The Robotics Club engages middle school Latino and immigrant youth in hands-on STEM enrichment, teaching middle school students to design, construct, and program robots to fuel their interests in STEM professions. In the longer-term, the Robotics Club is the first stage of an innovative “pipeline” approach to supporting students’ college & career readiness. The high-tech nature of the program attracts students during the middles school years, which research shows is a critical time to develop and retain STEM confidence.
Our STEM-focused ELP Robotics Club is offered for free to youth in grades 6-8, and after the first year in the program, students can choose to return for a second year to participate in local and regional robotics competitions and work on developing more advanced skills. The curricula used by this program have been vetted by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy and align with Common Core standards.
Students in year one meet twice weekly for 1.5 hours per session during the fall semester to work through the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 curriculum. In the Spring, students meet only once per week, and work on developing more advanced skills to prepare for our in-house competition at the end of the school year.
Students in year two use the fall semester to hone their skills and prepare for local and regional FIRST Lego League competitions in small teams of four to six, coached by a staff member or volunteer, to develop creative solutions to real-world problems. Previous challenges have included topics like re-imagining infrastructure projects to withstand natural disasters or designing robots to help people with physical disabilities perform everyday tasks. These competitions encourage students to blend technical skills with creative problem-solving, connecting classroom lessons with tangible, real life applications. In the Spring, students work in teams of two to practice engineering and coding skills using VEX IQ robots and curriculum.
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Check Out What Our Fall Graduates Had To Say About The Emerging Leaders Program I
ELP I is a free 12 session workshop series offered to youth in grades 9-12 three times per year. Each ELP I series includes workshops that focus on developing professional skills and building confidence to become a leader. Activities include:
- College visit
- Resume writing
- Speech writing and speech competition
- Scholarship competition
For the duration of the program, students have the opportunity to bond with a young professional in a mentor-mentee relationship: working on small crews of 4 to 6 students, each mentor is able to provide more attention to the individual needs and progress of the students, helping them finalize their resume, speech, and scholarship application.
Rising high school seniors who complete ELP I are eligible for ELP II, a free year-long program supporting seniors during their college application process through weekly one-on-one coaching and mentoring services. Mentors provide feedback on college essays, ensure youth meet submission requirements, and help students apply for financial assistance. From September through January, students receive support with college applications and, from February through June, students receive support with financial aid and scholarship applications.
As part of this program, students are also required to engage in their community in Northern Virginia. Edu-Futuro delivers a civic engagement curriculum for the ELP II students, with the goal of teaching students about advocacy and service. Furthermore, in order to graduate from this program, students must complete at least 8 hours of community service.
As the third and last component of this program, Edu-Futuro offers monthly workshops focused on the students’ preparation for college life. This series of workshops intends to reduce the anxiety about the transition from high school to college, make sure students know about the resources that are available to them in college, and provide practical skills that can be helpful for their personal and academic development.
Applications for ELP II are open to rising seniors that have completed ELP I, from August 1st to August 31st at 11:59 pm. Please note that late applications will not be accepted.
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