Friday, July 14, 2017

Week 1: Tech Camp

ALEC summer camps are off to a wonderful start. During the first two weeks of Art camp, the Brashear Kids created their own artwork and put it on display at the Art Camp Gallery Show.

Next up, is Tech Camp! The first week of Tech Camp was amazing. Mr. DJ and Ms. Alex from the YMCA came in to teach our campers about robots and brought in some finished robots so the children could tinker and test out their functionality. Students learned the basic parts of a robot like LED lights, Motors, Servos and positive and negative wires!

Once The Brashear Kids got a good understanding of the robot parts, it was time for them to create their own. Just like any other inventor, they started off with making a sketch of their design.  

Legasea and Zina's Butterfly design: They wanted to make the wings move!

Once their designs were completed they brought their creations to life!

Shane and Kejuan decorating their dragon: Their dragon had wings that could move and eyes that  glowed with LED Lights. 

Getting Things Moving:
Faith is creating a dog that has moving legs.
Hailey and Izzy are communicating and figuring out how to make their vision come to life!
Aren't they amazing?

Legasea and Zina brought their Butterfly to life with the help of Mr. DJ:

Over all, The Brashear Kids worked well together in small groups to get the job done. They were so polite, responsible and did a excellent job cleaning up. Week 1 of tech camp was a breeze. Stay tuned to see week 2 of tech camp and what The Brashear Kids will create next. 


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hello, Brashear Family! As you guys all know, we love trying new experiments and using our resources at our center. This Saturday, we used all our old broken crayons and made crayon candles. 

We  used a few simple ingredients such as: old broken crayons, scented wax, Dixie cups, candle wicks, the microwave and a clear container. 

Our Final Results!

Our final results turned into a crayon watercolor candle. Can you say they are beautiful? 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Presenting the 2017 Art Camp Gallery Show!

On June 19, the Brashear Kids started Art camp, and from there, they explored the wonders of Art. From making their very own zines, to wire sculptures, clay sculptures, and last but not least, a photo essay. The children put their all into their work. On June 30, we showcased their art work at The Black Unicorn Project. We welcomed family and friends along with everyone in the community. 

Throughout the day, friends and family dropped by to see what The Brashear Kids have created. Everyone showed amazing support and loved the work that was displayed. 

Check out Legasea standing in front of her photos from the photo safari. Her photo theme was "ART." She is also holding her sculpture of the superhero she created. 

Although displaying art was our main focus Ms. Anna couldn't help but to pull out a book.

Don't worry, we couldn't forget the refreshments! Fruit and vegetables for everyone.
Can we say delicious?

Thank you friends and family for coming out and supporting The Brashear Kids. We had so much fun laughing and dancing with each other. Not only that, but showcasing our fantastic art work!  

Hey Brashear family, stay tuned for more blogs and updates at ALEC. Tech camp is up next. 
-Ms. Mo

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Anna & Alyce's Farewell

Hello, all! Anna and Alyce here.  Welcome to our final blog post.  This past year has been a whirlwind of growth, teaching moments, connections and more. It is with deep gratitude and appreciation that we bid The Brashear Association, ALEC, and our faithful blog followers farewell.

We feel especially privileged to see the beginnings of transitions around here, with our wonderful new Summer KEYS Service Corps AmeriCorps member aiding us in the beginning of summer camps. You can get to know her better here- Let Me Introduce Myself- Moisha.

Our proudest moment from the end of this school year was the Grandview Elementary 5th grade graduation, during which we got to celebrate all the leaps and bounds our many talented and amazing youth accomplished during their elementary school careers! We just know they will continue to do great things in middle school and beyond.

We spent a bit of time without the kids after our after school program ended for the season, before we started our first week of Art Camp- cleaning and reorganizing the center. This also marked the arrival of our new fish friend, Future! We were very eager to have the kids back, as it just got too quiet around here.

For the beginning of our summer camps, students explored their creative sides by creating a cumulative zine showcasing the power of their voices. Students learned about composition, story-writing, various drawing exercises and more. They were so excited to distribute the final product to our community members.  Check out the first week of art camp pictures below:

Ms. Anna was able to stick around for the 2nd week of art camp, which was spent sculpting and learning about photojournalism with Public Source (a friendly Allentown neighbor) to create a striking photo essay.  This project, among various others created these past two weeks, will be on display at the Brashear Kids art show, held this Friday June 30th, 5-7 pm at The Black Unicorn Project  (732 E Warrington Avenue).

It is difficult to truly encapsulate this life-altering year in one blog post, but we want to extend our deepest appreciation to you, our supervisors, our community members and partners for your endless support.  Most of all, thank you to the children who we were lucky enough to serve. You have taught us more than we could possibly imagine; these lessons will not soon be forgotten.

Watch our end-of-year compilation video below:

Thanks for a great year!

- Alyce & Anna
2016-2017 KEYS AmeriCorps Members

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturdays at Brashear

As you guys all know we love trying new experiments at ALEC, so we decided to do something new with oil and water and we D.I.Y Lava Lamps

In this experiment, we found everything we needed right here at our center. So I bet you can find what you'll need right around your house hold! Even baby oil works great!

 At first, we did the experiment together. The children help me gather all the materials we needed. After that, they help me read off the directions to get the experiment started. The children hypothesized that it will explode, it will smell , or that it will glow. They did such a great job at reading and taking turns.  See how it turned out.

 Once we did it all together, the children branched off on their own and got to try it out for themselves. The mixed colors to their liking. Some got purple, green and even brown! 

Lamar and Jamir being scientist!

Overall, the children learned that oil and water does not mix because the Oil has a lower density than water. The tablet releases bubbles of carbon dioxide gas that rises to the top and takes the colored along for the ride. The pictures does not do the experiment justice.. so try this experiment on your own so you can see the lava lamp for yourself. It's awesome and fun to do! 
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Saturday Blogs from ALEC.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DIY Play dough!

We love science experiments here at the Allentown Learning and Engagement Center!  Especially ones we can add color to and discover which ingredients work best.  

During this Saturday session we made DIY play dough!  We chose this experiment because the students loved slime, so this was a cool variation of an experiment to take home.  Check out our ingredients below:

The great thing about this experiment is the ingredients can usually be found right at home.  Be sure to pick a conditioner you think smells good!  We picked a VO5 kiwi scent.  

The students helped me measure out the corn starch and conditioner.   They are always eager to help out their teachers!  We decided to use gloves so as to not get the ingredients under our fingernails.  Be careful while mixing; powder from the corn starch tends to fly around.  When it came to color, the girls collaborated and chose to mix red and blue to get purple.

Nya and Jalainta mixed it up!

The mixture was a little too sticky, so we added different portions of corn starch and conditioner.  We needed more food coloring than we thought; about 15 drops of each color, and even then it was hard to turn it purple!  This was probably due to the light green hue of the conditioner.  Our conclusion was that the conditioner probably helped to make the play dough less sticky.

After we finished, Jalainta helped me place it into plastic bags for everyone to take home.  Success!

Thanks for tuning in to my last Saturday session here at the Allentown Learning and Engagement Center.  Stay tuned for fun summer blogs.

Play More!
- Ms. Anna

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Let Me Introduce Myself: Moisha

"Remember to ALWAYS look forward..."

Name: Moisha....Everyone can call me MO!

Age: 20

School: Carlow University

Major: Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice

Enjoys: Eating, Writing, Spending time with loved ones.

If you can describe yourself in one word, what would it be?: Resilient

In one sentence, how would you describe Pittsburgh?: Pittsburgh is a diverse city that is great for beginning your life and finding out who you are.

Who is your idol?: Beyonce, of course!

Cats or Dogs?: Dogs, but I would rather have an Elephant!

Vanilla or Chocolate ice cream: Vanilla...with peanuts, and fudge, and whip cream.

Something I'm proud of: I was nominated and won Drum Major in my high school band. #GoBulldogs

How would you liked to be remembered?: I would want everyone to remember me as someone who fought against all the odds and won.

Thank you for reading. Being apart of The Brashear Association will be an impact on my life thanks to the lives of the youth. I hope I will be a positive impact on the members as well. Growing up, I lived in the neighborhood, and it feels good to give back to my community.


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