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Top Of The Class: Mass STEM Week Gets Kids Excited About STEM

Podcast | October 20, 2019

Under the Radar with Callie Crossley

Listen here:
https://www.wgbh.org/news/science-and-technology/2019/10/19/mass-stem-week

Most jobs these days require at least some skill in the fields of STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Classes in STEM education are integrated in K-12 curriculum across the country and here in the Bay State. That’s why for the second year in a row, Massachusetts has instituted a week-long initiative aiming to get kids excited about STEM with a long term goal of building a pipeline of skilled workers ready to join the ranks of its growing STEM workforce. Mass STEM Week includes a variety of special events and activities organized by participating schools and STEM outreach organizations.

Guests:

Lisa Freed – STEM Program Manager at the Bedford-based robotics company, iRobot. Lisa is an engineer and a 2017 Women Worth Watching award winner.

Andrew Deschenes – Associate Mechanical Engineer at iRobot.

Olu Ibrahim – Founder and CEO of the Lowell-based organization, Kids in Tech, which partners with schools to provide after-class STEM activities to students ages 8-14.

How Kids in Tech Teaches Lowell-Area Children About Computer Engineering

News Article | October 12, 2019

By Rowan Walrath Staff Writer for BostInno

Traffic between Cambridge and Lowell was so bad that I nearly didn’t make it to Kids In Tech’s after-school program. By the time I arrived, just a few elementary schoolers were in the space, scattered across a wooden floor, poring over blueprints for Piper Computer Kits.

But even by 5:30 p.m. on a weekday, the enthusiasm hadn’t waned. As soon as I stepped in the door, a 9-year-old girl, wearing a giant pink bow around her small black ponytail, bounced right up to me.

“Can you help me?” she asked.

I agreed and kneeled down next to her blueprint, trying to figure out which of the many green cords tangled together in the Piper kit was the correct one to attach to the Raspberry Pi she was building. 

This girl, Frances, is one of dozens of kids who meet every two weeks at Coalition for a Better Acre in Lowell. They’re all part of Kids in Tech’s after-school program, designed to get the children of the Merrimack Valley interested in STEM, with a particular focus on computer science and engineering, while they’re still young.

Read More > “How Kids in Tech Teaches Lowell-Area Children About Computer Engineering”

Gratitude Report 18

Annual Report | July 2, 2019

At Kids in Tech, we call our annual report the Gratitude Report because we are grateful:

  • Grateful for the hundreds of donors and volunteers passionate about ensuring kids get access to high quality technology education in the after-school setting.
  • Grateful for our community partners working to make a difference.
  • Grateful for our team of experienced staff, volunteers, and donors who ensure all kids see a clear pathway to the tech industry earlier in their educational trajectory.
Read More > “Gratitude Report 18”

Kids in Tech Founder featured on panel STEM Leaders: Encouraging Diversity & Nurturing Talent

Press Release | June 12, 2019

Olu Ibrahim shares how the Lowell-based nonprofit program uses hands-on learning to teach students about advancing technologies

Lowell, MA ( June 12, 2019) On Tuesday, Olu Ibrahim, founder of nonprofit Kids in Tech, participated in a panel discussion of STEM leaders: Encouraging Diversity & Nurturing Talent, at the Innovation Women Pop-up at LiveWorx 2019, the definitive event for digital transformation for the enterprise and marketplace for solutions engineered for a smart, connected world.

Ibrahim was chosen for her expertise on empowering women for STEM and her nonprofit’s model of afterschool programming that encourages kids to ask questions and pursue careers in technology.

“It was great to engage in a meaningful conversation regarding how we go about getting more kids, especially girls, interested in STEM earlier and sustain interest for the long haul,” said Ibrahim . “When people think about why it is important to have a diverse and inclusive talent pool in STEM fields, they often think of it as a nicety. No, it’s a necessity. We get better solutions.

Read More > “Kids in Tech Founder featured on panel STEM Leaders: Encouraging Diversity & Nurturing Talent”

Kids in Tech, Inc. Named Recipient for Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 Grant Program

Press Release | June 6, 2019

Nonprofit uses hands-on learning to teach students in Lowell about advancing technologies through after school programming

Representing Kids in Tech, Inc., Olu Ibrahim, Founder and CEO joined approximately 300 other guests at a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of the grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $260 million to Greater Boston nonprofits alone.

“Kids in Tech is beyond excited to have been selected as a $100K for 100 grant recipient,” said Olu Ibrahim, Founder and CEO of Kids in Tech. “This grant will help expand our afterschool tech club program, providing more kids with the skills they need for the jobs of the future earlier in the afterschool setting.”

From fashion tech to blogging, this grant will assist Kids in Tech afterschool tech club program in inspiring creativity across the board as well as strengthening their computer science, computer literacy, and computational thinking skills. Overall, this grant will help Kids in Tech ensure more kids develop the necessary tech skills and aptitudes to participate in and be future leaders of innovation economy.

Read More > “Kids in Tech, Inc. Named Recipient for Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 Grant Program”

Kids in Tech after school tech club program takes a field trip to UMass Lowell Fabric Discovery Center

Press Release | April 24, 2019

Lowell– In recent weeks, Lowell-based nonprofit Kids in Tech has taken students from their three program sites in Lowell: Moody Elementary School, Lowell Housing Authority and Coalition for a Better Acre on a series of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) field trips. Most recently to the UMass Lowell Fabric Discovery Center (FDC) where students had the opportunity to explore the Center’s Fashion Makerspace.

Upon arrival, Tech Club students were introduced to some high-tech equipment and toured the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation Center. They also had the opportunity to make glow in the dark gloves and chat with Fashion Makerspace staff about pursuing a career in STEM.

“It’s an honor to have groups like Kids in Tech visit us at the Fabric Discovery Center because they’re the future of our world,” said Diana Coluntino, Fashion Makerspace Director at the Fabric Discovery Center. “The more curiosity that they have now the more experience they’ll gain in creating and thinking and developing ideas for future use.”

Read More > “Kids in Tech after school tech club program takes a field trip to UMass Lowell Fabric Discovery Center”

Register of Deeds Richard P. Howe, Jr. visits students at the Moody School with the Kids in Tech afterschool Tech Club Program

Press Release | March 20, 2019

LOWELL – On Tuesday, March 19, Middlesex North Register of Deeds Richard P. Howe, Jr., joined Kids in Tech to teach students at the Moody School about the history of the City of Lowell, the role of the Register of Deeds, and the evolution of technology going back to the earliest days of the City’s founding.

“The City of Lowell has been home to some of the most impactful technology pioneers in history, looking all the way back to the earliest advances in commerce in the area,” said Register Howe. “You can look right in our backyard to see the very start of technology and industry, and having the opportunity to speak to the students in the Kids in Tech program was a great opportunity to share that history and background with a new generation of people who call Lowell home. The kids were incredibly engaged and I was so impressed by their insight and curiosity. Kids in Tech is making a huge impact on this community.”

Read More > “Register of Deeds Richard P. Howe, Jr. visits students at the Moody School with the Kids in Tech afterschool Tech Club Program”