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Students at parents connect through robotics at a Santa Ana science academy

Every Wednesday morning, a dozen parents at Magnolia Science Academy, a STEAM charter public school, in Santa Ana skip the morning drop off and instead head into the classroom with their kids.

For six-weeks, they’re part of a unique workshop that teaches them about robotics and coding. The program is the only one of its kind in Orange County and is offered free to parents and students at the school, where about 85% of the student body is Latino and underserved.

The families work together on critical thinking and problem-solving by using the robots they coded and built.

Obed Ortiz, 11, showed off his robot, who he named “Bob.”

“Brilliant, Outstanding Bot, that’s what it stands for,” Obed said of the robot he and his family built, which is made up of over 200 parts.

His 6-ear-old sister, Yara, is part of the program too. “It’s fun to build and it’s fun to drive too,” she said.

The program is the only one of its kind in Orange County and its offered free to families. “I’m not a fan of legos, but now I’m in this class and we’re enjoying it,” said Claudia Saurez, Yara and Obed’s mother.

“I’m learning about coding. I didn’t have a clue about coding until now.”

It’s not just about building bots here, but also about building bonds. “When they’re working on robots, they can stay for hours,” said Yusuf Adanur, who teaches the workshop.

“They don’t want to leave. Instead of playing on phones they’re working on robots.”

The students have taken their robots to competitions with other robotic teams. In March, the parents will also prepare for their own robotics competition.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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