CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J.– Cliffside Park High School graduate Shravan Parvathaneni was trying to think of a way to satisfy the community outreach requirement for the Robotics Team.
He taught an HTML class at the North Bergen Public Library and showed one of his teachers how to design a website.
That was the genesis for TAKTICS – To Advance Knowledge Through Instructing Computer Science.
Parvathaneni, Tarcisio Lima, Hugo Moraes and Reda Abdelhady visit libraries and teach children the basics of computer science
"We teach the basics, not advanced stuff, to get people interested,” Parvathaneni said.
TAKTICS became an official non-profit organization last September.
Parvathaneni and his colleagues conduct workshops at libraries across Bergen and Hudson counties – including the Fairview Public Library.
Libraries provide a great space for technology instruction, according to the quartet.
"There is ample physical space, good hardware and a built-in audience – all in one place," Moraes said. "Parents feel comfortable bringing kids here and it’s safe.”
"In recent years, libraries have transformed services and programming to reflect a growing need for technology instruction in the form of makerspaces, HTML and coding classes, 3D printers and more," Fairview Public Library Director Kristin Nelson said. "This allows children and adults access to equipment and software they might not encounter elsewhere."
At the Fairview Public Library, third through seventh grade students learn how create their own games, use Chromebooks and collaborate with their peers, Nelson said.
"The students are learning while having fun at the same time," Parvathaneni said. "The best is the last day when they finish their own game."
"Technology instruction is bound to help the next generation as they decide what college major to select, what to be passionate about and dedicate their lives to," Nelson added.
And when it comes to college, Parvathaneni plans to study Computer Science at Monmouth University.