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Sunday, November 29, 2015

"You don't teach at students, you do it with them!"--CityScience Extras

Episode 5+ (extra stuff!)
By Bill Quinn

Here at the Bill Quinn Podcast, one of our favorite organizations is CityScience for their role in supporting New York City STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. We featured CityScience in episode five but I had to cut some interesting stories and highlights due to time constraints.  Recently I went back, deep into the archives, and dug out those stories that got cut our first go-round. A few edits and voila--this week's episode!  You’ll hear the Founder and Director, Thor Snilsberg, talk about his favorite moments and projects including pickling food, advising students who led the first urban forestry study and a kid who hacked into a school's wifi.

Download this episode here.


My thanks again go to Thor Snilsberg and all the great people at CityScience who, even five years in, still have such enthusiasm and excitement for their work. Getting to be a part of that, for however briefly, makes running this little operation worthwhile.  And a shout-out to Kristen Cordero for connecting me with Thor. Thanks Kristen!

Theme song: Quittin' Time (Patrick Lee) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Additional music:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Helping Students Learn about Themselves--The Bloom Collective

“Anything goes!” Aaron Densham exclaimed when describing the the Bloom Collective's education philosophy.  Raised in an atmosphere of progressive teaching programs focused on self-reflection, Aaron went on to intern at an orphanage in Rwanda where he implemented similar innovative teaching methods.  Co-founding Bloom in 2014, the organization has brought the approach to communities and schools in Israel, India and of course his native Australia.  Speaking from Melbourne (and a whole day in the future!) we talked about what his young organization has already accomplished and what plans they have going forward.  I also learn why he enjoys spraying shaving cream at students.  You know, outside of the obvious.

During the interview, we refer to the Plato's Allegory of the Cave.  If you need a refresher here's a nice little video courtesy of TED.

Download the episode here.
  • The Bloom Collective's home page goes into even more detail about what they do.
  • It turns out I wasn't the first the first to get to Aaron--here is his interview with The Well.
  • Their Facebook page is worth a look for some of the pictures alone! 

I was inadvertently dodging Aaron for a while but he stuck with me and I couldn't be happier.  It's always good to talk with and be inspired by a fellow teacher.  Plus it was great getting to know him and Bloom a little better.  My thanks to him for being gracious with his time.  Also, another thanks goes out to Babita Patel (learn more here) for continuing to connect me with exciting and engaging nonprofit leaders.  And I should mention I stumbled across the key to her wonderful connections: the Global Social Impact House in Pennsylvania.  Check out this video to learn more.  Keep an eye out for a cameo from both Babita and Aaron.

Music Credits:
Opening/Closing song:  Tales Of A Dead Fish (The Freak Fandango Orchestra) / CC BY-SA 3.0
Additional music: