Teaching eager children to go further than the basics of technology.
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Idea (hoping to get started in the future)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
There is not enough kids who understand what happens behind the scenes of their everyday technology. We are trying to help low income families who don't have enough money to send their kids programming classes. Not a lot of low income communities have enough money to pay for lessons and technology. Technology is the future, and we are trying to prepare today's generation for what is to come, so they too, can contribute to the change.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
There is an inexpensive programming technology called Raspberry Pi; It is the motherboard of a computer. If we add used monitor, keyboard, and mouse to it, a family can get an inexpensive computer for under $60 . Raspberry Pi is basically a cheap computer that kids can build on their own and work on. Once it is built it can work like a regular computer. If we use these motherboards to teach children to program, kids who may not be able to pay for an expensive computer class or who may not have any technology at home but are eager to learn about the tech around them are given the opportunity to learn from it. This skill benefits them in the future academically, as in college or in the real world. We will reach out to college students who are learning electronic engineering or computer science to volunteer for once a week to help kids who are aspiring to learn programming. This also benefits the college students because this kind of work looks great on any resume or job application. This way we are able to provide cheap technology (Raspberry Pi) and free education (Volunteer Instructor) that help kids get started in programming to prepare them for the future.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
So let's say Keira loves video games and she always wonders how they work, and she wants to learn how to make a video game. The only problem is her mom doesn't have enough money to send her to a school to teach her to code or buy her a computer. Keira one day sees an ad for Tech-Savvy and she decides she wants to do it. Keira and her mom register her for a class, paying the small inexpensive fee of $60 for their Raspberry Pi Computer. On the meeting date, Keira comes to the meeting location and is put in a group of 2-4 with one instructor to lead them and teach them. In the groups, the students all receive a Raspberry Pi system, monitor, keyboard, and mouse to work with. They all take their system home, work on their system, and come back with their progress. At the end of the program, the volunteer instructor will continue to mentor the kids via social media to follow through with them.
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Our program is different than other projects out there because like we said, we go deeper. Most programs are set to just give kids technology and send them on their way. On the other hand, our program provides them the technology, but we teach them how to build the computer and how to program/code on it. We will also give ongoing mentorship via social media. As we said before, our program is also cheaper. Instead of paying $400 for a high end class all we charge is the low price of $60.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
By the amount of students we enroll, we will know we are making a difference. We can search up the city's demographics to know how many of the kids are coming to the classes. We will also know we are making a difference by the amount of kids who finish the entire course and take advantage of the mentorship.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
To take our project to the next level, we will expand to other communities, in our county, our state, and then other states. We would intensify our curriculum, and open up to higher age levels. We will also create a website to advertise our organization and raise money from advertisements. We can also take the model to communities in developing countries around the world by sharing our ideas with them and helping them get started.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
We want T-mobile to sponsor our project by acquiring the Raspberry Pi motherboards. We will also need monitors, keyboards, and computer mice. Our local library allows community members to reserve a private space to do work. Once our project is confirmed, we will also need college volunteers to teach the kids. We will need a good curriculum that the kids can easily follow for a 3 month period. We will also like to create a website for Tech-Savvy where volunteers and kids can register for the program.
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
We are open to any idea that helps the youth of today. We would also like to partner with any other program involving technology in providing technology. Also, we would like to have representatives in each state when we are ready to expand.
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Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
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