Let Kids Be Kids. Especially The Genius Ones.

Maybe if I'd gotten involved in something like this at a young age, I would be creating life-saving robots and not, you know, posting videos on the Internet all day.

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Shazia Syed: The fact that their experience has been so positive that they're going into things at this age thinking math, science, engineering are just the coolest things around. So that is really important to me at this young age.

Melissa Jawaharlal: Why is STEM important? Science, technology, engineering, math are the foundations of everything we do. If you take a second to look around us, everything was built by an engineer, a scientist. Some scientist, some engineer did everything to go into that project, whether it's the chair you're sitting on, the clothes that you're wearing, the car that you drove to get here, whatever it is, the food, it's all part of some sort of scientist's invention.

Now in order to continue moving forward, our country has to be producing engineers and scientists to help that growth and to help that movement. Our goal as engineers, as women, is to excite truly the next generation of engineers, to push kids to understand their potential, to expose them to the excitement of design, the excitement of invention, the excitement of STEM, and engineering from a young age. We want them excited, we want them open minded, we want them to understand the physical applications and the physical meaning of concepts.

Robotics is increasingly being considered the fourth R, so you have your reading, your writing, your arithmetic, and your robotics. Now robotics is a fun, engaging way to bring in all the concepts of STEM in one way, in one method. What we do at our STEM Center is we want to bring in the best platforms and the most cutting edge technology available throughout the robotics field.

We develop our curriculum often so that they're uniquely applicable for your student, for students of all ages, for students of different backgrounds and different interests. Some of our platforms are more oriented towards building, some of them are more oriented towards programming. We have windmills, wind turbines, renewable energy programs. We have programs where kids are learning to follow black lines, recognize different colors, different platforms, different technologies, and our students are able to use all those technologies in one area and practice their creativity.

Lavanya Jawaharlal: We have different programs that we offer. So we have in-school programs, after-school programs, camps, and students that come into our center.

Melissa Jawaharlal: Between first grade all the way up until middle school and high school, they get to go through a whole process of designing, building, and programming. Then just really being able to see their finished project and showing it to their parents, showcasing everything that they've learned.

One of the oldest proverbs that you hear is to not reinvent the wheel, and here at the center we tell all our instructors that's not how we run things. We want every kid to reinvent the wheel. We want kids to learn through discovery. We minimize our talking, and kids maximize their work and their learning.

Lavanya Jawaharlal: When an instructor comes into a classroom we want the kids to be able to relate to them. So all our instructors are around juniors and seniors in college in some sort of STEM field. Many of our instructors are engineers themselves. And the reason we do that is, if we're trying to get our younger generation to go into STEM fields, then why shouldn't our instructors be engineers or mathematicians themselves. It's to show the kids that being an engineer is cool, it's fun, and it's something that's totally relatable to young kids. It's to get them inspired to be those engineers in a few years and to be the ones that are teaching new kids the next generation of technology.

Rohun Sharma: My name is Rohun Sharma, and my favorite part of STEM Center is building.

Dwarak Reddy: My name is Dwarak, and my favorite part of robotics is the sense of accomplishment.

Alicia Wang: My name is Alicia, and my favorite part about STEM Center USA is building robotics and practicing my creativity.

There may be small errors in this transcript.

This video was made by and for STEM Center USA, whose goal is to inspire the next generation of leaders by inspiring kids at a young age. To find out more about STEM's Kickstarter, please click here.

Feb 21, 2014

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