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  • Writer's pictureSilicon Valley Education Foundation

49ers STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) — 7th Grader dominates CoderZ Robotics

Students have been hosting weekly after-school sessions for the 4th graders at Pomeroy Elementary for the last two months and counting. Saying that this opportunity has been excellent would be an understatement. Simply watching these kids’ passions grow and seeing them build their STEM community have made these sessions worth every effort.

The first 14-week curriculum was carefully curated with an end objective: to familiarize students with the engineering design process. Therefore, every weekly session is specially designed to focus on a crucial process step while incorporating engaging group activities that encourage creativity and allow them to pursue their passions.

Although seeing their progress fills our SLI juniors and seniors with excitement, seeing the students develop a tight-knit STEM community and comfortability with one another fills them with joy. Our students will never forget Jacob, the shy kid who cried during his first week. But the moment a classmate took his hand and showed him a robot for the first time, he immediately wiped his tears and asked the most questions out of everyone. Four weeks later, he’s made a close group of friends and is exuberant in sharing his ideas. And this is what it's all about. We hope that, more than anything, every one of these kids graduates the program knowing they have a STEM family that will support them wherever they go.

In our upcoming session next week, as a part of teaching students how to use fabrication tools such as 3D printers and laser cutters, we will introduce them to computer-aided design and give them the freedom to turn any image they want into a custom stamp. We can’t wait to see what they create!

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