By Francesca Vidal
Led and founded by Ishika Desai, JuSTEMagine’s Bettendorf Chapter has been busy these past couple of months organizing the distribution of STEM kits to students in India. The STEM kits are purchased from Prairie STEM, a STEM nonprofit organization based in Omaha, NE. The kits contain lessons on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and programming and are specially designed for kids from preschool through 12th grade. Ishika first started distributing the STEM kits after connecting with people who live in rural India. The school located there is not able to provide many STEM opportunities for its students so Ishika, as an active member of a robotics program, decided that something needed to be done:
“I’m sending the kits because I want to introduce STEM programs to communities who don’t have access to them! Although my community has a lot of STEM awareness, it still can be difficult for students to develop and learn STEM-related skills without help early on so I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it can be for students who come from rural areas! That’s why my chapter believes this project to be important as we want to build an inclusive STEM community!”
- Ishika Desai
The Bettendorf Chapter is preparing to send the kits to the school in India very soon, with many of the students excited to receive their own STEM lessons. Currently, the Omaha Chapter is working with Prairie STEM to send more STEM kits to the Bettendorf Chapter and the school in India. Previously unable to because of conflicts in weather and travel conditions, Ishika hopes in the near future to visit the school in person and provide more STEM resources to underprivileged students.