Questions we’re exploring
1. How do students learn from modifying existing robots, rather than making new ones?
Creating new robots is fun, exciting, and well studied. Our robotics program looks more at how students would modify and change existing systems to perform new roles or explore new concepts.
2. Does working with robots get students to think globally about solving problems with technology?
Robots bring unique abilities to solve complex and hazardous problems. How do students think about what robots can do, and do they see themselves working on robots that solve the world’s problems in the future?
3. Can we use robotics to create lasting excitement for technology among a more diverse range of students?
Many technology fields are working to reduce diversity issues, like gender disparity, in their workforces. Robotics clubs around the world are pulling in students of all types, and we want to understand what it is about robotics that is so popular, and see if we can apply what we find to other tech fields.
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Hilltop Elementary: Optimizing Resources
Resources can be a major limiting factor to enabling students to explore tech-centric fields like robotics. We worked with Hilltop Elementary School to find ways to bring robotics into their classrooms without breaking the bank.
In 2016, foundry10 partnered with Seattle Girls' School to offer an introductory robotics course for middle-school students. We were immediately surprised by the drive and skill of the students, many of whom had no prior experience with robotics. They were able to pick up technical skills amazingly fast, and had innovative ideas for new robots that they wanted to build.