Q & A with CST Learning Project Finalist: The INSPIRE Project

Children, STEM learning and robots

Q&A with Ann Pimentel – The INSPIRE Project

What was the inspiration for your idea?

Our idea started when we realised that our students were primarily becoming consumers of technology and not innovators.  We wanted inclusive tools to bring to every child so they can engage in innovation together.  As a community, we believe future generations should be equipped with skills to allow them to fully engage in technology from understanding the components of a robot to programming it to complete tasks.  We see the power in allowing each child even as young as four to see themselves as tech innovators!

Why do you think your idea is important/what problem does it solve that exists in education?

Our world is changing with the advancements of technology and therefore our schools need to equip students with the skills to keep up with these changes. Currently, Canada does not score high on various indices of innovation.  British Columbia is starting to become a hub for tech innovation, but does not have the trained workforce to keep up this trend.  In a small way we hope to start to address these issues starting at the elementary school level. Our INSPIRE Project’s desire is to reach out to our whole community and beyond.  To make the ‘intimidated’ educator feel comfortable and at ease with using educator-friendly robots as well as the ‘overwhelmed’ parent who wants her child to not just sit there and play video games but to create them.  We would like to develop educator workshops, Family Fun Robotic Days, Create-A-Robot Contest and other exciting events in robotics.

How important is it for children to have new and innovative opportunities to learn, develop and grow?

Technology is here to stay and will continue to develop beyond our wildest dreams!  We want to prepare children, educators and families with the tools to equip everyone with skills to create, build and influence the world in STEM.

Learn more about the INSPIRE Project.