In the last three decades, East Boston has received immigrants from many places in Latin America, especially Colombia. The MIT Colombian Association (MIT-CA) is striving to increase its relationship with East Boston and promote STEM education for migrant children, mentor teenagers to increase enrollment in higher education, and promote multicultural understanding and positive relations within the communities.
Leveraging on the experience our MIT-CA members who have participated in Clubes-de-Ciencia-Colombia, we propose a three-hour “Robotics for Kids” workshop with mentorship from MIT facilitators (students, postdocs, and staff). A diverse group of children will design, build, and program a robot to solve different challenges through movement of motors, sensors, and control from a smartphone. MIT facilitators will be trained to support the technical aspects, and to handle the underlying cultural dimension, of the event.
- Foster better relations between MIT and the East Boston community while highlighting the benefits of cultural and racial diversity. Learn, through hands-on experience, principles of coding, circuits, electronic design, and robots. The children will be exposed to problem-solving activities that require a deeper reflection of the concepts and topics presented, which will encourage their engagement with the STEM fields.
- Learn about MIT's culture as well as about opportunities for children to prepare themselves to be part of the MIT community the future.
- Show the parents the advantages of STEM careers, how to support their children in pursuing STEM careers, as well as to how to stay connected with opportunities in STEM for their children in the Greater Boston Area.
- Volunteers and legal guardians will also be exposed to the mens et manus, hands-on way of doing things at MIT through problem-solving activities, fostering better relationships between the Institute and the off-campus communities.