60 minority male middle schoolers will engage STEM skills in collaborative robotics program

60 minority male middle schoolers will engage STEM skills in collaborative robotics program

LEXINGTON – In an effort to provide minority male students with hands-on engineering experience, Newton’s Attic has partnered with Kentucky State University (KSU) via the Verizon Innovative Learning Program, along with additional support from the Raymond Foundation. KSU sought out the hands-on robotics model developed by Newton’s Attic to furnish the curriculum for their weekly workshops with middle school students.

The successful pilot of this program grew from a partnership between Newton’s Attic and Lexington’s Carter G. Woodson Academy in early 2016 with the generous support of LG&E/KU, the Raymond Foundation, and the Children’s Charity of the Bluegrass. The program got the attention of educators at KSU, fueling further collaboration and program expansion in 2017.

Working in conjunction with educators from Newton’s Attic and KSU, 60 students will attend seven sessions and design a robot to gather data and make assessments following a simulated nuclear reactor meltdown. The robot designed must be able to maneuver through the simulation of a collapsing facility and recover the iodine pill package from the mini bot and carry the package to the survivors.

The program includes students from both Franklin Co. and Fayette Co. schools. All of the involved parties place an emphasis on the importance of education and were thus able to establish a successful partnership. “The goal is to develop a model that increases academic proficiency in STEM and raises awareness about STEM careers and entrepreneurship among minority male youths,” said Derrick Gilmore, KYSU Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs.

The Meltdown Robo-Challenge Program brings robotics to life, engaging students in the engineering process and expanding horizons for potential future fields of study. “Newton’s Attic gave our scholars the access and the opportunity to do things they have never done before, and they were challenged,” said Melanie Trowell, Carter G. Woodson Academy teacher.