in this?’”

Cameron also points out that the success of men in the workplace has far less to do with the language they use and much more to do with their privilege. This means that simply telling women to emulate the behavior of males will not often work.

It is clear that people do not see eye-to-eye on the usage of the “j-word,” but it is evident that women should be aware of both arguments in order to formulate their own opinions. This awareness will either decrease the usage of weak language, or allow people to continue using the language they feel most comfortable with. It seems logical that the point being made by a speaker is far more important than if they use the word “just” too often, but a speaker should, of course, be confident with the topic at hand.

This becomes a cyclical issue; if we tell women to monitor the words they use, they will most likely become hyperaware of the words they choose. This will act as a distraction from whatever it may be they are discussing. Conversely, women should also be aware that certain mannerisms should be avoided, so as not to appear unprofessional. It is important to note this should be presented to both men and women, to avoid creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.  It is a reminder that lack of confidence can be detrimental to both men and women in the workplace.


Investing in our employees

It’s common sense that an organization is only as good as the people it employs. At Genius Plaza we embrace this idea, and encourage the growth, security, and success of each teammate. We call ourselves a family and a social enterprise, and in order to do so, we aim to build business practices that support our family members.

A major factor we’ve found missing in modern benefits packages is paid leave for new parents. It may shock you to see the real statistics: just 14% of the US workforce is offered employer-sponsored paid maternity leave.

What are the thought factors behind this? Why do employers seem so hesitant about paying employees when they or their spouse have given birth? Thanks to research by Boston Consulting Group, we can shoot down the major misconception: profit.

In fact, of companies that offer paid parental leave, 92% said they were able to increase or maintain profit levels under the new policies!

How does this work, when you are losing an employee and paying them to stay home? It’s simple, really – it costs more to replace your teammates than it does to show your current ones that you care about them.

When employers increase parental leave, the affected teammates are far more likely to come back to work, and be happier at work. Morale increases when your company treats its constituents as a family, and not as chess pieces.

Not only retention, but attraction – 77% of job seekers and workers said the company’s parental leave policies affect their choice on whether to work there!

This trend has increased slightly in the past decade; from 2010 to the present, we’ve gone from 11% to 14% of United States employees covered by these plans. It’s hard to fathom why so few companies seem to realize the benefit of offering great benefits!

We hope that Genius Plaza’s fully paid time off policies can be an inspiration to other organizations. At the least, we hope prospective job seekers will recognize what a family-oriented social enterprise looks like, and to ask themselves what is important when considering a new opportunity.


Weekly Education News Update!

The Tennessean discussed the need for diversity among teachers in schools, whether it be more teachers of color, or increasing the number of teachers from rural settings.  It has been proven through research that diverse teachers have a positive effect on student’s educational experience.  Having a diverse staff allows more students to be able to relate to their educators.  “In the spirit of giving every student the best education possible, we should aim to have that diversity reflected in our staff as well.”

More recently, the main goal for teachers is to make their lessons interactive and captivating.  For instance, in a Forbes article, virtual reality is stated to be one of the six transformative technology trends occurring in education.  Virtual reality “enhances teacher instruction while simultaneously creating immersive lessons that are fun and engaging for the student.”  Many schools are now offering technology devices such as iPads or laptops to entire classrooms.  This concept is revolutionary for education, especially for schools with a high rate of students who come from low-income families.

Another increasingly popular technology trend in education discussed in Forbes is blended learning.  Blended learning “gives more responsibility to the student, as it involves less direct instruction from the teacher and more discovery-based methods of learning.”  As teachers incorporate blended learning into their classrooms, students can go at their own learning pace.  Another transformative technology trend mentioned in Forbes is increased use of educational gaming in classrooms, in an effort to make lessons more fun for students.  These games are created to provide immediate feedback; students are motivated to keep playing the games while gaining knowledge and skills.

This past week, The Strait Times examined how bilingual kids can pick up another language easier than a monolingual child.  A study was conducted with monolingual and bilingual toddlers to see if they were able to notice the differences in the change of wording stated aloud to them.  “The findings supported the theory that exposing children to two languages at the same time has cognitive benefits.”  A child is able to learn a language quicker from birth to around three years old.  Knowing this, Genius Plaza’s newly launched Pre-K program is a perfect way to help parents teach their young children Spanish or English. There are many videos, lessons, and educational games available on Genius Pre-K, a great place to start immersing your son or daughter in English or Spanish.

Black Enterprise covered the new Oakland Startup Network initiative. In this piece, Lili Gangas, Chief Technology Community Officer at the Kapor Center for Social Impact said, “The goal is to bring in a lot of the other ecosystem players in Oakland that are focused on increasing the number of underrepresented entrepreneurs.”

This week, we also learned on Medium about the “skyrocketing” growth of girls taking the AP Computer Science exam. According to this piece, “The growth among female students has been incredible, increasing participation in AP CS exams by 135% since 2016. Not to be outdone, underrepresented minorities have increased participation by nearly 170% over last year!”

 


Abre puertas aprendiendo inglés

El mundo está lleno de oportunidades y muchas veces no podemos tomarlas por diversos motivos; entre ellos la falta del conocimiento de un idioma.  El saber hablar, escribir y leer en inglés nos abre las puertas a nuevas experiencias, nos puede dar libertad,  y puede ayudarnos a mejorar nuestro estilo de vida.

Cuando vivimos o viajamos a un país donde se habla inglés podemos enfrentarnos a la sensación de soledad o de dependencia de alguien. ¿En cuántas ocasiones hemos sentido el temor de ir al médico solos, ir de compras o preguntar una dirección? El saber inglés nos permite crecer como personas.

Además de ser necesario para poder conversar o pedir ayuda, saber inglés puede ayudarnos a tener acceso a oportunidades como estudiar o aprender un nuevo oficio, una mejor oportunidad de empleo y nuevos amigos.

Pretextos para no estudiar inglés hay muchos. La falta de tiempo y recursos son los principales inconvenientes que solemos argumentar, sin embargo Genius Plaza nos ofrece un curso en línea totalmente gratis y si tan sólo le dedicamos 30 minutos al día en unas semanas podremos ser capaces de comprender y hablar mejor el inglés.

Visita nuestro sitio https://www.geniusplaza.com, regístrate y empieza a aprender inglés.


Mindful Communication is Key

Communication is very different today than it was thirty years ago.  If you wanted to send a note, it had to be written on a piece of paper and sent to one person, only to be received after a few days.  Now, exchanges of information happen almost instantaneously due to the development of technology, and these exchanges are open for anyone to see, depending on the platform you choose.  Different platforms include email, texting, and social media.  Social media allows us to see everything happening with family, friends, and even strangers’ lives.

With all of this new technology, one must know how to adjust what they say on different platforms, depending on the audience for whom it is intended.  You wouldn’t speak to your grandma the same way you talk to your sibling, would you? It is important to teach children how to differentiate between how they should speak to different audiences during the early stages of learning to read and write.

Similar to knowing their audience, it is also essential that students learn how to cultivate their own voice at a young age.  It needs to be understood that kids are the editors of their own voices.  During a TEDx Talk, former CEO of the Hawn Foundation Laurie Coots touches on the significance of one’s voice being “intentional, accountable, and mutually beneficial.”  It is a lot of work for anyone to filter their voice to communicate their point, let alone a young student attempting to navigate various platforms.

Considering both the need to know their audience and how to cultivate their own voice, it is fair to say voice must be addressed by educators, and taught in classrooms starting in a kid’s early years.  Not only does it create plentiful benefits for the child’s communication throughout their life, but it also fuels their confidence – a perfect way to ensure a great start as your child goes back to school.  

In the end, the biggest part of communication is knowing exactly what to say and to whom we are saying it.  Giving your child the opportunity to get a great education is the first step to creating their own voice.  With Genius Plaza, they learn to use the English language and become more confident as they use the platform to practice.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/brief/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xArFL8xzbYc

 


De mayor quiero ser…

Los padres somos el mayor  ejemplo para nuestros hijos. Aunque sus maestros también pasan muchas horas al día con ellos, nosotros somos el espejo en el que se miran desde que se levantan hasta que se acuestan, y nuestros comentarios, decisiones y consejos son sumamente importantes para ayudarles a convertirse en personas de bien el día de mañana.

¿Cuántas veces has oído “mamá/papá de mayor quiero ser…”? Una sonrisa ilumina nuestra cara porque de nuevo nuestro hijo está ilusionado con una nueva profesión. Lo que todos los padres queremos para nuestros hijos es principalmente su felicidad, eso es siempre lo primero. Y si además de ser felices pueden desempeñar una profesión con éxito pues mejor que mejor.

Las profesiones que nuestros hijos tienen en mente siempre, y de forma increíblemente repetitiva en todos, son las de bombero, policía, médico, enfermera, piloto de avión… bueno, superhéroe también, pero eso ya es un poco más difícil de conseguir.

Indudablemente, éstas son sus profesiones favoritas debido a lo que los medios de comunicación les muestran, series de televisión, revistas, películas…. En ellas, todas estas carreras son las más sobresalientes, las que ayudan en las situaciones difíciles, las que vencen al “malo”, por eso son las preferidas de todos.

Lógicamente, y como sabemos todos, no todo se reduce a estas pocas profesiones. Hay muchísimas más, que seguro les encantarán también, pero el problema es que ellos desconocen que existen. En la actualidad las carreras STEAM están entre las más demandadas. Seguro que todos hemos visto este término en alguna parte.

STEAM proviene de  las palabras en inglés Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (Ciencia, Tecnología, Ingeniería, Arte y Matemáticas). Cuando hablamos de este tipo de carreras, o de la educación STEAM a lo que nos referimos es a la necesidad de aumentar la vocación por carreras que estén basadas en estas materias, impulsadas con la tecnología, que hoy en día es de gran ayuda para prácticamente todo lo que realizamos en nuestra vida diaria.

Carreras STEAM son científicos, ingenieros, médicos, investigadores farmacéuticos… y muchísimas otras profesiones más. ¿Cómo podemos ayudar a nuestros hijos a conocer estas carreras? Bueno, a simple vista estas carreras quizás puedan resultar difíciles de explicar para que un niño las entienda.

¿Cómo podemos hacer que un niño se apasione por este tipo de carreras de una forma divertida? Inicialmente no es sencillo, ya que no tenemos materiales a la altura de los niños que puedan explicarles en qué consisten estas profesiones. Hay mucha información fácil de obtener. Internet está llena de artículos e información que nos pueden dar una idea de ellas, pero no al nivel de un niño.

Genius Plaza nos echa una mano nuevamente en esta tarea, ya que apuesta por la formación en carreras STEAM, y lo hace de una forma muy divertida, nos muestra las entrevistas con los personajes reales, hablando en primera persona, para que nuestros niños más mayores puedan entender en qué consiste cada una de estas carreras, qué es lo que hacen sus protagonistas, cómo llegaron a poder desempeñar esas profesiones.

Pero también acerca estas profesiones a los más pequeños de la casa con las Canciones Genius, donde podemos ver caricaturizados a los protagonistas de estas carreras, que les cuentan a los niños lo más importante, para que ellos entiendan en qué consiste esa profesión.

Si aún no has mostrado a tus hijos nada acerca de las carreras STEAM, aprovecha las vacaciones de verano, es un excelente momento para que ellos se diviertan y a la vez aprendan muchas cosas importantes para ellos. Entra ya en www.geniusplaza.com y busca las carreras STEAM.