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Lately, I have been tallying our numbers to see what we did over the year and it has been exciting to see the graphs.
It has also been awe-inspiring. Awe-inspiring to see so many people can come together to spend hours of thought, time, effort and sweat for the good of someone in need. I have heard many end-of-the-year speeches by CEO’s and it usually sounds very cliched when they say that they alone couldn’t have done so much, etc etc. I am now on the other side and want to say the same cliched things. But I also want to stress how genuine my gratitude, humility and hope is.
Operationally, the program runs only because of our volunteers: hundreds of volunteering engineers who develop and teach the curricula, bilingual speakers who translate all our materials (some of whom have never even met us like Avril Soto and Yvette Johnson), volunteering researchers (who help us evaluate our impact like Robyn Hightower) and teachers and school administrators who volunteer their time to provide the best education for their students.
But I feel the most important thing volunteers bring to Iridescent is their belief in us. It is not easy to take on the problem of inspiring inner-city children to aim to be engineers . It is not easy to develop an innovative program that addresses a need in the community. Its even harder to run such a program on little or no money. That is when every kind word and statement of support becomes solid fuel boosting our engines. Every time we hit a wall (when we get a letter of rejection from a funding agency or talk to people with little imagination and risk-taking abilities) , some volunteer comes along and says how neat our program is and that they would like to support it with their time and effort. We would have crumpled up and died long time ago if it wasn’t for every such individual volunteer.

And so we continue – powerful and sustained.

Thank you for believing in us.

2 replies
  1. BBat50
    BBat50 says:

    Tara – I stopped by again (I’m the one who wants to put together some online science education) to see how you’re doing. Sounds like you had a great year. I too, at the end of the year, sound like a cliche thanking my colleagues.

    I’ve thought about your’s, and others’ comments, that simulated science pales in comparison with hands-on real-world tinkering. It’s troubling since tinkering can only be done by so few people and is few ways. I’m thinking at this point of doing a simulation based science curriculum while judiciously cherry-picking the best hands-on science.

  2. Tara
    Tara says:

    Hi! thanks for stopping by. I am not so sure about the comment that tinkering can be done by only a few. I grew up in india with very little around me and you can tinker with pretty much anything. I think the debate is a very good one about hands-on versus simulations. We use simulations to introduce concepts, but have seen that children need to experiment, trouble-shoot, problem-solve in the real world to really cement the concepts.


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