Cool Kid – Robotics
Cool Kid Ben Indeglia is proof that just one person can make a big difference. He took his passion for robotics and teamed up with the Compton Unified School District to help teach robotics to students who were never exposed to this particular science before.
Nearly every Saturday, you’ll find Indeglia teaching young kids about robotics.
“It’s really exciting, and it’s even more exciting when the kids not only first see the robot move but have the robot do exactly what they want to do,” the 18-year-old senior said.
This all started three years ago when Indeglia realized he was fortunate to learn robotics at New Roads School in Santa Monica.
“I decided hey, what if I went to a place where probably kids don’t have a robotics program and tried to implement one there,” he said.
Ben chose Compton, and after teaming up with his former 8th-grade teacher, he started a GoFundMe campaign and purchased equipment for 20 students.
Now, the program includes about 200 kids at more than 20 schools with the help of grant funding.
“They’re learning all of the fundamental concepts, loops and decisions and switches. In their minds, they can kind of see themselves doing this as a career,” said Danny Figueroa, a teacher at New Roads Middle School.
“It’s really challenging and exciting,” said student Lilian Ramirez.
“It’s like, it’s a light in my life,” said another student, Kimberly Bravo.
“All of these kids are really great and really know what they’re doing already. They just need to have a small amount of exposure to this world of STEM and robotics,” Indeglia said.
Luther Williams, the head of New Roads School, describes Ben as “the coolest.”
“He is incredibly bright but he is humble and he is a doer,” Williams added.
This Cool Kid has been working with teachers and volunteers, who will take over the program this fall when he attends the University of Chicago to study biological sciences.
“The program will still be running smoothly and seamlessly and it will continue to grow and expand without me,” Indeglia said.
Learn more about Indeglia on Vista L.A. Saturday at 1 p.m. on ABC7.