East Technical High School earns national certification for engineering program

East Technical High School earns national certification for engineering program


East Tech High School has received national certification for its Project Lead the Way program that prepares students for careers in engineering and opens their eyes to career possibilities in STEM.

Since 2011, East Tech has offered a rigorous curriculum through Project Lead the Way, which allows students to apply what they learn in math and science courses to real-life engineering projects. Project Lead the Way is the nation’s leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education programs.

East Tech is one of eight District high schools that offers Project Lead the Way courses and part of CMSD’s commitment to broaden access to career-technical education programs, as stated in The Cleveland Plan.

Certification as a Project Lead the Way school provides students with the opportunity to apply for college credit or receive college-level recognition at PLTW affiliate universities.

East Technical High School students participate in Project Lead the Way.
East Technical High School students participate in Project Lead the Way.

East Tech teacher LaShawn Manuel, who runs the PLTW program at the school, said the pathway draws her students to engineering and technology courses and gets them thinking about college and careers.

“My students are building, developing and creating,” Manuel said. “It’s the kind of hands-on experience that will engage students in STEM fields that they might otherwise never consider.”

The engineering pathway at East Tech is a four-year program that guides students through increasingly complex engineering concepts. Starting from ninth grade, the students use 3D printers and 3D modeling software to complete hands-on projects. They learn the basics of technical writing and drawing that they will need to complete projects in the next phases of the program.
In 10th grade, students dive into the world of robotics and coding. Eleventh-graders focus on digital electronics and learn soldering — the process of joining items together by melting them.

Senior year includes a project where students learn about building design and architecture and create a design for affordable housing.

The Project Lead the Way program is supported by several community partners who provide funding, field trips, scholarships and internships. The partners are Rockwell Automation, Junior National Society of Black Engineers, Cleveland Water Department, Regional Information Technology Engagement Board and General Motors.

Manuel said that even if students decide they don’t want to pursue engineering as a career, many of them stick with the pathway because of the universal skills they gain, including technical writing and research, that they can use in college and other careers.

“I want them to get a better idea of the scope of career opportunities in STEM fields,” she said. “If they become interested in similar fields, like computer science, many of the skills they learn in this program can apply to that.”

CMHA, DigitalC connect residents to high-speed internet

CMHA, DigitalC connect residents to high-speed internet

Residents at six Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) facilities in Central will soon have internet connectivity available in their homes for the first time thanks to a partnership with DigitalC called “Connect the Unconnected.” The goal of the program is to address, and lessen, the digital divide. The digital divide is the gap between those who have access to digital technologies, and those who don’t.

A recent report from National Digital Inclusion Alliance ranked Cleveland as the third worst city in the country for households with broadband access. According to DigitalC, in Cleveland, more than a one-third of the city’s residents do not have access to the internet in any form, and as many as half the city’s residents have no fixed wired home internet access.

“The latest ACS survey shows that 50 percent of Cleveland residents don’t have broadband access at home,” said Liz Forester, director of programs and partnerships, DigitalC, in an interview with Ideastream. “The gap keeps growing and our fear is that it will get so wide that people won’t be able to catch up.”

The first phase of the “Connect the Unconnected” program will install broadband access in six CMHA housing facilities: Cedar Extension, Bohn Tower, Wilson Tower, King Kennedy North, King Kennedy South and Outhwaite. The Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry Men’s Shelter and Stepstone Academy, both located in Central, will also receive broadband internet access through the program.

“Digital inclusion is very significant. The internet has become a necessity for all and programs like this help people move toward self-sufficiency and allow them to have access to some of the more basic things in life,” said Jeffery Patterson, CEO, Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority. “It’s beginning to look like the internet is essentially as important as a refrigerator or a stove.”

Cedar High Rise
Cedar High Rise

The first step in the program was to bring high speed wireless connection to the buildings and to each apartment.

DigitalC is starting at CMHA’s Cedar High Rise and is currently in the very early stages of construction with equipment going up in February. Once the broadband is in place, the training begins with the ReStart Program, teaching residents basic to intermediate skills in software and hardware. Residents will have an opportunity to attend a basic digital literacy training class and then will receive a refurbished computer upon completion of training.

“The access by itself is not enough, you need a computer and then you need to know how to use that computer, how to get online safely, how to access your medical records, do your online banking. So that is the training we are going to provide,” Forester said.

Before embarking on the project, CMHA and DigitalC held community forums and focus groups on how internet access can address the highest priorities of residents including being able to apply for a job online, checking their medical records, keeping in touch with family, and feeling secure in their apartments.

“Residents are thrilled about being able to have this in their homes. A lot of folks may have it on their smart phones, but to be able to utilize it in your home, to be able to surf the web and do so many different things is just exciting,” Patterson said.

Read more about “Connect the Unconnected” here.

5 things to do in Central during Black History Month

5 things to do in Central during Black History Month

Black History Month was established to recognize and celebrate the contributions of African Americans, and to remember profound African American leaders who have left behind a legacy that has inspired many. The Central neighborhood has often been at the center, forgive the pun, of African American history in Cleveland and beyond. History-makers such as Louis and Carl Stokes grew up in Central. Jesse Owens, the winner of 4 gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, attended Central’s East Technical High School and his likeness can be seen on a mural at Lonnie Burten Recreation Center. While African American history should be celebrated every month, use February as an opportunity to get out and explore your historic community.

Here are five things to do right here in Central during Black History Month:

  1. Visit the Louis Stokes Museum. Open Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. or by appointment. Outhwaite Homes Estates 4302 Quincy Avenue. The Louis Stokes Museum chronicles the story of how the former Ohio Congressman Stokes rose from humble beginnings at Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Outhwaite Homes. The museum opened in 2007 and houses Stokes memorabilia. Louis Stokes and his brother, Carl Stokes, former mayor of Cleveland and first African American mayor of a big city in the U.S., are also being honored by the city of Cleveland and other organizations with a year-long event series. Find out more about the commemoration of the Stokes brothers here.
  2. Attend the Ward 5 Club Meeting. February 11, 2017, 12 – 3 p.m. Vocational Guidance Services, 2235 East 55th Street. Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland meets with Central residents and community stakeholders every month. Black History Month is a time to look back on the civic achievements and progress of African Americans and what better way to celebrate and honor that legacy than to get involved in the community’s future. Make February the month you become an engaged citizen. Already engaged? Attend the meeting and bring a friend.
  3. Attend the Brick City Theatre production of “Reflecting on the Stokes Brother’s Legacy”. February 24, 2017, 5 – 7 p.m. Outhwaite Homes Community Center, 2452 East 46th Street. A special Black History Month showcase exhibiting the original artwork and performance material created by the youth participants of Cleveland Public Theatre’s Brick City Theatre program, in partnership with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. During this session, Brick City Theatre participants engaged in performance activities such as drama, dance, singing and creative writing with a special focus on the legacy of the Stokes brothers. When exploring this topic, Brick City Theatre participants wrote original rewrites of the Stokes brothers’ story and explored their own life stories. These final performances are a culmination of our extended learning process at Brick City Theatre. A community meal follows each presentation. For more information, click here.

    'Words Have Power' bulletin board at Sterling Library.
    ‘Words Have Power’ bulletin board at Sterling Library.
  4. Read a book at the Sterling Branch of the Cleveland Public Library. 2200 East 30th Street. Click here for hours. In honor of Black History Month, the Sterling Branch of ClevelandPublic Library has an array of music, books, magazines and audiobooks featuring the stories of African-Americans on display. After picking up a book or movie, visit the branch’s Black History Month “Words Have Power” bulletin board that displays inspiring quotes meant to uplift, empower and encourage change. The branch’s webpage also boasts that the library is home to a large Black World section of both fiction and non-fiction.
  5. Take an art class at Lonnie Burten Rec Center. 2511 East 46th Street. History.com notes that amid the harsh repression of slavery, Americans of African descent, and particularly black women, managed–sometimes at their own peril–to preserve the culture of their ancestry and articulate both their struggles and hopes in their own words and images. A growing number of black female artists and writers emerged throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction eras before finally bursting into the mainstream of American culture in the 1920s, with the dawn of the Harlem Renaissance. After playing a significant role in both the civil rights movement and the women’s movement of the 1960s, the rich body of creative work produced by black women has found even wider audiences in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Promise Ambassador Gwen Garth is hoping to re-create the Harlem Renaissance here in Central, so she led the effort to reestablish the art room at Lonnie Burten. All art classes are free and open to the public. Find out more here.


Neighbors in the News: Freshwater Cleveland features ‘Nature’s Best Choices’

Neighbors in the News: Freshwater Cleveland features ‘Nature’s Best Choices’

No stranger to the media spotlight, Promise Ambassador Quiana Singleton is once again making news for her ongoing work to make Central a healthier place to live. Singleton, who is also a Climate Ambassador for Burten, Bell, Carr Development, was featured on Freshwater Cleveland for her recent work with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority seniors:

Quiana Singleton believes you’re never too old to learn a healthy way of eating, a fruitful lesson the Central-Kinsman resident was happy to impart upon a group of interested Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) seniors during a program of her own creation.

Chef Eric Wells teaching CMHA residents how to cook.
Chef Eric Wells teaching CMHA residents how to cook.

Called Nature’s Best Choices, the February 1 event invited 16 seniors from CMHA’s Outhwaite and King Kennedy communities to Asia Plaza, 2999 Payne Ave., for a day-long session on Asian culture and delicious new food possibilities. Fruits and vegetables were the focus of the trip, allowing participants to get their taste buds turned on to delicacies like star fruit, a juicy tropical fruit popular throughout Southeast Asia, the South Pacific and parts of East Asia.
“I wanted to open people up to another culture,” says Singleton, a Cleveland community leader on tree-planting activities, gardening and healthy eating. “We picked out fruits and vegetables they’ve never tasted, seen or touched before.”
Following the shopping excursion, the group visited CornUCopia Place, 7201 Kinsman Road, a community facility that provides nutritional education and cooking classes. There Chef Eric Wells prepared a fettuccini dish using ingredients from the seniors’ healthy haul.
“Chef Wells mixed in another vegetable like a cabbage with the fettuccini,” Singleton says. “It was an educational experience, because even though Asian fruits and vegetables look different from what we’re used to, looks can be deceiving.”

Read the full story from Freshwater by clicking here.

Promise Ambassadors, residents get course on ‘early learning 101’

Promise Ambassadors, residents get course on ‘early learning 101’

More than a dozen Promise Ambassadors and resident leaders gathered at William Patrick Day Early Learning Center to hear from child care experts about the basics of early learning programs. Attendees at the February Promise Neighborhood resident meeting had the opportunity to speak with Nicole Hawthorne, director of William Patrick Day, Tatiana Wells, Promise Neighborhood early learning navigator, as well as various staff and teachers from early learning centers in Central.

“Each of our ambassador and resident meetings this year will focus on a specific area of the Promise pipeline,” said Joe Black, engagement manager, Promise Neighborhood. “By giving our resident partners an in-depth look at each area of our work we hope to not only provide them with useful information, but that it will give them a better understanding of the work Promise does and how they can get involved.”

Early learning professionals and resident leaders at Promise Neighborhood's February meeting.
Early learning professionals and resident leaders at Promise Neighborhood’s February meeting.

Discussion focused on Ohio’s Step Up To Quality child care rankings, the availability of high-quality child care in Central, breaking down jargon often used in the industry, and how early learning specifically benefits children from low-income families.

Wells also debunked some myths about early learning, such as the belief that early learning is glorified babysitting. According to Wells, this may be the case in some situations, but a quality-rated child care center is focused on teaching the fundamentals of learning and preparing children for kindergarten.

“Too many children in Cleveland start kindergarten with their academic skills far behind where they should be,” Wells said. “A good, quality early learning program will help a child with their ABC’s and prepare them for the daily routine and expectations of a classroom, which is equally important.”

Meeting attendees also participated in small group discussions about what barriers may be keeping Central parents from enrolling children in early learning programs. Some of the barriers the group discussed include:

  • Finances
  • Lack of understanding about what quality early learning centers offer
  • Personal preference to keep child at home or with a family member
  • Transportation issues
  • Concerned about safety of child; lack of trust of child care centers

The early learning professionals in attendance also spoke with residents and Ambassadors about how parents and early learning staff can work together to build strong and more open relationships. Hawthorne shared that often parents don’t realize centers have resources available for the whole family or can connect families with support systems outside of the center.

“We know it isn’t easy to share personal or family struggles with anyone, especially not a childcare provider, but often there are ways we can help families that need assistance with paying bills, clothing, food or the array of other challenges facing our communities,” Hawthorne said. “And if there are struggles at home, it’s likely affecting the child’s time with us, so being aware of what’s happening outside of the classroom can help us better meet their needs.”

Central is home to 13 quality-rated early learning centers. A complete list of centers is available here. If you would like to learn more about how to enroll your child in a program, call Tatiana Wells, Promise early learning navigator, at 216.575.0061.

Join us for our next Ambassador and resident meeting on Friday, April 7 at 12 – 1:30 p.m. at Marion-Sterling Elementary School library where discussion will focus on the K-8 learning environment.