Rocketship Encourages Creativity and Problem Solving with Hour of Code

by LaToya Fernandez
Social Justice and Culture Teacher, Rocketship Discovery Prep

Rocketship is celebrating Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11) this month by hosting the global learning movement, Hour of Code, in our classrooms for a second year. Last year we noticed that our students went from video gamers to video game designers, and discovering algorithms was just as exciting as discovering cheat codes to defeat virtual opponents. Rocketship is continuously integrating enriching programs into our students’ learning to gain both exposure and opportunities for our communities. We are excited to host the event again this year, and want to continue to give our students the tools they need to take tech advancement to the next level and represent their communities at the forefront of the coding movement.

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Planting Roots in STEM: Rocketship Girls Explore Science at eBay

by Monique Arnal-Castro
Teacher, Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep
It was former NASA ambassador and actress Nichelle Nichols who said, “Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we’re going.” Unfortunately, while they are doing incredible work, women are under-represented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The lack of female visibility in STEM is damaging to the aspirations of our nation’s young women and girls. That’s why we’re working with community partners like Techbridge to inspire a greater understanding of STEM in the workplace and help girls envision their future in these increasingly important fields. Our goal is to develop their confidence and skills in a way that makes them keen competitors in the STEM job market.

Rocketship’s Personalized Learning Pilots for 2015 – 16

by Stephen Pham
Senior Associate, Personalized Learning

To eliminate the achievement gap in our lifetime, Rocketship continues to rethink what elementary schools could look and feel like. We continue to innovate and further personalize the learning experience for our Rocketeers, whether it’s whole-class instruction or individualized lessons using technology. Over the last eight years, our approach has evolved and this year is no different. Rocketship’s personalized learning team will pilot a number of programs to further refine our approach to meet the unique needs of each student. Our scientifically designed pilots will range from small ones testing specific areas to larger ones exploring large questions and critical ideas. Below, I describe a few of the primary pilots we’re planning. Though we’re still in the development stages, we’re excited to share our vision for what personalized learning can become at our schools. Continue reading

How to Use Social Media in a Low Tech Classroom

by Danielle Zipkin
English Teacher, Central Queens Academy

No tech? No problem. Even if you’re teaching in a low-tech school, chances are your students know the basics of popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As an ELA teacher looking to engage struggling and reluctant readers, I have been able to use modified versions of social media in the classroom without any technology at all.
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The Hour of Code is Here!

by Maggie Wunderlich
Senior Associate, Achievement Team

This week, students all over the world will participate in coding games and tutorials to build knowledge of and participation in computer science. The Hour of Code is put on by, a non-profit dedicated to spreading awareness of computer science. Their goals are to increase availability of computer science content in schools and participation of women and historically underserved student populations in the content. believes (as does Rocketship!) that computer science and programming should be part of the core curriculum, alongside other STEM content. Continue reading