I started the HelloBots LEGO robotics program (www.hellobots.com), a free program specifically for underprivileged children in East San Jose and Alum Rock school district, California in the summer of 2015. Also I am offering “HelloBots for Her”, a special program for girls to build and explore in a supportive environment to develop an interest in math and science through the fun of robotics.
I first created a basic level curriculum for four to six weeks. Then I planned another curriculum for the intermediate level for children with some basic exposure to LEGO NXT. The next challenge was to buy the kits. But in summer 2015, I worked at the Silver Creek Academy as an teacher’s assistant, and earned some pocket money from that. I combined that with the seed donation from my family and bought four LEGO NXT kits from Ebay. On August 8th, 2015 I had my first HelloBots workshop in Alum Rock Public library, which ran for six weeks. Library provided the some much needed laptops for the workshop. That was a life changing experience for me. Children from different family backgrounds, who couldn’t afford to have a laptop at home, came every day even before the class started, and didn’t miss a single one.
Now I am running the 4-6 weeks workshops in three different libraries, and completed six workshops so far.Since last year I successfully ran free after school programs in LUCHA Elementary school, Alum Rock and Valley Vista Elementary School, San Jose. I am working closely with Alum Rock school district office and planning to launch new programs in 2016-2017 school year. This is the first time for any school in Alum Rock where students got exposure in LEGO robotics through the school.
To this day, I have inducted three volunteers and taught 150+ students and looking forward to expand the horizon of Hellobots in more schools and libraries in San Jose and beyond.
Funded by San Jose, CA (May 2016)