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Young Educational
Leaders Panel

3DEXPERIENCE World 2021

The STEAM Connection

Hear from four young SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE users who are thought leaders in the world of education, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Not only are they an inspiration, but they are role models to look up to whether you are an educator or student. Learn about their experiences and perspectives on the role that 3D Modelling, FIRST Robotics, and STEAM play in the future of innovation.

Hear from Vinaya Gunasekar, a 12-year-old environmental activist and changemaker, Lucas Crupi, a 17-year-old entrepreneur and SOLIDWORKS extraordinaire, Danielle Boyer, a teen founder and inventor of EKGAR (Every Kid Gets a Robot), and Aidan Aird, a young educator and Guinness World Record Holder. 

This panel was created by Danielle Boyer.

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Danielle Boyer

Danielle is a young award-winning Indigenous woman who is recognized for her work as an entrepreneur, author, activist, and inventor, much of which orbits around educating children on the future of technology and innovation. For over ten years now, Danielle has been working to make key educational opportunities accessible. After witnessing how disparities between people of different socioeconomic statuses in access to quality technical education affect children, Danielle sought to transform her community by increasing technical educational accessibility and affordability for young children through innovative learning solutions that utilize robotics to promote technical competency, garner interest in STEAM careers, and to equip the future generation of innovators with a unique and diverse skillset. Danielle has gone on to reach students all around the world, mentor 35 FIRST Robotics teams, and be featured by PEOPLE, L’Oréal Paris, and in an NBC special that can be found on Hulu.

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Vinaya Gunasekar

Since Vinaya Gunasekar was a young child, she has worked to bring science and technology educational resources to other kids like her. She got started with helping start the science wing at her elementary school through her initiative, Project R.O.O.T. Now at age 12, Vinaya is an environmental activist and STEAM changemaker who is passionate about recycling and using technology and robotics to benefit our Earth in innovative ways. She is a member of all-girls FIRST Robotics Team Infinity & Beyond and is an ambassador of The STEAM Connection. She is currently working on making STEAM accessible to hospitalized children and is co-hosting the Hands-On Techie Talks podcast with Danielle Boyer to introduce kids to STEAM education during the pandemic. In her free time, you’ll find her working on a robot named Auto Oscar to clean recyclables off of school floors.

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Robert Maldonado

We pride ourselves in affordable and accessible robotics content for kids. We offer free robotics kits and robotics resources designed in-house by students that you can access right now. We value teaching kids about everything from 3D printing to electrical engineering in a project-based way.

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Other Panelists

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by panelists and to linked websites and social profiles outside of our organization do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of THE STEAM CONNECTION. 

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Lucas Crupi

Lucas entered the Solidworks community as the youngest known Certified Solidworks Expert at the time, passing the exam a few months after his fifteenth birthday. He discovered Solidworks after founding his school's first-ever robotics team. With the realization that to develop complex systems, powerful CAD software is needed, Solidworks was the obvious choice. Since then, he has used his knowledge in STEM and Solidworks to mentor and teach hundreds of students across North America personally. Along with his mentorship and education work, Lucas co-founded a company based around producing assistive technology for the blind and visually impaired community to improve their navigational abilities. With his startup, IncoNav, Lucas has competed in international business competitions and has participated in startup accelerators to develop the company further. Lastly, Lucas recently started a youtube channel titled "Solidworks Lucas" to advance his educational outreach.

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Aidan Aird

Aidan Aird is a 21 year-old inventor and social entrepreneur pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Toronto. He has been an avid SOLIDWORKS user since the 7th grade, winning numerous awards for his innovations including gold medals, a patent award, and an Engineering Institute of Canada award. Achievements that would have not been possible without the opportunities Javelin Technologies provided him to learn SOLIDWORKS. For the past 6 years, Aidan’s primary focus has been educating and inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders through his organization STEM Kids Rock; a partnered endeavor with his sister, Keeley, with a focal point on inclusion and fun. To date they have provided hundreds of free outreach events, sharing their love for STEM with over 200,000 kids.

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Contact Us

Our workshop and classroom is located at 330 E Maple Rd, Suite B, Troy MI USA, 48083. We are not open to the public. Thank you for this donated space, InVanse Technologies.

thesteamconnection@gmail.com

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 COPYRIGHT © 2021 by THE STEAM CONNECTION. All Rights Reserved. All art is illustrated by and is the property of Danielle Boyer.