TeCanal is a people-focused, student-founded nonprofit organization tackling the issues of poor STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) education and lack of access to technology in low-income communities. As its name suggests, Te(ch)Canal aims
to be a “canal”, or link, between technology and the communities that will benefit from it, connecting youth in all communities together in pursuit of a unified goal: STEM education for
TeCanal receives donations of technology equipment such as computers, and distributes it to those who need it most. We believe access to technology is a fundamental need in our modern world, which is why we bring computers to every outreach, giving the students we work with a chance to learn how to interact in a technological environment.
We aim to spark interest in STEM through our fun and engaging curriculum. We want our students to be excited and ready for the new weekly challenges we present them with. We hope to motivate them to explore careers and opportunities in the rapidly-expanding world of technology.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These are the disciplines of the future. It is our mission to bring education in these areas to our students through our diverse curriculum. Scratch, Snap Circuits, books, engineering toys, Sonic Pi, Hummingbirds, and our own TeCanal created games are just some of the tools at our disposal.
In May 2015, Handa Chun approached the three other members of the board of directors (Dhivyan Karunakaran, Robert Jett, and Hanseung Chun) to propose his idea of creating nonprofit organization that would bring technology and STEM education to people
who would not otherwise receive it. Soon afterwards, the board of directors structured the organization and developed a plan for TeCanal’s growth. In August 2015, TeCanal, Inc. received 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from
the Internal Revenue Service and became eligible to receive tax-deductible donations. TeCanal’s first STEM outreach program began at the Mattie B. Uzzle Outreach Center in Baltimore, MD in October 2015. In May 2016,
TeCanal’s second STEM outreach program began at the Immigrant Outreach Service Center in Baltimore. Its third outreach program, which focuses on STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) education, began
in July 2017 as a partnership between TeCanal and Creative Alliance. Today, TeCanal consists of over 60 volunteers led by its board of directors, board of advisers, and executive officers.
Mattie B. Uzzle Outreach Center
At this outreach center, located on North Chester Street in Baltimore, TeCanal partners with a nonprofit organization called Baltimore Inner-City Mission (BIM). Every Friday, TeCanal’s STEM outreach program at Mattie B. Uzzle Outreach Center, which complements the academic and religious education program run by BIM, teaches a wide variety of STEM topics to children from one of the poorest areas in Baltimore.
Immigration Outreach Service Center (IOSC)
Located on Loch Raven Boulevard in Baltimore, IOSC runs a tutoring program that provides academic assistance to children from immigrant families. Every Saturday, TeCanal runs a class complementing this tutoring program. The class teaches computer science using Scratch or Python.
TeCanal is working with Creative Alliance’s Open Minds program to teach teens HTML web development and interactive sculpture-making with robotics. This is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) education program. The ability to combine technology with art is a highly valuable skill in the ever-changing job market.