HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Stemnasium Learning Labs and Estella’s Brilliant Bus teamed up to bring STEM education to underserved youth in Huntsville.
Stemnasium Learning Labs Founder Tariq Al-Nasir says this it’s his way of giving back.
“In communities where they don’t have a lot of resources, they sometimes are the greatest consumers of technological projects,” Al-Nasir told News 19. “What we try to do is change the paradigm, change the narrative so that they are not just consumers of the technology but are owners and producers of the things that they use every day.”
Stemnasium Learning Labs focuses on developing authentic learning environments to think critically so they are prepared for life after high school and beyond. Al-Nasir says as drones became more popular, he decided to create a curriculum around them.
“The drone industry career is booming as we speak and so it’s about getting kids comfortable with the technology,” said Al-Nasir.
At the summer camp in Huntsville, Al-Nasir walked kids through designing, building, and operating drones.
“Being able to control something now that’s aerial, well that’s making the connection to them that if you’re a person who likes video or wants to shoot movies, now you can learn a new technology, drone technology and be able to add that to your arsenal to catapult you into a whole different kind of career,” stated Al-Nasir.
Estella’s Brilliant Bus director is the catalyst, transporting the children to and from the summer camp.
Director Mia Pyfrom says her mother started the company more than 15 years ago as a way to empower people by taking bringing instructional “learning” technology to underserved communities across the nation.
“We’re giving them the opportunity to explore the options of using their hobbies to create money and to respect the dollar a little more,” Pyfrom stated.
The summer camp is two weeks long at Drake State University and includes financial literacy classes in the morning and STEM labs in the afternoon.