Judah’s Lab to launch first project with flair

Published 12:18 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

For its inaugural project, Judah’s Lab will be the site of an Engineering Project-Based Learning Camp next month. Students in fifth through eighth grades are invited to design and build their own rockets.

Irvin and Tanieka Ricks, both educators living in Franklin, have followed through on a vision and created the Gospel Club of Judah, which is in Ivor. The place serves as a community facility, worship center and lab. — SUBMITTED

As an advertising flyer explains, the participants will collaborate with peers, engage in cross-curricular objectives and build on career-readiness skills.

For this, as any future events, the students will be guided by qualified professionals. Among those are the organizers of this lab, Irvin and Tanieka Ricks. He’s the Technology Exploration teacher at Luther Porter Jackson Middle School in Surry County. According to his page on the school’s website, he has taught technology education the past 10 years.

“I look forward to the development of student character, social and technological skills in preparation for the ever-changing technical society in which we live,” wrote Irvin.

Tanieka is the assistant principal at Surry Elementary School. On her school’s website, she wrote, “My main goal is to provide students with the skills they need to succeed as 21st-century learners in a safe and supportive learning environment.”

In addition to serving as the administrator of the county schools’ gifted program, Tanieka is a part-time instructor for the online Sum Bible College and Theological Seminary, based in California. That brings up another facet of the couple’s lives and mission. The Ricks, who live in Franklin, are committed to their faith, and that includes their work as well as any spiritual or extracurricular activities.

“We have a particular interest in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Irvin.

The idea for the lab was part of the inspiration the couple received more than a decade ago. He said that came from “a vision that God gave me and my wife to start it.”

‘It’ being what eventually became the Gospel Club of Judah. That name, Irvin said, means ‘Praise.’

“Everything we do, we do it to glorify God,” he said. As educators, they had the idea to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, better known as STEM. He said the rocket lab is his idea.

The building, which is beside the Stuckey’s truck stop in Ivor, also houses “Showtime at the Gospel Club of Judah.” On various Fridays once a month, a local talent show takes place at 7 p.m.

Tanieka said that the third part of the aforementioned vision is Judah Ministries, which has a 90-minute service of music and a message on Sundays, with the same on a smaller scale each Wednesday, Hour of Judah. The ministry also offers periodic feedings in the community and delivers baskets to hospital patients and people in need.

The lab is located at 35198 General Mahone Blvd., Ivor, and will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 20 and Thursday, Dec. 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fee is $50 per child, and the deadline to sign up will be on Monday, Dec. 18. Spaces are limited to 30 students.

Contact Tanieka Ricks at 642-0371 or email judahconnects@gmail.com. The Ricks can also be contacted via Facebook at judahconnects.