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Oracle Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded by Oracle and staffed by Oracle employees. Its mission is to help young people develop the technical acumen, creative confidence, empathy, and grit to become outstanding designers of solutions to people’s needs and the world’s problems.
In the Foundation’s program, Oracle Volunteers coach high school students through classes at the intersection of design thinking and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) disciplines. Students learn coding, electrical engineering, and user-centered design from real practitioners, and then apply their skills and knowledge to prototyping solutions. The Foundation’s program also organizes internships for high school students.
Oracle employees who participate in the Foundation’s program—whether coaching classes or managing interns—are true skillanthropists. They apply personal and professional skills to help change students’ lives. The program engages employees from a wide range of disciplines, including technologists, program managers, user experience researchers, and marketing experts.
Working, running errands, and getting from point A to point B is time-consuming, and it’s often tough to get everything done. In the Foundation’s Internet of Things class, students designing for a busy user created Commuticator—a task optimizer that simplifies schedules and routes, as well as communications with people affected by the user’s activities. The experience taught them more than just how to code. “We learned the importance of collaboration and project
All Jacked Up
In the Foundation's 3D Design + Production class, this team of students developed a lightweight, portable motorcycle jack to help their 79-year-old user easily fix a flat without having to lay down a 250-pound dirt bike and then wrestle it up again. “It was great to be able to learn 3D printing in such a fun environment, and do a project with real purpose,” they said. “We’ve always thought these skills were difficult and complicated, and this project helped us realize just how attainable they are to anyone. Plus, we feel good knowing that our user, Ralph, can keep on doing something he loves—off-road riding—and be confident that he won’t get stuck in the wilderness.”
Eager to aid in the early detection of breast cancer, these students put their empathy and creativity to work in the Foundation’s Wearable Tech class. They built a solution called VidaCam, an in-home thermal imaging camera and data-tracking system that detects and records abnormal heat signatures associated with cancer cell replication and other forms of disease. “This was such a special experience,” they said. “While it’s a prototype and a long way from being a tested medical device, we truly believe that VidaCam has the potential to benefit many people, and we hope that someday it can be accessible and affordable to all.”
After interviewing an athlete recovering from injury, this team recognized the need for a smart ankle brace that could gamify physical therapy. In the Foundation’s Wearable Tech class, they built Intellibrace, an intelligent ankle brace that not only teaches patients to perform rehabilitative exercises correctly, but actually makes exercising fun. The device records performance data so that it can be shared with a physical therapist. “We learned a lot about coding, physical computing, project management, and human anatomy,” they said. “And perhaps most importantly, what we are truly capable of achieving when we work together.”
In Socratic seminars, teachers are challenged to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to be heard. To make this idea a reality, these students created Socrates—an Internet of Things solution that tracks classroom participation via an online dashboard. Each student is given a device that, when activated, places their name in a speaker queue. A teacher dashboard shows the queue and keeps a record of each student’s participation. “We learned that the best way to develop new skills is to dive right in: failing, learning, and then building up to a product that meets the needs of our users,” they said.
volunteer hours donated
In Oracle Education Foundation’s 3D Design + Production class, students developed a lightweight, portable motorcycle jack to help a 79-year-old user fix a flat without having to lay down a 250-pound dirt bike and then wrestle it up again.
At Oracle OpenWorld 2018, Design Tech High School students showcased the innovative prototypes they built in Oracle Education Foundation classes.
In Oracle Education Foundation’s 3D Design + Production class, students learn how to design and produce 3D prototypes using industry-standard tools. Twenty-two young women from Design Tech High School participated in this class featuring Carbon, whose revolutionary technology fuses light and oxygen in order to rapidly produce 3D products.
National Geographic Explorer Shah Selbe joined Oracle Education Foundation’s Data Visualization class and introduced Design Tech High School students to conservation technology that enables good stewardship of the salt marsh in their own backyard.
Twenty-two ninth-grade girls participated in Oracle Education Foundation’s first wearable technology workshop. Oracle Volunteer instructors were just as excited as d.tech students about all the creative prototypes that came out of this experience.