EP 174: Teaching STEM Creatively at the Geek Group

The Geek Group’s primary goal is to provide people with easy access to an education based on science and technology, the chance to hone their skills and learn more about the world of STEM and programming, often in order to help them enter related fields. But the Geek Group’s programs, which are personalized based on the individual participant, are available to all ages and experience levels. They simply want to ensure that everyone who enters later emerges armed with new skills to help them achieve their own goals.

The Geek Group was born out of a goal to evaluate and service its participants’ needs on an individual level to ensure that everyone receives the education and skills that they require to find their own success. The law of large numbers guides this principle — whether Geek Group is helping someone learn to use a computer or offering months of work experience, in the end, the time and effort put into each case averages out. This way, they can help more people achieve their goals through flexible programs that cater directly to them.

 

The Geek Group focuses on “community, access, and enjoyment.” They aim to create a community of participants and volunteers that help people achieve their goals regardless of age or experience. And most importantly, they want their education to be fun, something more than just a path to a job — learning is “a life-long journey.”

 

The company also has a program called Open Doors for Teens, an education program for students that offers a full-time school as well as other types of programming, often used with home schooling. They also help provide computers and other types of modern essential technology to families who need it, based on the idea that “technology at home is mandatory” in today’s technologically driven society.

 

The Geek Group’s educators are primarily volunteers and experts in their fields, which allow the programs to be so successful. Industry professionals can choose how much time they wish to dedicate.

 

The Geek Group also runs a YouTube channel boasting nearly 100,000 subscribers. The channel features videos on a variety of topics including how toy manufacturers incorrectly represent dinosaurs and a popular playlist called “Equipment Autopsies.” The videos also aim to be educational, informative, and interesting, with different videos catering to audiences of all ages.

 

To learn more about Geek Group, check out their channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/thegeekgroup and their website at www.thegeekgroup.org. To hear the full interview with Executive Director Lis Bokt, listen to the full podcast below.


EP 173: New York Teacher Shares his Passion for Math Rap Education

Seven years ago, Mike Andrejkovics wrote the first rap he ever performed to his students. Since then, this has evolved into a long-standing tradition, where Mr. A writes a rap and performs an accompanying music video to the school where he teaches in Long Island, New York.

His raps are less about specific topics and more about his own appreciation for math. It began as a way to motivate his students to do the same and engage in math by writing music about it. Each year, a handful of his students write and perform their own music videos and song parodies.

His raps are often parodies of popular songs — for example, “The Real Math Students” in place of “The Real Slim Shady.” Other raps include “The Next Episode (Do Math Everyday),” “Learning Mathematics,” and “Math Workshop,” among others. He often performs his raps live at various conferences.

He also has a podcast on iTunes called “Mr. A’s Math Podcast,” which consists of videos that explain complicated math topics and is aimed at students.

To learn more about Mr. A, check out his YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOIwfj9KJRGbIz5WQApS4fg and listen to the full podcast interview below.