CONNECTing with Professionals at the DISD Stem ExpoTags: connect, outreach, and journal
Task: Explore Possible Connection Opportunities at the DISD STEM Expo
Today, Iron Reign presented at the DISD Stem Expo in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Here, we both demoed TauBot and hosted a STEM activity for young children which involved building LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots and then battling them SUMO style in a battle hexagon.
While this event was a great opportunity to motivate and interact with the community as a form of outreach, with the 100+ STEM exhibits and multitude of universities and corporations, it was an amazing opportunity to connect with professionals in order to receive valuable feedback on our robot.
Although with the hustle and bustle of the actual EXPO, not much assistance could be received as we also had a booth to manage, but we viewed this as a great time to go around, meet some professionals, build connections, and hopefully schedule future sessions where we could properly present and explain the robot.
First off, we were able to talk to some students from both the Texas A&M Engineering Program and SMU’s Lyle College of Engineering. Both programs seem quite interested in our robot, we are hoping to be able to get a meeting with a professor and some graduate students in order to present our robot to them, but those are still in the works.
In terms of corporations, we met a local startup called Strawbees, which focuses on developing STEM Building kits for children. They told us that they could potentially get us in touch with their lead “inventor”, who designed most of the product line. Since these projects incorporate both mechanical, electrical and software components, this could be a great opportunity for us.
We also were able to talk to representatives from Jacobs, Lenovo and NASA. Jacobs is a local engineering and architecture firm that is headquartered in Dallas, while Lenovo and NASA are both well-known organizations that could provide relevant hardware and software advice.
Our next steps will be following up with the people we talked to at the Expo in order to possibly schedule a session where we can interact with professionals, present our robot and receive feedback.