BOSTON (CBS) — Robots made of Legos, the math behind magic, and other classes are being offered to local middle schoolers learning from technology powerhouse Google at their Cambridge headquarters.
“I like the class,” one Charlestown sixth grader told WBZ-TV.
Google is one of several companies that has teamed up with the Boston-based non-profit group Citizen Schools.
“Education can be a game-changer for kids and the future overall,” says Yoelinson Castillo, Citizen Schools campus director for the Edwards Middle School in Charlestown.
Schools enrolled in the program get three hours of additional learning time every day. Dozens of students from Chelsea and Charlestown also get a field trip to Google once a week to learn math, science, and computer programming.
“It makes me feel good to work here,” says Google software engineer, Patrick Dukes. “They don’t want to just occupy this building. They actually want to be in the community.”
The same Google employees who make our daily online searches possible take time out of their day to run these classes.
“The idea is to get kids really interested in how much fun math can be,” said Eli Wylen, a technical program manager at Google and another Citizen Schools volunteer.
Along with these volunteers, Citizen Schools relies on public and private donations. School districts are also asked to cover about one-third of the $2,000 per student price tag.
“I really look at this as an investment,” Castillo says. “It’s a great organization to provide a seed for kids’ minds.”
It’s a seed that could grow into a future career. Wylen has seen that spark light up in kids’ eyes after taking a few classes.
“We try to make it interesting, so that they will want to do it when they grow up,” he said.
Citizen Schools is partnered with 30 schools across the country, including seven in Massachusetts.