by Ignacio Salim and Jason Solis
Volunteering at Casa Victoria will not only give us a chance to inform our perspective in helping our community, but will also give us a chance to have a lasting impact on students in Ecuador. In researching the youth who live in the section of San Roque, we found that there is a lack of technology, preventing students from continuing their education and achieving their full potential. Little technology isolates students and limits their perspective in the world. Increasing access to technology, students can understand the basic platforms, gaining a better edge when pursuing their careers. As a group, we began to explore what pieces of technology might be most effective for these students to gain an understanding of the basics of programming and robotics. Since many of us are instructors who teach structural programming to students in grades 2-8, we know that block-based programming can really teach students the analytical mindset needed for solving real world problems.
So we plan to bring robots with us to Casa Victoria to allow students to pursue this. For example, the dash robots, using blocks to program, can serve as an excellent tool for acquiring basic block programming skills.
And for younger students, we plan to bring WowWee robots that use emoji’s and other images to program the robot.We also plan to bring a printer for students to be able to move what is virtually on their computer into their hands, allowing for increased creativity.
Inviting these students to explore this technology will build the stepping stones for their lives and plant seeds for future success as they discover new interests in a world filled with technology.