Engaging Youth in Creative Problem Solving Skills in Costa Rica

Goal: Working with facilitators and teachers from the Paniamor Foundation and Ideas en Accion in Costa Rica to pilot the workshops and create a 4 to 8 week curriculum around the Makernel kits.

Project: Box, Inc and Team4Tech worked together to help develop a new curriculum centered around engaging the youth of Costa Rica in subjects such as programming, robotics, design, and 3D printing. This project helped accomplish two goals for the Paniamor Foundation: fostering creativity through an engaging and enjoyable learning experience while introducing new subjects focused on 21st century skills. After weeks of preparation, a team of Box volunteers from the Bay Area, Texas, and Utah and a program manager from Team4Tech, headed to Costa Rica to train facilitators in leading a pilot with students around each of the maker-space subjects. The pilot will help contextualize the curriculum to better suit the needs of the students.With donations of Makernel kits in hand from Intel along with additional funds donated from Box to help ensure that materials are supplied, the Paniamor Foundation and its partners looked to implement this curriculum for hundreds of students in the coming years, through technology learning programs such as Panaimor’s TecnoBus.

The learning isn’t just happening for the students either. Chloe Langston, a Box volunteer out of their San Francisco office, “has really valued this opportunity to explore new technologies, hardware devices and robotics tools.  With the end goal of enabling students to understand and be fully engaged in these technologies, I’ve learned a lot about creating a balanced curriculum”. 

With such an undertaking as large as this, there were quite a few challenges as well. When posing this question to Kate Koch from the Box San Francisco office, one of the main difficulties faced was “developing a curriculum for students who may come from a variety of different backgrounds”.

As noted by Sumat out of the Box Austin office, the challenges are all the more enjoyable because one is “able to take the skills you have developed over the last few years of your career to help in ways that most normally aren’t able to, is an amazing reward especially when it results in others learning and growing”.

Stay tuned for updates about the project on Team4Tech’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/team4tech/