Jacksonville school teaches robotics, other high-demand skills

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students are learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as STEM, in a unique, hands-on program based right here in Jacksonville.

More than 500 students at Shiva Robotics Academy on Beach Boulevard are being introduced to robotics.

When you walk into the Academy there are all different ways a student can learn. Immediately, students grab their name tags and scan a QR code. There is also a personalized robot where a student can program it to dance, talk, and project a screen.

Kalai Sankar, who goes by Coach Kay, founded Shiva Robotics Academy after wanting her two girls to learn STEM at a young age.

She opened the academy from her house and it has expanded. It now reaches hundreds of students in the community.

Sasha Steenson, a robotics student, said Shiva Academy has helped shape her future and now she wants to become a biochemical engineer.

“Once we catch them at a younger age they will stick with the program until college,” Sankar said.

That’s the goal -- to help shape their future. Coach Kay said her daughter is now in college pursuing an engineering degree and she’s hoping to impact other students to do the same.

“I’ve learned how to build and program some of these robots also I’ve learned the essence of teamwork through the robotics team,” Joshua Whitfield, a student at the academy, said.

From 3D printing to autonomous vehicles and innovative projects, it’s all done in a fun and creative way.

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