When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Ask a 6th grader this question and not many will answer a scientist or an engineer. And that's unfortunate since in the next decade, 80% of jobs will require math and science skills.
BUT, if you ask that same 6th grader what they like to do for fun you’ll get a flurry of answers including play video games, anything remote control and build/break stuff. While kids often view such activities as just “something fun to do”, in RoboNation we don’t just view them as a hobby. When channeled, these games can be harnessed into the hands-on skills needed to succeed in the exciting field of robotics. We see it as a way to fuel a student’s imagination while enhancing their education. In the process, we're giving students a great start to a promising future.
In the world of student robotics, there are many great stories about programs and people making a positive impact in the lives of others. These are just a few of those...
Great STEM Stories
Insitu, Inc., the world-class designer, manufacturer and service provider of the ScanEagle and Integrator unmanned aircraft system (UAS), empowers college and high school students through its internship program. By actively engaging them in substantial projects, not coffee runs, student interns have a chance to accomplish something at Insitu: They have a chance to make their ideas real.
Faridodin "Fredi" Lajvardi proves that one dedicated teacher can help a high school robotics team whose demographic profile, according to conventional thinking, does not translate into high student achievement achieve unprecedented success and change the lives of students forever.
"Spare Parts", a movie based on the true story of the Carl Hayden High School Falcon Robotics Team, follows the journey of four students who are eager to compete in a national robotics competition. Without any experience and using old car parts, the team enlists the help of their teacher (George Lopez), to build a robot and compete against MIT.
Each year, the Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team (CUAUV) makes it a priority to reach out to the neighboring Ithaca Community and educate young people about robotics.
Consider these startling statistics...
Only 33% of eighth graders are interested in STEM majors and only 6% of high school seniors will get a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field
Did you know that the RoboNation was created to engage K-college students in hands-on robotics activities to stimulate their interest in math and science as well as careers in unmanned systems?
The U.S. is ranked 27th (out of 29) for the rate of STEM bachelor’s degrees awarded in developed countries - 6% of U.S. undergraduates major in engineering compared with 12% in Europe, 20% in Singapore, and 40% in China
While the number of American students graduating with engineering degrees is waning, RoboNation student vehicle competitions are growing and have become hotbeds for recruiting STEM talent.
Undergraduate programs in science and engineering report the lowest retention rates among all academic disciplines. Less than half of undergraduates that declare an intent to major in a STEM field complete a degree in one of those subjects.
For some reason, many universities like to concentrate many of the most difficult and tedious coursework in freshman and sophomore level classes and save the hands-on, fun stuff for upperclassmen level courses. For many students who have the academic skill to complete those difficult courses, there isn't much motivation to do so. Enter RoboNation and the concept that engineering should be fun! Student teams design and build autonomous vehicles from scratch and compete with them OUTSIDE THE LAB. Compare a freshman competing in a RoboNation competition with a senior who has never designed outside the lab and you may just be surprised at who is more qualified.
Students with bachelor's degrees in engineering had the highest average starting salary offers compared with students with degrees in other subjects.
Combine an increased need for engineers with a diminishing pool of qualified recruits and it adds up to big money. Students with engineering degrees can look forward to multiple job opportunities upon graduation and companies who need engineers can expect to make larger investments to compete for talent. Working with RoboNation gives students and industry the opportunity to interact and build relationship while students are still in school