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 http://bbbsli.org.

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

Animation Studios in Long Island

I live in a suburban area in New York. I drive of course but most of the time I walk around the streets to my local pharmacy to pick up some essentials. As I do my afternoon cardio, I noticed around me empty buildings with signs that say “Rent” and a phone number displayed underneath. Next to the pharmacy, I take a small peak from the window, just to get a good look inside. I can’t help but think “You can definitely open an animation studio in there.”

Art/animation is a medium I have the utmost respect for. I’m sure others can agree with me. But simply imaging a dozen animation studios in Long Island doesn’t have to be a “dream”. You can make it a reality.

Big or small, no matter how wide the building may be, you can fit about 10-15 people in their, animators and storyboard artists. Did you know that there are about 8 known animation studios currently in New York, Long island included? Want to know what those studios have in common? It takes about $100,000. it seems like a lot of course. However, let’s go back to my local pharmacy. Did you know it takes about $350-$450,000 to start up a local pharmacy?

Wow! Art students who finished High School, either travel to different states or even countries to go to either art collages or jump right into an animation studio stationed there. But what if students are unable to travel? Unable to obtain the education they need in Long Island.

Springboard Incubators has worked/partnered with many companies over the years. We offer part time jobs and welcome any freelance artists/animators to come in and teach students of all ages, basic art/animation skills and to teach them the work environment of an animation studio. Getting a job in the animation industry is difficult, especially with technology evolving each passing day. But with the proper education, the students will be better prepared. As for the business side of things, Springboard Incubators offers education on how to create small businesses. I as well as Dr. Steven Lindo encourages you the reader to start up your own business. May it be an animation studio or not. I think it would be wonderful for people including me to walk by an animation studio on Grand Ave, better yet, all over Long Island.

If you are an art/animation educator please contact us at media@springboardincubators.org or 516.414.2000. Our Business hours are 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Thank you for reading – by Brandon Lindo


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.

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