In March 2019, we set out to introduce young minds to robotics at Dufferin Mall. In the weeks leading to the event, volunteers (including high school students) from Pueblo Science assembled the main electronic components and tested the firmware. There was little time to deliver this project, so we had to design it and build it on a very tight schedule. Then came the deliver day. We dazzled nearly 100 youth, who, with the help of their parents, participated in our drop-in robotic competition. These kids brought home the robot that they built. Although only a few kids programmed them on the day of the event, we made sure to explain the working of the machine so that they could explore further with their parents’ assistance. While this event required a tremendous amount of preparation, the reward in seeing young minds get interested in STEM and ask a lot of questions was equally great.
In New Amsterdam, Guyana, 110 teachers and 60 students attended the robotics camp from June 17-24, 2019. Both teachers and students were amazed to realise that programming robots was within their reach. Students were so excited that they forgot about time and stayed extra hours, screaming while cheering for their robot competing for epic prizes. We are confident that this formative activity will remain with them for a long time! Students approached our facilitators Dr. Martin Labrecque, Dr. Stanley Wong and Monica Bastawrous at the end of the workshop to communicate how grateful they are for bringing the camp to them, they have never experienced such learning activities in the region before the camp with Pueblo Science. Students were asked what they wanted to be when they grow up at the start of the camp, one student wanted to be a famous rapper. That same student and his teammate won the competition at the end of the camp, the same question was asked after the camp to which he answered, “I want to become a famous engineer and a famous rapper.”