How SoLA Robotics started:
The SoLA Robotics community tech club began in summer 2018 when educator and National Board Certified Teacher, Jennifer Lashley, launched a series of community booths to address a community need. There are large numbers of parents and students who want robotics and coding classes, but can't find them locally, affordably or at all. And although there are some awesome LA-based organizations that provide these services, resources are limited.
With projected increases in STEM/STEAM related careers, it is necessary for all students to have access to specialized instruction. The "Age of Technology" is an open door to countless opportunities in diverse career choices for today's youth. Careers in tech-related fields can serve as a pathway to prosperity, a major game changer for the students of South LA. Recognizing that many South LA students were only getting short-term or pop-up experiences with coding and robotics, Jennifer set her sights on providing a longer term experience...
Understanding this community need, Jennifer called on dedicated colleagues in education and community service, and set forth to compile resources to run a summer club. The club was based on TWO goals:
Provide an on-going experience (rather than a short-term pop up) to allow students to continue building knowledge over time
Keep class fees low or free and remove financial barriers for students who wish to participate in competitive opportunities
After hosting several community booths, piloting a weekend class and coaching at a South LA community center, SoLA Robotics club opened a summer program in 2019 providing quality, hands-on instruction in coding, robotics and more. Today, the program continues with weekend clubs and homeschool classes. All students are eligible for competitive opportunities at no additional charge and class fees are kept as low as possible to sustain the monthly program.
To date, SoLA Robotics has:
Brought 3 local teams to the winners circle at three high profile competitions
Introduced Robotics at Home to over 150 students who now own robotics kits
350 local students with coding and robotics instruction
Provided a platform for students to collaborate with peers around the world on robotics, coding and more.
At SoLA Robotics, we truly believe that ANY student who wishes to learn about coding and robotics should be able to do so in their local community without major barriers. Our commitment is to find even more ways to make this possible.
Do you feel that the children in your life have adequate access to quality STEAM instruction? Are they learning the Engineering Design Process, coding concepts, app and website development, or how to use innovative concepts to solve community problems? It is the mission of SoLA Robotics to provide knowledge and access to tech skills to as many students as possible. Join our effort and let's get these tech skills to your children today.
Scroll down to check out some of our favorite past events.
Guide students toward a diverse variety of career pathways
Build a community of students who grow, thrive and learn together
Educate youth in development of professional skills
Prepare students in developing a functional portfolio of technological skills