Crockett Elementary fourth-grader, Yohali Cavazos, has been a part of the ACE program for two years. She is currently attending school in person, and after school she is highly involved with the Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) program.
“I joined ACE because I thought, ‘What am I going to do,’” Cavazos said. “I had already done my homework, so I wanted to see what else I could do. When I joined ACE, I had more stuff to do, and it was fun.”
The ACE program is currently only being held virtually, but Cavazos is attending school in person, so after school she participates in virtual ACE at her campus. When asked what school was like face-to-face, she said, “It’s totally different. It is better than when I was learning from home because at home sometimes I did not understand things, and sometimes it got loud in my house, but over here I am actually able to know what I am going to do.”
Last year, Yohali was involved in a couple of ACE sessions. She even placed third as a third-grade student in a fourth and fifth-grade engineering class for her design of a car built entirely out of mouse traps.
This year, Cavazos is involved in several more classes and activities including: Bears Infrastructure Class (Engineering Design Process & Tinkercad), Mind Optimizers (Robotics & Coding), Culinary Entrepreneurs, Esports, Bears Morning Crew, and Traveling the World with Distance Learning.
“My favorite part is the Bears Infrastructure class. We do two different things. One is Tinkercad and the other is the engineering program. In Tinkercad I am designing different creations like a puzzle cube. The engineering program is about building, and we have to use newspaper, carboard, and wood to build. Right now, we are learning how to build a skyscraper.”
Cavazos also dedicates time to ACE during the summer and on the weekends. She participated in Engineering Possibilities in Cyberspace (EPIC) Academy before the school year began, and she is currently participating in the five-week Elementary Animation Academy which is held on Saturdays.
“She is not only excelling in the classroom but also in the ACE program,” Crockett ACE Coordinator Rebeka Longoria said. “Yohali has amazed me with how quickly she picked up Tinkercad which is a 3D printing software. She is currently working on creating Christmas ornaments, but her last project was creating dog tags for the Harlingen Humane Society. Yohali also participated in several newspaper challenges. She created a newspaper tower that measured 47 inches, created a newspaper table which could hold 72 books, and she was able to create and sit on a chair made out of newspaper.”
Beaming with excitement, the Crockett Elementary fourth-grader had nothing but positive words and experiences to describe the program.
“ACE is a wonderful program,” Cavazos said.