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Robotics is a relatively new field with tremendous potential to impact all aspects of society. I firmly believe that ensuring this potential is used to aid all humans requires equal access to its development. Over the years I’ve been involved in some outreach activities to this end, with a general focus on K-12 programs. I encourage visitors to take a look at some given here, but also hope to inspire others to get involved in outreach in your own areas!

Road to Research: Meet the Researcher

This program (put on by the CMU Leonard Gelfand Center and the College of Engineering) introduces middle school students to graduate student researchers, with the goal of sharing experiences, exploring what it means to do research, and have fun with hands-on activities (see the website for more information).

As part of this program, I talked with the students about my own path to robotics research, gave an overview of robotic motion planning, and designed an activity to teach them basic motion planning algorithms. Those interested can check out the recording of the talk and the accompanying activity sheet here. I also mentored several other Meet the Researcher sessions throughout my time at CMU.

From Imagination to Reality: Introduction to Computer Aided Design

During my time at the Robomechanics Lab, I helped collaborate with both a local Pittsburgh organization, Gwen’s Girls, and a national organization, Black in Robotics, to provide STEM education to underrepresented minority groups, specifically Black women. Together we created and conducted a 4-week CAD education program to foster creative thinking and design skills that students can carry with them into the future. We implemented this course each semester since Spring 2021, with about 40 students in attendance during my time there and more coming soon as the program is ongoing.

Black in Robotics Reading List

Also while with the Robomechanics Lab, I helped the lab partner with Black in Robotics to develop a reading list that highlights the accomplishments of Black robotics scholars. Our hope is that this reading list encourages academics to seek diverse researchers for citations and collaborations, and helps students identify role models and potential advisors in the field.

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