Veronica Lin '15 “Informally Extends Her Honors Thesis,” Teaching Robotics to Girls in South Africa
Veronica Lin ‘15 graduated in May with a degree in Computer Science and Economics. This summer, she's engaged in what she referred to as "an informal extension of her honors thesis." Lin is spending 10 weeks in Cape Town, South Africa, with ORT SA CAPE, an organization that offers robotics and reading programs for children, along with courses for teachers, in impoverished schools and communities. Lin’s work is funded in part by a Wellesley Serves! Grant.
"My main mission here is to create robotics curriculum...to inspire more girls to pursue robotics and technology," said Lin. While at Wellesley, Lin helped start a Robogals chapter and hosted a weekly "Girls Who Code" club with families in the Town of Wellesley.
"Within my first week [in Cape Town], I realized that most of the children we work with are boys," Lin said. She convinced ORT SA CAPE to offer a few workshops for girls only, modeled after the classes and workshops she taught while at Wellesley. She hosted her first two "Girls in Action" workshops last week.
In addition to teaching robotics, Lin has participated in teaching training courses offered by ORT SA CAPE designed to teach STEM education and early childhood development. "The two education courses I took at Wellesley have allowed me to make contributions...and my winter internship at the Wellesley Child Study Center has proved useful,” Lin said. On her blog, while describing activities during her first week, Lin shared a story about teaching a group of teachers a method that may help “900 more South African 5-year olds...[learn] to tell right and left."
In that same first week blog post, she wrote about connecting with alumnae in the area. "[They] have welcomed me with open arms to this wonderful city, and I could not be more grateful for their generosity and kindness," Lin wrote. Read about her journey, and see her photographs, on her blog.