Filipino Community Center Offers a STEAM Lab Program for Low Income Youth

STEAM Lab, an acronym for  Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math in progress.

STEAM Lab, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math in progress.

The Filipino Community of Seattle is offering a technology instruction project for up to 50 youths starting this Fall.  The program is called STEAM Lab, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.  It will expose kids to computer literacy and robotics.  Students will also learn essential life skills training, collaboratively working in project-based teams, and developing problem solving skills.

Inspiring Technology Careers

The organization hopes to raise awareness not only about the challenges that face low income youth, but also about the opportunities available to those who pursue STEAM based careers, jobs with a growing demand in Seattle and around the world. “The hard work of improving those young lives and unlocking their potential is the goal” said Jon Madamba, project manager. The project helps low-income, immigrant, at-risk students in grades 8-12 located in Rainier valley, kids who traditionally don’t get the chance to consider careers in the technology field. Madamba himself, is currently employed in the high-tech software industry. He hopes to break down the barriers for these students of color to take computer-based classes at their schools and seriously consider high tech careers. Madamba will bring in other tech professionals to serve as mentors and secure real work experiences for the students in local companies.

Robotics and Computer Refurbishing

Partners on the project include RaaSIO, which will provide robotics training, and Free Geek Seattle, a technology non-profit focused on sustainable computing. Free Geek volunteers will train participants on how to refurbish computers and use free open-source software operating systems. The Filipino Community Center is accepting donations of old, unused desktop or laptop computers for the program. Interested corporate, government, or individual donors can schedule a donation drop off here.

Students who are interested in joining this STEAM Lab program, can call (206) 722-9372. The after-school classes will take place over 12 weeks at the Filipino Community Center, 5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way, and East African Community Services, 7054 32nd Ave South.  The classes will use a portable technology media lab equipped with laptops, electronics, and robotics hardware.