EAST ORANGE, NJ - TAPinto East Orange/Orange recently spoke to Steven A. Board, President of It’s All About The Kids organization to uncover what his plan entailed as he prepares to bring his services to East Orange. To that inquiry, Board commented, “To develop extraordinary STEM programs that build strong self-sustaining communities”. “It’s All About The Kidz recognizes that people of color are underrepresented in the area of STEM. This disparity is due to a lack of equality in educational opportunity for Hispanics and non Hispanic blacks. During a panel discussion at the U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions Conference, it was documented that ‘white men dominate the tech and science fields,’ that the industry needs more diversity in its future workforce, and that minorities in underserved communities are at risk of being left behind”.
It’s All About The Kidz has taken on the challenge to promote STEM through a comprehensive robotics and coding program for low income and underserved youth in the First Ward of East Orange lead by an exceptionally credentialed young man, Adrian Clarke as head instructor. The implementation of this program will allow It’s All About The Kidz to train over 300 youth in robotics and coding in a year’s time, which they hope causes a dramatic impact on young residents decision to purse STEM related jobs.
Studies have shown that students are heavily influenced by the positive impact they experience when they are introduced to new information through play. The funding provided by the program’s sponsor State Farm and other sources will allow the Robotics and Coding Academy to operate as an after-school program during the school year and a summer academy.
Additional funding will be needed in the future to provide a much-needed platform to promote STEM education year-round. This exposure is paramount if youth representing low income and underserved communities are going to have an opportunity to pursue STEM occupations and compete in a globalized world.
Adrian Clarke, Head Instructor
Adrian Clarke is the head instructor for robotics, engineering, and programming at It’s All About the Kids Foundation, Inc. A community service nonprofit 501 c 3 that specializes in the strategic development and tactical execution of community programs that engage young people in a manner that creates a positive image, mutual respect and a safe environment.
Adrian develops the curriculum and lesson plans for the summer and after-school robotics and coding academy. He has a solid foundation as both an engineer and teacher, having graduated with both a bachelor’s degree from MIT and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, both in mechanical engineering. He has held positions as a teaching assistant at both universities in physics and mechanical engineering courses. Adrian is dedicated to making science and technology education more accessible and encouraging natural student curiosity through fun and engaging hands-on activities.