By Paula Ebben

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.

Students learn lessons in computer programming, math and science at Google through the Citizen Schools program. (WBZ-TV)

Students learn lessons in computer programming, math and science at Google through the Citizen Schools program. (WBZ-TV)

“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.

Local middle schoolers learn lessons in computer programming, math and science at Google through the Citizen Schools program. (WBZ-TV)

Local middle schoolers learn lessons in computer programming, math and science at Google through the Citizen Schools program. (WBZ-TV)

“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.

Paula Ebben

Comments (2)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s