Unleashing Creativity: Exploring Arduino Uno and the Car Project with Young Innovators

The workshop on Arduino Uno had already left a lasting impact on both the children and myself. As we transitioned to the Car Project, I was eager to witness how the newfound knowledge from the Blink Project would shape the children’s understanding and enthusiasm for this more complex challenge. The excitement in the room was visible as the children gathered around their workstations, eager to embark on the next adventure. The Car Project required them to build a small robot car using Arduino Uno and various components like motors, sensors, and wheels. The task was more intricate than the Blink Project, but the children’s eagerness and confidence had grown significantly since the beginning of the workshop. The children’s previous experience with the Blink Project proved to be invaluable. They approached the Car Project with a newfound sense of enthusiasm, curiosity, and determination. It was evident that they saw the potential of applying their skills to create something more substantial and interactive.

The knowledge gained from the Blink Project laid a solid foundation for understanding the basics of Arduino programming and circuitry, which were essential for the Car Project’s success. Many of the children displayed an intuitive understanding of wiring and coding, making the initial setup and configuration more seamless. Throughout the Car Project, I noticed how the children embraced the repetitive process. They were not afraid to experiment, test, and revise their designs as they encountered challenges along the way. The willingness to adapt and learn from their mistakes showcased a newfound level of confidence and resilience, which I believe was fostered by the Blink Project’s debugging exercises.

One of the most remarkable transformations I witnessed was the emergence of natural leaders and collaborators among the children. Those who had excelled in the Blink Project took on mentorship roles, guiding their peers through the complexities of the Car Project. This collaboration created a positive learning environment, where knowledge was freely shared, and everyone felt supported in their exploration. Moreover, the Car Project fostered an appreciation for STEM disciplines among the children.

They began to see how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics intertwined in the real world, motivating them to pursue further studies and careers in these fields. As the workshop drew to a close, I was filled with a sense of fulfillment. The journey from the Blink Project to the Car Project showcased how these children had evolved into confident and creative young innovators. They had harnessed the power of Arduino Uno, gained a deep understanding of electronics and coding, and most importantly, developed a passion for learning and problem-solving.

Empowering Young Minds: A Workshop with Arduino Uno and the Blink Project

As I entered the workshop on Arduino Uno and the Blink Project, little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey filled with inspiration and wonder. The room was abuzz with excitement as the children eagerly gathered around the tables, their eyes sparkling with curiosity and anticipation. The prospect of assisting /teaching them about electronics and coding felt both thrilling and daunting.

At the beginning, Lead Instructor Peiyan introduced the concept of Arduino Uno, explaining how it served as the heart of our projects and the gateway to the world of electronics. The children were attentive, absorbing every word as he guided them through the basics. Witnessing their enthusiasm and genuine interest reassured me that we were about to create something truly special. Next came the Blink Project – a simple yet pivotal task that entailed programming an LED to blink on and off. To the children it was a revelation. As they meticulously connected wires, input components, and wrote lines of code, I witnessed the birth of their inquisitive minds transitioning into young engineers.

However, challenges arose along the way. Some children faced frustration when their LEDs refused to blink or the code produced unexpected outcomes. As an intern, I learned that patience and encouragement were vital. Guiding them through the debugging process taught me the art of instilling resilience and determination in young learners. The true beauty of the workshop lay in the children’s creativity. As they mastered the basics, they started experimenting with different components and pushing the limits of their projects. Witnessing the emergence of unique ideas and innovative solutions filled me with immense pride. I realized that the workshop was not just about teaching technical skills, but also about fostering creativity and confidence in these budding minds. Moreover, the workshop underscored the power of collaborative learning. The children formed bonds, shared ideas, and helped each other troubleshoot. It was heartwarming to see how they leaned on one another, encouraging teamwork and camaraderie. Throughout the workshop, I also learned valuable lessons. I discovered the significance of adapting my assisting approach to suit each child’s learning style, ensuring that no one felt left behind. I witnessed firsthand that children thrive when given the freedom to explore and experiment, even if it leads to mistakes.

In conclusion, the workshop on Arduino Uno and the Blink Project was a transformative experience for both the children and me. It reminded me of the boundless potential that young minds possess and how important it is to nurture their passion for learning. By empowering them with knowledge and the confidence to explore, we lay the foundation for a generation of innovative thinkers and problem solvers. I left the workshop with a renewed sense of purpose, knowing that I had played a small part in shaping these bright minds and igniting their passion for technology.

SpringBoard Animation Pilot

SpringBoard Animation Pilot – by Brandon L

In February 2022 I had the idea of opening an animation studio. Of course, it will take some time & effort, but I am very passionate. Passionate enough that I’m willing to put in the effort. Weeks went by and before I knew it, it was March. I had to rethink my actions. Then the CEO of Springboard suggested a workshop, a “pilot”. Students from local high schools can come in and learn the basics of animation, a course that most colleges would teach but high schools did not. We decided to plan our upcoming “pilot” for the summer of 2022.

As the months of planning & collaborating with other schools & youth programs went by, we hired a brilliant instructor name Lopez. He is an awesome animator. He downloaded a free animation program called Kirita which is simple for the students to use. Then the big day arrived. On August 27th, 5 students came in ready to learn the basics of animation. It was a free open house that would run for 2 hours. The 5 students certainly enjoyed their time with each other. 2 of them were high schooler One high schooler was Eva. Her younger brother, Jaden was in middle school. This pilot was geared towards high schoolers but her brother showed interest in the program and so we allowed him to come along too.

BBBSLI – Raspberry Pi and Sphero Workshop

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 instructors 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.

Black Animators in the Animation Industry

The animation industry truly began it’s “revolution” in the late 1960s when more and more animated films were produced and released in the public. You’d think it would be the “Walt-Era” when Disney films were being released as the years went by but so many other companies besides Disney were keeping up as well. Regardless, many people found opportunity to find jobs in the animation industry.

June 22nd 1935 in Santa Barbara, California was the day the first African-American animator was born. His name is Floyd Norman. Currently 86 years old but still very active in the animation industry. What made him join the industry was him watching old Disney movie classics such as Bambi & Dumbo. Early in his career he started as an inbetweener or also known as“Tweenening” animator. This means when an animator adds frames so the final animation is more “smooth” and fluid. Eventually he moved on to work as key animator for notable motion pictures such as Disney’s Sleeping Beauty & Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians. He may have been an animator of color but he like many others had to start somewhere in the early and every growing industry.

Frank Braxton

Another few examples of African Americans in the animation industry are Frank Braxton who has done key animation for a handful of Charlie brown TV specials and LeSean Thomas who at first started off as an animator, in later years has opened his own animation studio in the eastern countries and created/produced & directed a handful of original anime series such as Cannon Busters & Yasuke. These men of African American decent have made their mark on the animation industry no matter the genre.

Big Brother 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 Brother Big Sisters of Long Island’s 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.

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

Click Here to Learn more About BBBSLI: BBBSLI

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 https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/knowledge

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.