June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Electrical and Computer
Graduate students and faculty at Anonymous University’s Department of ECE developed an automated NerfTM launcher for STEM outreach. This robot was created by the authors as a final design project for a robotics course. The robot detects a reflective target using infrared light and tosses a NerfTM ball at the target. The robot was initially demonstrated to a Title 1 middle school robotics group working on a competition robot at the university. This opportunity allowed for a preliminary outreach event that was well received by the students and teachers: they all expressed enhanced interest in STEM as the design and design process was explained. This response inspired the further use of the robot as an outreach and recruitment apparatus.
To make the device more effective for outreach, targeted instructional approaches for use with different age ranges were created. These approaches vary in technical level and duration as appropriate. The outreach events were shown to increase the interest level of students in STEM fields through anonymous pre- and post- demonstration surveys. The primary goal of the outreach program is to target Title 1 schools and other under-served communities.
Prather, J. C., & Bolt, M. T., & Bottenfield, B., & Roppel, T. A., & Wentworth, S. M., & Adams, M. L. (2017, June), Robotic Outreach to Attract Primary and Secondary Students to Engineering Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28808
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