The Lawrence Hall of Science at University of California, Berkeley, held a Family Learning Workshop on July 28 for parents and children to learn how to code using Raspberry Pi. Around 10 families attended the event.
QPi Education was present to teach the children and their families about science topics. According to their website, QPi Education is a professional development company that enables K-12 educators to implement STEM instruction with a focus on practical and project learning relevant to today’s world.
“So the significance of this event is that QPi Education is hosting its first family workshop where we’re engaging with parents and kids in the local community about our product,” explained Albert Hwang, co-founder and COO of QPi Education.
“Today what the families are building is a Raspberry Pi robot car. Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that is used for a lot of robotics applications. So we’ve actually used that product and improved it so that way kids and parents can use it at home…and learn software and hardware applications,” said Hwang.
Families worked together to program their robots before taking it to the floor for a run. Everyone was focused and involved.
“Our company seeks to expose more STEM concepts to students at a younger age to inspire them to pursue these fields in higher education and hopefully become more prepared for a future tech-driven workforce,” said co-founder and CEO Vivien Macnguyen.
“We see large knowledge gaps around technology and engineering and that’s a huge part of STEM education. But the knowledge gap exists because many teachers don’t have that technical expertise to properly teach STEM in the classroom,” continued Macnguyen. “We serve to bridge that gap. We take introductory concepts from STEM and bridge them to applications and technology and engineering.”
The parents in attendance also found this program to be helpful for their children.
“I think it’s a valuable tool for teachers to have something like this,” said Christine, a parent attendee. “So I think it’s important for just kids to kind of do something hands on but also have exposure to some science topics.”
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said parent attendee Fong. “It’s an opportunity for my son to get into programming and computers. He really enjoys building things, so I think it’s a fun little event for him.”
“I was able to make the cover for me and my dad’s robot,” said Richie, a QPi Education student. “It turned out good. We made a robot car. You got to program it with the computer.”
QPi Education is currently working with multiple schools in the San Francisco Bay Area to make computer science, engineering, and robotics education more accessible. They are currently seeking to further expand across California. To learn more please contact them at [email protected].