A Summer Solstice Celebration to Remember

EqOpTech attended the Los Altos Community Foundation 2017 Summer Solstice Celebration on June 24, 2017. Held at The Wayman Home (formerly Adobe Creek Lodge), the garden party featured locally produced wine, appetizers, live music, and friends from the local community.

Terence Lee, EqOpTech, Lisa Chung, District Rep Senator Jerry Hill, Clay Volino & Georgia Lyon (Interms at Sen. Hill's Office), left to right

Terence Lee, EqOpTech, Lisa Chung, District Rep Senator Jerry Hill, Clay Volino & Georgia Lyon (Interms at Sen. Hill's Office), left to right

Happy Summer Solstice: here's 3 reasons why we love the LACF summer solstice.

1. Networking with the Community

This is a great opportunity to reconnect and/or meet friends. We have the pleasure of seeing Lisa Chung from the District Representative Senator Jerry Hill's office again and meet the Interns, Clay Volino & Georgia Lyon.

Sana Khader, Leadership Council at LACF E3 (educate, engage, and empower) Youth Philanthropy gave a presentation about its program and vision to bring forth positive social change through service, leadership and grant making activities. Sana is also a senior from Los Altos High School and an active volunteer at EqOpTech's Computer-in-a-Box service project via the National Honor Society.

In addition to the E3 Youth program, we are also introduced to representatives from the LEAD (Leadership, Education and Advancement Program), CAFE (Center for Age Friendly Excellence) as well as Los Altos BAT (Los Altos BAT Action Teams) and other local nonprofits. EqOpTech appreciates and welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with these organizations to make a difference in our community.

Joe Eyre, LACF Executive Director, spoke to the audience about the Foundation, its vision, programs and ways to get involved.

2. It's Summer, Let the Festivities Commence! 

The beautiful Wayman Home and its surrounding 46 acres of architectures and elegant gardens is accompanied by great wine, food, music and company. Our favorite wine friends are: 

  • Bryan Family Vineyards
  • Chateau d'Hitz 
  • Cloudstone Zinfandel
  • Chang Vineyards Sangiovese

Thank you for the great conversations and wine sharing!

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3. Summer solstice brings more sunshine

Let's welcome the summer and celebrate the longer days of good times.

EqOpTech Bridges the Digital and Education Divide with Community Grant from Los Altos Community Foundation

EqOpTech is proud to announce it has been awarded a Community Grant of $2,500 by the Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF). The Los Altos Community Grants Program supports nonprofit organizations and activities that directly serve the residents of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and the surrounding community. 

The LACF Community Grant will be used to bridge the digital and education divide by enabling free, equal opportunity learning via access to technology in under-served community while inspiring and engaging student volunteers to give back and serve as role models to gain meaningful experiences and leadership skills. 

Since inception, the nonprofit has launched various initiatives, including laptop donation drive, Computer-in-a-Box refurbishing program and STEM workshops. These service projects not only aim to provide students with a platform to gain real-world experience and leadership skills but also mentor and train students in computer engineering skills. To date, the nonprofit organization has received approximately 500 donated laptops from individuals, schools and companies. Each laptop will be refurbished to its full functionality with operating system and removal of all personal data prior to deployment.

"Thanks to LACF, this grant will contribute towards missing or defective laptop components such as power adapters, hard disk drives and batteries for the Computer-in-a-Box refurbishing program," said Terence Lee, Founder and CEO. “This will allow us to revive older technology to access the cloud (Google Drive) and provide students with real-world work experience.” He added, “We also plan to offer a series of hands-on computer networking summer workshops for high potential, low income students to gain tech experience and achieve their college and career dreams.”

"Los Altos Community Foundation is pleased to support EqOpTech's work. It is important for all students to have access to the Internet for learning and career preparation," said Joe Eyre, Executive Director at Los Altos Community Foundation.

Joe Eyre, LACF Executive Director (left), Terence Lee, EqOpTech Founder

Joe Eyre, LACF Executive Director (left), Terence Lee, EqOpTech Founder

About EqOpTech

EqOpTech Inc. is an IRS-designated tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that enables free, equal opportunity learning via access to technology in under-served community. EqOpTech provides easy access to computer hardware, software, and mentor support in STEM education. For more information, visit www.EqOpTech.org. Follow EqOpTech on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

About LACF

Now in its 25th year, Los Altos Community Foundation enables residents, private foundations, and businesses to strengthen the community through local philanthropy and civic engagement. The Foundation, its donors, and volunteers provide grants and scholarships, operate leadership and community-building programs, incubate “startup” nonprofits, offer donor-directed charitable funds, and convene groups to solve community issues. For more information, visit www.losaltoscf.org

EqOpTech seeks unwanted, functioning laptops to benefit students in need at Monta Loma Elementary School in Mountain View

Following a successful roll out of Refurbished Laptop Home Loan/Usage Program at Santa RitaEganAlmond and Blach schools in Los Altos, EqOpTech, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is expanding its tech outreach to Monta Loma School (Mountain View-Whisman school district) to benefit students without laptops.

BRIDGING THE DIGITAL EDUCATION DIVIDE

Technology is deeply integrated into project-based learning; students are expected to learn and leverage technology tools, from online research, collaboration using google hangouts or google docs to shooting video, iMovies for TED talks. This collaborative environment aims at sharpening student's research and analytical skills as well as teamwork and project management experience expected of them in the real world. For this reason, it is essential that students have access to laptops both in class and at home. 

Students without laptop access outside of class are at a significant disadvantage. Not only are these students unable to access online research at home, but they also cannot collaborate real-time with classmates to prepare for classroom discussion. Overtime, students without laptop will be lagging behind their peers, learning at a slower pace.

MONTA LOMA LAPTOP HOME USAGE PROGRAM - DONATE NOW

EqOpTech is seeking functioning laptops (Windows & Mac) with appropriate power adapters on an ongoing basis. Each laptop will be refurbished to its full functionality with operating system and removal of all personal data prior to redeployment. 

"Our goal is to promote equal opportunity learning through technology tools," according to Terence Lee, CEO and Founder of EqOpTech. "All donated laptops will be refurbished and redeployed to kids who do not have easy access to Google Drive and other cloud-based applications." 

To donate, please drop off at collection box at the office, Monta Loma School, 460 Thompson Ave, Mountain View, between May 15 to 26. Please disable any password prior to donating. If you wish to donate outside of this window, please e-mail donate@eqoptech.org or lucy@eqoptech.org.

Donations are tax-deductible. Tax receipt will be provided upon request and will be mailed directly from EqOpTech Inc.

SUMMER LAPTOP REFURBISHING WORKSHOPS

A series of laptop refurbishing workshops will be hosted locally over the summer where the EqOpTech technical team will teach students basic PC refurbishing skills (Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromium) such as removal of personal data, restore to factory settings, install drivers, maintenance; operating system & software installation, partition hard drive and dual boot, upgrade and repair; and security etc. This event is open to students who have an interest in technology and want to give back to the community. Email contact@eqoptech.org if interested. 

This project is funded in part by a community grant award from Los Altos Community Foundation, thank you LACF!

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TECHNOLOGY

About EqOpTech Inc.
Founded in May 2016, EqOpTech is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization managed by students. EqOpTech promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities.

RECENT PRESS ON EQOPTECH:

'I GIVE THEM A NEW LIFE': HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT TACKLES SILICON VALLEY’S DIGITAL DIVIDE WITH REFURBISHED COMPUTERS, BY REBECCA GREENWAY, APRIL 26, 2017, NBC BAY AREA

NONPROFIT TEACHES TECH SKILLS, FIGHTS INEQUITY, BY JANE RIDGEWAY, APRIL 5, 2017, LOS ALTOS TOWN CRIER

EqOpTech seeks unwanted, functioning laptops to benefit students in need at Blach School

Following a successful roll out of Refurbished Laptop Home Loan/Usage Program at Santa RitaEgan and Almond Schools, EqOpTech, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is launching a laptop drive to benefit students without laptops at Georgina P. Blach Intermediate School.

PROJECT-BASED COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AT LOS ALTOS SCHOOL DISTRICT (LASD)

The 21st century project-based learning is the future of education. Technology is deeply integrated into project-based learning; students are expected to learn and leverage technology tools, from online research, collaboration using google hangouts or google docs to shooting video, iMovies for TED talks. Likewise, teachers use tools like Edmodo, Membean and other Google tools to foster collaboration and student engagement. This collaborative environment aims at sharpening student's research and analytical skills as well as teamwork and project management experience expected of them in the real world. For this reason, it is essential that students have access to laptops both in class and at home. 

BRIDGING THE DIGITAL EDUCATION DIVIDE

The traditional classroom now transforms into a virtual classroom that extends learning beyond the physical classroom. This poses a learning challenge for students who do not have laptops at home. Not only are these students unable to access online research at home, but they also cannot collaborate real-time with classmates to prepare for classroom discussion. Overtime, students without laptop will be lagging behind their peers, learning at a slower pace.

BLACH LAPTOP HOME USAGE PROGRAM - DONATE NOW

EqOpTech is seeking functioning laptops (Windows & Mac) with appropriate power adapters on an ongoing basis. Each laptop will be refurbished to its full functionality with operating system and removal of all personal data prior to redeployment. 

"Our goal is to promote equal opportunity learning through technology tools," according to Terence Lee, CEO and Founder of EqOpTech. "All donated laptops will be refurbished and redeployed to kids who do not have easy access to Google Drive and other cloud-based applications." 

To donate, please drop off at collection box at the office, Blach School, 1120 Covington Ave, Los Altos between May 15 to 26. Please disable any password prior to donating. If you wish to donate outside of this window, please e-mail donate@eqoptech.org or lucy@eqoptech.org.

Donations are tax-deductible. Tax receipt will be provided upon request and will be mailed directly from EqOpTech Inc.

Summer laptop Refurbishing Workshops

A series of laptop refurbishing workshops will be hosted locally over the summer where the EqOpTech technical team will teach students basic PC refurbishing skills (Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromium) such as removal of personal data, restore to factory settings, install drivers, maintenance; operating system & software installation, partition hard drive and dual boot, upgrade and repair; and security etc. This event is open to students who have an interest in technology and want to give back to the community. Email eqoptech@gmail.com if interested in participating.

This project is funded in part by a community grant award from Los Altos Community Foundation, thank you LACF!

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TECHNOLOGY

About EqOpTech Inc.
Founded in May 2016, EqOpTech is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization managed by students. EqOpTech promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities.

Recent press on EqOpTech:

'I Give Them a New Life': High School Student Tackles Silicon Valley’s Digital Divide with Refurbished Computers, By Rebecca Greenway, April 26, 2017, NBC Bay Area

Nonprofit teaches tech skills, fights inequity, By Jane Ridgeway, April 5, 2017, Los Altos Town Crier

 

Inspire Mountain View Challenge Finalist - EqOpTech

The Inspire Mountain View is a community challenge to "inspire innovation that makes Mountain View a more compassionate and equitable community, and a better place to work and play."

EqOpTech (short for Equal Opportunity Technology), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit is proud to be a finalist for the Inspire MV Challenge with a proposed innovative project that would inspire innovation that makes Mountain View a more compassionate and equitable community, and a better place to work and play. This contest is organized and managed by the Los Altos Community Foundation and is sponsored by Google, LinkedIn, Symantec and Synopsys.

EqOpTech is planning to expand its footprint to Mountain View schools to provide the gift of technology to disadvantaged youth. To support EqOpTech's efforts to close the digital divide in education, please help EqOpTech in the following ways:

  1. vote for EqOpTech project in Mountain View here before April 21st
  2. help us spread the word 

Three Problems, One Solution

EqOpTech is a Los Altos student-led nonprofit seeking to revive and reuse older technology as a learning tool to enable students with an "equal opportunity" access to STEM education through technology. Older laptops unable to access Google Drive are revived with Linux OS & deployed to disadvantaged students for homework & STEM learning. 

The Equal Opportunity Technology program addresses the following challenges:

1.      Benefit needy students with technology tools and training to significantly enhance their ability to excel academically 

2.      Provide opportunities for youth community to learn important technical and leadership skills while engaging in community services to benefit students in need.

3.      Protect the local environment by reviving and reusing old laptops, minimizing e-waste impact.

EqOpTech makes Mountain View a more compassionate and equitable community and/or a better place to work and play

This project connects the community at large to collaborate and tackle the important issues of digital divide in education and environment. Despite the ubiquity of technology in Silicon Valley, students from low income family do not have easy access to computers and yet, there is an abundance of outdated computers slated to go to e-waste. We seek donation of obsolete/unwanted laptops and give them a purposeful second life by installing Linux OS as a dual boot to access the latest Google applications and to improve system performance. We provide equal opportunity technology learning to all students. Aside from providing disadvantaged students with easy access to laptops, we provide student volunteers with service opportunities to teach, mentor and motivate those in need.  By engaging and empowering student volunteers in laptop drives, refurbish and STEM workshops, we provide leadership experience and the importance of giving back to the community, creating a win-win situation for all.

Technology-Infused Education - 21st Century Learning

Technology is deeply integrated into project-based learning at our school; students are expected to learn and leverage technology tools, from online research, collaboration using Google Drive, to creating iMovies for TED talks. Students without laptop will be at a disadvantage, lagging behind their peers, learning at a slower pace. Aside from providing laptops, our project seeks to leverage technology to teach, mentor and motivate disadvantaged students to effectively compete in STEM education.

The 'target group' - Students helping Students

The target group is the students. This is a program led by student project leaders, in collaboration with other student volunteers for the benefit of the disadvantaged students. Our students-helping-students program provides opportunities for students to collaborate in running laptop drives, refurbish workshops and ongoing STEM outreach to help students in need. The project not only fosters computer literacy in underprivileged youth, but also enriches students' leadership and computer skills.

Making a Permanent Change - Level the Playing field in Education & Technology

In order to prepare our students to compete effectively, it is critical to level the playing field in education technology. To address the root cause of the education divide, the program seeks to empower students with technology tools & service support to learn STEM at an early age. Through partnerships with school clubs, service organizations, libraries, museum etc., we aim to expose these young learners to develop early STEM skills & foster a focused, enriched environment for positive learning

Innovation - Use of Linux Technology to "enable" Older Technology

This project leverages technology to solve a multitude of real problems. It transforms potentially hazardous e-waste into useful education tools. By breathing new life into old laptops with Linux not only allows for access to the latest Google applications but also boost system performance. The program truly promotes equal opportunity technology education to all students: it empowers student volunteers to learn technology and leadership skills, and at the same time, enables disadvantaged students with technology tools to excel in class. The Computer-in-a-Box is open to all students including our youngest interns in 5th grade.  What is unique about this project is the usage of technology to enable technology. In addition to live workshops, we provide the option of a step-by-step instructional user manual, an ISO image burned to a DVD, a how-to YouTube video on loading Linux and all other essentials packed in a box to pass out to students for refurbishing flexibility in time and place.

Partnerships - More than a One-Man Operation

Our program partners with local community to deliver the laptop and services funded by this grant. We plan to partner with school administration, PTA, student body and service clubs to run laptop drives to reach out to individuals and companies for laptop donations. Other potential partnerships may be established from time to time using direct appeal, social media and social private network (Nextdoor) to get the word out for support. We will team up with local school and service clubs to refurbish workshop at schools, library, police department or company meetup groups.  We will also partner with service organizations and school clubs to host STEM-related workshop to teach, mentor and motivate young learners to develop STEM interests and skills. 

Quantitative and Qualitative Metrics that Measure Up

The first metric is “the number of refurbished laptops deployed” which includes (a) laptops for disadvantaged students to use at home or outside of school (b) laptops deployed to teach STEM workshops in the community. The second metric is the number of volunteer hours which includes (i) laptop drives: publicity, marketing, social media and laptop pick up (ii) refurbishing laptops: technical training, removal of personal data, maintenance; operating system & software installation, upgrade and repair; and security (iii) organize & teach STEM workshops. The third metric is a qualitative assessment via survey monkey of how the program positively impacts the student participants’ lives, both for the disadvantaged students and student volunteers.

About EqOpTech

EqOpTech Inc., located in Los Altos, CA, is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization that promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities. Visit EqOpTech at www.eqoptech.org

Senator Jerry Hill honors Presidential Volunteer Service Awards student volunteers from EqOpTech

Terence Lee, Daniel Lim, David Ding, Randall Lowe, Senator Jerry Hill, Aditi Talati, Arushi Goyal (Left to Right)

Terence Lee, Daniel Lim, David Ding, Randall Lowe, Senator Jerry Hill, Aditi Talati, Arushi Goyal (Left to Right)

On April 10th, 2017, Senator Jerry Hill invited Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipients from EqOpTech to his District Office in San Mateo to attend an award ceremony. The Presidential Volunteer Service Award ("PVSA") recognizes, celebrates and inspires community service leaders and volunteers to make an impact to change the world. EqOpTech, a PVSA certifying organization, shares a similar vision to empower and enable student volunteers with a platform to gain real-world experience and leadership skills and inspires them to give back to the community.

Senator Hill honors EqOpTech leaders and volunteers

Senator Hill proudly presents to the following well-deserving students with the official PVSA medallion, personalized certificate of achievement together with a congratulatory letter from President Obama. During the presentation, Senator Hill proclaims and commends each awardees for their service and commitment to the community in the area of technology and education. 

EqOpTech 2016 PVSA Award Winners:

  • Terence Lee, Gold Award, Young Adult, Los Altos High School
  • Daniel Lim, Gold Award, Teens, Los Altos High School
  • Aditi Talati, Silver Award, Teens, American High School
  • David Ding, Silver Award, Young Adult, Los Altos High School
  • Randall Lowe, Silver Award, Young Adult, Los Altos High School
  • Arushi Goyal, Bronze Award, Kids, JFS Elementary School

PVSA volunteers - thank you for your inspiration

"Thank you to EqOpTech's PVSA volunteers for your passion, leadership and service in improving our under-served communities", said Terence Lee, Founder of EqOpTech. "Your recognition inspires others to make an impact to change the world!" 

"Participating in the PVSA program has been a rewarding experience for everyone, both recipients and certifying organization. This award has helped further our goals as a nonprofit acting as incentive by inspiring our volunteers to go beyond what they would normally do and as a result have learned and developed greatly." Lee said.  He also thanked Senator Hill and Ms. Lisa Chung for hosting and organizing this ceremony and the recipients for putting in both the time and the effort to earn this prestigious award.

EqOpTech partners with PVSA to inspire & recognize volunteerism

EqOpTech Inc. is proud to serve as an official certifying organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award. PVSA is offered to EqOpTech staff and volunteers of different age groups and each level corresponds to a different number of service hours within a 12 month period. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

    For Award Criteria, please visit here. For more information on hours requirements, visit the President's Volunteer Service Award webpage or e-mail eqoptech@gmail.com.

    About the Presidential Volunteer Service Award

    The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes, celebrates and holds up as role models Americans making a positive impact as engaged and deeply committed volunteers. In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation launched the President's Volunteer Service Award to recognize the importance of volunteers to America's strength and national identity, and furthermore, to honor the deeply invested volunteers whose service is multiplied through the inspiration they give others.

    The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens and lawfully admitted, permanent residents of the United States who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime. To learn more about the President's Volunteer Service Award, visit www.presidentialserviceawards.gov

    About EqOpTech

    EqOpTech Inc., located in Los Altos, CA, is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization that promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities. Visit EqOpTech at www.eqoptech.org

    EqOpTech seeks unwanted, functioning Laptops to Benefit Students in Need at Almond School

    Following a successful roll out of Refurbished Laptop for STEM program at Santa Rita and Egan Schools, EqOpTech, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company, is launching another laptop drive to benefit students without laptops at Almond Elementary School

    Project-Based Collaborative Learning at Los Altos School District (LASD)

    LASD has been preparing its students for 21st century project-based learning and collaboration using Google Drive and Edmodo. Working as a team, students are assigned homework to share a Google Doc and/or perform online research and collaborate on a project assignment. Likewise, teachers use tools like Edmodo, Membean and other Google tools to foster collaboration and student engagement.  This collaborative environment aims at sharpening student's research and analytical skills as well as teamwork and project management experience expected of them in the real world. For this reason, it is essential that students have access to laptops both in class and at home.

    Bridging the digital education divide

    The traditional classroom now transforms into a virtual classroom that extends learning beyond the physical classroom. This poses a learning challenge for students who do not have laptops at home. Not only are these students unable to access online research at home, but they also cannot collaborate real-time with classmates to prepare for classroom discussion. Overtime, students without laptop will be lagging behind their peers, learning at a slower pace.

    Almond Laptop Home Usage Program - Donate Now

    Almond Used Laptop Drive by EqOpTech

    Almond Used Laptop Drive by EqOpTech

    EqOpTech is seeking functioning laptops (Windows & Mac) with appropriate power adapters on an ongoing basis.

    "Our goal is to promote equal opportunity learning through technology tools," according to Terence Lee, CEO and Founder of EqOpTech. "All donated laptops will be refurbished and redeployed to kids who do not have easy access to Google Drive and other cloud-based applications." 

    Each laptop will be refurbished to its full functionality with operating system and removal of all personal data prior to redeployment. 

    To donate, please drop off at collection box at the office, Almond Elementary School, 550 Almond Ave, Los Altos between March 20 to 31. Please disable any password prior to donating. If you wish to donate outside of this window, please e-mail Donate@EqOpTech.org.

    Thank you for supporting the Laptop Donation Program. Donations are tax-deductible. Tax receipt will be provided upon request and will be mailed directly from EqOpTech Inc.

    Equal Opportunity Technology

    About EqOpTech
    Founded in May 2016, EqOpTech is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization managed by students. EqOpTech promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities.

    EqOpTech launches Computer-in-a-Box Programs at LAHS, Egan and Sunday Friends

    Egan Junior High Principal Keith Rocha (left) and Terence Lee, EqOpTech Founder

    Egan Junior High Principal Keith Rocha (left) and Terence Lee, EqOpTech Founder

    Many believe that there is a wealth of technology here in the Silicon Valley that is both available and accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, the reality is that many kids from low income families do not have easy access to computers to complete online homework assignments. Despite this, locally, there is an abundance of older computers that are outdated and eventually end up as e-waste.

    Terence Lee, a high school junior at Los Altos High School ("LAHS") and founder of EqOpTech, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, partners with local schools and nonprofit to enable equal opportunity access to technology. The student-run nonprofit refurbishes and deploys old laptops to students in need enabling access to the cloud (Google Drive) to complete homework and projects anytime, anywhere.

    Following a successful phased roll out of a Refurbished Laptop Program at Egan and at Santa Rita Elementary School, EqOpTech is launching a Computer-in-a-Box Program to address the digital divide in the Silicon Valley.

    Bridging the Gap between the Classroom and the Real World

    The 21st century project-based learning is the future of education. Technology is deeply integrated into project-based learning; students are expected to learn and leverage technology tools, from online research, collaboration using google hangouts or google docs to shooting video, iMovies for TED talks. Likewise, teachers use tools like Edmodo, Membean and other Google tools to foster collaboration and student engagement. 

    This poses a learning challenge for the needy students who do not have laptops at home. Not only are these students unable to access online research at home, but they also cannot collaborate real-time with classmates to prepare for classroom assignments. Overtime, students without laptop will be lagging behind their peers, learning at a slower pace.

    Revive and reuse old technology

    EqOpTech seeks to revive and reuse older laptops as a learning tool to enable students with an "equal opportunity" access to the cloud (eg. Google Drive) and to minimize unwanted computers going to e-waste. In November 2016, EqOpTech partners with Egan School to launch a laptop donation drive to support students without laptop. With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday breaks,  the EqOpTech tech team not only dedicates time to refurbishing each laptops to its full functionality but also dives into the latest technology to give the old laptops a new life.

    On January 20, 2017, Terence Lee, EqOpTech Founder presented 10 refurbished laptops to Egan Principal Rocha in support for its Laptop Home Loan Program.

    Breathe new life into old laptop using lightweight Linux

    With Linux Ubuntu/Lubuntu installed into old white MacBooks and Windows laptops as a dual boot, students are now able to access the latest Google Applications and other cloud applications. The Linux dual boot not only allow access to the latest tech applications but also boosts system performance of older laptops so that they are as good as new. Other options are also available with Neverware, which turns old laptop into a Chromebook or running PIXEL from Raspberry Pi.

    Turn Problems into Opportunities

    "One of the challenges with refurbishing old laptops is time as not all laptops are created equal", Lee said. "It can take a lot of time to troubleshoot and find an optimal solution given the hardware and software constraints of different Windows-based laptop sold through various OEM." The light bulb went off when EqOpTech received the white MacBook 1,1 and 2,1 from Los Altos School District. "What if I document a step-by-step instruction for each MacBook, burn the ISO image into a DVD, record a YouTube video on loading Linux and put everything in a box to pass out to students for refurbishing", he said. This was the genesis of the Computer-in-a-Box service project.

    Computer-in-a-Box Service Project

    The "Computer-in-a-Box" service project has been rolled out at Los Altos High School EqOpTech Club weekly meetings. This event is open to regular club members, LAHS National Honor Society and any students who have a passion for technology and education. No prior computer skills are required. Students can check out a computer box to refurbish. Participants are issued step-by-step instructions to install Linux operating system (OS) to dual boot with Mac OS with all the packed essentials in a box: a DVD, installation guide (or via Youtube), and power adapters ready-to-go. E-mail eqoptech@gmail.com to request a computer refurbish box.

    The “Computer in a Box” project is open to Egan Junior High School students in a series of live workshops. The workshops will take place in Room 29 at Egan School for 8 consecutive Mondays (2/27, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20, 3/27, 4/3, 4/17, 4/24) starting February 27, 2017 from 3 to 4:15 pm. EqOpTech is very grateful to Mr. Peter Swenson for opening up the computer lab to host EqOpTech's Computer-in-a-Box program. Sign up with Mr. Swenson, Egan Computer Science teacher.

    EqOpTech plans to replicate more version of "Computer-in-a-Box" service projects to other students in the Bay Area. The next "Computer-in-a-Box" live event with Sunday Friends is open to all volunteers, where both old MacBooks and Windows laptops will be refurbished to help students in need. It is scheduled on April 23, 2017, from 2:30 - 4 pm at Lowell School, 625 S 7th St, San Jose. Sign up at www.SundayFriends.org/volunteers

    All participants will earn community service hours.

    Computer-in-a-Box instructors: Terence Lee, Daniel Lim, Egan Teacher Peter Swenson (left to right)

    Computer-in-a-Box instructors: Terence Lee, Daniel Lim, Egan Teacher Peter Swenson (left to right)

    The Best of Both Worlds: Dual Boot with a Dual Mission

    Just as dual booting with Linux & Mac OS offers the best of both worlds, the "students-help-students" "computer-in-a-box" project solves two problems at once. The service project not only inspires students to give back to the community, it also enriches and broadens participants' computer engineering skills while helping other students in need. 

    EqOpTech is a "company of the students, by the students and for the students". The nonprofit organization aspires to empower and enable student volunteers with a platform to gain real-world experience and leadership skills and inspire them to give back to the community.

    IMG_4361coloradj.jpg

    Computer-in-a-Box Service Project at Egan - February 27, 2017

    About EqOpTech

    EqOpTech Inc., located in Los Altos, CA, is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization that promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities. Visit EqOpTech at www.eqoptech.org

    EqOpTech launches Computer-in-a-Box at Egan School

    Computer-in-a-Box Refurbish Workshop

    Computer-in-a-Box Refurbish Workshop

    By Terence Lee

    Following a successful roll out of a Refurbished Laptop Program at Egan School, EqOpTech of Los Altos is launching a Computer-in-a-Box Refurbish Workshop to refurbish old laptops benefiting students in need.  

    EqOpTech, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, promotes equal opportunity learning through technology. The Company refurbishes and deploy old laptops to students in need to enable access to the cloud (Google Drive) to complete homework and projects.

    One person's Trash is Another person's Treasure

    EqOpTech team seeks to revive and reuse MacBook models 1,1 and 2,1 that would otherwise go to e-waste. The MacBook Model 1,1 and 2,1 are old technologies from 2006/2007 that are obsolete and cannot access Google Applications. Refurbishing old MacBooks with Linux operating system not only extends the life of old technology but is also good for the environment. 

    Google Drive and Other Apps on the Linux Operating System

    Google Apps are available on Linux Ubuntu or Lubuntu as most of Google tools work within a web browser. Ubuntu/Lubuntu is a free, open source Linux operating system with bundled free applications such as Firefox, LibreOffice, etc. 

    Depending on the MacBook model, either Linux Ubuntu or a light version called Lubuntu can be installed. Light versions of an operating systems are pared down so that unnecessary applications and processes are not included, reducing the space and processing power required.

    BEST OF BOTH WORLD - DUAL BOOT LINUX/MAC OSX

    Dual Booting is a process that allows for multiple operating systems to be installed on the same hard drive, in this case, Linux allows for the computer to have Google Drive capabilities while still maintaining the original Mac OS. 

    Reviving Old MacBooks 2,1 with Linux UbuntU

    Under this program, White MacBooks 2,1 will be refreshed by installing Linux Ubuntu to enable students to access a web browser to use latest technology such as Google Drive to do homework and learn in the cloud.

    Revive old macbooks 1,1 with Lubuntu - Lightweight Linux

    MacBooks 1,1 will be refurbished to dual boot a lighter version of Linux called Lubuntu that is especially designed for low hardware specifications/older machines and fast performance. This is ideal for older laptops but can be used for modern laptops as well.

    Computer-in-a-Box Project

    “Computer in a Box” project is open to all students at Egan Junior High School. Under this project, each student volunteer will be provided with a MacBook in a box and a kit consisting of a power adapter, installation guide and an installation disk to install dual boot Linux alongside Mac OS. For Refurbish Instruction, a Youtube and/or live training will be given to help walk students through the refurbishing process. 

    "We are very grateful to Mr. Peter Swenson for opening up the computer lab to host EqOpTech's Computer-in-a-Box program", said Terence Lee, Founder of EqOpTech. "Your support to refurbish and reuse older technology will provide "equal opportunity" to foster STEM education and to minimize unwanted computers going to e-waste."

    The workshop will take place in Room 29 at Egan School for 4 consecutive Mondays (2/27, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20) starting February 27, 2017 from 3 to 4:15 pm. 

    Students who are interested can sign up with Mr. Swenson. Live instructions will be provided at the workshops by instructors Daniel Lim and Terence Lee from EqOpTech.

    Community service hours are awarded

    EqOpTech is a company of the students, by the students and for the students. EqOpTech aims not only to mentor and train students in computer engineering skills, but also to inspire students’ involvement to give back and be a role model to needy students in under-served community. Community service hours will be awarded to all participants.

    EqOpTech honors 2016 President’s Volunteer Service Award winners

    President's Voluntary Service Award

    Presidential Volunteer Service Award

    Presidential Volunteer Service Award

    Originally created by President George W. Bush, the Presidential Voluntary Service Award ("PVSA") aims to recognize the best of the American spirit and inspire everyone to live a life of community/volunteer service through presidential gratitude and national recognition. 

    EqOpTech Inc. is proud to serve as an official certifying organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award.

    PVSA is offered to EqOpTech staff and volunteers of different age groups and each level corresponds to a different number of service hours within a 12 month period. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Congratulations to EqOpTech's 2016 Presidential Award winners

    • Terence Lee, Gold Award, Young Adult, Los Altos High School
    • Daniel Lim, Gold Award, Teens, Los Altos High School
    • Aditi Talati, Silver Award, Teens, American High School
    • David Ding, Silver Award, Young Adult, Los Altos High School
    • Randall Lowe, Silver Award, Young Adult, Los Altos High School
    • Arushi Goyal, Bronze Award, Kids, JFS Elementary School

    2016 MLK Drum Major for Service Award pvsa

    Each year, EqOpTech will nominate and recognize an individual volunteer who performs extraordinary everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment for the Martin Luther King Drum Major For Service Award PVSA. 

    It is with great pleasure and pride to announce that the 2016 MLK Drum Major For Service Award PVSA is presented to:

    for his tireless service to reinforce the lessons of Dr. King's life by promoting equal opportunity learning and STEM education via technology in under-served communities.

    PVSA volunteers - thank you for the inspiration

    "Thank you to EqOpTech's PVSA volunteers for your passion, leadership and service in improving our under-served communities", said Terence Lee, Founder of EqOpTech. "Your recognition inspires others to make an impact to change the world!"

    For Award Criteria, please visit here. For more information on hours requirements, visit the President's Volunteer Service Award webpage or e-mail eqoptech@gmail.com.

    About the Presidential Volunteer Service Award

    The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes, celebrates and holds up as role models Americans making a positive impact as engaged and deeply committed volunteers. In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation launched the President's Volunteer Service Award to recognize the importance of volunteers to America's strength and national identity, and furthermore, to honor the deeply invested volunteers whose service is multiplied through the inspiration they give others.

    The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens and lawfully admitted, permanent residents of the United States who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime. To learn more about the President's Volunteer Service Award, visit www.presidentialserviceawards.gov

    About EqOpTech

    EqOpTech Inc., located in Los Altos, CA, is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization that promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities. Visit EqOpTech at www.eqoptech.org

    Computer reuse to benefit Santa Rita Elementary School Laptop Home Usage Program

    EqOpTech, a Los Altos student-run nonprofit, promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education for students in need.

    Terence Lee and Santa Rita Principal Greg Land (left to right)

    Terence Lee and Santa Rita Principal Greg Land (left to right)

    Equal Opportunity Learning via Technology

    Terence Lee, a high school junior at Los Altos High School ("LAHS") partners with Santa Rita Elementary School 5th graders to launch a laptop drive to benefit students in need. “Our goal is to promote equal opportunity learning through technology tools,” Lee said. “All donated laptops will be redeployed to kids who do not have easy access to online educational content.”

    Students in the Los Altos School District often work collaboratively on project-based learning using tools such as Google Docs and Edmodo.

    “This collaborative environment aims at sharpening students’ research and analytical skills as well as teamwork and project management experience expected of them in the real world,” Lee said. “For this reason, it is essential that students have access to laptops both in class and at home.”

    To bridge the gap for students who do not have laptops at home, Lee and his tech team work tirelessly in the weekly LAHS Refurbish Workshops to fix up, upgrade and install necessary software on all donated laptops. Each laptop has been refurbished to its full functionality and all personal data removed prior to redeployment. 

    The Santa Rita laptop home usage program will be deployed in 3 phases:

    Phase 1: 7 refurbished laptops have been delivered to the 5th and 6th graders on November 17, 2016.

    Phase 2: 7 refurbished laptops have been delivered to the 4th graders on December 8, 2016.

    Phase 3: 8 refurbish laptops going to TK through 3rd grades in March 2017.

    A big Thank You

    The EqOpTech team would like to express its sincere gratitude to the donors, Santa Rita 5th graders, Teacher Kathy Day-Bobb, Principal Greg Land, Ms. Alice Lee, LAHS Teacher Sra. Rodriguex, Principal Wynn Satterwhite, Los Altos Town Crier, Nextdoor Community for their support. 

    Terence Lee, Santa Rita 5th graders, Kathy Day-Bobb, Greg Land (left to right)

    EqOpTech launches Congressional Award initiative

    2016 Congressional Award Ceremony, Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill, June 16, 2016

    2016 Congressional Award Ceremony, Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill, June 16, 2016

    EqOpTech, a student-run nonprofit organization promoting equal opportunity learning via technology, is pleased to announce an initiative to promote service and achievement among its students through the Congressional Award Program. The Los Altos-based nonprofit aspires to empower and enable students with a platform to gain real-world experience and leadership skills and inspires them to give back to the community. The Congressional Award program seeks to encourage and empower students to meet personal goals, develop new skill sets, and serve the needs of the local community and beyond.  

    EqOpTech is looking forward to foster a well balanced program to challenge students to a lifelong learning, a passion for community service, an appreciation for health and fitness, a desire to stretch and grow and an enriched professional, personal and civic lives.

    The Congressional Award Journey

    "The Congressional Award journey has been most challenging and fulfilling, but the true reward is the joy of giving back to the community,"  says Terence Lee, 2016 Congressional Award Gold Medalist. "The set goals help propel me to push my limits, expand my horizons, enrich my public service. It is through my active community involvement that inspires me to launch a nonprofit EqOpTech to promote equal opportunity learning via technology. I am honored to be a Congressional Award ambassador, serving as an advisor or validator for local youth pursuing the award."

    For more information on how to get started, visit Community Service Awards on EqOpTech website.


    Congratulations to 2016 EqOpTech Award Winners

    By Terence Lee, December 9, 2016

    The Equal Opportunity Technology Program provides both leadership opportunities and real work experiences for student volunteers. On December 9, 2016, EqOpTech hosted its Award Ceremony at Los Altos High School. It is with great pride and honor to recognize the following recipients of this year’s EqOpTech Awards for their demonstrated passion and above-and-beyond commitment serving as leaders and role models for others. 

    David Ding, EqOpTech 2016 Leadership Award Honoree, flanked by Sra. Rodriguex, left, and Terence Lee.

    David Ding, EqOpTech 2016 Leadership Award Honoree, flanked by Sra. Rodriguex, left, and Terence Lee.

    2016 LEADERSHIP AWARD - DAVID DING

    The 2016 EqOpTech Leadership Award goes to David Ding from Los Altos High School. David spearheads the design and development of the STEM program at EqOpTech. He is instrumental in implementing and maintaining the Khan Academy and mentorship program at Sunday Friends. He also onboards our team communication onto the Slack Application to streamline our real-time communication which maximizes efficiency. He is an effective collaborator with community leaders; it is through his connections that we had the opportunity and pleasure to work with Ms. Alice Lee on the Santa Rita and Egan Laptop Projects. "We thank you, David for your good citizenship, leadership and contributions to our organization." -Terence Lee.

    Randall Lowe, EqOpTech 2016 Technology Award Honoree, flanked by Sra. Rodriguex, left, and Terence Lee.

    Randall Lowe, EqOpTech 2016 Technology Award Honoree, flanked by Sra. Rodriguex, left, and Terence Lee.

    2016 TECHNOLOGY AWARD - RANDALL LOWE

    The EqOpTech 2016 Technology Award goes to Randall Lowe from Los Altos High School. Randall is our technology guru, he is the go-to person for computer tech questions. He is very dedicated and has put in countless hours both at home and at workshops going both above and beyond. He is especially passionate with helping underprivileged kids to excel in STEM education, supporting both the laptop refurbishing as well as attending the STEM workshop mentoring programs at Sunday Friends. Randall is resourceful and his knowledge on open source software and Linux based OS are an essential aspect of our efforts to boost system performance on older laptops. "Randall, we wish to thank you for your valuable contributions and friendship to EqOpTech,"-Terence Lee.

    “A big thank you to Sra. Rodriguex for presenting the 2016 Awards to our honorees. On behalf of EqOpTech Club, we wish to express our gratitude to you for your inspiration, support and guidance throughout the year.
    Congratulations to our award winners. “
    - President Terence Lee

    EqOpTech Inc. seeks Used Laptops to Benefit Students at Egan Junior High

    By Terence Lee, November 15, 2016

    EqOpTech Recycle-Refurbish-Redeploy Program at Egan Junior High School

    EqOpTech Recycle-Refurbish-Redeploy Program at Egan Junior High School

    Following a successful first-phase roll out of a Refurbished Laptop Program at Santa Rita Elementary School, EqOpTech, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company, is launching another tech initiative to benefit students at Egan Junior High School

    Bridging the Gap between the Classroom and the Real World

    The 21st century project-based learning is the future of education. Egan Junior High School uses innovative learning strategies to enable students to become creative problem-solvers and collaborative learners. Project-based learning connects classroom learning to solving real-life problems. Students are coached to research, investigate, collaborate, design solutions and present findings to a real-world challenge. This problem-based and collaborative environment aims at sharpening student's critical thinking, problem solving skills as well as teamwork and project management experience expected of them in the real world. 

    Learning Infused with Technology

    Technology is deeply integrated into project-based learning; students are expected to learn and leverage technology tools, from online research, collaboration using google hangouts or google docs to shooting video, iMovies for TED talks. Likewise, teachers use tools like Edmodo, Membean and other Google tools to foster collaboration and student engagement. 

    Learning inside and outside of classroom

    The traditional classroom now transforms into a virtual classroom that extends learning beyond the physical classroom. This poses a learning challenge for students who do not have laptops at home. Not only are these students unable to access online research at home, but they also cannot collaborate real-time with teammates to complete project-based and online assignments. 

    Laptop Home Loan Program - Donate Now

    EqOpTech is seeking functioning laptops (Windows & Mac) with appropriate power adapters on an ongoing basis. Each laptop will be refurbished to its full functionality with operating system and removal of all personal data prior to deployment. 

    "Our goal is to promote equal opportunity learning through technology tools," according to Terence Lee, CEO and Founder of EqOpTech. "All donated laptops will be refurbished and deployed to students who do not have laptops to access online tools to complete projects and homework assignments." 

    To donate, please drop off at collection box at the office, Egan Junior High School, 100 West Portola Avenue, Los Altos or e-mail Donate@EqOpTech.org or call (650) 559-8338 to coordinate.  Please disable any password prior to donating.

    Donations are tax-deductible. Tax receipt will be provided upon request and will be mailed directly from EqOpTech Inc. Thank you for supporting the Laptop Donation Program. 

    Equal Opportunity Technology

    About EqOpTech
    Founded in May 2016, EqOpTech is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization managed by students. EqOpTech promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities.

    Website: www.EqOpTech.org, E-mail: Contact@EqOpTech.org 

    EqOpTech Teams Up with Sunday Friends to Introduce Khan Academy Program to Help Disadvantaged Youth

    By Emma Kwan, Marketing Manager, September 2, 2016

    EqOpTech, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company, partnered with Sunday Friends on August 28, 2016 to introduce Khan Academy as a modernized learning tool for underprivileged kids at one of Sunday Friends’ program locations, Lowell Elementary School.

    Left to Right, LAHS Students mentors: Terence Lee, Jane Zhao, Emma Kwan & David Ding

    Left to Right, LAHS Students mentors: Terence Lee, Jane Zhao, Emma Kwan & David Ding

    Khan Academy Mathematics Pilot Program

    EqOpTech ran two sessions of thirty minutes each and had 8 beta-testers for the Mathematics program. Each kid was given their own laptop as well as a headset to participate in the new program. Individual accounts were set up to track participants’ progress and mentors utilized Khan Academy’s personal dashboard to identify learning gap and recommend areas of improvement.

    A Blend of Technology and Teaching

    EqOpTech strongly believes in using technology to enhance face-to-face teaching and learning experience. The Khan Academy’s instructional videos, exercise practices and dashboard are effective tools to allow mentors to tailor the program to challenge individual kids to learn. Mentors will create a mission with predefined content and can be adapted and customized to allow kids to learn at their own pace. Based on the learning dashboard, mentors can provide feedback, help participants that are struggling as well as provide words of encouragement. The face-to-face interactions along with energy points and badges are great motivational tools to foster a focused, enriched environment for positive learning.

    Students Helping Students Program

    EqOpTech aspires to promote equal opportunity learning to all youth by enabling the use of technology and empowering student leaders to help those with education needs. As kids from the beta testing were not the only ones that benefited, student mentors also gained important coaching experience while making a difference in the community.

    "EqOpTech believes in engaging kids in early STEM at a young age to foster a passion for lifelong learning,” CEO Terence Lee said. “I was so encouraged that the technology tools and mentor support had such a significant positive impact on children’s learning experience. We look forward to the next series of workshops and joint technology projects with Sunday Friends." 

    The Next Step

    After a successful launch of the pilot program, EqOpTech will continue to strive for educational excellence and equality for all children. The Pilot Program provided valuable data and insight into how best to run the modules, as we take the necessary steps to further improve the learning experience going forward. At the next workshop, participants will warm up by taking a diagnostic test. This will be followed by practice problems tailored to match and challenge participants’ learning needs. These changes will be put into place at the next Khan Academy workshop event at Santee Elementary School (1313 Audubon Dr., San Jose, CA, 95122) on September 11, 2016.

    Going Offline and Going Mobile

    Most low-income families at Sunday friends do not have an internet connection. This creates a learning challenge for kids who wish to access Khan Academy from home using EqOpTech’s refurbished laptops. EqOpTech is currently exploring a possible solution using an offline version of Khan Academy. Please stay tuned for developments of future offline deployments.

    Recently, Khan Academy joined forces with Duck Duck Moose to expand its education footprint to target the preschoolers. The 21 apps from Duck Duck Moose can now be downloaded for free in the Google Play and Apple App Store. With the intellectual property and workforce donated from Duck Duck Moose, Khan Academy plans to launch a new offering of mobile apps for young learners entering kindergarten. To prepare for modern 21st century learning with mobile apps, EqOpTech is seeking donations of mobile devices (tablets, ipads) to enable Sunday Friends preschoolers to have equal access to Duck Duck Moose free apps. To donate mobile devices or provide support, please e-mail Donate@EqOpTech.org or call (650) 559-8338 to arrange for pick up or drop off.

    About EqOpTech

    Founded in May 2016, EqOpTech is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization managed by students. EqOpTech promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities.

    Website: www.EqOpTech.org

    E-mail: Contact@EqOpTech.org

    EqOpTech Inc. seeks Laptop Donation to benefit needy students and families at Santa Rita Elementary School

    By Terence Lee, August 25, 2016

    EqOpTech Recycle-Refurbish-Redeploy Program at Santa Rita Elementary School

    EqOpTech Recycle-Refurbish-Redeploy Program at Santa Rita Elementary School

    Following a successful roll out of a Refurbished Laptop STEM program at Sunday Friends, EqOpTech, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company, is launching another tech initiative to benefit needy students or families at Santa Rita Elementary School

    Project-Based Collaborative Learning at Los Altos School District (LASD)

    LASD has been preparing its students for 21st century project-based learning and collaboration using Google Docs and Edmodo. Working as a team, students are asked to share a Google Doc and perform research on a project together and review each other's work while providing online edits and receiving feedback from classmates and teacher. This collaborative environment aims at sharpening student's research and analytical skills as well as teamwork and project management experience expected of them in the real world. For this reason, it is essential that students have access to laptops both in class and at home.

    Bridging the Learning Gap

    The traditional classroom now transforms into a virtual classroom that extends learning beyond the physical classroom. This poses a learning challenge for the needed students who do not have laptops at home. Not only are these students unable to access online research at home, but they also cannot collaborate real-time with classmates to prepare for classroom discussion. Overtime, students without laptop will be lagging behind their peers, learning at a slower pace.

    Laptop Home Loan Program - Donate Now

    EqOpTech is seeking functioning laptops (Windows & Mac) with appropriate power adapters on an ongoing basis. "Our goal is to promote equal opportunity learning through technology tools," according to Terence Lee, CEO and Founder of EqOpTech. "All donated laptops will be redeployed to kids who do not have easy access to online educational content." Each laptop will be refurbished to its full functionality with operating system and removal of all personal data prior to redeployment. 

    To donate, please e-mail Donate@EqOpTech.org or call (650) 559-8338 to coordinate or drop off at collection box at the office, Santa Rita Elementary School, 700 Los Altos Ave., Los Altos. Please disable any password prior to donating.

    Thank you for supporting the Laptop Donation Program. Donations are tax-deductible. Tax receipt will be provided upon request and will be mailed directly from EqOpTech Inc.

    Equal Opportunity Technology

    Equal Opportunity Technology

    About EqOpTech
    Founded in May 2016, EqOpTech is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization managed by students. EqOpTech promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities.

    Website: www.EqOpTech.org, E-mail: Contact@EqOpTech.org 

    EqOpTech - Call for Volunteers

    By Jane Zhao, August 20, 2016

    EqOpTech is a nonprofit company started, led and run by students, and for the benefit of students in underserved communities. The Silicon Valley-based Company seeks to empower children with technology tools — donated refurbished laptops to access online educational content —to learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

    Kids Helping Kids: Redeployed laptops enable easy access to online STEM learning.

    Kids Helping Kids: Redeployed laptops enable easy access to online STEM learning.

    The Equal Opportunity Technology program

    The program not only provides computer hardware and software, but also support from a team of volunteers who mentors and inspires underprivileged kids to pursue STEM. EpOpTech hopes to foster STEM learning and computer skills in young children to enable success in school and work. 

    Pilot STEM workshop

    Starting August 28, 2016, EqOpTech will launch a pilot program at Sunday Friends of San Jose to roll out a series of STEM workshops in Khan Academy and Scratch. The program will kick off with Khan Academy’s Early Math and Basic Computer Programming. The curriculum is designed and tailored specific to participants’ age, skill and interest level. The first event will be held at Lowell School, 625 South 7th Street, San Jose, CA 95112 on Sunday, August 28, from 2 to 4 pm,. 

    Calling student volunteers

    EqOpTech team is seeking leaders with a passion in technology to teach, mentor and be a role model for the kids. This is also an excellent opportunity for student volunteers to gain valuable work experience involving community service and leadership responsibilities. All volunteer time qualifies for community service hour credits. Anyone interested, please sign up via the google form here.

    About EqOpTech
    Founded in May 2016, EqOpTech is a 501(c)(3) IRS-designated tax exempt nonprofit organization managed by students. EqOpTech promotes and enables equal opportunity free access to technology for computer learning and STEM education in under-served communities. website: www.EqOpTech.org, e-mail: Contact@EqOpTech.org 

    Words to the Wise

    STEM speaker Series #1,

    By Terence Lee, July 29, 2016

    On July 23, 2016, Ms. Rhonda Mak, an intern writer at Los Altos Town Crier visited with EqOpTech and shared her knowledge, experience and words of wisdom on college and career. Rhonda is currently a rising sophomore at Boston University and a graduate of Monta Vista High school. 

    Left to right, Rhonda Mak, Terence Lee, David Ding, Jane Zhao

    Left to right, Rhonda Mak, Terence Lee, David Ding, Jane Zhao

    Rhonda is pursuing a major in Computer Science and a minor in Journalism or Communications at Boston University. Rhonda's interest in writing started in her junior year at Monta High School where she produced content for the school news magazine El Estoque. At El Estoque, Rhonda served as design editor for two years, providing guidance on the overall design of the magazine on top of writing articles on a regular basis. At Boston University, she managed social media and web support as multimedia editor at The Daily Free Press, contributing her expertise in video and web design work. Visit here to see her work. During this summer, she interns at Los Altos Town Crier where she enjoys researching and writing stories about a variety of different topics and people. She said that journalism is a human collection of stories that come together that tells people who we are and what we do. She has written about many different topics, from bank fraud to an autistic teen who self-publishes comic books.

    New Ways to tell stories

    With a computer science major and journalism minor, Rhonda hopes to explore the new and exciting field of Data Journalism. Data journalism uses numerical data analysis to tell stories and predict the future; turning data into information, intelligence and forecast. We have seen an explosion of data due to the proliferation of digital devices in recent years. With the advent of Big Data, data journalists can use statistics, calculus and computer science tools to tell a compelling story backed by data analysis and visualization. For example, an interesting application of data journalism is the 2016 Presidential Election forecast.

    Rhonda also said that her CS major and Journalism minor opens up interesting opportunities into Tech Journalism such as the Wired Magazine

    Get out of your comfort zone and explore…

    When asked about how she decided on computer science major and journalism minor for her college, Rhonda provided this advice to students trying to decide on their majors. “Come out of your shell, put yourself in a nasty situation and be open minded,” Rhonda said. “Explore and try different things, expose yourself in a broad spectrum of subjects.” This is so true, take some risks and follow your passion.

    Rhonda also has the following advice for college applications: know your deadlines, apply for scholarships, research schools that are strong in your major. On essay writing, she said write essays early, ask friends, teachers to review and edit, always highlight your good traits and character and tell your unique stories. As most essay has a general prompt, you can start with the common app essay and tailor the essay to other applications.

    Thank you for these words of wisdom, Rhonda

    EqOpTech would like to express our sincere gratitude to Ms. Rhonda Mak for spending a Saturday morning sharing her invaluable insight and words of wisdom.