Reset and Robotics – October 2022

For Hope IT, this is time to reset / re-establish our partnerships, and start a new course, Introduction to Robotics!

With COVID lasting these last 2 years, we experienced difficulties connecting with our partners.  To improve on that, the Hope IT team had a Zankou lunch (yum) with key leaders in organizations that have partnered with us in the past,as well as new one.

Key takeaways:

  • These organizations care and serve underserved kids in the Pasadena area.  These organizations are the Door of Hope, Stars, the Elizabeth House, Sycamores (foster group homes for boys), Thrive Learning Lab NW Pasadena, and Pasadena Church.
  • We had time to introduce ourselves, review what Hope IT is about, demonstrated a few past courses, and ask how we can partner together.
  • We covered why an IT career is compelling for youth, particularly as there are so many good IT jobs in Pasadena.
  • Connecting in-person with these leaders was key, as many of them are new to their organizations, and new to Hope IT.
  • The above picture is some of the folks that join us.  From right to left is Miriam and Karyn from Stars, Florence from Thrive Learning Lab NW Pasadena, and Pastor Brad from Pasadena Church, and me.

We have a brand new course coming this month: Introduction to Robotics.  We start this Saturday, October 8th…tomorrow morning!!  We will give you an update.

Here’s a quick overview of the Robotics course.

  • We use an Arduino kit.  We start with a box of wires and components.  We thank Barnabas Robotics in Pasadena for the starter kits.
  • Slowly, students will be learning about circuits, resistors, and LED lights, and putting them on a breadboard.  (I show an example in the picture below.)
  • Later, we add programming, moving parts (a servo), and the robot begins to move and react to outside stimulus.  (An example is parking arm that senses your car approach, and raising the arm to let you pass.)  This takes time to build.  Students will learn!
  • Key concepts include electrical current flow, sensors, and software control.  These are the basic building blocks on how our laptops and smartphone and all devices work.  Students will see these directly.

We can see how complex robots are, and how much more complex humans are (read Psalm 139). Such is the art of God.  We hope you see God’s blessings around you.

–Mike Veerman
Hope IT team lead