Young Stamford students get leg up in STEM with new program

Young Stamford students get leg up in STEM with new program

(News Times, 4/20/17)

To the average adult, Adam Lakhal’s hobby may sound like an unusual one for a 5-year-old.

At home, Adam spends much of his time figuring out how electronic devices such as smartphones and Apple TVs work, perusing books about technology and watching tutorials on YouTube.

“It’s a constant interest in technology,” his mother, Susan Lakhal, said. “It’s not even an interest, it’s a passion.”

So when Lakhal brought her son to a new after-school program aimed at providing hands-on technology instruction starting at the kindergarten level, the Springdale Elementary School student felt at home.

“This is absolutely amazing,” Lakhal said. “He’s very excited.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Adam was one of about a dozen students learning how to program the Recon 6 robot, a programmable rover for children, at Rogers International School.

The weekly one-hour session is part of a pilot initiative by Stamford Public Schools and Global Cluster NYC to engage students in STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math — as well as the “Internet of Things,” a network of devices known as IoT.

The program, STEM-IoT Labs, runs until June at Rogers and Stamford High School. A team from Global Cluster, which offers the program free of charge, is working with about 80 students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The age-appropriate workshops are designed to teach students about programming, cloud computing, 3-D printing and cybersecurity, among other concepts.

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