Technology is rapidly evolving day by day. Hence, the children, the leaders of tomorrow, must be equipped with knowledge and skills on these technologies for them to make their own contribution to the world. For this, the background of the children, whether they are from a village or a town, whether rich or poor, must not stand as a barrier.

The project IEEE for the Countryside (ගම්මැද්දට IEEE අපි) is a collaborative effort of IEEE PES, IAS and RAS Student Branch Chapters of University of Moratuwa hand in hand with IEEE Student Branch University of Moratuwa with the hope of lending a helping hand to aspiring school students from areas far away from the capital of the country. 

The inspiration for the project came from the students of Anuradhapura Central College, Sri Lanka who strive to innovate by improving their knowledge in electronics and robotics. Their newly formed “Young Scientists Robotics Club” is a symbol of their perseverance to reach greater heights despite many obstacles. However, they have faced several hardships in their endeavours due to the lack of the necessary accessories to carry out their projects and the lack of proper knowledge in basic robotics.

Hence, as Phase 1, Robotics Workshop was conducted at the school on 11th January 2020. Over 70 secondary school children enhanced their knowledge on Robotics, Arduino Programming, Sensors & Actuators along with Hands-on experience on Programming. Finally, a Fun Quiz (Kahoot) to test their knowledge. 

Over 20 IEEE undergraduate members of University of Moratuwa extended their support at the session. A handout on Arduino, designed by the volunteers themselves, was distributed among the students and teachers. It was evident that they found it interesting and useful. 

It is noteworthy that some students who were there in the audience have never used a computer before due to the lack of facilities in their homes. Hence, it is undeniable that the program was able to make a profound impact and provide a source of inspiration to all students to spread their wings and emerge stronger despite their backgrounds. 

As the second phase of the project, electronic devices and accessories necessary for the “Little Scientists Robotics Club” of the school will be donated, along with another session on Robotics at the school.