From July 29th to August 12th I will be running a youth robotics education program in the province of Holguin, Cuba. This two week program will introduce young Cubans to computer science, robotics, and engineering topics. My aim is to give students in Cuba the opportunity to learn about a field which is largely non-existent in Cuba. Due to the current economic and political situation in Cuba, basic necessities are extremely hard to come by. As is only natural, living essentials have been prioritized, however this has come at the cost of other crucial but often overlooked needs of the Cuban youth. Even before the current economic and humanitarian crisis in Cuba, access to technology, let alone technology-related education has been severely limited. I hope to fill this gap for a group of 15 students in Holguin this summer. I am coordinating and teaching this program with a local official, Maria Yi, and a family friend in the US, Fran Bradley. Fran has been working on installing water filtration systems in Cuba, with Maria Yi, for the past 40 years. They are both very experienced with the complications of running humanitarian programs in Cuba and have been advising me during the process of planning this program, and will continue to support it once I am physically in Holguin. Some of the important mechanical and electrical concepts that I plan on teaching the students will be done with lego robots. Throughout the two week program I will be teaching them the fundamentals of sensors, actuators, and programming. Hopefully by the end they will be able to make their own creations with their newfound engineering knowledge. I have been informed that Maria's nine year old son, Jesús, is a huge fan of Legos but sadly due to the situation in Cuba, his passion is quite limited. Jesús and other children in the community are eagerly awaiting the program, so I hope to make it a unique and enjoyable experience for them.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (August 2023)