OUR WORK

Follow our journey in making STEAM education more accessible.

STEAM Camp in Maharanyam, India

In August 2019, our foundation was given the incredible opportunity to take our offering across the continents, to India. Our CEO, Advaith Subramanian, traveled to Maharanyam, a meager village located an hour away from Chennai, India to work at a not-for-profit clinic, aimed at implementing basic healthcare facilities to the underprivileged and underserved families residing in Maharanyam. 

 

To couple his medical work over summer holidays each year, Advaith brought Cracking the Wonder Code to this remote village in India and conducted STEAM workshops for a group of children with little to no access to fundamental STEAM education. During these workshops, Advaith sparked the children’s curiosity with hands-on activities to demonstrate overarching STEAM principles including

  • Understanding Newton’s Laws of Gravity, the basic laws of physics, by building their own miniature catapults 

  • Using The Process of Elimination and refining their critical thinking skills by conducting their own mock-police investigation

  • Modeling The Layers of the Earth using playdough to understand the theories/reasoning behind why earthquakes and tsunamis happen around the world

  • Conceptualizing The Basic Unit of Life, the cell by using interactive diagrams and drawings to show how the cell is a miniature factory, making up all life on Earth.

 

At the culmination of these workshops, the students were able to conceptualize the overarching concepts of STEAM and comprehend how these fundamental principles relate to every aspect of our daily lives. 

Boles Children's Home 

From the 3rd-7th of August 2020, our team had the great privilege of hosting a STEAM camp at the Arms of Hope--Boles Children’s Home Campus for children ages 7-11 years old. Arms of Hope is a non-profit organization with a mission to further the lives of underprivileged children/youth and help single-mother families. It was absolutely incredible and eye-opening to listen to the various stories of these children and their families and to learn about the diverse backgrounds they came from, ranging from having to live in various shelters to being victims of domestic violence. 

 

The purpose of this camp was to educate those children who do not have access to an extensive STEAM education the different concepts of STEAM and to prepare them for a future in a STEAM-related career. The camp entailed:

  • An introduction to the concept of STEAM and how those very concepts relate to our daily lives

  • Using logic and critical thinking to create basic commands, such as "Drive forward for 50 cm at a slow speed."

  • Various challenges to further the concepts of STEAM

    • The first challenge was constructing a bridge (engineering), then writing a code that would then allow the robot to successfully cross over the bridge without it collapsing it and getting to the finish line (technology and math).

    • The second challenge was creating “trees” using recyclable materials to discuss the importance of environmental sustainability, then writing a code that allowed the robots to drive through the "forest" to get to the finish line without hitting any trees (technology and math)

    • The third and final challenge asked the kids to write a code to get their robot from the start to finish of a challenging maze (technology and math). This last day was code intensive and taught them how to use more advanced commands, such as "If, Else" variables. 

 

On the final day of the camp, Team CTWC hosted a graduation ceremony for the children and gave them certificates for their achievement in passing the Cracking the Wonder Code STEAM camp. 

 

Note: In adherence to the CDC guidelines, every participant in the camp was required to wear a face mask. In addition to this precaution, the children had their temperatures taken each day and were required to have their hands sanitized upon arrival. 

HP Case Competition

In July, 2020, we tested a new STEAM initiative with the members of the Highland Park High School Robotics team. Our team worked to develop a one-week Case Competition designed to combine elements of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. For this preliminary case competition, separate groups of robotics team members were instructed to design a rover adapted to explore Venus. The group was charged with the task of deciding:

  • What the material composition of the rover should have to save weight, ensure structural support, and survive the harsh conditions of Venus

  • How the rover should move and navigate complex terrain safely

  • What technologies will the robot use to analyze and communicate findings of the planetary surface

  • What power source the rover should use

 

In addition, groups presented a concept drawing of their rover. Creating concept art aids the design process by providing a visual outlet for solutions the teams propose for challenges. The drawings illustrated how the robot would move over terrain, and also showed the various technologies used and how they were positioned on the rover.

 

Finally, teams were given related math exercises to strengthen their knowledge of algebraic, geometric, and scientific concepts. These included acceleration, exponential equations, and dimensional analysis.

 

During the process, we learned a lot about how groups respond to the challenges of working together, and what elements of the case competition were the most difficult. With a few improvements, we hope to bring case competitions to other groups of students.

Pre-Med Student Organization

Started in 2019 fall, the Highland Park High School Pre-Med club is a student-led organization that strives to actively engage students who aspire to pursue a career in medicine by connecting them with opportunities such as hearing medical professionals and medical/biology-related activities. Being able to further students' interest in a medical career was heart-warming as we were able to give them the inspiration to work hard and save lives, thus making an impact on society and making the world a better place. 

During the 2019-2020 school year, the HP Premed-Club held various meetings with members, and will continue to do so during the 2020-2021 school year as well. 

 

Since its establishment at Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas, the Pre-Med club has

  • invited guest speakers to come and talk about their career in medicine, including their inspiration for pursuing such a demanding career, the many obstacles they faced (from being a woman in medicine to facing rejections by many establishments), and words of advice for the next generation of healthcare professionals, from doctors to nurses to researchers

  • Had officer meetings on what it means to be a leader and how to be a role model and inspire others to become various healthcare professionals

  • Distributed many different medicinal-related resources, from new innovations in robotic surgery to what the future holds for healthcare professionals, especially as we enter the age of artificial intelligence and STEAM. 

 
 
 
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©2020 by Cracking the Wonder Code.