Kids Who {Code}: Empowering the STEM Leaders of Tomorrow

March 8, 2018

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Science. Technology. Engineering. Math…these are the disciplines of our generation’s future leaders, and Think Research is committed to supporting their growth and development.

Think Research opened its doors for the third annual visit from Mr. Cameron Steltman’s 6th grade class from River Oaks Public School (in Oakville, Ontario). During this lively event, kids were given the opportunity to learn all about the world of technology and software coding, and were paired with coders for a hands-on experience in software development and programming.

It’s the ultimate tech field trip, with an interesting history. A few years back, Think Research’s CEO Sachin Aggarwal and Chief Operating Officer Joanna Carroll came across Steltman’s class when they were featured on CBC News. Due to a lack of opportunity in the Ontario curriculum, Steltman had been coordinating the instruction of computer science in one of his classes. With technology a rapidly expanding field, introducing computer science into the educational system at an early age is something we strongly believe in at Think Research, so we partnered with Steltman to create an annual field trip. We hope to educate, inspire and empower these students to use technology as a tool to solve some of the world’s greatest problems.

The day began with an engaging presentation from Saurabh Mukhi, Chief Technology Officer at Think Research, who outlined the history of computer science, with some detail around future directions. The students were then separated into teams to take part in a ‘Marshmallow Tower’ competition. The competition was not only exciting – but most importantly, promoted critical thinking, teamwork and perseverance in the face of adversity or roadblocks.

As the day continued, kids were paired up with groups of developers, and were tasked with building their own online ‘rock-paper-scissors’ game. And what’s a field trip without snacks? The students enjoyed a tasty pizza lunch and cupcakes, and their enthusiasm was absolutely contagious.

This wildly successful program is being expanded over the coming years, and we look forward to supporting our community by fostering the next generation of leaders to embrace technology and software. For these kids, experiences like these help to lay the foundation for a promising career. Kids can learn that coding doesn’t need to be overwhelming or daunting, and that it can actually be an enjoyable, career-sustaining activity.

 To learn more about this event, and to catch CBC’s past coverage of it click here.

Steltman had “never seen permission forms for a school field trip returned so quickly.” The future is bright, and we are looking forward to the years ahead – and in the next decade or two, some capable new additions to our Think Research team.