May 15, 2013

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The Little Engineer That Could

13-year-old Sebastian Gomez works on a robot

Time Warner Cable’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America continues to produce exciting results in the world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). As part of its Connect a Million Minds philanthropic initiative, TWC sponsored after-school robotics programs at 20 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.

We recently caught up with Sebastian Gomez, a seventh grader in Dallas, whose story illustrates how the TWC – BGC partnership is inspiring young minds to pursue their dreams. You can watch his story here:

In the video, you see and hear a lot about RoboTech and FIRSTRobotics. There is a difference between the two programs. RoboTech is an introduction to robotics for kids ages 6 – 13. These younger students build and program smaller and less complex robots made by Lego Mindstorms.

FIRST Robotics is an advanced program, typically reserved for high school students. The robots are larger, more mobile and perform more difficult tasks.

A RoboTech after-school program at the Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club

The TWC-sponsored robotics programs are unique because they offer inner-city youth an after-school alternative other than athletics. Many at-risk kids do not have access to the equipment and technology and TWC’s sponsorship provides funding for those expensive needs.

“Our goal with Connect a Million Minds is to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on activities like robotics, with the hope they will pursue these fields in the future,” says Leah Gutstadt, Manager of Strategic Philanthropy for Time Warner Cable. “Clearly, that’s happening to Sebastian with his move from RoboTech to FIRST Robotics. It’s wonderful that TWC was able to play a role in sparking his interest.”

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