PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “Our ultimate mission is to inspire, unveil and empower children through STEM to change the trajectory of their lives,” said John Henry.
Henry, who grew up in Center City, Philadelphia, realized that digital equity was an issue while working as an infrastructure attorney. He founded Grace3 Technologies in 2015 to help provide connectivity solutions for first responders and community members.
His passion for helping children manifested itself today in the form of the first annual Xtreme5 Teen Tech Summit. By bringing technology partners together, Henry was able to organize a day of hands-on learning for students from various after-school organizations in Philadelphia.
“I’m a first-generation kid going to college and law school,” he said. “So I understand some of the challenges they face.”
Henry’s educational programs focus primarily on drones, which are widely used by utility companies and other commercial services.
“There are many avenues for growth in this space, and we’re trying to educate high-net-worth communities to participate in this ecosystem,” Henry said.
The Science History Institute hosted the technology-rich day with virtual reality experiences and drone flights from companies like Drone Cadets and Skydio. Additionally, officers from the Philadelphia Police Department brought vehicles so that children could learn more about technology used on the job.
The students were impressed by the high-tech demonstrations.
“I kind of planned my future, but that might change what I want to do when I’m older,” said Persephone, a Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) student. “People talking about science really got me trying to be like a scientist or something.”
In a way, the reaction of each student was proof of a successful experiment on the part of the organizers.
“If they can be made to be interested in science and technology, they’re going to say, ‘Man, I might want to study that,'” said David Cole, president and CEO of the Science History Institute. “We thought a great way to do that would be to show them about the history of science. to tell you stories. That is the specialty of the Science History Institute.”
To learn more about Grace3 Technologies or the Science History Institute, visit their websites.
RELATED: Author, activist crowns young black women with confidence
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved.
https://6abc.com/drone-philadelphia-students-xtreme5-teen-tech-summit/12169558/ Drones help Philadelphia students reach new heights at first annual tech summit