Friday, December 09, 2022

Iqaluit non-profit organization launches scholarship in memory of ‘girl with robot’ Nation World News

A young woman known as the “girl with the robot” at the Pinguac Association’s makerspace in Iqaluit is being remembered with a scholarship that will carry on her legacy.

It’s been a little more than three years since Daniel Moore and 156 others were killed in a Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crash in Ethiopia. Moore was in Iqaluit shortly before his death, shared his love of technology and coding with youth, and had planned to return to the city for volunteer work that summer.

“They attracted a lot of love from kids in the short time they took to work with us,” said Pinguac CEO Ryan Oliver. “She was a really important part of the soul of this space.”

Makerspace is a hub for people of all ages to explore science and technology. Employees at Canada Learning Code came north to help Pinguac open a permanent location in 2018.

This is how Oliver and Moore first met.

She was the kind of “spark of joy” that made kids feel safe and loved the moment they walk through the door, “whatever you need, anytime you have a place like this,” he explained.

Danielle Moore Makerspace
Moore shows kids at the Pinguac Association’s Makerspace how to program the Dash robot. (Submitted by Ryan Oliver)

Pinnguaq has committed to supporting the Daniel Moore Scholarship with $5,000 per year for the next ten years. It’s for the Nunavummiut who want to learn more about the things Moore was passionate about: science, technology, engineering, art, math or teaching.

“I really want to help the scholarship,” said Moore’s mother, Clarice Moore, who was in town with her son David on Thursday evening for the scholarship launch.

Moore said her daughter has left behind a legacy of sharing what she has with others.

“To our family, no matter how many we have lost, we want to continue that legacy. To help people, to spread the word, to share what we have,” she said.

robot girl

Oliver said that Moor Dash was the first to bring a robot to Makerspace, thus becoming known as the “girl with the robot”.

Dash Robots
Pinguac CEO Ryan Oliver says Danielle Moore was the first to bring a Dash robot to makerspaces. Now, they are part of the non-profit organization’s regular programming. (Linnie Lamberink/CBC)

Dash robots work like remote-controlled cars that kids can program to act in certain ways. Toys dance, light up, make sounds and move around obstacles. Kids can control them with a pair of apps on a mobile device.

Pinguac continues to use them to introduce kids to coding – and Moore has developed the curriculum for them.

“The most important thing you learn when you play with something is that you’re in control,” Oliver said. “Through this, you can create a lot of opportunities to express yourself in different ways, explore different ways of creating.”

Clariss Moore And David Moore In Iqaluit
Clarice Moore, and her son David, were in Iqaluit on Thursday for the launch of The Danielle Moore Scholarship at the Pinguac Association’s makerspace. The 24-year-old woman spent time at Makerspace, sharing her love of technology and coding with young people. (Linnie Lamberink/CBC)

more on scholarship

The Daniel Moore Scholarship can be used to support people of all ages with a post-secondary education or after-secondary preparation program. It can also be used for educational opportunities outside the formal institution.

Oliver expects to distribute $5,000 each year to several scholars, and expects that there will be some “difficult decisions” in his future as to who gets how much. He wants to get more funding to extend the scholarship beyond the initial 10 year commitment.

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