…Q. Why are you starting a robotics program for kids?
A. At MAKO, we had over 100 engineers and were doing all these H1 Visas. It didn’t make sense to me why there weren’t more American engineers coming out from the education system that can contribute directly. I started working with a lot of the schools and universities here. For the United States to continue to be strong, we need more engineers to innovate. The data were showing where you can have the largest impact on influencing directionally is to get more middle school students excited about engineering. We’ve supported various efforts over the last five years in inner-city schools. It has been rewarding, but I felt we weren’t moving fast enough and struggled with how to measure success and how to scale. So this year we took on a different approach.
We brought in experts in various disciplines and embarked on a one-year pilot to take the concept to the next level. So we put together a really unique curriculum where we brought in a Stanford University professor, Ken Salisbury, and the kids got a virtual tour of one of the best biorobotics labs in the world. We had them build robotic arms, similar to what we did at MAKO, and we had a whole curriculum around anatomy and physiology. Once they built it, we showed them how these are being used, we brought them to Larkin Hospital, where they met a renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Carlos Lavernia. They saw how the robotics arms were being used in medicine. We brought them to the Stryker-MAKO facility, where they met engineers, including engineers that came out of their neighborhoods and are great role models. What really got them excited was a visit from One Laptop Per Child’s CEO Rodrigo Arboleda. His research has shown that when you give a laptop, the logical thing to do is build things on it, and the process develops kids’ creative thinking.
Now we are looking at how we can implement this within schools starting in South Florida. We are bringing into the process art and creativity, we had Pharrell talk to these kids. We are going to follow and mentor these 20 kids for the next few years and bring in more kids. We’ll see where this goes, but we are very excited about it. We had a staff of 15 people working on this project over the summer with all the right disciplines in place.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/24/4304536/qa-with-maurice-ferre-whats-next.html#storylink=cpy
This year, TEDxMiami’s fourth annual Fall Conference celebrates the power of innovation and different viewpoints which innovators bring to longstanding problems. Our speakers will provoke you to Live Differently, Work Differently, Play Differently, Learn Differently, and most importantly, to Be the Difference.
Be part of a catalyst moment for Miami
With more speaking applications received than ever before, Miami is certainly bursting at the seams with innovative and disruptive ideas. With the platform set, we can help take these ideas worth spreading and continue supporting them to the next level. Join us for a night of connection, inspiration and action!
The networking reception is at the Knight Concert Hall Lobby from 6-7pm. Doors to the auditorium open at 6:30pm. Concessions are available throughout the evening however, food is not allowed in the auditorium. Mingle with attendees at the after-party immediately following the event in the lobby.
Speaker Line-Up (revealed thus far)
Rodrigo Arboleda – One Laptop per Child, Revisited
Risa Berrin – Health Information Project
Richard Weiner – The Virtues of Gossip
Anabelle K. Paulino – A Modern Twist on an Ancient Memory Technique
John E. Lewis, Ph.D – A Solution for Your Health Care is Ringing. Will You Answer the Call?
Fernando Fabre – Creating An (Entrepreneurial) Mafia
Rodrigo Arboleda is the CEO of One Laptop Per Child Association, an organization that has distributed 2.7 million XO computers around the world, and which just marked a milestone in Colombia with the delivery of 11,000 laptops to children in public schools in Itagüí. He has also just been honored in Miami as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in that city. A special Colombian man.
Photo – La Semana.com Colombia
Translation from a post in REVISTA SEMANA of Colombia, the most prestigious magazine of the country.
The University of Miami’s Butler Center for Service and Leadership held an event this past week called “Canes for a Change”, the event is a week held annually in September where students are introduced to the ideas of volunteerism and leadership.
This year, several OLPC Miami volunteers:
Adriana Gonzalez; Yizhou Mao; and Lindsay Acton, took the initiative to set up a table on behalf of OLPC to inform local students about the work OLPC is doing in the community and to get UM students interested and involved in volunteering with OLPC.
The volunteers hosting the OLPC stand were surprised to learn many students already knew about OLPC and were very excited to receive such a positive response from UM’s student body. Over 40 students visited the table and signed up to be a part of OLPC volunteer program in Miami.
The Knight Foundation yesterday announced it would join community leaders from Charlotte, North Carolina in contributing to Project L.I.F.T., a 5-year $55M+ project to improve education in West Charlotte schools. (It began last January with a $40M round of fundraising; and this year raised another $15M.)
Knight’s contribution will fund a community engagement coordinator to keep parents and local communities in touch with the project as it develops, and for an OLPC program (including XOs and training) for all students and teachers in grades K-5 in the L.I.F.T. schools: roughly 3,200 in all.
This builds on our work together earlier this year, to develop a digital literacy program at Holmes Elementary School in Miami. Our experience so far suggests that giving elementary students access to computers – and letting them take them home and use them with their families – helps promote better informed and engaged communities.
We are delighted to see this new project take off within the framework of the existing L.I.F.T project. And looking forward to working more closely with the Knight Foundation, whose input has already informed some of our practices. Their background is in community engagement rather than education, which complements the viewpoints of our other partners. And the added focus on community engagement is one of those necessary elements that can make all the difference in longevity and impact.
Children receiving XOs in Miami’s Holmes Elementary School
One Laptop per Child Association was honored by the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partner, for their contributions to the local economy in terms of job creation, business expansion, corporate citizenship and industry leadership.
The 10th Annual Beacon Awards were held at the new Miami Marlins Park and attendees had an opportunity to mingle with industry leaders and notable public figures. One Laptop per Child’s Senior Vice President of Operations, Roberto Interiano, accepted the judges’ special award, sponsored by Baptist Health Systems.
Names can be confusing at times. Take “One Laptop per Child“: should the per be capitalized? This was debated long after logos and t-shirts had been designed. OLPC has included two separate non-profits since its inception:
A 501c4 association, originally set up to execute the mission of the project (Formally: ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD ASSOCIATION, INC – no acronym, capitalization question avoided via ALL CAPS registration)
A 501c3 foundation, originally set up to receive tax-deductible donations to support the mission (Formally: OLPC Foundation or OLPCF – acronym, just to make things complicated)
At first, most OLPC work was associated with the Association (ha!) and the Foundation dealt only with fundraisers and the like. Last year, we started dividing effort between the two bodies. Our projects focused on the poorest countries, remote access, and rebuilding after disasters and conflicts, moved to the Foundation. Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby, a supporter of OLPC since its inception, was invited to lead the Association, which took more explicit responsibility for long-term support for stable deployments and work in Latin America. They set up headquarters in Miami, originally with a staff of two. Now they have a solid team, a new Board, and the first OLPC baby…
This week the Association hosted a coming out party in the South Floriday community, with a debut breakfast for supporters, featuring Samuel Dusengiyumva from the OLPC Rwanda team, who spoke about Rwanda’s plans for the future.