Greenwich Company Connects U.S. Kids to Students Abroad | Connecticut Public Radio

Greenwich Company Connects U.S. Kids to Students Abroad

Jul 1, 2015

From her school in Greenwich, Greer sends a video to Ramish, who lives in Karachi, Pakistan. Greer tells her about dissecting a sheep heart.

“It was really cool, but the smell wasn’t so cool, but it was still awesome,” Greer said.

Ramish sends a video back.

“In today’s class, we learned about circulatory system and we dissect the goat heart,” Ramish said.

A boy in Pakistan watches a 3-D printer at work.
Credit Level Up Village

The girls are 21st-century pen-pals, or video pals, to be more precise. It’s one way that Level Up Village is trying to connect kids through science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM, for short.

The company has been connecting American students with kids from around the world since 2012. Their mission is to use technology and training programs to build a global learning community.

Level Up is the brain child of Old Greenwich residents Neesha Rahim and Amy McCooe. The system pairs American students with partners in other countries. The American students pay a fee, which also pays for the program in the other country.

One of the programs Level Up offers involves students designing a piece of technology, and then having it printed using a 3-D printer. McCooe says it’s an example of solving a problem and building something together.

“So they’re learning the iterative design process, they’re learning to communicate with someone from a completely different place, and they’re also learning cultural things about them," McCooe said.

In one case, students in the U.S. worked with partners in Pakistan to develop solar-powered desk lamps that were 3-D printed in Pakistan. They also design video games together.

Co-founder Rahim says they want kids to be prepared for the future global economy.

"What's been very important to us, is putting really fun programs together that give kids coding skills," Rahim said.

Level Up Village is currently in 35 U.S. schools, with global partners in 16 countries.