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Nonprofit program uses hands-on learning to teach students in Lowell about advancing technologies

LOWELL – In recent weeks, Kids in Tech has hosted Tech Career Day at two program sites in Lowell: Moody Elementary School and Lowell Housing Authority. Featured speakers included Sam Devadoss and Eva Mascot, both software engineers from iRobot. The presentations came on the heels of a recent visit by Kids in Tech students to the ‘Cool Stuff’ museum at the iRobot headquarters in Bedford.

At Moody Elementary School, students were able to explore the functionality of two different iRobot products: a Roomba® robot vacuum and a Braava® robot mop. Students had the opportunity to assemble these products, while learning about different types of engineering career paths in technology from Devadoss. At the Lowell Housing Authority site, students also engaged in an in-depth discussion about careers in software engineering within the robotics sector.

In late December 2018, students also took a field trip to the Cool Stuff museum at iRobot headquarters. The room features a series of robotic devices from iRobot’s past and present. Products on display ranged from popular home cleaning robots like Roomba, to those utilized by military and public safety professionals, including robots for locating and removing explosive devices. Robots used to repair oil rigs and prototypes of soft robots and robots that could climb walls vertically are also on display.

“As a pioneer in robotics, iRobot is proud to provide resources for students and educators who are interested in learning about, and benefiting from, a robotics STEM program,” said Lisa Freed, STEM program manager at iRobot. “Programs like Kids in Tech expose students to real examples, in their own community, that illustrate the potential of and opportunity in the tech sector in a concrete way. Their mission aligns with our work, seeking to inspire young people beyond the classroom.”

iRobot is committed to building a future for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. The company offers a multi-faceted outreach program as a resource for students, parents and educators to share in the excitement for the robotics industry.

“Kids model what they see, and we all need mentors. A key piece of Kids in Tech programming is showing students that there are leaders in technology who look like them, and eliminating the barriers for kids and technology futures: socioeconomic class, gender, culture, and so on,” said Olu Ibrahim, founder of Kids in Tech. “We’re all consumers of technology, but through visits from people like Sam and Eva, kids can get a deeper understanding of what we can do with technology to make lives better. We were thrilled to collaborate with iRobot for this experiential learning.”