When you think of a leading country in technology, math, and science, you might think of the United States.  Many would consider the United States as a leader in tech discovery and advancement, but according to some recent studies, the United States is starting to fall behind and starting to loose its competitive edge.

The recent study measured the literacy, math and computer skills U.S. adults ranging from ages 16 to 65 and compared them with adults from 23 countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Debbie Myers, who is the general manager of Discovery Communications, said, “International comparisons place the U.S. in the middle of the pack globally.” She also stated that “in order for the U.S. to compete in the global market, we need to a do a better job of inspiring children to develop that desire for discovery and encourage minorities and girls especially to get involved in STEM.”

STEM is an acronym that means Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and according to the study the U.S. ranked 21 out of 23 countries in math and 17 out of 19 countries in problem solving.

So why do I bring up?  Because I believe technology can do many great things from helping us learn problem solving to expand our minds and imagination to new levels.   I recently discovered this company called play-i which is trying to encourage kids around the world to get back into STEM.

They engineered and produced two robots named Bo & Yana.  They are programmable robots that can be programmed through an iPad by a 5 year old to an Adult by using visual programming interface or by languages created by MIT and Google, called Scratch & Blockly.

Their mission is the following:

Play-i was founded with the mission to bring the joy and magic of programming to every child.  We want Bo & Yana to also reach children who cannot afford them.  This is where you come in.  Every dollar you contribute will go towards robots for schools and organizations that serve underprivileged children.

This looks like something that I will be getting for Christmas for my child… and myself.