Introducing EHA Robotics
This year we are introducing EHA ROBOTICS, a pilot program developed by Jake Futterman, a high schooler whose love of robotics and strong sense of community inspired him to approach us with this fun, innovative, and forward-thinking idea. Here are excerpts from Jake’s heartfelt and compelling proposal.
Kids Helping Kids Through Robotics
by Jake Futterman
My name is Jake Futterman. I am a highschool student at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. This summer, I will be traveling to rural Ethiopia with Ethiopia Health Aid to teach the robotics summer program that I developed for Gode Primary School. I am seeking your support and contribution to bringing robotics to children in rural Ethiopia.
Ethiopia Health Aid.
Ethiopia Health Aid (EHA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to building healthy, self-reliant communities in rural Ethiopia. Focused on the Oromia region of Ethiopia, one of the poorest areas in the world, EHA has been on a mission to provide medical care, education, and new state-of-the-art facilities to aid the people of Ethiopia. EHA has been working for over a decade and has recently constructed a fully functioning hospital and greatly expanded upon the primary school located in Gode village.
Gode Primary School.
Gode Primary School was once a small village school that was too small to accommodate the growing number of children seeking education. However, through EHA’s work, the school now has enough modern buildings to provide education to the 2,000 children it serves. The STAR Summer Program was also introduced to further teach kids both the essential topics in school and to expand their knowledge into other enriching subjects that other kids wouldn’t normally have access to.
To continue my volunteer service and support for EHA and to share my knowledge, experience, and passion for robotics with other students, I am proposing to launch a summer program that teaches students the basics of robotics and STEM ideas using LEGO Mindstorms EV3 technology. The first phase of this program will be a 5-day summer camp for children in grades 6 to 8. Working in small teams, the students will learn to design, build, program, and operate simple robots, culminating in a challenging and fun robotics competition.
I am proposing to launch a summer program that teaches students the basics of robotics and STEM ideas using LEGO Mindstorms EV3 technology.
The kids in Gode village have only recently been exposed to computers and technology that EHA has supplied their school. Before that, they had no electricity or tech of any kind. Only one in 8 elementary students is female. A young student once told EHA, “Here you may see us as a primitive community with no running water and electricity — much less in need of technology when we barely have books. But please remember that our future is out there in the world, and we need computers to compete.” Like students all over the world, the students of Gode Primary School are striving to be the brightest in an expanding global marketplace. Through LEGO Mindstorms robotics, these young students will learn how to innovate, problem-solve, and work as a team, as well as develop an understanding of innovation design and STEM-related concepts that can greatly influence their future. For them, it is a life-changing opportunity that will allow them to grow in new ways, achieve previously impossible goals, and contribute to the healthy, self-reliant communities that EHA is already building.
Here you may see us as a primitive community with no running water and electricity — much less in need of technology when we barely have books. But please remember that our future is out there in the world, and we need computers to compete.
I graduated from Mirman School in 2017 and received Mirman’s Head of School Award. I am now a 10th grader at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. I was a founding member and team captain of Mirman’s award winning LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Team and have continued on to become a member of Harvard-Westlake’s VEX Robotics Team. Since fifth grade, robotics has been a very core passion of mine and this EHA project is a perfect opportunity to share my knowledge and love of robotics with others. At Mirman, I was also a leading member of the Student Advisory Council (SAC), Mirman Contemporary Music Ensemble (MCME), Student Diversity Leadership Council (SDLC), and Senior Page Editor of Mirman’s award winning 2017 yearbook. I am now a Student Ambassador at Harvard-Westlake. Furthermore, I have participated in a variety of competitive sport teams. My lifelong participation and training in athletics, leadership, equity, inclusivity, and social justice continue to inspire me to serve and advocate for others.
I believe that my background in sports, teaching, leadership, and robotics will lead to a successful and enlightening robotics program for the Ethiopian children in Gode who hope to grow their future and reach for the stars.
Ethiopia is the third poorest country world. I have been traveling to other third world communities since I was little. Many of the children in these places are not as fortunate. But they are, nevertheless, driven by the brightness of their dreams and the fearlessness of their ambitions. Thank you for learning about EHA Robotics. Your compassion, kindness, and generous support will go a long way toward their future.
I realize you have many donation options. By taking part in this unique opportunity, 100% of your gift will go towards the mission which includes robotics kits, teaching tools for the local teachers and their assistants, as well as school supplies for the students participating in the robotics program. Let’s make learning fun!