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Meet Advaith Subramanian, Sophie Minick and August Ryan of Cracking the Wonder Code

Today we’d like to introduce you to Advaith Subramanian, Sophie Minick and August Ryan.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After coaching our elementary school’s robotics team, it dawned on us that some people had the privilege and increased access to valuable STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education, while others, not so much. We also noticed that amongst those who did have access to STEM and art education, there wasn’t a clear understanding of how these two seemingly distinctive subjects were intertwined. This sparked the founding of Cracking the Wonder Code, a non-profit initiative to further the awareness for STEAM education around the world. We embarked on our mission of curating camps and competitive workshops in Dallas and India and started the Highland Park Pre-Med student organization to help foster the idea of the importance and applicability of STEAM.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
From our experience in this process, we have caught onto the idea that a team will always have bumps in the road. It is all about how we turn those adversities into opportunities by working together. The main struggle we often face is our team members’ different approaches to a predicament and the several directions that we could take to come up with a solution. In the ideating phases of our organization, we all had different ideas on how to go about this mantle to maximize our own potential and improve our outreach. One of us wanted to focus solely on STEAM camps, while the other suggested a broader range of activities that would allow us to reach different people and effectively further their curiosity in STEAM. Similarly, a major issue we faced as a team was to navigate through an unimaginable obstacle: the COVID-19 pandemic. We had to brainstorm creative ideas to execute on our vision, such as rendering our service to a close-knit community at Boles Children’s Home versus a traditional school environment, which was an eye-opening experience for our team. A classic example of how we turned adversity into opportunity!

Please tell us about Cracking the Wonder Code.
Cracking the Wonder Code specializes in in-person STEAM workshops during which we work with students to impart robotics, coding, and other STEAM concepts. By working together, we are able to add an interpersonal element to STEAM education. In addition, several platforms on the web are only available to students with access to a device and a stable internet connection; the most vulnerable populations are being left behind in this transformative process. CTWC aims to bridge the gap between the privileged and underprivileged populations in the field of STEAM education.

While camps and workshops are imperative for advancing our mission of imparting STEAM to the underprivileged, CTWC also caters to the existing fraternity by providing an ambient platform to network with peers through our Pre-Med student organization, attend keynote sessions, and case competitions. As for what we are proud of as a company, there are many diverse examples that we can cite from working with youth at a veda patashala (conservatories for Indian scriptures and heritage) in India to leveraging artificial intelligence to code robots with our young friends at Boles Home. We are proud of the fact that we have been able to access and impact youth across different strata of society and propel their quest for STEAM forward.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We define our success by the number of students from diverse backgrounds that we are able to influence and in turn, further their curiosity in the fields of STEAM. As a team of Gen Z’s working to further a STEAM infused society, we are constantly striving to conceptualize and ideate as well as explore new possibilities to make STEAM accessible and exciting, while adapting to changing times and needs. One of our markers for success in our sphere is innovation.

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