Philadelphia Education Challenge

Week 2 of Summer Program at The Gesu School

The second week during which High School HeroesX worked with The Gesu School saw similarly encouraging signs as the first.

The week started with Penn Charter running the second week of their coding/computer literacy curriculum. Students continued to use the MIT program Scratch, this time learning how to: rotate a virtual character, make it speak, and create a thought bubble over its head. This session ended with a competition: the first student to make their virtual animal walk 10 steps forward, rotate 15 degrees counterclockwise, and then think “Coding is fun!” would win. Students eagerly raced to the finish, and though there was technically only one winner, Penn Charter was amazed at the speed that all of the students were able to complete the task. Perhaps even more touching was seeing students help their peers complete it after they had finished it themselves.

Later in the week, Radnor High School and the Agnes Irwin School (AIS) partnered up to talk with the Gesu students about a concept which impacts us every day: food. Radnor and AIS started by asking the students what they knew about food, where it comes from, and examples of good/bad food. The day progressed to discussions about the USDA food pyramid, ways that society could make organic food more ubiquitous, and the specific macromolecular make up of food and how that affects our bodies (ie. how sodium levels can fluctuate in the same food from different brands, and what that means for our bodies.)

To round out the week, The Baldwin School continued its career development curriculum, and played some math games with Gesu girls in grades 3-5. In the second installment of the career development curriculum, Baldwin tasked the girls with using websites in order to further their knowledge about their careers, and then to complete a worksheet that detailed how to best prepare for it. Some of the research included: what middle and high school courses to take, what to do outside of school, and what to expect in the field (is it growing? do I need a masters?). Afterwards, the girls played various math games, including a crowd pleaser “Math Bingo”, in which multiplication tables were practiced in order to fill out the boards.

Due to travel, week 3 at Gesu was limited to just one visit, but we will post an update about it, as well as Week 4, next week!

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