Mandela Maker Space Seeks Your Vote To Win The Canadian Scholarship
To every parent, your child is the embodiment of everything you value and everything believe in. Every parent wants the best for their child, and the gift of education is one of the best gifts in the world you can give to your child. Unfortunately not every child comes from a background that allows them access to quality education or any education for that matter; Canada is no exception.
Mandela Maker Club is a not-for-profit coding and tech club that has partnered with the Nelson Mandela Park PS in Regent Park, Toronto. Mandela Maker Club seeks to avail quality STEM based education to the less privileged members of the Regent Park community most of whom come from families that earn less than $18,000 per year. The Regent Park community has some of the oldest public housing buildings in Canada and the vast majority of the kids who attend the Mandela Maker Club hail from the public housing system. Only 20% of the parents whose kids attend the Mandela Maker Club have university degrees (most of which were acquired from foreign countries; thus they need recertification). About 60% of these families have more than 3 kids and even bigger percentage are immigrants and refugees.
Considering all the above statistics, you would expect that their children would be highly disadvantaged in accessing quality education, since it is simply out of their families’ financial reach. This is where Mandela Maker Club comes in, inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. The club pioneered by Helen Wolfe, who believes that the outcome of a child’s education should not be dictated by his/her postal code. Teachers at the club work on a complete volunteer basis and the club administration meets a big percentage of the cost of running the club.
The club takes girls and some few boys to weekend tech workshops and events in a bid to spark an interest for STEM learning in them. Studies show that the earlier kids are introduced to learning STEM, the better the chances that they would pursue a career in that field. Currently, the Mandela Maker Space wants to expand their outreach to benefit the entire community; driven by the aspiration of no child being locked out of education simply because of their background and family’s financial inability. The club especially wants to introduce more girls from the underprivileged communities into STEM learning given the gender disparity in that field as well as the under representation of kids of colour in STEM field.
Mandela Maker Space intends to achieve this by winning the $20,000 Grand Prize in the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan competition. The club will use this fund to implement their proposal to create a space equipped with 3D printers, microcontrollers, robots and Arduino boards. The essential facilities that would enable the kids at the club create wearable tech, digital art and robots. Something that has been elusive to them due to the costs of these “tools”. In order to win, they need your votes to come in at first place thus win the Grand Prize for the 1st place winner.
You can help the club come in at first place in the competition by voting for them; to vote for Mandela Maker Space kindly follow this link. The first round of voting deadline is by June 2nd, and the final round will be between June 9th – 16th. So make it a point to vote; it’s the least you could do as a way to give back to the community or help the less privileged.