Co-Robots for COMPUGIRLS Culturally Responsive Robotics Education for Underrepresented Girls

Project: Research project

Description

Culturally Responsive Humanoid Co-Robots and COMPUGIRLS Although there are currently national and regional K-12 robotics programs, none of them address educating the next generation of STEM students in co-robot design and programming. K-12 robotics program, such as FIRST Robotics, are successful at bringing STEM robotics to K-12 students but are inherently focused on electro-mechanical robot design with minimal autonomous programming. Also, existing K-12 robotics programs face challenges in including girls, particularly those from diverse communities (e.g. African American, Native, American, Latina), in robotics. The goal of the NSF National Robotics Initiative (NRI) is to develop cooperative, or corobots, that work alongside or in direct relationship with humans. The NRI also seeks to infuse corobotics educational curricula and understand the social implications of co-robots in our society. It is necessary to develop co-robot curriculum to educate and recruit K-12 students in the understanding and study of these robots. We propose to develop co-robot STEM activities and curriculum using humanoid robots in the NSF-funded CompuGirls (compugirls.asu.edu) program. Our primary goal is to teach co-robot programming design in a culturally relevant manner to at least 120 diverse adolescent girls from COMPUGIRLS. The objectives of this project are to: 1) Develop and study culturally co-robot STEM curriculum in the context of CompuGirls; 2) Involve CompuGirls in culturally effective humanoid robotics K-12 research and programming projects; and 3) Develop computational models for co-robots to effectively interact with girls from diverse communities. As a nationally recognized, culturally responsive multimedia program for girls (ages 13-18), researchers from Arizona State University and Marquette University will capitalize on COMPUGIRLS practices, networks, and research to incorporate a culturally responsive, co-robot curriculum into the extant program. Drawing from Compugirls experience offering summer, project based activities that require 120 African American, Native American, Latina COMPUGIRLS to create a series of social and community oriented research projects, our proposed project will span five years to implement the following 6 steps: Step 1) Peer and mentor teachers nominate 10 lead COMPUGIRLS (CG) from summer sessions to be trained on co-robots and become RJM; Step 2 Andrew with 1-2 students from Marquette come to ASU and train RJMs; Step 3 RJMs create corobots based on COMPUGIRL projects, present to CG Summer Session during RobotRally I; Step 4 Two RJMs work with groups of five CGs to program co-robots ; Step 5 CG groups present at RobotRally II during which community leaders, EPIC students, women in robotics eg InPower, AB members (we will schedule our meetings to occur then), will select the best project to be designed to fruition; Step 6 Selected group and EPICS team work collaboratively to design the winning project Integral to this process will be researching the effects of this experience on the girls. Using a mixed methods design, we will examine: 1. What computational models must a co-robot have or learn to effectively interact with girls from diverse communities? 2. What impact does programming a robot to be a culturally responsive co-robot have on girls' from underrepresented communities interest in robotics? The intellectual merit of this project results from our long-range visionthat is to increase the number of underrepresented girls (e.g. Native American, African American, Latina) who are knowledgeable about co-robot design and programming by involving them in research projects aimed at developing culturally and socially intelligent co-robots for educational tasks. We will also acquire data that is culturally responsive to the needs of the growing population. Information from this project will also inform mentoring models. This proposal will advance the discipline of corobotics in unprecedented ways by considering cultural aspects never before explored. The broader impact of our project will provide and disseminate a new culturally relevant co-robot curriculum specifically designed to attract and retain underrepresented girls to co-robot programming and design. Based on our findings from this project, the curriculum will be made available to other national organizations, such as Girl Scouts and Boys and Girls Club.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/1/142/28/17

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $166,979.00

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