Aug. 2—High school students Parth Haria, Kyle Davis and Logan Abel strive to make STEM education accessible to children in the community through robotics and programming camps.
The three run the midwest branch of a nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts, MC3D, which was originally founded about four years ago by Haria's cousin Neev Maru.
MC3D consists of high school students who create camps for children with the goal of spreading STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education, according to its website.
In the past year, Haria said he founded the Midwest branch and, along with Abel and Davis, began holding STEM camps for children in the community.
"Something that we want to focus on for all of our camps is starting that STEM education through a community that doesn't really have that much exposure to it," Haria said. "STEM raised me. Growing up, STEM had a huge impact on my life ... and I really want to give that same experience that I had to the kids around here."
Recently, the team worked with MentorKids Kentucky to provide a free camp for children from underprivileged families.
MentorKids Kentucky, according to its website, seeks to positively impact children from single-parent and non-traditional households by promoting academic excellence, character building, social responsibilities, relational and skill development.
"When this was founded originally four years ago, we really wanted to focus big parts of this organization on underprivileged families ... because those are the families that have that lack of exposure to STEM topics. Every child has a light inside of them," Haria said. "Us holding these camps is a way to find that light in each kid that gives them that experience and exposure to STEM topics that they might've not seen before."
The team also holds paid camps throughout the summer which help fund free camps.
During the camps, Abel said the kids get hands-on experience with introductory level robotics, learn how different programming ideas come together and how to put those skills to use in the real world, such as in an engineering job.
"I've always been interested in STEM and robotics for a while and have competed in competitions. I remember the feelings of exhilaration ... from doing these kinds of things because when you actually think of something and you create something and you put hard work into something, it has a measurable impact somewhere else and you can see the success really happening in front of you," Davis said. "It's a great opportunity, and to give that to kids who have interest in STEM ... and allowing them to basically have a hands-on interaction with that kind of thing, I think it not only propels their interest in that field ... but it also helps them to develop that confidence that they can do this and create things that matter to people and do things in my head that will create a measurable impact."
Christie Netherton, email@example.com, 270-691-7360