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Volunteer Recap: 9 Dots

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During the two years I’ve worked at Omaze I’ve loved the opportunities I’ve had to volunteer with the team. I was really excited when our engineering team had the chance to volunteer at 9 Dots, an organization founded by a passionate group of engineers and educators who believe all kids deserve the chance to imagine a career in engineering. They noticed the lack of resources for hands-on science curriculum in Los Angeles and set out to create a science, technology, engineering and math program here.

When we arrived at 9 Dots we toured the learning center, a space filled with bright walls and a beautiful courtyard. We joined our first class of the day, where we were paired with a student who was learning to code their first text-based adventure game. I worked with two girls who had written two of the spookiest haunted house games I’ve ever played!

Next, we helped a group of students in a robotics class. Each student had built their own robot and written the code to control it’s movement. Luckily, we were there on the day of their final tournament and got to watch the students input live commands to attack and defeat other robots in a ‘sumo-wrestling’ match. It was so much fun cheering on the kids, playing pump-up music, and helping them troubleshoot any problems they had with the robots.

I’m really passionate about encouraging kids (and especially girls) to get involved in science and engineering. I did really well in science and math classes growing up, but never considered a career in these fields until I was an adult. I’m so thankful for all of the work that 9 Dots does to inspire these kids and so happy they let us help out for a day!

– Ali, Software Engineer


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