Opinion: The Frustrating Disparities of STEM Education

 A diverse innovative group of youth has been selected to take part in VR Odyssey Spring Sessions, a grand leap CS / STEM program focused on exponential technology development.  The youth participating in this program join top experts in breakthrough tech fields of gaming, AI, autonomous driving cars, science, math and more, helping them define the future of thinking and find solutions to problems facing our world.VR Odyssey is led by Darryl Starr, Founder / Project Director, and Reverend Robert Lacy Jr., Executive Director both devoted to putting youth in position to provoke change.  The program is hosted at Saint Andrew Private School, located at 2608 West Street in West Oakland a.k.a. “Wakanda” (thanks Black Panther movie!).

By Rev. Robert Lacy, Jr. | St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church
The current problem with STEM education programs is that technology is outpacing many program’s resources and curriculum. Technologies like VR/AR/MR and AI are prevalent throughout the industry and even some Universities are having a hard time catching up. Instructors are not familiar with cutting-edge technologies. By the time an organization realizes they need to equip young minds with new skills, even newer technologies emerge while international youth are aggressively on the road to mastering these skills.Besides that, the disparity in STEM education continues becoming vaster. The tools aren’t available in schools. Thousands of dollars from each school are required to meet the cost requirements for training youth. This dilemma seems unsurmountable—a race against time and budget.

VR Odyssey solves this problem by bringing experts from companies that create the most advanced technology to our youth. Students work with those experts on tomorrow’s problems they are trying to solve today.

The students see what it takes to do the job and process behind thinking innovatively.  The Experts and students perspectives are broadened and a richer, more diverse job talent and the entrepreunuerial pool is grown.

Make world class execution available for everyone.

Our mission is to empower users like you and me to make our day-to-day routines more efficient by using technology as our best ally—and not something only available to tech people.
VR Odyssey mission is to empower youth in the East Bay and immerse them in tech startup routines of thinking efficiently by using technology as an asset—demystifying what it takes to build the products they use and games they play everyday.

Over the last seven years, VR Odyssey has been successful in that mission, originally starting at Realm Charter School in Berkeley, then at the Glover Center in East Oakland, and now relocated in Wakanda, again a.k.a. West Oakland.  Thanks to the runaway success.

Every Saturday, for the next ten weeks, youths will build games for VR/AR/MR and software for autonmous driving cars learning world class execution methods in an accessible format using a new educational learning platform pioneered by VR Odyssey. AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistance helps students learn with less friction enabling them to take on greater challenges faster.

Designing our own future will change the game

It’s not just about making video games or helping cars drive themselves but future-proofing our kids with the latest technologies helping them to stand with the best-of-breed around the world in competition for new jobs. Everyone deserves to have a chance at these jobs entering their communities and VR Odyssey is here to help youth prove their value in the highly competitive tech space.

The top future jobs candidates won’t just need to know technical fundamentals but they’ll need to be aware of the cultures these products connect to. This is the power of diversity initiatives and an advantage that our youth already have as they are in the majority of the consumer space. VR Odyssey is to become a Transformation Manager of the New Media markets. Its flexible curriculum and fun, engaging learning culture improve our youth productivity and quality of learning experience.

Making the world 1000x better.

Now it’s time to join together and support our youth writing this next chapter. Join us in supporting the VR Odyssey team bringing experience from video game and tech industry with your donations and investments helping them to create world-class products and careers in tech. With our communities’ injection of capital and know-how, we’ll improve our world here and now to provide the tech world with even better chances to continue leading the world in solving complex problems.

How can you can you help?  Keep sharing the word widely!  Donate to VR Odyssey today by contacting (510) 467-9621 or emailing [email protected].

Stay tuned for  more of this journey that’s on the horizon!


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