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Brave Hearts continues to thrive in a virtual setting

As the world pivoted to virtual opportunities over the past year, Hampton City Schools chapter of Brave Hearts pivoted as well. Middle school girls at Tarrant Middle School, Syms Middle School and Jones Magnet Middle School are continuing to take part in Brave Hearts and engage, explore and innovate through virtual live sessions with The Flying Classroom. 

Through the middle of April, Brave Hearts will experience STEM+ explorations through hands-on aquaponics. Their virtual expeditions are being supported by highly qualified experts from The Flying Classroom. Captain Barrington Irving even joined in on March 8, from Miami, Florida to help kick off the amazing five-week exploration of water and how it helps the environment. In addition, lead mentors at each school will continue to support the girls in completing any action steps necessary to be ready for the next Flying Classroom session. Brave Hearts will then use this information to share with others the importance of aquaponics to the Hampton community. This opportunity is the 5C’s - critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and character - in action along with STEM+!

Brave Hearts, an enrichment group for girls in sixth through eighth grade, is a national initiative that created a chapter in Hampton. The organization was founded by Jennifer Taylor Boykins in 2012 in response to the growing need to positively impact girls. Brave Hearts focuses on good decision making, leadership, and most of all, fostering female empowerment. Partnering with The Flying Classroom combines the focus of Brave Hearts with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as well as English language arts content providing opportunities for middle school girls to develop life skills. Though hands-on activities and a mentoring component, girls are learning about STEM careers and opportunities. 

Alexis Upton-Savedge, Brave Heart’s lead mentor at Syms Middle shares, “I chose to lead Brave Hearts because I want young girls in this community (at Syms) to know they are more than enough. I want them to know that they matter and WE are unstoppable! Brave Hearts also exposes girls to nontraditional occupational careers and shows them that their future has so many options and possibilities.” 

The Flying Classroom is an integrative STEM+ supplemental curriculum. While Flying Classroom includes standards and principles aligned to STEM, it also includes correlated activities to geography, informational literacy, writing, art, and social studies. Students work to develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity skills as they navigate through the expedition content. Each of the lessons within the Flying Classroom is based on the global expeditions of Captain Barrington Irving, the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world in a single-engine airplane. Recognized as a pioneer in education, Irving is revolutionizing learning by bringing real-world, hands-on, challenging projects to schools across the country.