In the summer of 2019 at the Carlos Bravo School, the students learned how to design and program robots to turn, loop codes, and incorporate various sensors. We were fortunate to hear presentations from leading Nicaraguan engineers, company leaders, and organization heads. The students and teachers we trained began practicing six days a week in preparation for the national World Robot Olympiad held in mid September 2019. All their time and determination paid off as they earned 2nd place in a field of 80 teams!
In the summer of 2021, we returned to the Carlos Bravo School to provide a Mindstorms EV3 STEM-robotics program.
Kathleen Davis, President, Students of Granada, Nicaragua
“A tremendous thank you to The Community Bots and in particular, Jack Cooley and Karen Orozco, for an incredible two weeks of training at Escuela Carlos Bravo – a nucleus public school serving more than 900 students in the heart of Granada, Nicaragua. Our dream to introduce robotics programming to underserved communities here was realized despite the challenges facing Nicaragua during the last 18 months. Equipment donations from The Community Bots and their partner, John Richardson of St. Joseph Academy, enabled us to implement a 160-hour digital literacy program to students and teachers prior to the robotics training. The Community Bots generous donation of LEGO robotics kits made it possible to enrol 35 students in the robotics program and ultimately paved the way for an ongoing after-school program that has committed to competing in the LEGO World Robot Olympiad. It was a pleasure to watch master teachers at work — Jack and Karen — not only maintained student and teacher engagement for the entire two weeks but did so in a way that educators here can apply new teaching and learning strategies in their classrooms. The course design itself was superb — integrating hands-on activities with contextual and motivational presentations — helping to build girls’ confidence in their abilities and understanding more about opportunities in the technology sectors. The Community Bots model is powerful. They plant the seeds and empower educators and students to take control of their future learning. In our case, our students and teachers have never used computers and are now on their way to building a model that all public schools in Nicaragua can duplicate. This is truly life-changing. Thank you Jack, Karen, John, and The Community Bots.”
We completed our first international program in Nicaragua in June 2017. working closely with NicaPhoto, which serves families living in one of the poorest barrios in the country.
This was one of our most rewarding experiences! We were welcomed by students and teachers through music, dance, and taekwondo demonstrations. We had the opportunity to train five teachers and 20 young women between the ages of 10 to 13 years old. The students didn’t miss one day of training! In between our breaks, students had lunch with us, played soccer, and shared their Biointensive garden located at their new learning center, which at the time was under construction.
We continue to work closely with NicaPhoto with the implementation and extension of their robotics program and participation in the Nicaraguan World Robot Olympiad, a global robotics competition.
Students and teachers from NicaPhoto joined us during the summer of 2021 for a Mindstorms EV3 STEM-robotics course held in Granada.
In 2022, Nicaphoto-The Community Bots launched a STEM-robotics program that provides girls with year-round services that include robotics, coding, academic tutoring, English language instruction, girls empowerment, nutritious lunches, and eventually university scholarships in STEM fields.
Ronnie Maher, Executive Director, NicaPhoto, Nicaragua
“The Community Bots is an incredible program that brings STEM Robotics training to girls in disadvantaged communities. When Jack and Ana presented the idea of coming to Nicaragua to teach our middle school age girls robotics at NicaPhoto and to train our teachers, we were thrilled with the idea. We selected a group of 25 girls to participate. The girls ranged from very good students in the public school to students that have a variety of difficulties ranging from emotional to academic. The program engaged ALL of the girls and kept their interest and attention. I was impressed to see even the students with the most difficulty in school doing the math calculations on the fly, participating in the discussions, and excelling in the class. During the week, the girls had a day off from school and were scheduled for robotics class from 8am – 12pm. The girls decided as a group to ask Jack and Ana if they could have robotics class ALL day because they didn’t have school. The critical thinking and love of learning was wonderful to watch develop during the week. The project-based curriculum is formidable. Jack and Ana are both remarkable teachers and incredibly kind and generous. It was an inspirational week for all involved, and we are grateful to know Jack and Ana and for the opportunity to participate in The Community Bots program.”