Kelsey and Matt introduce Amanda Jeane during a CodeJoy PD Session with Infosys Foundation USA: Pathfinders Summer Institute 2023! (photo credit: CodeJoy, LLC)
This summer is lined up to be a milestone one for CodeJoy, and we’re here for it! Future blogs will reveal some big changes for us, but this month, we want to take a moment to give a warm welcome to a fresh face for our summer Professional Development: Amanda Jeane Strode!
Who is Amanda Jeane?
Amanda Jeane is a brilliant, engaging educator with extensive experience in coding and robotics. As an elementary teacher in West Chester and Downingtown, PA, she served area elementary students and even created and ran After School and Summer Programs with Downingtown Area Education Foundation.
Her ongoing focus and involvement with robotics and makerspace education (including some of CodeJoy’s favorite tools - the BBC micro:bit and BirdBrain’s Finch and Hummingbird) puts her right in line with CodeJoy’s mission to bring high quality coding and robotics education to teachers and students everywhere!
What will she be doing for CodeJoy?
Both on screen and behind the scenes, Amanda Jeane will provide support to the CodeJoy Team to facilitate record-breaking numbers of CodeJoy PD course sessions this summer as well as developing some brand new curriculum goodies for CodeJoy’s future offerings.
What is Amanda looking forward to?
CodeJoy (CJ): Amanda Jeane, welcome to CodeJoy for the summer! How are you feeling about this collaboration with CodeJoy?
Amanda Jeane (AJ): I am very excited! I’ve known Matt & Kelsey for many years and I’ve enjoyed watching CodeJoy grow. I’m looking forward to being part of the next chapter of the CodeJoy story.
CJ: What do you find rewarding about teaching STEM?
AJ: STEM is fun! Integrating STEM education into other core subjects is something I enjoy and have made a point to do in all the jobs I’ve had. STEM is relevant and engaging for both teachers and students.
CJ: That’s great! What are you looking forward to this summer?
AJ: I love working with teachers and I love playing with robots […and...] My summer job with CodeJoy, helping teach amazing and passionate educators is a dream job.
CJ: COVID-19 lockdowns sort of answer this question for many teachers, but do you have virtual learning experience, yourself?
AJ: Yes! The full year of COVID-19, I chose to be a full time cyber teacher. I spent the year learning as much as possible about online education, Zoom, and engaging kids through a screen. I’m sure that experience will come in handy in my work with CodeJoy.
CJ: How do you think this summer will differ from your previous virtual learning experience?
AJ: There is a much larger impact working with CodeJoy than any of the other job I’ve done so far. I’m excited to help teachers all over the country, which then helps kids all over the country get to know robotics and coding.
CJ: Are you the kind of person who’s comfortable in front of the camera?
AJ: I would like to think so! During my year teaching cyber, I got very used to being on camera and editing videos of myself.
CJ: Your own website (www.amandajeane.com) shows your extensive experience with teaching robotics to students and teachers. Do you have any vivid memories of STEM courses that you took in your childhood?
AJ: I did not get to do a ton of STEM education in my childhood, but I’ve always been a fan of the computer. We had a desktop computer in our household and I spent a ton of time playing around in the back end of the system, breaking things, fixing things, and understanding technology. That foundation helped me to be very “tech-friendly” becoming an adult. When the opportunity came up to learn to do robotics in my school district, I was open and ready to say, “Yes!”
CJ: When did you first become inspired in a STEM field?
AJ: I was super lucky to learn Birdbrain’s hummingbird as my first STEM tool for a classroom. I was hooked the moment I got the LED light to go on. My commitment to STEM was solidified when I saw my student’s faces when the LED lit up their faces and their minds.
CJ: STEM education seems to include an emphasis on project-based learning. Tell me about that.
AJ: Project based learning is when you build relevant and authentic projects into your learning goals for students. I’ve done a variety of projects with my students using different STEM tools. For example, I created a unit plan around animal adaptations where students learned about expository texts, informational writing, presenting and built a 3D animal robot with a new adaptation to help it survive more successfully in the wild. Project-based learning allows for your curriculum to be more integrated and cross curricular, as well as gives more opportunity to apply knowledge and then showcase learning. It is also more fun and meaningful for students!
We want to thank Amanda Jeane for her collaboration with us this summer and we can’t wait for you to meet her as she joins the CodeJoy Team! We encourage you to welcome her warmly in your PD Sessions, if you are lucky enough to get the chance to learn with her. We know that her creative personality will inspire you as much as she’s inspiring us!