Monday, August 1, 2011

2011 Summer Academy

For 21 days (June 23-July 21), the Dreamers spent part of their summer in Summer Academy at Florida International University.  For the first part of each day, the Dreamers rotated between three academic courses: mathematics, language arts, and college prep. To make things more interesting, the Dreamers were split into three teams where competitions were held in each academic class. Opportunities for points were based on attendance, behavior, participation, and actual Team Competitions (such as Math Jeopardy, which was super fun!!)
The second part of each day was spent in an enrichment activity held either by the College of Engineering, College of Nursing, College of Law, or the Black Student Union. For the College of Engineering, the Dreamers spent the entire summer building bridges constructed simply from popsicle sticks and wood glue! The goal was to build a bridge that held at least 4 pounds, but the Dreamers exceeded this goal: one group of students, lead by Narquavia Brown, built a bridge that held 138 pounds!! One group had such great architectural design of their bridge and had the opportunity to present it to the Dean of the College of Engineering…AWESOME.
The Dreamers also engaged in exciting activities with the College of Nursing. They learned about athletic training; how to treat concussions and spinal cord injuries; and occupational and physical therapy. The Dreamers seemed to enjoy the simulation activities the most, where life size manikins served as patients. The manikins were computerized and Dreamers were able to feel the manikins’ pulse and test their blood pressure! The College of Law was also interesting especially for the Dreamers aspiring to be lawyers and judges. Learned the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony; and also learned the appropriate conditions under which police officers are able to stop, arrest, and question people. Most importantly, the Dreamers learned the steps necessary to get into a law school.
The Black Student Union (BSU) also had nice activities planned for the Dreamers. Dreamers played Who Wants To Be A Millionaire-BSU Edition and heard a poem recited by one the BSU members, which the Dreamers seemed to like a lot (the poet repeated her poem twice!). BSU members also lead important discussion topics such as bullying and decision-making. BSU ended their session with the Dreamers with a few “old school” childhood games: Heads Up 7 Seven Up and Four Corners!! Although teenagers now, the Dreamers enjoyed themselves!
Most teenagers want nothing to do with school during the summer, but the Dreamers were willing to attend Summer Academy anyway…they’re AWESOME!!!

Building bridges out of popsicle sticks and wood glue

Athletic Trainers taught us how to test for concussions

Simulation activities with the College of Nursing

Treating victims of spinal cord injuries

Mr. Lewis and a few Dreamers

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