For the second consecutive year, the Department of Economic Development and Commerce announced the allocation of $100,000 from its Special Economic Development Fund, for 60 young people to participate in the IOTeen Eco Technology and Business Education Project, aimed at training them to master skills related to the Internet of Things (IOT), robotics and entrepreneurship.
“For 18 consecutive Saturdays starting in January, these young people will meet at the Engine-4 facilities. This is an excellent opportunity for Puerto Rican youth to create and shape the Smart City that the Engine-4 team has been working on for a while,” said Manuel Laboy, Secretary of Economic Development and Commers.
He added that the lab’s facilities in Bayamón are expanding, following a contribution from the Department of Economic Development, through its Youth Development Program and the municipality of Bayamón.
Meanwhile, Roberto Carlos Pagán-Santiago director of the Youth Development Program, said “over time, technology has become an essential part of young people’s daily lives. Every day, this field generates more interest among students, who decide to take on a university career focused on this field.”
“So, at the agency we have to fulfill the responsibility of implementing to empower young people with tools so that they can help transform Puerto Rico and achieve their goals,” Pagán-Santiago said.
Luis Armando Torres, co-founder of Engine-4, said “the development of this IOTeen Eco project is the result of teamwork between the public and private sectors, to achieve a social impact in the field of technology and eco environment for young people from 10 to 17 years old, and it’s the best thing that can happen to Puerto Rico.”
The joint efforts will allow each of participants to learn to work with technology that is currently used by different companies globally, he said.
“Through this experience, the students will develop assigned projects and at the end of those 18 Saturdays they will participate in a ‘Hackathon’ that will help them channel their ideas and thoughts on what field they are going to get into when they are in college,” Torres said.
Those interested in participating in the workshops, must file an application on the Engine-4 website on or before Jan. 1, 2020. During the selection process, the academic average and professional interests will be considered. The candidates will be interviewed.