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Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

There has never been a year more welcome to holiday spirit than 2020, no matter which holidays you do or don’t celebrate! Since holiday movies help get me in the spirit, I turned to Netflix and stumbled upon their new release Jingle Jangle. Not to mention that I’ve since watched it multiple times it was so good, but I felt inspired by their messages of belief and innovation. Further, the little girl in me who never stopped asking questions, who never stopped trying new things, and who saw things that other people didn’t see, finally felt heard and represented in a holiday film. I loved seeing representation for female inventors, lead casts filled with POC and much more!

Not only did Jingle Jangle help get me in the holiday spirit this year, I felt inspired to share the message to all of the other little girls (& all children!) who feel different for having endless questions about the world around us, to never stop chasing those questions! Never stop believing in yourself, even if others aren’t able to see what you see.

Here are some gifts for our Inventors, Engineers, Scientists of the Future!

  1. Green Kid Crafts:
    1. Founded by mother and environmental scientist, Green Kid Crafts is empowering the next generation of environmental leaders using creative, nature-based STEAM activities. 
  1. Black Girl Mathgic:
    1. Created by a woman of color with a love for math (degree and all)  who saw the need to boost the confidence and decrease math anxiety in girls. “While the box is curated for black girls because they endure unique struggles as a doubly marginalized group and sit at the intersection of wide racial and gender gaps in STEM education, girls of all racial and ethnic backgrounds benefit from the math confidence the Black Girl MATHgic Box offers. They also learn more about black history, which is American history. Win Win!” 
  1. A Mighty Girl:
    1. A Mighty Girl’s purpose is to empower and inspire girls and those raising girls to raise them to be confident, smart and courageous! This is the world’s largest collection of books, music, toys and movies dedicated to girl empowerment.
  1. Magnificent Makers Books: Link Here 
    1. Do you remember the Magic School Bus Series? An adventurous world of science, invention and much more! Well here is your modern day series – check it out for all your adventure readers.
  1. Brown Toy Box:
    1. A Brown Toy Box is working hard so that black children can positively see themselves represented as they work toward their mission of: “normalizing Black excellence and creating prosperous career pathways for Black children through STEAM education, cultural representation and educational play.” 
  1. Puzzle Huddle:
    1. Matthew and Marnel Goins were frustrated with the lack of diverse images shown on puzzles so in 2018 they created Puzzle Huddle. They create diversity focused puzzles, wall decorations, t-shirts, pillows, and blankets that focus on themes such as education, family, culture and more!
  1. KiwiCo:
    1. KiwiCo is all about celebrating kids’ creativity! Founded by a mother and engineer KiwiCo has created hands-on projects “ to celebrate kids’ natural creativity and curiosity.”
  1. Meddy Teddy:
    1. Created by 3 brothers with the health and wellness of their community, family, and friends in mind. Meddy Teddy is a soft, bendable, plush teddy bear to encourage yoga and mindfulness. 
  1. Coding Adventures with Python: Code Your Own “A.I.”: Link Here 
    1. Join Hands-on Technology for a most-excellent Coding Adventure and learn the basics of Python programming via puzzles, games, animations, challenges, & engaging STEM activities! “Coding Adventures” classes are perfect for beginner-to-intermediate virtual students.  
    2. Geared to Grades 4-8. Free registration required beforehand. December 16 at 4:00 p.m. 
  1.  Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons: Link Here 
    1. Author Arlyne B. Simon, PhD is a biomedical engineer, patented inventor and Founder & CEO of Timouns. Timouns creates storybooks with multicultural characters who invent things kids wish existed – like unbreakable crayons and more. 
    2. Watch San Diego local Jasmine Sadler, the Dancing Rocket Scientist, read this book aloud here
  1. La Mochila Invisible (en Español): Link Here 
    1. Autora: Stephanie Sherbon
    2. La mochila invisible tiene como objetivo ayudar a los niños a enfrentar los eventos negativos de la vida a través de una historia relatable y no amenazante. Este libro fue creado para ayudar a los niños, padres, cuidadores, consejeros y maestros a comprender mejor los sentimientos y el comportamiento de un niño.
  1. The Invisible Backpack (in English): Link Here 
    1. by Stephanie Sherbon
    2. The invisible backpack aims to help children cope with negative life events through a relatable and non-threatening story. This book was created to help children, parents, caregivers, counselors, and teachers better understand a child’s feelings and behavior.

As that little girl who asked questions, and saw the things others didn’t, I’m excited to share this list of holiday gifts that spark imagination, invention and belonging in your kiddos. My inventions took me to owning my own business, elevatEd Classrooms. I get to work with the whole educational community, teachers, family members, students, and other community members to empower our education system starting with our teachers and flowing to our students! I love what I get to do everyday and I’m grateful for how that little inventor in me led me here today. I hope the same joy and success to your kiddos! Let’s encourage your little inventors!

Learn more about me, Jaclyn Sarnese and elevatEd Classrooms by heading to our website or following us on social media

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Paula Blanco, MAT

Paula Blanco is currently a bilingual  kindergarten teacher at a dual-immersion school. Paula first received a bachelor’s degree in foreign language teaching and in infant education. Paula found her passion teaching and went back for a MAT Spanish (teaching Spanish as a second language).  After her education, Paula moved from Spain to the United States. Ms. Blanco is an experienced teacher with 9+ years of classroom experience.

Amiee Masters Altman, MsEd

Aimee Masters Altman is currently a middle school language arts teacher in southern New Jersey.  As a teacher with over 13 years experience, she has worked as a Kindergarten-6th grade Library-Media Specialist, a 3rd grade inclusion teacher, as well as a middle school language arts teacher.  Mrs. Altman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Sociology with a concentration in health and medicine and a minor in Women’s Studies.  During her time at UPenn, she found her passion for teaching while working the Extended School Year program for students with special needs.  She then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Education in Reading/Writing/Literacy with a certification as a Reading Specialist from the University of Pennsylvania School of Education.  She continued her education for a Library-Media Specialist certification at Rutgers University.  Mrs. Altman has sat on many committees to analyze, select, and write curriculum.

Korey Sewell, PhD

Dr. Korey Sewell , founder of Hands-On Technology Education, is a professional engineer and educator specializing in Computer Science & Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan (2012) and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Riverside (2004). His professional background consists of work at places such as Intel, Apple, Qualcomm and MIPS Technologies with interests in Microprocessors, CPU Workloads, and Simulation Methodology. As an educator, Dr. Sewell aspires for Hands-On Technology to continue to fulfill its mission of empowering the K-12 demographic with innovative, practical, and affordable technology-based activities (summer camps, workshops, and after-school programs).

Jacqueline Masters, EDS, MA

Jacqueline received her Ed.S and M.A. degree in School Psychology from Rowan University and her B.S. degree in Psychology from Drexel University. She is currently certified in New Jersey and practices full time in the public school system. She has been working with the elementary and middle school students for 6+ years. She works to consult and collaborate with teachers, parents, and students to maximize their education and social experience. Additionally she completes cognitive and behavioral assessments as part of the Special Education process. She specializes in educating students, teachers, and parents on a variety of disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism, Specific Learning Disabilities, as well mood disorders and various developmental disorders.