This month, Vector partnered with AI Revolution Foundation to bring robotics and programming workshops for out-of-school youth in the Philippines aged 15-19 years old to spark their interest in STEM.
Last February, Vector, along with Polish AI foundation Meet IT, hosted basic robotics and algorithm programming workshops for out-of-school children in less privileged neighborhoods. The 5 workshops held over a span of 1 week gathered over 150 students aged 16-18 for hands-on STEM exercises meant to spark their interest in technical career paths.
The workshop attendees were youth from several Philippine foundations including Gawad Kalinga in Metro Manila, ALS (Alternative Learning System) in Batangas, and Benilde HiFi (Hub of Innovation for Inclusion of the College of St. Benilde). The attendees were selected based on their interest in growing their technical skills.
The children worked in small teams of 4 and were each given a robotics set and a laptop to program specific routines for their mini robots. They were extremely excited about the chance to work with these technology tools, items not part of their regular curriculum. The ALS lead coordinator Rafael Anzaldo said his students were very grateful for the opportunity and felt both challenged and inspired learning from the workshop leaders. Many children were already asking Rafael for another session.
The partners from AI Revolution Foundation were very excited about the results and response to the workshops. Marek, founder of the AI Revolution Foundation, said that this experience was encouraging because it verified that this method of teaching can produce outcomes. AI Revolution Foundation was using teaching modules that they plan to launch with their 2-year programming technical course that will prepare underprivileged youth for a full-time IT job to support themselves and their community.
This initiative is part of Vector’s three prong mission - providing unique one-of-a-kind mentorship opportunities to new entrepreneurs by connecting them with experienced startup operators, investing in tech startups across Southeast Asia, and focusing on inclusion of disadvantaged communities with basic technology workshops for at-risk youth.