KidTeachKid, a nonprofit organization created and run by Houston-area high schoolers and their friends, has made a great educational impact on the local community. In the wake of COVID-19 spreading worldwide and cancelling many summer programs, students throughout the community were left without opportunities to pursue their interests.
KidTeachKid’s mission is to provide these educational opportunities to students, believing that kids can be both learners and teachers, and for peers to raise each other to new heights by sharing knowledge and wisdom. Because of its dedication, the organization is a proud recipient of Google Ad Grants, given to organizations that share Google’s philosophy of community service.
Ten rising high schoolers taught 12 different free online courses to around 500 individual students in grades 5-9.
“Education is not just a resource, but a necessity. If we can provide it, we should,” insists Clements High School rising sophomore Rich Wang, the co-founder and website creator for the program. As a two-time USA Junior Math Olympiad qualifier and a National MATHCOUNTS quarter finalist, Rich is a devoted believer in sharing his knowledge with other kids to help them develop their talents.
Andy Jiang, President of Operations and fellow USA Math Olympiad qualifier adds, “One of my lifetime goals is to help those who are passionately striving for success, regardless of their skill level. Kid Teach Kid has been the perfect opportunity for me to jump start this mission.”
Actively combating COVID-19 with public health education
Rising Seven Lakes High School junior Stephanie Wang has self-studied epidemiology ever since 7th grade and has used her knowledge to educate the public through writing an introductory textbook, Epidemiology Unmasked. Using her book as a guide, she shares scientific knowledge throughout the youth of the community in a summer intensive public health class. “Spreading public health literacy is of utmost concern during these uncertain times,” she claims, “and I strive to use my knowledge to ensure the responsibility of our future generations.”
Preparing students with essential career skills Rising Seven Lakes High School senior Daniel Wei is a computer science genius who coded and runs Modulus, a course sharing platform that lets teachers affordably connect with students during a global pandemic and the director of TeenHacksHTX, a hackathon community with 500 participants from 15 countries. As the Java Coding Instructor for KidTeachKid, Daniel is passionate about empowering students in a digital age where technology has touched every aspect of our daily lives. “I spent my early years in rural Louisiana, where the entire house shared one computer,” he recalls. “I can say without a doubt that computer science isn’t just a pathway to improved living conditions and a better career – it’s a fundamentally empowering field of study that sits at the intersection of math, science, and art, and it has irrevocably broadened my horizons and changed how I view the world.”
Going above and beyond
Rowechen Zhong, a two-time USA Physics Olympiad qualifier and KidTeachKid’s ambitious physics instructor, created a special-edition workshop that introduced calculus, calculus of variations, the Euler-Lagrange equation, and Hamilton’s Principle, ideas that are typically taught in universities. “My goal was to show the students the scope of physics and the variety of approaches to simple questions,” Rowechen explains. “I tried to present the complex topics in an intuitive manner that would help them grasp the core ideas.”
Meanwhile, chemistry instructor and rising Seven Lakes High School senior Yitian Zhu, remarks, “Although the teachers at school do a great job, the topic of chemistry is so broad and detailed that there’s many aspects that aren’t even mentioned in the classroom. That’s why I introduced intriguing observations – and thoroughly explained the reason behind them – in a memorable class full of educational value.” She brings profound insight to her classes and offers the fascinating knowledge that she gained through her experience as one of 20 top students selected by the US National Chemistry Olympiad to attend a study camp earlier this year. “It’s amazing how any student can grasp onto even the most complicated topic,” she muses. “The students were even able to quickly understand the complicated Briggs-Rauscher reaction, whose color oscillates back and forth between clear and dark blue.”
Encouraging kids to sharpen their competitive edge
Knowing that the pandemic cancelled many competitions that kids would’ve competed in, KidTeachKid strives to keep them motivated. The organization provides those important opportunities to its students by hosting a math contest. Overall, 90 students from throughout the community competed in the math contest. As one of the main organizers for the event, Rich Wang announces, “We were really excited to host a math competition for our students! Not only because the participants would be able to compete and solve problems even throughout the pandemic, but also because we as problem writers and organizers were able to have fun working together to create this opportunity for such a large audience.”
Looking back and moving forward
ACT Instructor and Math Olympiad qualifier Isabella Quan reflects, “I’m honored to be part of this group, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done together to improve education during these trying times.” Her colleague Tina Li, a rising freshman at Clements High School continues, “I think it’s wonderful that I was given the opportunity to teach as it has led me to see the joy that comes with teaching others. While I am teaching, I feel that I am able to give back to the community, so I hope I am able to work with Kid Teach Kid more in the future.”
Currently, KidTeachKid is transitioning toward a school-year schedule, where they continue to positively impact the local community and serve as a valuable complement to the school educational system. The organization hopes to expand toward helping struggling students this coming school year through tutoring and is actively trying to recruit more high school volunteers. Additionally, they plan to reach a more diverse audience with classes geared toward an even greater variety of different interests.
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