Miami EdTech focuses on closing the STEM skills gap by partnering with Riders.ai
— Carlos Vazquez
MIAMI, FLORIDA, USA, January 14, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — When Ms. Carmen Garcia heard about the inaugural “Give Miami Robotics Competition”, she immediately thought her engineering and computer science students would enjoy participating. After all, two years ago Ms. Garcia earned a Python Programming certification after attending a course led by Miami EdTech, to give her the necessary skills to teach computer science in the classroom. Since then she has seen her students gravitate towards robotics and coding competitions in her role as teacher at Jose Marti MAST 6-12 Academy in Hialeah.
Recognizing the growing demand for a local skilled technical workforce, Miami EdTech and Riders.ai have partnered to bring Computer Science and Robotics Programming to middle and high schools across the region. During this year’s ‘Give Miami Day week’, one of the nation’s largest 24-hour annual giving events, Miami EdTech and Riders hosted more than 200 middle and high school students from around the world to participate in a virtual robotics and coding hackathon. After the 3-day long hackathon was finished, five students from Ms. Garcia’s two classes placed in the top 10, including the first and third place finishers.
Given the recent focus on Miami as a tech hub, Miami EdTech has doubled down on ensuring that local talent is not excluded from the tech job ecosystem. Over the past 4 years, Miami EdTech has worked with schools to provide training to teachers, including Ms. Garcia, in Computer Science and STEM and has also served as a bridge for schools to access in-demand industry skills. Through its partnership with Riders, a platform where students can build and code all types of robots using blockly, python, and C++ programming languages, students are able to understand how the worlds of robotics and coding are interconnected. Students also gain tangible skills in more advanced concepts like machine learning and physics by creating unique algorithms that account for things like sensors, image recognition, speed, gravity, radians and more when testing their robots in different simulation environments. Miami EdTech has seen first hand an increase in demand for software developers and robotics engineers, and by tapping into the power of Riders it will allow high school students to gain the necessary exposure to the skills intertwined in these kinds of 21st century jobs.
Given the increased demand for these 21st century careers, Miami EdTech decided to take the “Give Miami Robotics Competition” one step further. As an extra bonus, the students who placed in the top 10 of the competition are eligible for a summer internship at an emerging tech company in Miami. Prior to the competition starting, Miami EdTech solicited the emerging Miami Tech community to see who was interested in supporting the local talent pipeline by hosting interns this summer and the community responded in a positive manner.
“Our goal is to make STEM education and careers as welcoming and accessible as possible, and that starts with ensuring our public schools are equipped and empowered to inspire and adequately train the future generation,” said Carlos Vazquez, President and Founder of Miami EdTech and who also serves as Vice-Chair for the M-DCPS STEM Advisory Board. “Teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling, even more so for historically excluded populations who rely on the public education experience to prepare them for today’s jobs. Ms. Garcia is a fantastic example of the type of teacher all of our students should be able to be impacted by.”
Riders, a virtual robotics & coding competition and teaching platform based out of Turkey, is focused on democratizing access to and learning about Robotics. The technology focuses on bridging the gap between high-end robotics hardware systems and making this technology accessible through simply a computer, wifi connection, and browser. Riders can be used as a competition platform or in the classroom as part of any STEM curriculum. “After moving to Miami 14 months ago, I have seen the Miami Tech community embrace all sorts of new and interesting technologies. To see the Riders platform be leveraged to help local students gain crucial 21st century skills along with valuable internships is extremely fulfilling and really brings full circle, what the mission of Riders is all about,” said Max Ringelheim, Rider’s U.S. Representative. The next Virtual Competition will take place during Miami Hack Week (Jan. 23-30) where about 1,000 attendees are expected to participate in the event’s activities.
About Miami EdTech:
Miami EdTech is an education technology non-profit that works with leading companies, institutions and government organizations to advance the education industry. Two years ago the organization received a grant from Microsoft to increase the diversity, equity and inclusion of computer science education in Miami-Dade County, training teachers to deliver computer science and technology-enabled courses in the classroom. Most recently, Miami EdTech launched Apprenticeship.miami to increase access to careers using the apprenticeship model as a catalyst.
For more information about Miami EdTech, visit www.miamiedtech.com.
Riders is a virtual robotics and coding competition and teaching platform. Based out of Istanbul, Turkey the Riders team is dedicated to making robotics and computer science education more accessible for students around the world. Riders launched in May 2020 and since has been leveraged in dozens of K-12 and University institutions.
For more information about Riders, visit www.riders.ai