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NASA is privileged to serve as a founding partner in Random Hacks of Kindness, a self-sustaining global community of innovators building practical open technology for a better world, and committed to ensuring their work creates impact in society. The first student-focused RHoK community event (grades 4-8) is planned for this May, and we are excited to explore the overlaps between mass collaborations, technology acceleration and our STEM education goals. Event lead Patrice Gans shares below about her vision for RHoK Jr. 

In the wake of recent tragic events, it has become more important than ever for young people to feel empowered to make a difference in their community. With this goal in mind, Fraser Woods Montessori School in Newtown, CT is presenting Random Hacks of Kindness Junior. The event, which will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2013, offers elementary school students (4th – 8th grade) from across Connecticut the opportunity to explore the power of computing by developing technical solutions to practical problems.

Random Hacks of Kindness Junior (RHoKJr) will bring together technology experts (university professors, college students, high school teachers and students) and elementary students to create Smartphone Apps, websites or educational games to help local causes.

Patterned after the global event, Random Hacks of Kindness (www.rhok.org), whose mission is to create a self-sustaining global community of innovators building practical open technology for a better world, and to ensure their work creates impact in society, participants will work directly with local stake holders to create real world solutions.

Ali Llewellyn, from Open NASA, will also be on site to support the effort. NASA is very excited about their participation in the first ever RHoK Jr event. NASA’s educational focus is on strengthening the NASA’s future workforce, attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines and engaging Americans in NASA’s mission. “The best education happens when students use their growing technical skills to help address real problems and RHoK Jr gives us an opportunity to help further these objectives in the context of a collaborative experience. One of these students could be the first human to walk on Mars – we want to help inspire them as learners, problem solvers and explorers.”

The following organizations have requested technical assistance and will be presenting their requests at the May event: Newtown Trails Commission, Newtown Kindness, Ben’s Bells, The Animal Center (of Newtown), Autism Speaks and the American Diabetes Association (CT Chapter).

The vision is simple: anyone, anywhere should have the tools to change the world at their fingertips. Acts of kindness come in all shapes and sizes, and technology is just another avenue which needs to be explored.

About Ali

Community Advocate

NASA Headquarters

alicia.llewellyn-1@nasa.gov