Summer Youth Program: Middle School: Women in Robotics and Intro to Robotics

2016 was another successful year for NASLab at the Summer Youth Program. Teaming up with Dr. Rastgaar’s HIRoLab, two week-long courses taught middle school age students, 11 girls and 20 boys, about Co-Robots and how they help to explore the environment and augment human capabilities. “Women in Robotics” was a girls only course to study and promote STEM interest and engagement in young girls. The “Introduction to Robotics” course was co-ed.

Students were first taught the basics of the engineering process and the basics of coding and wiring. The first three days were spent covering these basics while doing small challenges like making an LED light blink or actuating a motor, as well as a session in the computer lab for an introduction to CAD (Computer Aided Design) software.

The last two days were spent building and testing the two Co-Robots: HIRoLab’s Neu-pulator robot and NASLab’s GUPPIE.

This year, a new design for GUPPIE was introduced. The glider is comprised of a water bottle that is easily modified to be water-tight and comes in a variety of fun colors for the students to choose from. The tail fin was designed by the students and attached by thick rubber bands, allowing easy adjustment.

On the last day after final trimming and testing, everyone got to swim with their GUPPIEs in Michigan Tech’s pool to see the glider’s sawtooth motion in action.

Women in Robotics:


Introduction to Robotics: