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STEAM Education Without Borders: Canadian Indigenous Youth Visit Silicon Valley by Telepresence Robot

Indigesteam coach (at home, Left Ohmni) and Siksika First Nation teacher and student (in class on-Nation, right Ohmni) at the Inventures conference in Calgary, 2022

Indigesteam coach (at home, Left Ohmni) and Siksika First Nation teacher and student (in class on-Nation, right Ohmni) at the Inventures conference in Calgary, 2022

We came to realize that the Ohmni Telepresence Robots would allow us to interact with youth on-Nation to grow our robotics clubs and mentoring activities in ways that have never been tried before.”
— Deanna Burgart, IndigeSTEAM President and “Indigeneer”

SAN JOSE, CA, USA, August 8, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- What: IndigeSTEAM Society, along with partners Pantala Technologies and OhmniLabs, offers first-of-its-kind telepresence educational experience for First Nations youth. Urban and On-Nation Indigenous Youth will tour OhmniLabs’ state-of-the-art 3D Print Farm in Silicon Valley via the Ohmni Telepresence Robots without traveling the distance.

Where: Indigenous Youth Summer STEAM Camp at the University of Calgary

When: August 9, 2022

Who: IndigeSTEAM Society, Pantala Technologies, OhmniLabs, Telus, Insight Enterprises Canada

Schedule:

10:00 am -12:00 pm Mountain Time (MDT): Context: Coaching in the Classroom via Ohmni Robots, Location: University of Calgary main campus: TRB portable classrooms outside Math Sci, Parking lot 22 off 32 Ave NW, University of Calgary maps

1:00 pm MDT: Youth learning how to drive Ohmni Robots

1:30 pm MDT: OhmniLabs Print Farm tour (Driving themselves remotely in San Francisco via robots)

2:15 pm MDT: Youth doing choreo and costume design

3:00 pm MDT: Robot Flash Mob! Location: University of Calgary, ICT building open area, ground level.

On August 9th, IndigeSTEAM Summer STEAM camp youth will “travel” from Canada to Silicon Valley to tour OhmniLabs’ 3D printing farm. Using Ohmni Telepresence Robots for their tour, students will learn about the growing field of additive manufacturing, learning from experts firsthand. “We are delighted to welcome IndigeSTEAM students to our manufacturing facility. Distance learning has never been easier,” states Tra Vu, COO of OhmniLabs.

Before and especially during the pandemic, IndigeSTEAM Society, an organization that builds Indigenous-led, and culturally relevant STEM/STEAM programming for youth, witnessed immense challenges to support their mentorship and coaching activities across First Nations in Alberta. COVID restrictions not only severely restricted travel to and from the reserves but also the availability of mentor volunteers who could visit the reserves. The missed education and training opportunities further aggravated the dire state of Indigenous youth who already are extremely under-represented in STEM education and careers.

Pantala Technologies has partnered with IndigeSTEAM to bring the Ohmni Telepresence Robots to the First Nations to help IndigeSTEAM improve access to education and expand its coaching and mentoring reach.

“We had some successful robot trials at Siksika High school during the summer of 2021 and found it far better than online conferencing. We came to realize that the Ohmni Telepresence robots would allow us to interact with youth on-Nation to grow our robotics clubs and mentoring activities in ways that have never been tried before. We are extremely keen to work with this technology to expand our STEM outreach programming, and engage and connect Indigenous youth across Canada and elsewhere," says Deanna Burgart, IndigeSTEAM President and “Indigeneer."

Pantala Technologies, OhmniLabs’ Canadian partner, is introducing the Ohmni Telepresence Robot to help educational facilities build unique classrooms and social interactions. Using the robots, mentors can visit a classroom, interact with youth directly, and watch what they are doing. In addition, students and teachers can control the robot in a special location for face-to-face conversations, moving room-to-room, and looking around freely. Both uses enable participants to be present as if they were there in person, all while saving time and the cost of travel.

“I was the mentor visiting Siksika in the summer of 2021. The classroom dynamic was awesome! With this Ohmni technology, we really can be in two places at one time!” says IndigeSTEAM/Ohmni mentor, Wendy Hutchins.

“We feel privileged to introduce this advanced robotic platform to Canada that can help make education accessible and inclusive, especially for our First Nations,” says Sanah Jowhari, CEO of Pantala Technologies. “Through our partnership with organizations like IndigeSTEAM we are just beginning to explore the value of telepresence robots to Indigenous communities and so far have been very impressed by the acceptance of this technology as a new way of learning exchange between Indigenous youth, their role models and other non-Indigenous members of the community.” Ohmni Robot has been deployed at educational institutions and communities around the world.

After successfully deploying multiple Ohmnis at the Siksika Nation earlier this year, IndigeSTEAM is now planning to expand its programming outreach and outcomes via Telepresence robots to other First Nations with the help of new funding from both Telus Indigenous Communities grant and Insight Canada.

About IndigeSTEAM:
IndigeSTEAM's mission is the provision of Indigenous-led and culturally-relevant programming in STEM/STEAM to support a better future for Indigenous youth in STEM. We do this with spaces that are ethical and respect Indigenous culture and Ways of Knowing. We bring in Indigenous STEM role models and train non-Indigenous and Indigenous STEM professionals on how best to work with Indigenous youth and youth in general. We also provide Indigenous STEM professionals with networking and support that recognizes their need to walk in two worlds. IndigeSTEAM Society is a non-profit society founded in 2018 combining 3 programs for youth programming, mentor support, and community involvement. Website: www.indigesteam.ca

About Pantala Technologies:
At Pantala Technologies our mission is to empower you with transformative technologies that are changing lives. We distribute and integrate unique service robotic platforms that are inclusive-by-design and have demonstrated impact worldwide. Our solutions are designed, tested, and validated by industry experts, and are solving pressing problems within global communities. Website: www.pantalatech.com

About OhmniLabs:
Founded in 2015 by robotics experts Jared Go, Tingxi Tan, and serial entrepreneur Thuc Vu, OhmniLabs, Inc. is a Silicon Valley robotics company that produces service robots at scale. With over 3,000 robots deployed worldwide in 50 countries, OhmniLabs made a name for itself by creating a unique, on-demand robot manufacturing model that allows it to design, engineer, and manufacture custom robots based on customer needs at an unrivaled speed. The company produces all robots in the USA using proprietary 3D printing processes and boasts a vast portfolio of modular accessories that unlock a world of possibilities. OhmniLabs telepresence and UV-C disinfecting robots are used daily by businesses, medical professionals, schools, and major sports teams around the world.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Sanah Jowhari
Co-founder, CEO, Pantala Technologies
sanah@pantalatech.com
403-991-0087

Deanna Burgart
President, IndigeSTEAM Society
info@indigesteam.ca
368-999-8834

OhmniLabs
pr@ohmnilabs.com
(650) 420-6468

Laura Guy
OhmniLabs
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