Friday, December 5, 2014

Cooking up the holiday spirit

Holiday lights are going up all over the city and there's a chill in the air. It's definitely starting to feel like the holidays here at BUGS. Last week was Thanksgiving Break and Student Lead Conferences at Commodore, so there weren't many students for the 2 days of programming.
This week has been a busy one in the kitchen with the Ladybugs. Monday we practiced our chopping skills while whipping up a delicious fried rice. Then, Tuesday the girls got very fancy making their own pasta. Here are some pictures of them rolling the dough and shaping it into "farfalle" or bowties.

Note the looks on concentration on Danyell and Arly's faces. And that's Taylor cranking away on the pasta machine. Team work!

Aaliyah, Tracy and Ty'Shay are hard at work but were able to spare time for a smile. 

Pasta shaping. 
And the finished product, laid out for drying. The festive color, which comes from beets, makes them look like Christmas ribbons.

Then, to truly get into the holiday spirit Mr. Tyone organized at trip to the Meyerhoff to see the Nutcracker. But this was not your traditional rendition of the Nutcracker. It had Duke Ellington's music performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and dance performances by Step Afrika.

Jaylen conducting the orchestra.

Doneisha pointing out the appearance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
On the trip back to school the students were unable to pick a favorite part, but liked all the bits with the step but especially when they were able to participate. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014


For the past two weeks the spiders have been learning about a very aggressive and stylistic genre of dance known as "Krump". Krump is a very emotionally driven style of dance used in the streets of California to settle disputes, as well as to express emotions and faith. The boys were amped and ready to dive into the world of krump learning a brief history of the style, as well as a few movements to combine into a short combination. Here is the final product of one of the routines they've learned thus far!

The spiders are always ready and willing to jump into a dance cypher, always eager to show off their moves to everyone. Sometimes these cyphers even turn into one on one battles and thats just what happened in the second video above. Watch as Jamal and Edward battle it out to be known as "Krump King" in THE BATTLE GROUND!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Erupting with excitement!

Khalil, Amir, Keon, Tavon, and Marquis building the base of their volcano.

This week, the Spiders were fully engaged in STEM while learning about volcanoes. We had a pretest to assess our knowledge on what we had already known about volcanoes. The scores of the pretest were not very good on the first go around... The students had an opportunity to read an article about volcanoes as a class and make corrections to their quiz. Afterwards, we watched videos of real volcanoes erupting. We also identified what was happening in the videos using vocabulary from the article. The next day, the students were given directions and materials to build a group volcano. With minimal support, the students successfully built two volcanoes using a dough mixture, with food-colored vinegar and baking soda "lava." The Spiders were fully emerged in the activity and put their expert volcano knowledge to the test! This is an activity they will always remember!

Erupting with success!

Jaylan, Malachi, Jamal, and Timothy working well as a team  to build the base of their volcano.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bringing some BUGS flavor to Whole Foods

 When BUGS students found out that the Whole Foods in Harbor East was donating 5% of their sales on September 30th to the program, they wanted to make sure that Whole Foods' customers knew what the BUGS program is all about. So, we packed up our homemade granola, crafts, garden seedlings and homegrown tea, and set up right by the checkout line!
Besides having the opportunity to share their BUGS experience with customers, our students also got to sample a squash salad and some carrots with Ginger hummus. Everyone was impressed by our students, and one customer even offered to buy us a snack. By the end of the day, the BUGS had won over customer and employee alike, and had eloquently shared in their own words the impact that the BUGS program can have on lives of students in Baltimore.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer 2014 in STEM

BUGS Summer Camp 2014 in STEM was a lot of fun!  The students learned about soil and it's components -- 1) rocks, 2) air, 3) water, and 4) humus.  They learned about soil texture and how it is dependent on the mixture of sand, silt, and clay.

Students also spent a considerable amount of time dissecting flowers to understand the different parts and what they do.  The boys went on a "Flower Scavenger Hunt" to find as many different kinds of flowers as they could on campus.  Check out the picks below!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BUGS Girls Visit Proctor & Gamble

The BUGS Summer of 2014 has been awesome!  And one of the awesome-est things we have done this summer is visit the Proctor & Gamble Cosmetics facility in Hunt Valley, MD.

As a result of a connection made at a STEM symposium, I was able to arrange a visit for the BUGS girls to see all the different STEM activities that go into making cosmetics at Proctor & Gamble.  Thanks to hard work by Stacey Mannes at P&G, we received presentations on what makes a good moisturizer, understanding what consumers want, and how to find out what kind of foreign objects might get into lipstick base and a demonstration of a 3-D printer.  It was all very cool!

All of the presentations were great but I think the 3-D printer demonstration was the biggest hit.

Also, the folks at P&G were not only generous with their time but they also gave us goodie bags and Taylor Swift t-shirts and provided lunch!  They also praised our students as well-behaved, curious, and engaged!  Yay!!!  BUGS!!!

Top Photo: The Proctor & Gamble Cosmetics entrance sign.
Bottom Photo: Ms. Kadija and Ms. Neta with the BUGS girls showing off our goodie bags and
t-shirts on the Proctor & Gamble steps.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The BUGS are on the news!

The BUGS were recently featured on ABC2 News. Check our amazing students out right here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Growing your supper!

The BUG Students finally got to try the lettuce they've been growing this spring. Even with the occasional student grabbing a leaf as they were walking by there was still plenty left over to provide a healthy and delicious addition to the supper the BUGS  eat.


 As a bonus treat, the service  berry tree on our campus started to bare fruit this week. Students have been happily munching on berries during their recreation time. They even managed to save enough to put into a batch of service berry banana bread. No pictures of this bread were taken due to the rapid eating of this delicious treat.

The BUG garden is producing more and more every week. You can come taste some of our vegetables at the Hamilton Farmers' Market starting June 24th and every Tuesday after that.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

 With the end of the school year closing in on us and the beautiful weather the BUGS students have been out having fun!
The Crickets went on a field trip to The Creative Alliance to work with internationally known Mexican artist Francisco "Paco" Loza. He teaches indigenous Huichol art form, arte en estambre, drawing with brightly colored yarn on boards coated with resin and beeswax.

The Butterflies enjoyed a sunny day on the patio painting; gathering inspiration from the scenery.
The Butterflies also did a confidence building art project from to remind them how wonderful they are everyday.
They've been begging all year! For the last art project of the school year the Grasshoppers got to work with clay.
We hit up the Orioles game and had a BLAST!
Next stop Camp Puh'tok the most anticipated trip of the school year.

All the students got a chance to do some horseback ridding.

The students learned a camp singalong called BANANAS! Check it out.

We ended our night telling ghost stories and making smores around the camp fire.

BUGS summer camp is right around the corner, check back more fun this summer!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ladybugs write about the Solar System

After creating many rockets and telescopes earlier this year, the Ladybugs spent some time writing books about the planets in our Solar System.  Did you know that the fastest wind in the Solar System is on Neptune and that Saturn has 12 rings?

Top: Tylia and Allyssa show off their book about Uranus. Bottom: Valeria and Gemali show off their book about Mars.

Top: Faith works on her book about Mercury, the fastest planet in the Solar System. Bottom left: Makalla works on her book about Saturn. Bottom right: Amya works on her book about Neptune, the Blue Jewel, while Allyssa helps clean up.

Crickets' First BUGS Farmers Market

The Crickets all had their first experience with the BUGS Farmers Market and they were AWESOME!!!!  Check out the pics!!
From the top left into center: Esmeralda staffs the table; Jose, Diamond, and Endia help their teacher pick out some soap; Esmeralda and Shawn wait for more customers; Jose gets help from Johns Hopkins volunteer, Sophie; and the Crickets help set up the tents.

From top right to top left: The Crickets help set up the tents; Jose gets help from Johns Hopkins volunteer, Sophie; Esmeralda, Shawn, and Kayla wait for customers; and Avantrey, Kayla, and Esmeralda show off their awesome face paintings.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Just in case you missed it...

In case you missed the BUGS Farmer's Market here are some highlights! Watch and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

18th Annual BUGS Farmer's Market a Huge Success

At the BUGS Farmer's Market on Saturday, the sun was shining, the air was filled with the smell of grilling and the sound of laughter, and hundreds of people from all over Baltimore got to see our students doing what they do best.

Whether you were sampling the homemade ice cream, bean dip, granola and salad dressing made in Mr. Martin's Cooking and Nutrition class, or chowing down on burgers grilled by our students,

Checking out the soap and recycled shopping bags made by Ms. Neta's STEM class or being dazzled by the rings and dancer's costumes crafted by Ms. Kadija's Art class,

Or buying plants for your garden in our greenhouse with Mr. Jason's group between the fashion show and dance cyphers being performed by Ms. Nikki's Dance students, everywhere you looked on Saturday, the hard work, dedication and talent of our students (and teachers) were hard to miss!

Thanks to all who volunteered their time and energy, and we look forward to see you all again next year!