Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

NanoRaiders Creations: Creating Visible Positive Change in Communities through STEM

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trishpatnaik
Entry ID #: 9366
Created: Thu, Dec 31, 2020 12:02 AM


One of the greatest souls who ever visited this planet, Mahatma Gandhi, once said “to be the change you wish to see in the world”. As a global changemakers, we are working on popularizing STEM-activities locally, nationally, and internationally to extend opportunities and making a visible positive change in our societies. We embraced our STEM/robotic promotional journey right in the middle of digital divide. This divide exacerbated STEM-divide. The importance of STEM-promotion enhanced during digital divide. Lack of quality STEM-education and lack of good teachers in schools/communities are not helping bridge STEM-divide either. The NanoRaiders (60440A) of Bolingbrook High School (BHS) consists of members Trisha, Tejas, Arianna, Mathew, Nayantara, Yatziry, Emily, Alberto, Eric, Aidan, Ms. Ross (Sponsor), and Mr. Patnaik (Coach). We are the young Changemakers who are very active in promoting STEM locally in schools, district, community, and in state as well as outside.

Our early involvement in science and math classes, elementary school science fairs, continuing through middle schools and onto high school. It was very disheartening to see many students lacking interest in STEM during their formative years in middle schools. Student Participation was not encouraging in Robotics, Science, Math, Drone, and Tech clubs and was a challenge. Female member participation dropped alarmingly too due to peer pressure. Additionally, Female STEM-role models were few and far in between for inspiration, support, guidance and were not helping our cause either. Our team identified the problem, formed teams, and developed solutions with these STEM-clubs to promote curiosity and confidence among students. 

Role of technology in education has become more pronounced during COVID-19 lockdowns where online learning has become the order of the day. For ongoing STEM-outreach activities to continue, we realized that many under-privileged students needed access to digital devices. Technology should not be the reason to deprive others from learning. Hence, provision of remote digital devices is mandatory in bridging STEM-divide. At the height of pandemic since April 2020, when distant-learning became a reality, our national group initiative, ‘Devices for Under-served kids’ with 18-20 young changemakers, raised around $57,000 in 5-6-months of business campaigns through crowdfunding, volunteering, technical, corporate, free-will, and skill donations, to supply digital devices to students who were lacking devices to access remote-learning. North South Foundation matched our funds to make it grow to around $104,000. We have supplied 706-Chromebooks to 13-nationwide school/districts so far in states VA, OH, NH, NC, IL, GA, NY, and MI. We have the immediate goal to supply 1000-Chromebooks in nationwide-communities where demand exceeds supply. We are glad that our young changemakers national team could make a difference in students’ lives in nationwide communities,” they said.

Empathy, energy, excellence, and empowerment (4Es) are the founding pillars of our changemaking journey. We were a novice team with some prior experience in skills such as fundraising and organizing. We dismantled the status-quo and convinced others that we can do anything together as the sky is not the limit anymore. We guided our team to form a community for essentially allowing changes at our school, communities locally and nationally to take root. Creating awareness in our friends, officials, communities, and bringing outreach closer to them, where the need is, are essential for changing our communities. Our respective schools, teachers, and district officials supported and sustained our community-wide changemaking efforts.We have spent countless hours and performed numerous volunteering in STEM activities.

Currently, there is lot of interest that exists today at our school for more students to join. We can create additional VEX Teams at our school from next year. We will make sure that we adhere to our team motto of “WHOEVER YOU ARE, WHEREVER YOU GO, HONOR BOLINGBROOK, HONOR THE RAIDERS”. We will leave you with our final thought. Young community Changemaker, “NanoRaiders” is building better communities through STEM and inspiring one student, one school/organization, one community, one robot, one device, and lastly, one GOOGLE at a time!

The video submitted was created and managed by students who shot pictures/video using their regular phones and appropriate software and named under "NanoRaiders Creations" for public view. This creation is fully acknowledged here.

Links / Videos

BHS Robotic club (Nano Raiders) was established to increase awareness and exposure around “ALL THINGS STEM” in the community. The aim is to create a dialogue, partnership among fellow students for promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Programming activities and supplement knowledge gained in individual classes. The mission is to focus on student-centered learning that provides fun and challenging experiences while utilizing hands-on technologically enhanced ideas that inspires critical thinking, problem solving in a team collaborative environment. BHS Robotic club exposes students towards an innovative learning experience dedicated towards application of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and programming to compete with their counterparts elsewhere and also maximizes individual potential towards science and technology and encourage students to become well-equipped for college, future careers, and for life in a competitive global economy.

Video submission for the Community Online Challenge Sponsored by Google submitted by the Nano Raiders.