Educational support for local schools continues to go from strength to strength at The Academy where we are delivering exciting programmes across sustainability, STEM and one to one pupil support. These programmes have also created new opportunities for volunteering creating a "win/win" with volunteers gaining valuable experiences and skills and helping us deliver support to local schools. We asked our "Sphero" volunteer Xander about his experiences.
I got involved with the Sphero club via another organisation called Project Scotland which matches up young people with volunteering opportunities in Scottish charities. I had a meet up with David in which he pitched the club to me and showed off the Spheros which seemed like great fun so I started volunteering with David. Spheros are small robots that pupils learn to programme - it's all about science, technology and maths.
The most gratifying aspect of volunteering that I have found so far is helping the kids get to that moment when everything clicks and they completely understand the concept we are teaching them. The skill I think I am developing at Sphero club is communication. Communication with the participants can be very difficult sometimes as we have completely different levels of knowledge so it's key to simplify concepts so they can understand them. Communication also happens to be the most challenging aspect of Sphero club for that exact reason. Especially because primary schoolers can be embarrassed when they don't understand how to do something.
In the future, I hope to study Economics and Mathematics at University and attending Sphero club will help by providing a unique experience that helps my application. Multiple young people have gotten much more interested in the maths we are working with at Sphero club which makes me happy since I love the maths we use.
"I'm delighted that Xander decided to volunteer at Sphero - he's committed, organised and passionate and that's so important when you're a role model for the pupils. His experiences are helping the pupils aspire to be on a STEM pathway on their future careers."
Volunteers are at the heart of The Spartans Community Football Academy. Their time, commitment and skills ensure that we can operate our facility, deliver our programmes and make a difference to the lives of young people in North Edinburgh.