Community S.T.E.A.M Pelican Fly LLC

Community S.T.E.A.M Pelican Fly

by Alisa L Brock 

The world as we know it is always changing.  Our technological norms are constantly shifting and advancing rapidly, and as it changes, it only makes sense that our youth’s education shift and advance right along with it. However, there is a tech divide in our communities throughout Baltimore and in many other cities throughout the country. Unfortunately, it’s been this way for a while. While, activities like competitive robotics have been made available to many private education systems, our inner city youth have been neglected when it comes to being “in the know” about new technology just waiting to be explored. As progress is made on the digital front, our inner city youth should not be the last to know and experience new waves of change that will soon become a framework that  their generation will improve upon.  But, thanks to Open Works member Muhammad Najee-ullah and his company Pelican Fly, advanced  technology education is making its way right to their front door.

Fueled by his outrage due to the lack of access in our communities and his belief in the untapped potential of the children his organization seeks out, Najee-ullah launched his business, Pelican Fly, in 2010 to build on a concept that took hold of him several years before. Pelican Fly is a service provider for youth programs. They impact the community by bringing advanced technology directly to the youth with their mobile unit, The Purge Project.  Najee-ullah has found this and other creative ways to share Science Technology, Engineering Arts and Math via Robotics, Drones, 3D Printing and game design.

“Our mission is to bridge the tech divide. Our kids don’t have access to technology and experiences that other socio economic groups do.”

Playing to the interest of each of his youth, he has been on an endless mission to get advanced technology into the hands of inner city youth by working with and beside after school programing. Pelican Fly is actively supporting six after school organizations throughout our communities including Sisters Saving the City and Greenmount West Community Center, that sits right across the street from us here at Open Works.

Because most competitive robotics organizations, “do not market to our communities, and those schools who inspect the option often get priced out of these competitions, many of our public schools aren’t really able to participate.” However, Pelican Fly allows our youth to design, build and compete at an affordable rate. By designing  his own robotics demos right here at open works he finds ways to make this technology accessible and affordable for our youth.

We’re ecstatic to have Muhammad’s passion and  community focus here at Open Works. We look forward to seeing his concepts grow stronger in and around our communities.

Q: What’s the best advice you ever received and took?

A: “Leaders set trends.”

Q: What advice would you give to future makers with similar interest?

A: “Do what you do and have the best interest of humanity. But, start with those beside you.”

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