Campus: CSU Northridge -- November 18, 2002
CSUN Workshop To Give High Schools Training in
How to Build a Better Robot
Hundreds of middle and high schoolers, their teachers and parents are
expected to converge on Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Nov. 23, for
a workshop on how to build a better robot.
The young people will get a chance to work alongside technology and
software professionals, as well as CSUN faculty and students, as they
gain the skills needed to create a champion robot.
"Our society is becoming more and more technology based, and yet
we have fewer and fewer people going into technology as a career,"
said Tarek Shraibati, a manufacturing systems engineering professor
and one of the organizers of the event. "This program, which has
a proven track record, is designed to get young people involved in science
and technology. Particularly important is that it interests girls.
"Studies have shown that girls tend to lose interest in science
by the eighth grade," Shraibati said. "This program is very
useful in keeping them in the pipeline. By the time we get them in college,
less than 10 percent of our students here in engineering are women.
We hope this program changes that."
The workshop will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in CSUN's Michael
D. Eisner College of Education and the College of Engineering and Computer
Science located on the west side of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St.
The middle and high schoolers are taking part in the FIRST (For Inspiration
and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Program. The program
is designed to encourage young people to consider careers in technology
and science by giving them an opportunity to experience just how fun
that choice can be while still in middle and high school.
The youngsters design and build robots that then face off in a competition
that tests the agility, durability and strength of their creations as
well as the ingenuity and imagination of the students.
On Saturday, more than 300 high schoolers, representing more than 30
Southern California schools, will spend their time working technology
professionals and CSUN faculty and students, learning the skills they
will use to create a champion robot. They will also get advice on how
to raise financial and other support for their project.
In the meantime, more than 300 middle schoolers, representing more than
30 schools, will take part in their first robotic scrimmage to give
them an idea what their creations' weaknesses are as well as a hint
of what they will face next spring, when the regional competition takes
The regional competition is scheduled to take place April 3 through
5 in 2003 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
For more information, call (818) 677-4547.
Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler (818) 677-2130