There’s no doubt that a rapidly expanding technology industry poses a threat to millions of workers due to the automation of their jobs. But David Hehman, co-founder of Creation Crate, is working to change the misconception that the road ends there. In fact, automation and technology open up a whole new world of potential, one that will go largely unmet — by 2020, nearly one and a half million jobs will be left vacant because our education system is unable to keep up with the demand for computer specialists and programmers.

David and his colleagues at Creation Crate have set themselves a goal of filling 250,000 of those job vacancies through their subscription-based education model that aims to increase digital literacy and computer proficiency. Relying on parents and teachers to provide STEM education is not always successful, as many of them are part of generations that don’t have the same exposure to technology as we do today. So Creation Crate fills this gap and helps educate a new generation of computer scientists to become the innovators of tomorrow — or even today, as many of their subscribers are adults seeking to increase their own technological literacy.

Their curriculum is based on a twelve-month subscription box that emphasizes hands-on, real-world learning. Each month, subscribers receive a new Arduino project that gets slightly more difficult each time, complete with step-by-step instructions for how to complete the project. By the time all twelve projects are complete, they “will have more hands-on programming experience than 99% of current college-level computer science students.” Projects range from building a mood lamp (the first month) to creating an audio visualizer display (the eighth month). But regardless of the specific task, they all share the same trait of firsthand experience in pursuit of a tangible goal rather than mindless coding.

Launched in early 2016, Creation Crate has taken off quickly with over 3,000 subscription boxes purchased already. Recently, the company introduced several new features, including an augmented reality that allows students to interact with a digital teacher, Facebook Messenger tokens that provide access to tutorial videos, a free online classroom available to the entire public, and an “Ultimate Maker Kit” that combines all 12 boxes into one, designed specially for teachers and classrooms. All of these features are an effort to popularize Creation Crate and ensure that it’s keeping up with advancing technology so that it can continue to educate youth and adults that are suffering from a lack of sufficient STEM education.

So no, we are not losing more jobs than we are replacing. The problem is that we don’t have enough digitally literate people to fill all the new jobs that are being created because they simply aren’t being educated quickly enough to keep up with demand. But Creation Crate is beginning to chip away at that barrier — and they’ll continue to do so until technological innovation is not feared for the jobs it will replace, but for the ones, it will create.

To learn more about Creation Crate (or even get a subscription yourself), visit www.creationcrate.com. To get the full scoop about Creation Crate, listen to the full interview with co-founder David Hehman.

Article Credit: Alicia Abramson