Facebook is helping children learn how to code in the most innovative way possible. Kids who can complete their programming assignments successfully will be sent Sphero robots, which they can program.
Facebook’s latest educational venture, CodeFWD, will provide online programming tutorials to children and assist the teachers from Code.org.
These programmable Sphero robots are called Bolts. Sphero is the company that made the now-famous Star Wars BB-8 droid toy.
Facebook for Education collectively lists programs that help teach students how to code. These include TechStart and Oculus Next Gen for providing schools and colleges with VR headsets.
Another example would be Launchpad and Oculus, which helps support diverse, creative VR content makers and gives a much-needed spotlight to philanthropic VR material.
Facebook has also developed tools for teachers called Workplace and Groups to help them coordinate and organize work-related tasks more efficiently.
Facebook is launching another initiative this month known as Engineer for the Week. This will be an after-school program that will teach teens applied computer science.
Students will be working on developing games and chatbots for local causes. This will be a three-week program in which students will work with engineers at Facebook.
The program runs four times a year, i.e., once every quarter.
The next cycle will start on the first of October and will end in a two-day hackathon event at Facebook HQ.
Facebook wants to increase diversity.
Facebook’s primary goal is to provide underprivileged and underrepresented communities with the right tools to get them into computer programming.
The company is focusing on the future; it wants such communities to have more opportunities so they can reap the benefits by increasing their workplace diversity.
Director of Facebook Education Lauryn Hale Ogbechie said,” We know that it’s important to make sure we’re supporting the next generation of diverse talent. It can really widen the pipeline.”
She added, “I think it’s of benefit to any tech company and the industry. If we’re able to support students studying computer science, that will benefit everyone down the road.”
Facebook has not clearly stated how many robots it will be sending out. Once the teacher and students have completed the tutorials and quizzes, they can apply for the robot.
Hopefully, this move will ease some of the tension in the Silicon Valley giant and show it in a good light.