13-Year-Old Dominican Genius Who Taught Himself to Make Robotic Toys Gets Scholarship

Earlier this month, 13-year-old Jasuel Rivera warmed our hearts when a Zona5 segment showed that he had taught himself to build the robotic toys his family couldn’t afford out, using materials like cardboard boxes and syringes. The boy, who is from Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic, powers the toys using Blaise Pascal’s law on fluid mechanics. His story was so moving that after reporting about him, we were flooded with comments asking how to help Jasuel.

Following the initial video profile, officials from the Dominican Republic’s Ministerio de Educación contacted him and gave him a laptop and other necessary tools so that he can continue building. But most importantly, he was given a scholarship to the Instituto Tecnológico de las Américas, according to Diario Libre.

And it’d be difficult to find someone more deserving than this boy who is constantly fascinated by the world around him. “When I see a parked truck, I study it and memorize it,” he said. “Mechanical things are stored in my mind, but if you send me on an errand, I forget.”

The Ministerio of Educación said that he wanted to help Jasuel, who lives with his 82-year-old stepfather, harness his talents. Robótica Educativa, who donated tools to build robots, asked Jasuel if they thought he could build robots that can open cans or carry things. “Now that a man has walked on the moon, nothing is impossible,” Jasuel responded.