FCS Offers STEAM Lab Program for Low Income Youth

As part of the group of 2013 Technology Matching Fund awardees, the Filipino Community of Seattle received a grant from the City of Seattle’s Department of Information Technology to offer a technology instruction project for up to 50 youths starting this Fall.

“STEAM Lab, acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, exposes participants to computer tech literacy and robotics learning lab activities.  The curriculum teaches essential life skills training, collaboration, and teamwork. It helps them develop problem solving skills”, explained Jon Madamba, project manager.

The FCS is raising awareness in the area not only about addressing educational issues that youth in low income regions face, but also highlights the extensive opportunities that await those who pursue these STEM based careers that are in growing demand in Seattle and around the world.

“In Rainier valley, the hard work of improving those young lives and unlocking their potential is the goal through this program. We are targeting low-income, at-risk students in grades 8-12 located in Southeast Seattle for Filipino and other immigrant/refugee students who traditionally don’t get the chance to consider careers in the technology field.” Madamba added.

The project also aims to break the barriers for these students of color to take computer-based classes at their schools and seriously consider a high tech career to improve their quality of living.

The STEAM Lab project is an outgrowth of an earlier spring & summer program that saw scores of students create various robot designs and also digital 3-D artwork in virtual gaming environment.

The after-school classes for the low income youth will take place over 12 weeks at two Southeast Seattle Community centers, including East African Community Services through a portable technology media lab equipped with laptops, electronics, and robotics hardware.

There are several project partners including RaaSIO, a robotics organization, that assists in the training and Free Geek Seattle, a technology non-profit focused on sustainable computing by training youth and adults to refurbish computers and to use free open-source software operating systems. As part of the program, the FCS has created a tech donation center for older, unused computers which serves as the program material for youth learn from.

“In addition, we are working on engaging hi-tech professionals to serve as mentors for STEAM students and hoping to get them real work experiences in our local high tech companies,” said Madamba, who believes that engaging students in real world learning improves aspiring student achievement and future success. Students, who are interested in joining this STEAM Lab program, can call the Filipino Community Center at (206) 722-9372. Interested Volunteers and mentors can also call to get more information on how to participate and share their experiences.

FCS is seeking support from the community by requesting for your old, unused desktop or laptop computers to be donated to support the refurbishing training program. Interested corporate, government, or individual donors can schedule a donation drop off at http://bit.ly/donatemycomputer

Jon Madamba, FCS board member, is employed in high-tech software industry. He travels regularly to Europe where his employer is based.

As part of the group of 2013 Technology Matching Fund awardees, the Filipino Community of Seattle received a grant from the City of Seattle’s Department of Information Technology to offer a technology instruction project for up to 50 youths starting this Fall.

The STEAM Lab project is an outgrowth of an earlier spring & summer program that saw scores of students create various robot designs and also digital 3-D artwork in virtual gaming environment.  He travels regularly to Europe where his employer is based but always make sure he is in Seattle to work with the students.

The after-school classes for the low income youth will take place over 12 weeks at two Southeast Seattle Community centers, including East African Community Services through a portable technology media lab equipped with laptops, electronics, and robotics hardware.

There are several project partners including RaaSIO, a robotics organization, that assists in the training and Free Geek Seattle, a technology non-profit focused on sustainable computing by training youth and adults to refurbish computers and to use free open-source software operating systems. As part of the program, the FCS has created a tech donation center for older, unused computers which serves as the program material for youth learn from.

“In addition, we are working on engaging hi-tech professionals to serve as mentors for STEAM students and hoping to get them real work experiences in our local high tech companies,” said Madamba, who believes thatengaging students in real world learning improves aspiring student achievement and future success. Students, who are interested in joining this STEAM Lab program, can call the Filipino Community Center at (206) 722-9372. Interested Volunteers and mentors can also call to get more information on how to participate and share their experiences.
FCS is seeking support from the community by requesting for your old, unused desktop or laptop computers to be donated to support the refurbishing training program. Interested corporate, government, or individual donors can schedule a donation drop off at http://bit.ly/donatemycomputer