At The STEAM Connection, we design and manufacture tens of thousands of robots to distribute to our communities to help bridge the technical educational accessibility divide. We provide these robots to educational programs and institutions and to students through our own programs. All of our robots are provided to students for free and are a part of our charitable initiatives. We do not make money off of our robots and offer them to help create learning opportunities in technology that did not exist before. Read more about our robots, why we created them, and how you can get involved.
Here at The STEAM Connection, we are fueled by the power of robots. We donate robots, develop robots that you've never seen before, and offer free technical educational opportunities.
Why? Because we believe in the power of robots and what they can do for our youth! Our robots are developed by youth for youth, and we know that robots can change our world for the better.
It's more than that though. Education in technology enables economic development, connectivity, and innovation. Technical skills are becoming increasingly more important in all areas, but underserved youth are getting left behind. When not exposed to essential educational programming focused on robotics, digital design, and coding, it is near impossible to break into the most influential fields and also to progress as a professional in nearly every industry.
Educational robotics strengthen and support students' skills in developing their knowledge through the creation, design, assembly, and operation of robots. They are project-based, teach a variety of important skills, and youth love them. They are truly the gateway to equitable technical learning.
So, we focus on making robots accessible because it's what we believe in. Will you join us on our journey?
What We do
Every Kid Gets a Robot (EKGAR) is a robot and learning platform that we provide to educational institutions interested in providing robotics programming to youth for free.
Reseach and Development
We are always developing new robots to benefit our environment. Currently, we are developing robots with plant-based and biodegradable materials, a recycling robot, and a language revitalization robot.
We want everyone to be able to make robots, so we provide free and open-source learning tools on our website that you can start using today.
Our Founder, an Indigenous (Ojibwe) youth, has experienced what it is like to be left out of technical educational opportunities. She began creating robots at the age of 18 with her community in mind so that no one is left behind. We all deserve to access learning opportunities that will make our lives and the world better. Why does this matter?
Technical education holds significant importance for Indigenous communities as it plays a crucial role in promoting self-determination, fostering opportunities in tech careers, and empowering individuals to find their voice. Unfortunately, Indigenous peoples face systemic barriers that limit our access to technological resources, making the need for technical education even more critical. Additionally, students also often feel uncomfortable pursuing STEM careers due to various reasons, including historical and ongoing marginalization, lack of representation, cultural barriers, and limited resources. These factors can contribute to a sense of exclusion and create a hostile environment for Indigenous individuals in STEM fields.
An overview of the disconnect:
Access to Computers: Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected by the digital divide. In rural Native communities, only 9% of households have personal computers, and even fewer have Internet access (National Congress of American Indians). Computer access for most Natives is outside the home.
Internet Access: 18% of tribal reservation residents have no internet access at home, wireless or land-based (American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University).
Indigenous peoples make up only 0.4% of the engineering workforce (Northern Arizona University).
The STEM workforce is 72% male (Society of Women Engineers).
Only 33% of workers in STEM careers are non-white (Pew Research Center).
Dropout Rates: Indigenous students have the highest dropout rate in the U.S. (U.S. Department of Education's Indian Nations at Risk Task Force.
STEM Divide: “STEM is not available to all learners” – The White House.
Given these challenges, technical education becomes a vital tool for empowering Indigenous communities. By providing access to culturally responsive technology, training, and resources, it helps bridge the digital divide and equips individuals with the skills needed to thrive now. Technical education also opens doors to career opportunities in the tech sector, where Indigenous voices and perspectives are often underrepresented. The lack of diverse perspectives hampers the progress of scientific research, limits innovation, and undermines efforts to address the unique challenges faced by Indigenous communities. It is essential to create inclusive and supportive environments in STEM education and workplaces, recognizing and valuing the contributions of Indigenous peoples. Moreover, technical education fosters self-determination by allowing Indigenous communities to assert control over our own technological development. It enables us to address specific needs and challenges we face, promoting community resilience and self-sufficiency.
In summary, technical education plays a pivotal role in empowering Indigenous communities by addressing disparities in access to technology, providing opportunities for career growth, and promoting self-determination. By equipping Indigenous individuals with the necessary skills and resources, we can help bridge the digital divide, amplify our voices, and foster greater inclusion in the ever-evolving world of technology.