Encinitas teen launches fundraising campaign

Encinitas teen launches fundraising campaign
Nikki Arm, a senior at San Dieguito High School Academy, launches a Kickstarter campaign. Courtesy photo

ENCINITAS — It has been a busy 12 months for Nikki Arm, the San Dieguito High School Academy senior who last year published her first book aimed at promoting science, technology, engineering, arts and math, better known as STEAM, to young girls.

Following the positive reception of “Riley Loves Robotics,” her 32-page story about a little girl who turns to robotics to make 100 posters for the fictitious “Ocean Conservancy Day,” Arm, 18, has written a follow-up book, “Sarah loves Science,” and is working on the third book in the series.

Last month, Arm was invited to participate in the STEAM Night event at Mission Meadows Elementary School in Vista and hosted a book signing at the event.

And in between, Arm launched and incorporated her own company, “Girls Love STEAM.”

But perhaps the most exciting development for Arm, the girl whose passion for science, robotics and creative writing inspired her to start the series for her Girl Scout Gold Award project, is coming in the way of a Kickstarter campaign that kicks off March 9.

The six-week fundraising campaign is aimed at helping her raise enough money to publish 1,000 copies of “Riley Loves Robotics” and cover other business costs.

For Arm, the fundraising drive is the beginning of her goal to spread the gospel of STEAM to girls — and boys — across the globe.

“My dream for my books is to have an ever growing series of books that can be found in every school and library across the country, and even around the globe,” she said. “I want young girls, and boys, everywhere to know that STEAM activities are for everyone, regardless of their gender. I want to inspire young girls to pursue their own passions and not let anything stop them.”

Arm said she has been inspired by the response she has received from kids, parents, teachers and people in the fields of science, robotics and engineering.

“Kids enjoy the rhyming story and have a blast building the projects,” she said. “Parents like the fact that their kids both have fun and learn something new while reading my books.  Educators want to use them as learning tools in their classes, they especially like the information and terminology sections in the back of the book.”

Arm recalled a story of when she went to an elementary class to teach a lesson on Riley Loves Robotics, and a young girl in the class appeared visibly bored at the topic. Upon reading the book, Arm said she could see the girl’s facial expression change, and as she was leaving, the girl ran to her, and told her that she was going to be take up robotics next year.

“That was the moment I knew I had changed her life, and that was the moment I knew all the hours of hard work I had put into my books were more than worth it,” Arm said.

Arm’s Kickstarter campaign can be found here at kickstarter.com/projects/girlslovesteam/1654664377?token=94ca8048.

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