BBBSLI – Raspberry Pi and Sphero Workshop

With great success at our STEM workshop at BBBSLI this past saturday, Bigs’ and Littles’ were able to learn about Raspberry Pi circuits and work with Sphero kits. We all worked as a team and had fun while we were learning how to program. It was a great experience to share our knowledge of SpringBoard incubators Inc. Shoutout to our corporate and event partners for making events like this possible.

Thanks to Instructor Will King for giving us great insight on how to conduct a Raspberry Pi Circuit. Thanks to instructor Tuly Reyes and Marilyn Castro for helping our Bigs’ and Littles’ learn how to code and program a Sphero. More importantly special thanks to BBBSLI for having us.

Big Bother Big Sisters STEM Workshop and Mentoring – Part II

The second part of our workshop with BBBSLI will include the Raspberry PI. Here is another preview of the type of projects you can do with SpringBoard. If your organization is interested, please contact us at 516.414.2000. We (SpringBoard) put the fun in STEM Learning.

The Raspberry PI is a pocket computer. Yes, a really cool computer about the size of a credit card. For this project we will use the serial ports and a breadboard. Think of this as Engineering 101.

Raspberry Pi has a GPIO “General Purpose Input/Output” serial interface, that is composed of two parallel rows of metal pins. The GPIO provides an interface between the software and the physical world.

With these pins we can program the Raspberry Pi to interact with physical objects in the real world. We can receive signals from external sources such as a button or a device for measuring wind speed. We can also use it to control physical objects such as turning a light on and off or even operating a 3D printer. In this case The project you see in the photo below is the traffic light simulator.

After you learn how to connect the circuits on the breadboard, you will learn how to program the traffic light simulator in python. Pretty cool if you ask me. – By Tuly Reyes

Big Bother Big Sisters STEM Workshop and Mentoring

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island mission is to “create and support one-on-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-on-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. To this end, BBBSLI has many different mentoring programs, which you can learn more about by going to their website

SpringBoard will be doing a STEM workshop for Bigs’ and Littles’ on September 25, 2021. I am very excited to be part of the team that will be teaching the workshops. So what will we be doing? Here is a preview.

My workshop is a gentle introduction to robotics. I will introduce the concept of autonomous robotics using the SPRK + robot. What can Bigs and Littles expect? They will work together to program our robot to do simple tasks, hence, autonomous robotics. It will be a great learning experience and I cannot wait. – by Tuly Reyes

A Data Science Story: Data Analysis in Education and the Digital Divide

By Tuly Reyes & Chelsea Prudencio

As promised in our series, “A Data Science Story” this blog will provide insights into data from surrounding villages in Nassau County as it relates to Education and the Digital Divide. The data set was downloaded from the US Census for the following Villages: Rockville Centre, Freeport Village, Garden City, The Village of Hempstead, and Lynbrook.

Step 1: In Data Science terms, we “wrangled” the data. That means, remove blanks, and organize in a structure that we can use. We used Excel, and a nice trick to “transpose” the rows and columns, then saved it as a comma separated values (CSV).

Step 2: Next we need to explore the data. So we will use Google Colab. It is an excellent tool for data exploration and analysis, again in Data Science terms, this is EDA or Exploratory Data Analysis.

During our EDA, we noticed that “computer and internet access” were reported in percentages. And while the percentages looked good all around, we wondered what the impact would look like not in percentages but in terms of individual persons.

Here is our analysis:

Step 1: Data Wrangling

Using the US Census data (estimates for 2019) we wrangled the data and created a Utility Matrix that we will use for the calculations. Since we are focused on the Digital Divide and how it affects education we used the following data fields:

  • Total House Holds
  • Persons Per House Holds
  • Percent of House Holds with Computers
  • Percent of House Holds with Broadband Internet Access

Step 2: EDA & Hypothesis

Lets look at the bar chart as percentages

As you can see there is no dramatics differences exposed in this visualizations. Our hypothesis, or question we asked ourselves was: Would the impact look the same if we converted from percentages to actual numbers?

So we compute the number of Households and the Number of Persons affected by the digital divide in each of these villages. We took the inverse of the percentages for computers and internet access and use them in our computation.

  • Total households without computers = Total Households x (1 – PCT With Computers)
  • Total households without internet = Total Households x (1 – PCT with Internet)
  • Total persons without computers = (Total households without computers) x (Person Per Household)
  • Total persons without internet = (Total Household without internet) x (Persons per Household)

The results are shown by the table below:

Step 3: Conclusion & Impact

By taking the percentages and converting them to numbers show the real impact the “Digital Divide” has on communities in our area. Sometimes showing impact a as percentage does not bring to light the seriousness of the problem. In the case of Hempstead we can see that the access to computers and internet affects 5,010 + 10,891. A total of over 15,000 persons are impacted by the digital divide.

Now let’s take a look at the visualization and not percentages but as actual persons affected.

The results are obvious. The digital divide impact is now clear between villages in our select data sets. As aspiring data scientist, we are anomaly spotters and we let the data speak for itself.

A Data Science Story: We are in High Demand

Data scientists are “big data” wranglers, gathering and analyzing large sets of structured and unstructured data. A data scientist’s role combines computer science, statistics, and mathematics.  Data scientists are in high demand. They analyze, process, and model data then interpret the results to create actionable plans for companies and other organizations.

“Data scientists are anomaly spotters”, said Dr. Steven C. Lindo, Chairman & CEO of SpringBoard Incubators Inc. Meaning that they follow a technique for Exploratory Data Analysis (or EDA). This method uses data visualizations techniques to look for outliers in datasets.

At SpringBoard, our Data Science workshops use the Python programming language for data analysis. We use it natively or with platforms like Google Colab or Jupyter IPython.

Python is perfect for scientific computing, here are the main components you will learn to use at SpringBoard:

  • Basic Python: Basic data types (Containers, Lists, Dictionaries, Sets, Tuples), Functions, Classes
  • Numpy: Arrays, Array indexing, Datatypes, Array math, Broadcasting
  • Matplotlib: Plotting, Subplots, Images
  • Pandas: Data analysis methods and tools.
  • IPython or Colab: Creating notebooks, Typical workflows

Our next blog in “A Data Science Story” will use these tools to provide insights into census data from surrounding villages in Nassau County.

I Just Want To Learn

Knowledge is understanding gained through learning or experience. You read a recipe to gain knowledge about baking rhubarb pie. When it burns in the oven, experience gives you the knowledge that you need to stop doing three things at once. Fields like biology, math, art, medicine, and others have huge bodies of knowledge. Knowledge can mean information and also deeper understanding. You can use this word as a disclaimer too, as in “To my knowledge, my sister walked the dog.” – source

Learning leads to awareness but the most important thing is the knowledge that we gain. The definition of knowledge above, can be summarized this way. Awareness.

Today we have a very advanced technology at our finger tips. If we need some type of information we can quickly find it online. We also have the ability to read, communicate, ask, and above all discover to do something new every day.

I want to learn because …

I want to be a person full of knowledge. I want to continue learning until I can’t no more! I want to able to help other people and to continue sharpening my reasoning and problem solving skills. Thanks to Dr. Steven Lindo for his teachings, for motivating us and, for being a fantastic person. Make the most out of your summer and learn!

By Tuly Reyes

Torneo de Innovación Estudiantil

Un torneo de innovación es una competencia por equipos donde los estudiantes se reúnen para enfocarse en un problema específico. Nuestro torneo de innovación fue organizado por SpringBoard Incubators Inc en asociación con Sean John del 4 al 5 de junio de 2021.

El tema fue Justicia Social, y se nos pidió que brindemos soluciones desde nuestra perspectiva a problemas como:

  • La discriminación racial
  • Sesgo de sexualidad y género
  • Brecha salarial
  • Bienestar infantil
  • Trabajo infantil forzoso
  • Abuso y negligencia infantil
  • Pobreza e injusticia económica
  • Falta de recursos
  • Calidad de vida Sistema educativo
  • Cuidado de la salud

A la competencia asistimos estudiantes de las escuelas: Hempstead High School, Roosevelt Middle School, West Hempstead y Sewanhaka High School.

La competición duró dos días. El primer día fuimos juzgados por nuestras ideas y nuestros bocetos. El segundo día tuvimos que proporcionar un “prototipo en el que se puede hacer clic” y justificar nuestra solución.

Como incubadoras SpringBoard, los estudiantes tuvieron el privilegio de poder participar y trabajar con otros estudiantes. Aprendimos de nuestros entrenadores y mentores a medida que interactuamos con expertos de la industria y recibimos el aliento de los jueces. Fue una experiencia técnica interesante, informativa y práctica. ¡Sobre todo nos divertimos! Divertido aprendiendo cosas nuevas como crear un prototipo de aplicación, colaborar en equipo y crear soluciones en iniciativas educativas, compromiso cívico y liderazgo. ¡Todos deberíamos innovar, colaborar y crear!

Alissa Tokumoto primer lugar (centro), Irma Salmeron (Izquierda) tercero lugar, y Tuly Reyes (Derecha) tercero lugar

Muchas Gracias a Dr. Steven Lindo y todos los que participaron en este torneo, fue experiencia grandiosa porque aprendimos a innovacion sobre problemas que estan pasando actualmente.

SpringBoard se encuentra con el Instituto de Tecnología de Nueva York E.R.R.S.E.L.A

“Club de Computación” de las escuelas secundarias de Hempstead aprovechando al máximo su verano

Las primeras semanas de las vacaciones de verano para los adolescentes se pasan idealmente de compras, yendo a la playa y con la familia. Sin embargo, este no es el caso del “Computer Club” de Hempstead High School. El Computer Club se enfrentó al desafío de codificar la tecnología E.R.R.S.E.L.A. de el Instituto de Tecnología de Nueva York. (Robot de investigación ETIC para actividades de aprendizaje y participación de los estudiantes). A pesar de no tener experiencia en codificación, el grupo de jóvenes tuvo que afrontar la abrumadora tarea de forma remota a través de ZOOM.

E.R.R.S.E.L.A. es un robot desarrollado por el Instituto de Tecnología de Nueva York con el único propósito de desarrollar las habilidades y la disciplina para poder colaborar y participar en E.R.R.S.E.L.A. ‘ funcionalidad y diseño. Trabajando con E.R.R.S.E.L.A. el Computer Club adquirió conocimientos del mundo real sobre áreas relacionadas con la ingeniería y la ciencia de la computación.

Los miembros del Computer Club, Chelsea Prudencio y Alissa Tokomoto participan en uno de los diversos zooms.

Este programa de 10 días consistió en poner al Club de Computación en un curso intensivo de pensamiento crítico, resolución de problemas y diseño innovador. Al asistir al programa aquí en el SpringBoard Innovation Hub, el Computer Club pudo controlar E.R.R.S.E.L.A. de forma autónoma. Considerando E.R.R.S.E.L.A. se encuentra en la ubicación de NYIT en Old Westbury, presenciando a E.R.R.S.E.L.A. ser controlado a millas de distancia fue una maravilla. A través de prueba y error, el Computer Club pudo persistir y pudo poner a E.R.R.S.E.L.A. a través de varios movimientos mediante el uso de JavaScript. Para crear figuras en ocho a través de stop motion para crear múltiples cadenas de código, el Computer Club pudo hacerlo todo.

Muchas gracias a Michael Nizich, Ph.D, director del Centro de Innovación de Emprendimiento e Innovación Tecnológica (ETIC) de el Instituto de Tecnología de Nueva York, quien creó E.R.R.S.E.L.A. (Robot de investigación ETIC para actividades de aprendizaje y participación de los estudiantes), por brindarles a nuestros estudiantes ansiosos la oportunidad de trabajar con E.R.R.S.E.L.A. y exponerlos a carreras potenciales en Ciencias de la Computación e Ingeniería. Para obtener más información sobre E.R.R.S.E.L.A. haga clic aquí

SpringBoard meets the New York Institute of Technologies E.R.R.S.E.L.A.

Hempstead High Schools “Computer Club” Making the Most of Their Summer

The initiating weeks of summer vacation for teenagers is ideally spent shopping, going to beaches, and or with family. However this is not the case for the Hempstead High School “Computer Club”. The Computer Club was met with the challenge of coding New York Techs E.R.R.S.E.L.A. (ETIC Research Robot for Student Engagement & Learning Activities). Despite having no coding experience the group of young individuals had to face the daunting task remotely over ZOOM.

E.R.R.S.E.L.A. is a robot developed by the New York Institute of Technology with the sole purpose of developing the skills and discipline to be able to collaborate and take part in E.R.R.S.E.L.A.’ functionality and design. Through working with E.R.R.S.E.L.A. the Computer Club gained real world knowledge of areas surrounding computer engineering and science.

Computer Club members, Chelsea Prudencio and Alissa Tokomoto participating in one of the various zooms.

This 10 day program was consisted of putting the Computer Club through a crash course of critical thinking, problem solving, and innovative designing. Attending the program here at the SpringBoard Innovation Hub the Computer Club was able to control E.R.R.S.E.L.A. autonomously. Considering E.R.R.S.E.L.A. is located at the NYIT location in Old Westbury, witnessing E.R.R.S.E.L.A. being controlled miles away was a marvel to experience. Through trial and error the Computer Club was able to persist and was able to put E.R.R.S.E.L.A. through various motions by the use of JavaScript. To creating figure eights through stop motion to creating multiple strings of code, the Computer Club was able to do it all.

Computer Club member (Chelsea Prudencio) and her work to program E.R.R.S.E.L.A.

Big thank you to Michael Nizich, Ph.D, director of New York Tech’s Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC), who created E.R.R.S.E.L.A. (ETIC Research Robot for Student Engagement and Learning Activities), for giving our eager students a chance to work with E.R.R.S.E.L.A. and exposing them to potential careers in Computer Sciences and Engineering. To learn more about E.R.R.S.E.L.A. click here