We currently offer intensive teacher training followed by a weeklong, STEM-robotics course that is taught by the local teachers alongside The Community Bots educators. Our introductory Fun with Robotics course trains middle school girls in the fundamentals of robot design and programming using LEGO Mindstorms NXT software and equipment. The course also exposes the girls to leading robotics companies and their innovative products and highlights women who have distinguished themselves in the field.
After The Community Bots was launched in the spring 2016, we provided our first STEM-robotics course in July 2016 at the Good Shepherd School located within the Inwood neighborhood in New York City. The Good Shepherd School serves a mostly Latin American community. We completed our first international program in Nicaragua in June 2017. We are working closely with NicaPhoto, which serves families living in one of the poorest barrios in Nicaragua.
Our third Fun with Robotics program took place in New York City in August 2017 at The Young Women's Leadership School of Queens, which serves a diverse community in the Jamaica neighborhood.
During the summer 2018, The Community Bots completed our program at the Politecnico Fundacion MIR (School for Girls) run by MIR Charities, which provides education and social services to underserved families living in the greater La Romana area of The Dominican Republic. Finally, we also continued to grow our partnership with The Young Women's Leadership Network in New York City by offering our program this summer at The Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn.
We will plan to return to Nicaragua during the summer 2019 to partner with Students of Granada, which provides resources and facilitate partnerships to meet the academic, health, and infrastructure needs of educators and students in the Granada area. We will launch our program at Escuela Carlos Bravo, the largest public school in Granada serving 1,000 students. The program will also include a computer literacy element based on the National Ministry of Education's (MINED) tech curriculum that will begin during the summer 2018. We will also plan to offer our program next summer in Nicaragua at Mi Escuela Generadora de Cambios in Estelí in the northern part of the country.
We are fortunate to partner with the St. Joseph's Academy, an all-girls school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The school, through the leadership of John Richardson, Co-Director of Technology, has donated refurbished laptops to NicaPhoto, Politecnico Fundacion MIR (School for Girls), and Students of Granada. Moreover, John and his colleagues joined The Community Bots at NicaPhoto to deliver the laptops and to help develop the computer lab. We are deeply appreciative of their ongoing generosity and support.
Please see below for testimonials about our programs to date:
"Although I was a bit weary even when we initiated conversation of bringing the program to Good Shepherd, the experience of the summer program left me completely awestruck. All the participants, even the initially reluctant ones, were incredibly engaged and focused, remarkably, through some of the hottest days of the summer. We had a very wide spectrum of students participate in the program; from the naturally gifted to those that struggle academically. A testament to the patience and enthusiasm of Ana and Jack, they were able to bring out the best of all children and had them all working at the same level. My co-teacher and I, throughout the program, marveled at the participation of all the students. The program itself has been created masterfully to be both challenging and entertaining. They did not realize they were learning so much because they were having too much fun. Rather than continually looking at the clock towards break time they had to be dragged away from their robots and asked several times to stop at dismissal. The joy and excitement on the last day spoke volumes of how successful the program was at GSS. We are proud of our children’s accomplishments and eternally grateful to Ana, Jack, and The Community Bots for their generosity."
"The Community Bots is an incredible program that brings STEM Robotics training to girls in disadvantaged communities. When Jack and Ana presented the idea of coming to Nicaragua to teach our middle school age girls robotics at NicaPhoto and to train our teachers, we were thrilled with the idea. We selected a group of 25 girls to participate. The girls ranged from very good students in the public school to students that have a variety of difficulties ranging from emotional to academic. The program engaged ALL of the girls and kept their interest and attention. I was impressed to see even the students with the most difficulty in school doing the math calculations on the fly, participating in the discussions, and excelling in the class. During the week, the girls had a day off from school and were scheduled for robotics class from 8am - 12pm. The girls decided as a group to ask Jack and Ana if they could have robotics class ALL day because they didn't have school. The critical thinking and love of learning was wonderful to watch develop during the week. The project-based curriculum is formidable. Jack and Ana are both remarkable teachers and incredibly kind and generous. It was an inspirational week for all involved, and we are grateful to know Jack and Ana and for the opportunity to participate in The Community Bots program."
Check out the video by NicaPhoto about The Community Bots program in Nicaragua: Click HERE
"The Community Bots program, Fun with Robotics, was an incredibly transformative summer experience for our The Young Women's Leadership School of Queens students. I have conducted countless classroom and program observations over the years, but this was the first time not a single student noticed me entering the room! Every student was completely captivated with the content that was being shared by the robotics facilitators. The Fun with Robotics program taught students how to embrace failure and to use it as an opportunity to improve. It empowered students and truly put them in the driver seat of their own learning.The Community Bots program also allowed students to leverage their leadership and collaborate with each other. Moreover, the presentations about different STEM jobs for women were incredibly inspiring for the girls. I hope they remember what was said to them because I will never forget what it meant to hear someone tell them that they have all the skills and capabilities to potentially work for technology companies around the world."