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Riley Orton Foundation

Robotics coding camp December 2023

A transformative STEM education program for rural kids in western Kenya


This project supported the resourcing and delivery of a three-week coding camp at the Akili STEMarts Academy. Funding will be used to purchase a range of coding robots for students at various ages and stages of learning, as well as educator capacity building in contemporary STEM teaching approaches.

About the project

Since 2010, the The Akili School in Kisumu, western Kenya, has provided general primary education for young people from rural, low-income, marginalised families. Children board at the school while completing their primary schooling, ensuring safe, consistent access to learning, support and shelter. The school is administered by the Riley Orton Foundation (ROF). Now, the school is transitioning into a specialised STEAM learning centre to provide contemporary education in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

The December coding camp provided an opportunity for 250+ girls to explore coding and robotics, discover their strengths and consider taking up STEM education and career pathways. ROF continues to hold these camps, drawing on our funding support as well as the passionate contributions of their amazing educator team.

As well as purchasing a range of coding robots for students at different stages of development, the funds support professional development for rural teachers to deliver effective STEM instruction to ensure the camp’s success.

About the Riley ORton Foundation

Riley Orton Foundation (ROF) is a registered charity that works with schools and community organisations in Kisumu, Siaya, and Kakamega counties in western Kenya. It works to provide educational opportunities for marginalised girls and communities in Kenya, providing them with the agency to realise their full potential.

ROF is a trusted long term partner of the Sunflower Foundation, and the beneficiary of three previous Sunflower grants totalling over $AUD 24,000, to fund school infrastructure and garden construction, teaching salaries, entrepreneurship training and scholarship provision.

As well as the Akili School, ROF powers many other girls’ education initiatives, including scholarships for at-risk students, bicycles and school uniform distribution.


Resources needed

We funded the following expenses to run the project.

Coding robots (Age 5–8)

Building foundational coding skills for younger children with simple and friendly screen-free robots.


Coding robots (Age 4–16)

Supporting children to progressively learn three programming languages as they master various robotic functions.


Coding robots (Age 8–14)

Modular kits for older children with many snap-together parts, to design, assemble and deploy a range of robotic functions.


Teacher development

Training for rural teachers in digital skills, science/math simulations, contemporary and innovative teaching approaches.