The Impact of Kids in Tech

Afterschool tech club program Blog Post Program | May 30, 2022

According to the Center for Childhood Creativity, “Data shows that young people are not graduating with the skills needed to succeed in a rapidly-evolving, technologically-driven workforce.” By 2024, 80% of the top 10 most in-demand STEM jobs in the Greater Lowell area will be in the technology sector – some of the most desired skills for many growing industries across the country. 

Our Community Needs Kids Interested in STEM

With statistics like this, getting kids interested in technology related fields becomes imperative to the growth of our community. According to Geek.edu, only 10% of college STEM graduates are in Computer Science. Comparing that to the above statistic saying 80% of STEM jobs will be in technology, a shift is clearly necessary. However, after school programs such as After School Tech Club encourage kids of today who may not have seen technology as a path for them to investigate and learn about all the amazing opportunities technology offers while also having a great time. 

14 year old Naomi had this to say about the After School Tech Club: “I did not think I was going to like Tech Club at first,” she shared, “but it is really fun and interesting. I like that we get to build things, tear them apart, and build again. We also get to go on field trips and see real tech people at their jobs. I get to learn things that I do not learn in school.”

Naomi now plans to attend vocational high schools and pursue a career in Automotive Technology, Engineering Technology or Carpentry.

Kids in Tech Programs and their Influence 

The After-School Technology Club enables children in underserved communities to engage with technology and businesses. Over 300 students have participated in the club to date. According to a survey conducted after the program, 77%of the students said they are now considering a career in technology. In addition, 69% said their grades improved and 70% said they will enjoy Math and Science classes more. 

In addition to the After-School Technology Club, Kids in Tech also hosts Beyond the Microscope, a series of 7 webinars between February and September. Beyond the Microscope has been running for two seasons and we look forward to our sixth webinar which will be held at the end of this month. Viewers are able to login and interact with a panel of experts discussing important issues in their respective fields today.  

For the third year in a row, Massachusetts STEM Week named Kids in Tech as a partner for this year’s STEM Week in October. STEM Week is a collaborative effort between the Executive Office of Education, the STEM Advisory Council, and the state’s nine Regional STEM Networks, which plan and coordinate activities with local schools, community leaders and business partners. Kids in Tech will host “Everyday Engineering: Using the Ordinary to Create the Extraordinary,” will deepen 5 – 8 grade students’ understanding of the different branches of engineering. The challenge will cover the five pillars of engineering and include a series of webinars to simulate the activities. Kids in Tech plans to reach 8,500 students with this design challenge.

These programs affect the way students view technology and learning in general through hands-on activities. Getting the opportunity to take something apart and discover an idea for themselves excites students to continue their investigation both in and out of the classroom and hopefully into their careers. 

The Lenny Zakim Challenge Grant

Blog Post Events |

Lenny Zakim has issued Kids in Tech a $5,000 challenge grant! The Challenge grant is from March 2022-December 2022! 

Our progress: $2,963.47 of $5,000.00

Help us meet the challenge with a new or increased donation today. 

If you are unfamiliar with a challenge grant, read the FAQs below to learn what a challenge grant is and how it works.

What is a challenge grant?

Challenge grants are capacity-building grants intended to provide a nonprofit organization with a tool to leverage new and increased donations from current donors, and from potential new donors.

What is the goal of a challenge grant?

A nonprofit organization’s long-term sustainability is dependent upon the ability to engage and cultivate an active and diverse support base. We want you to use the challenge grant to encourage and energize donors beyond us. The challenge grant is a tool to help your organization’s staff and leadership mobilize additional resources to help build long-term sustainability.

How does a challenge grant work?

The Lenny Zakim Fund only matches new and increased donations made in response to this matching challenge. We do not match dollars that have already been pledged, nor do we match contributions already received, prior to the beginning of the grant term.

What makes challenge grants so valuable?

A primary component of an organization’s long-term sustainability is a diverse funding base. A challenge grant helps build a nonprofit’s fundraising capacity. The challenge component is a call-to-action for other donors to support the organization. It encourages a broader and deeper base of donors to become part of the organization for a long time to come. The challenge grant component encourages an organization to go above and beyond the usual fundraising.

What kinds of donations are eligible to be matched by the challenge grant?

  • First-time cash donations from individuals, businesses, foundation grants, or corporations raised in response to an appeal using the LZF challenge.
  • Increased cash contributions from current individual, business, foundation supporters, or corporate donors raised in response to an appeal using the LZF challenge.
  • New or increased donations received in response to a live-ask at a sponsored event, an email, social media, or direct mail campaign, raised in response to an appeal using the LZF challenge.
  • Renewed gifts, raised in response to an appeal using the LZF challenge, from lapsed donors who have not made a gift for over 12 months prior to the date of the grant award 

Note: Increased contributions will be matched only for the portion that is above and beyond a current donor’s previous or annual donation. 

What kinds of donations are NOT eligible to be matched by the challenge grant?

  • Sponsorships may only be counted if they meet the above criteria and, in addition, the only portion that may be counted is that which exceeds the fair market value of the sponsorship
  • Donated products or services (in-kind)
  • Raffle sales
  • Ticket sales
  • Silent or live auction revenue
  • Money already solicited, pledged, or donated
  • Money that the organization would have raised without the match 

Click to donate or mail your donation to Kids in Tech, P.O. Box #9057 Lowell, Massachusetts 01853. 

Thank you!

Event Recap

Beyond the Microscope Events Mass STEM Week |

The 2021/22 school year was filled with incredible events that were meant to educate and inspire STEM programs for students. Stay tuned for upcoming programs over the summer!

Beyond the Microscope Webinar Series

The purpose of our Beyond the Microscope webinar series is to spark conversation between thought leaders and the greater community. At each event, we converse with a special panel of experts, highlighting the important issues we face in the STEM industry. Thank you to our event sponsors: Boston Globe, Eastern Bank, iRobot, and Massachusetts Business Roundtable.

Upcoming webinar: 

Beyond the Microscope: Neuroscience, AI and the Future of Education (September 28, 2022 at 12pm/ET). Imagine a classroom of 25 students with one teacher teaching a set curriculum at a set pace. Chances are not all 25 students will be learning at the same stride; some will be ahead and bored, others might fall behind, while a few might only retain what’s minimally required. The truth is everyone has the ability to be a fantastic learner, it’s a matter of keeping the mind stimulated and inspired through the act of learning. As a society, we need to ask ourselves: how can we change this behavior in the classroom? 

Register here.

Previous recordings can be found on our Youtube page. 

MASS STEM WEEK 2022

Kids in Tech was recently awarded state funding for 2022 Mass STEM Week. Read the full article here.

For the 2021 Mass STEM Week Challenge, Kids in Tech helped students in the Commonwealth visualize the concepts of AI, understand how these systems affect the way our world works, and appreciate the potential they have to change the future. Students utilized two online platforms, Machine Learning for Kids and Scratch, through which they completed engaging activities that allowed them to see what is possible with AI concepts and technology. The challenge culminated in a project in which students designed their own Smart Cities using AI principles and programming language. Learn more about the challenge here.

If you are interested in sponsoring any upcoming event series, please email us at partnerships@kidsintech.org.

Tech Club Recap

Afterschool tech club program Blog Post Program |

It’s been a great year at Tech Club. See what the students have been up to throughout the school year.

Introduction to Graphic Design

Students learned principles of design and created their own fliers using Google. 

Learning How to Use Google Survey

Students learned how to make their own survey using Google forms and analyzed their results.

Introduction to AI & Machine Learning

Students trained simple machine-learning models and used them to play games and complete interactive projects. 

Filmmaking

In partnership with the Cambridge School of Weston, students wrote, scripted and filmed their own original short film. 

Robotics In partnership with iRobot, students used the Root® robot to draw artwork, play music, respond to touch, light, and sound, and more, all while exploring the fundamentals of robotics.

Rocket Science

Rocketry covers a variety of disciplines, including math and physics, and helps students to reach STEM educational objectives. 

  • (Middle School Students) ( Rocketry 101) – Students built their own rockets and launched them!
  • (Young Kids- Elementary ) Students built Alka Seltzer Rockets. Our Mighty Seltzer Rocket’s propulsion is caused by the interaction of water and an Alka-Seltzer tablet. The thrust for the rocket is the production of carbon dioxide pushed out of the rocket’s base. In addition, a demonstration of the transfer of energy, and an example of the conservation of energy is present in the experiments. The stable design allows students to explore variables for fuel and flight investigations.

Be sure to follow Kids in Tech to keep up the latest and greatest news and events from our after school program. If you’d like to get involved either personally or professionally, please contact us. We’re always looking for Career Day speakers and volunteers to help grow our program.