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 all.
As society becomes more heavily technologically dependent, the importance of technology education grows. Basic STEM education is essential for success in the modern world for future generations. Unfortunately, many people in low-income or under-served areas do not have easy access to computers and the Internet. The homeless shelters, public libraries, faith-based centers, and schools that serve them, in many cases, lack up-to-date computers that can serve them. In cities like Baltimore, schools are underfunded and teachers are overworked. This leads to several problems, and many kids fall under the cracks. Without one-on-one attention, students can quickly fall behind in STEM subjects. TeCanal works to provide opportunities to access STEM education and technological resources to underprivileged persons in Maryland for success in the future.
In 2015, The United States ranked 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science.- Pew Research 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.
Located at 5302 Harford Road 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 at the Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School. 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.
EK2K:BC is a summer camp for refugees, for which TeCanal provides computers to teach Computer Science, as well as volunteers to help administer STEM programming.