Today we were fortunate enough to help a local charter school called SciTech Academy. It is a magnet school focused on allowing underprivileged students the opportunity to have access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education to better prepare them for careers in the STEM field and push them to be better students overall. When we arrived we were greeted by Kim who is the Principal of the kindergarten thru fourth grade side of the school. She talked to us about the school, its history in the community and how it got started.The school was one of the few that was salvaged after Hurricane Katrina came through which was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because their students had a real campus to come home to after the disaster, but although some of the damage was repairable there are still several issues cosmetically and functionally that they are currently working on. It was due to these issues that the school was forced to open late, leaving the teachers very little time to decorate the school in time for students this semester. Our job today was to help with some of those cosmetic problems that SciTech did not have enough time to take care of on their own. The group was split into four groups, each working on a different issue. Tasks included: fixing and painting dividers for the cafeteria, redoing bulletin boards, putting up motivational signs for the kids and fixing desks for the third graders. While we worked you couldn’t help but see what the teachers truly did for the kids despite all the hurdles they face. It was a humbling experience and while it was small projects it will truly help those kids feel pride in where they go to school and about themselves.
After we finished our work we decided to go to the World War II museum. The museum was incredible as it covered every aspect of the war from the various campaigns, to home life, and everything in between. Personally it was great to see all the stories told to me about my grandfathers service come to life in such an interactive and immersive way. We spent the rest of our afternoon exploring the several floors and buildings of exhibits and interactive experiences even taking part in an interactive submarine tour where we became a part of the crew. Everyone had a great time and agreed there wasn’t enough time to see it all but everything we did see was very much worth it.