“There was no platform to easily teach these skills,” Sidharth said. “There was a problem here.”
The platforms that did exist, which tended to not be user- or kid-friendly, often cost hundreds of dollars too. “The barrier to entry is very big,” Sidharth said.
The brothers have already trained RUSD teachers on how to instruct their students, with Trashbot lessons expected to begin locally as soon as next late next month.
“The goal is to get a Trashbot into the hands of every sixth grader by the end of March,” Alexander DeBaker, RUSD’s executive director of Academies & Transformation, said in an email. “If we find that they are a great resource for implementing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), we will look into implementing them into seventh and eighth grade in the coming years.”
Rohit, a 20-year-old University of Texas student, wants Trashbot users to get “a core competency” in coding and computer science they can use down the road as more jobs land in the tech sector.
“They (students who use Trashbot) get to connect to a career field that is one of the most in-demand fields in the world and growing at a rapid pace,” DeBaker said. “Making this connection with the students could change a student’s life. A small percentage of our students are exposed to this type of curriculum, those are the students in our Engineering, IT (Information Technology), and Computer Science pathways in our high school Academies. This gives us the opportunity to expose every student to these experiences which could lead them to one of our STEM pathways thus helping to fill that skills gap in our community.”