Two Metea Valley High School rising seniors are helping their fellow students with STEM learning through their organization, Panda Learning.
“Panda Learning is a free, STEM-related course organization where we provide seasonal courses,” said co-founder of Panda Learning, Joshika Nachiappan. “We run courses in the summer and in the winter and it’s for anyone in grades four through twelve.”
Nachiappan and Pragna Amilineni founded the organization in July 2020.
“One of the reasons I started this organization with Pragna is because a very long time ago I saw that I needed to do something and then the pandemic gave us an opportunity to start something,” said Nachiappan.
The summer program runs from June to August and covers classes like chemistry, biology, physics, math courses, computer science, and robotics. They also bring in guest speakers for the students.
“We decided to do something where they could either learn for fun or learn because they’re interested in STEM, or simply just to get ahead,” said Amilineni.
The winter program usually begins at the end of November or early December and runs two weeks – one for SAT prep and the other for ACT prep.
A Free Resource
Panda Learning is completely student-run, including tutors, teachers, and those building curriculums. They operate remotely and rely on Discord and Google Classroom to teach students.
“That’s why we also made it free too because we want to help the community rather than look for any huge benefit,” said Amilineni.
During their “off” seasons, they continue to provide activities and material in the Discord server. They’ve even reached international students in countries like Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
Being able to provide this resource for students is important for them, as both are planning to go into STEM careers.
“To establish our presence as women in a really big, critical major I think is awesome to even just think about and it’s great that we’re making it a reality,” said Amilineni. “And now we’re encouraging kids younger than us and older to step in and do something for themselves and just have fun with it.”
Students interested in joining the programs can sign up on through the Panda Learning website.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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