Through a collaboration with Reality Changers, which prepares youth to become first-generation college graduates, San Diego-based Robolink taught students in grades second to 12th to discover skills in coding, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and more. The collaboration is funded in large part by San Diego Squared, a community organization focused on increasing diversity in STEM-driven companies.
“We believe that incredible talent lives in all communities,” said H. Puentes, executive director of San Diego Squared. “Investing in partnerships like this provides underrepresented students the fundamentals in coding they need today to lead the STEM talent pipeline tomorrow.”
“From drones, to AI, to coding; learning STEM isn’t just a fun topic anymore, it’s a necessary 21st Century skill,” said Hansol Hong, owner/creator, Robolink. “This summer, we brought one of our Stanford-trained instructors to teach Reality Changers students coding and tech in a fun and exciting way. With Zumi, the self-driving robot, students explored real-world careers in AI technology. We really wanted to show students how much fun coding can be and give them opportunities they may not have initially been interested in. With organizations like SD2 to help fund programs like this, we can begin to level the playing field for first generation college-bound students.”
The camps are taught by Robolink certified instructors, who have successfully gone through an extensive training program. Trained to engage students with methods that aid children to retain long-term knowledge, instructors are placed with students where they are best suited to engage their skills and interests.
“Seeing students work with self-driving cars and automated drones is entertaining and rewarding,” said Nico Carballal, Robolink instructor. “Although there are certainly obstacles with learning to code, I enjoy seeing the students laugh as their CoDrone Mini runs zigzags around the room or when a student accidentally programs their Zumi, self-driving car, to drive off the desk and onto the floor. Even if the Reality Changers first-generation students ultimately decide programming and robotics is not their passion, I hope they see that they are more than capable of tackling subjects like these.”
“At Reality Changers, we provide tutoring, college application assistance, and mentorship to students who will be the first in their families to graduate from college,” said Jordan Harrison, vice president of community impact & partnerships. “Opportunities like this not only help to expand their horizons and expose them to new potential career pathways, but also show them the strong community of partners, like Robolink and San Diego Squared (SD2), that stand behind them as they pursue their academic and professional goals.”
For more information about Robolink and its camps, visit: https://shop.robolink.com.