It’s no secret that I care very deeply about the current state of engineering education. If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you might know that I’ve given talks on the state of engineering education in America, that I’ve led a cross-country bus trip to teach sustainable engineering and architecture, that I’ve traveled around the world to share my love of robotics, that I’ve taught engineering programs in NYC, and that I’ve been producing free educational engineering videos since I was 16. Most recently, I published a book (Exploring Arduino) on the popular Arduino electronics prototyping platform, with the hope that I’d be able to reach an even greater audience of people – both kids and adults. On December 16th, I announced that I had sold 10,000 copies of my book, and that I would be donating 100% of my royalties from sales of my book to support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education non-profits from December 16th until the end of 2013. As an added bonus, Google (my employer) would be matching my donations. I’m excited to report that the statistics are in, and the two weeks from December 16th to December 31st saw the best sales of my book since its launch in July. With your help, I netted $2000 in royalties ($2000 is an estimate provided to me by my publisher – it’s hard to nail down an exact number for a date range)! Since Google will be matching my donations, that means that a total of $4000 dollars will be going to support STEAM education non-profits! I couldn’t have done this without YOUR support – THANK YOU.
I’ve put considerable thought into specifically where I want the money to go. I decided that I’m going to donate half of the money to a local STEAM education non-profit (I want to give back to my new local community of San Francisco, CA), and that I’m going to donate the other half to a nation-wide STEAM education organization. Locally, I’ll be giving to The Exploratorium, a truly amazing hands-on learning laboratory that exposes thousands of children and adults to STEAM topics every year with wonderful exhibits, classes, and activities. I actually just paid a visit to the Exploratorium a week ago and was amazed by how much I learned in the four hours that I spent there. I was surrounded by hundreds of people (of all ages), and each and every one of them was completely engaged by the Exploratorium’s hundreds of creative exhibits that teach topics ranging from electromagnetic induction to human color perception. If you live in San Francisco, or are planning to visit, visiting the Exploratorium is an absolute MUST. Their annual report further elaborates on the considerable impact that the Exploratorium has on its patrons. I’ll be donating the other half to Curiosity Hacked (previously the Hacker Scouts). Curiosity Hacked “guilds” all over the country provide affordable and accessible programs that leverage open source materials to teach STEAM topics to the next generation. Their various classes support a multitude of ages and learning styles, and give students the ability to develop leadership and creative skills all while learning technical topics. I’ve already supported Curiosity Hacked in the past by contributing to their local kickstarter campaign, and by helping their St. Louis Guild build an Arduino and circuit design curriculum based around my video tutorials. So far, I’ve been impressed by their mission, and I’m looking forward to following their success, and the successes of their many students.
Thanks again for your help and support. I promise to continue doing everything I can to support STEAM education in my local communities, and worldwide via my blog and videos. Consider volunteering with organizations in your community to teach engineering topics to those with less experience than yourselves – you’ll be glad you did!