During the Fall 2013 semester, SWE members Michelle Messenger (also the club's president in Old Westbury) and Adrianna Maldonado initiated a new outreach program for 6th graders in the New York metropolitan area. Inspired by NYIT's partnership with Citizen Schools, Messenger and Maldonado volunteered weekly at the Renaissance School of the Arts in Harlem for a period of ten weeks, during which they taught a group of middleschoolers an apprenticeship course for robotics and programming. At the end of the 10 week program, the sixth-grade students were able to make their robots successfully complete a maze course using sensors.
On her decision to reach out to these students, Messenger said, "all middle school students have the potential to discover a love of learning that will inspire and prepare them to succeed in high school, college, the workforce and civic life, but without enough relevant learning activities and involved adults, too many kids are dropping out." She found her volunteer work fulfilling, and claimed, "the students' transformation and growth was incredible and amazing to watch."
Messenger and Maldonado have plans to continue their efforts into the Spring 2014 semester, when they will return to the Renaissance School of the Arts to teach Generation Technology. This new course will teach students the basics of electricity, and give them the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of electrical engineering.
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