The Girls of Steel team sponsored by the Field Robotics Center hosted more than 70 middle school girls on campus for the “Aspiring Young Women in Robotics and STEM” symposium, which included a speaker series, workshops, robot demonstrations, and a tour May 22.
Participants hailed from 33 different schools from districts in Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Westmoreland and Union Counties.
Throughout the day, the girls had many chances to work with Carnegie Mellon University faculty and graduates. Howie Choset, professor of robotics, presented his snake robot, while roboticist and Robotics Institute alumnus Sarjoun Skaff and CMU professor Jodi Forlizzi were on hand to demo their Omnidirectional robot.
4moms representative Jared Rosenthal addressed the students about the product breeze® playard before presenting a workshop to reverse-engineer a mamaRoo®. Participants also attended Tom Lauwers’ BirdBrain Technologies workshop to assemble a Hummingbird robotics kit and participated in a creative session led by Girls of Steel, where students were given hands-on experience with tools used to build robots.
Forlizzi offered that the “Girls of Steel Symposium is part of CMU’s critical mission to embrace diversity in who we are and the work that we do. In addition, it teaches girls and young women the importance of team work and mentoring at an early age.”
The event was sponsored in part by The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and Verizon Foundation.