ADOPT. INSPIRE. PROVIDE.
MassRobotics teamed with the AFCEA Lexington Concord Chapter (AFCEA LEXCON) to bring hands-on STEM/Robotics curriculum and kits to students and teachers AND career discussions to classrooms in our Boston neighborhood high schools.
During National Robotics week, April 5-9 2021, we provided robotic hand kits to high school students and educators at the John D. O’Bryant High School of Mathematics and Science, Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, Boston Community Leadership Academy and New Mission High School and ran workshops on how to use them. The kits we gave were the BrainCo Neuromaker, a hands-on STEM learning platform curricula and activities which provide opportunities for both the most and lease experienced students and teachers, beginning with the building of the actual robot hand, to open ended challenges in programming that can be used in the future.
Thanks to The MITRE Corporation and Toyota Research Institute that “Adopted” these schools and sent representatives to work with the students, mentoring, talking about their career paths, and discussing opportunities in the STEM fields. Funds were also provided by the AFCEA Lexington Concord Chapter and MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
Here are some highlights from the week – we are not sure who had more fun, the students, educators, sponsors or us!
ADOPT A SCHOOL – INSPIRE STUDENTS – PROVIDE RESOURCES
We are hoping to expand the program next year to include additional schools and possibly a competition.
A special thank you to the AFCEA Lexington Concord Chapter leadership for collaborating and helping us secure sponsors and funds needed to provide these kits and scholarships to schools and students.
“Part of our mission is to support students pursuing STEM disciplines. This was a perfect venue for just that.” – Kevan Kivlan, AFCEA Lexington Concord Chapter President.
In addition to purchasing the Neuromaker Robotic Hand STEM Kits for the teachers to keep and reuse annually, cash scholarships were awarded to students who submitted an essay answering the following prompts:
- If you could go back in time how would you use robotics to change an event in history? (MITRE)
- If you could choose your dream career in STEM how would you like to affect the world? (TRI)
A First Place prize of $1500, Second Place $1000, and Third Place $500 were awarded to students from each of the participating schools.
Here’s an article from the Toyota Research Institute’s Pressroom:
“It’s energizing to see public, private, and nonprofit sectors coming together to bring robotics curriculum to Boston public high schools,” stated Kerri Fetzer-Borelli, head of diversity, equity, inclusion, and community engagement at TRI. “Our hope is to inspire students with diverse knowledge, skills and lived experiences to enter the robotics and STEM fields so that they can have an impact on future innovations.”
Here’s another great article in the United Way Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley newsletter highlighting our work to encourage students to be future roboticists!