Robotics, No Limits

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Manage episode 290962329 series 66750
Creato da Dot Cannon: Public Speaker & New-Media Reporter, Dot Cannon: Public Speaker, and New-Media Reporter, autore scoperto da Player FM e dalla nostra community - Il copyright è detenuto dall'editore, non da Player FM, e l'audio viene riprodotto direttamente dal suo server. Clicca sul pulsante Iscriviti per rimanere aggiornato su Player FM, o incolla l'URL del feed in un altra app per i podcast.
"Success for anybody looks (different)," says Unified Robotics creator Delaney Foster. And since 2015, her first-of-its kind robotics program has allowed students of all abilities to explore their personal definitions of success. As a high-school student, Delaney had discovered her passion for robotics through First Robotics competitions. But these opportunities weren't available to her sister, who has autism. Nor were her sister's friends able to compete in the robotics-team events. Delaney, who describes her older sister as her best friend, changed those circumstances. Working with her First Robotics team and a special-education teacher, she implemented the first Unified Robotics program in her school. The groundbreaking program paired robotics-team members with students with special needs, to collaborate on creating a LEGO Mindstorms robot. Six weeks later, those robots would "face off" in a competition of their own. This pilot program was such a success that Special Olympics partnered with them in their second year. Currently, the program has seen more than 120 teams, and more than 400 students impacted, according to Unified Robotics' website. This past school year, due to the pandemic, the robotic competition went virtual. Delaney says that pre-pandemic years have seen students in seven states competing, and the program has generated interest in Greece, as well as sparking its own competition in United Arab Emirates. Delaney shared the history of the program, talked about some of her favorite experiences and explained what's involved, for anyone who would like to start a Unified Robotics program locally. On this edition of Over Coffee®, we cover: How Delaney first discovered her passion for robotics; The story of Unified Robotics; How robotics-team students learned from their counterparts with special needs, while working together; Delaney's favorite memories, from the first Unified Robotics competition; How the Special Olympics became involved, as a partner; The directions in which the program has grown, so far; Plans for the upcoming school year; What's involved, for education professionals who would like to bring a Unified Robotics club to their school; How Unified Robotics and their partners assist schools in starting a club; What parents can expect, when their students participate in the program; How the program's flexibility works for students with a wide range of abilities; What the program needs most in achieving its ultimate goals; How the Unified Robotics program inspired Delaney's sister, as well as other students with special needs; An imaginative way in which a robotics student mentor engaged Delaney's sister in overcoming an obstacle; The ways in which tech companies are beginning to make job opportunities available to applicants with different abilities.

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