The eighth annual National Robotics Week kicks off April 8 with STEM-focused events happening across the country. Founded by iRobot and established by Congress in 2010, National Robotics Week raises awareness around the importance of education focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and the role these subjects play in shaping the future of our society’s youth, industry and the U.S. economy.
“National Robotics Week provides the perfect opportunity for parents, teachers and those who share a passion for robots and technology to reach and inspire a new generation of engineers, roboticists and scientists,” said Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot. “When students get excited about STEM, and learn about what is possible, it’s truly a rewarding experience for everyone involved.”
Events during National Robotics Week include panel discussions, introductory robotics courses for kids, robotics competitions, robot demonstrations, tours of innovative labs and science fairs. A sample of events and announcements scheduled during the 2017 National Robotics Week includes:
- Maker Faire Miami 2017, Miami, FL (April 8–9; 10:00 am – 5:00 pm ET): A gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show off their hobbies, experiments and projects.
- Robot Block Party, Chicago, IL (April 8–9; 10:00 am – 3:00 pm CT): Check out cool ‘bots designed by Chicago-area students and amateur teams, talk with University students about cutting-edge robotics research, watch mini robotics competitions and interact with some state-of-the-art robots.
- MassRobotics Student Open House, Boston, MA (April 10; 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm ET): MassRobotics’ doors are open for students to learn about robots. Demonstrations will be provided by companies from the local robotics ecosystem.
- Silicon Valley Robot Block Party, San Jose, CA (April 12; 11:00 am – 5:00 pm PT): The longest running National Robotics Week event, the block party features more than 40 different robots ranging from industrial, educational, service and home robots.
- Girl-Powered Smart Devices, Cambridge, MA (April 18; 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET): In this hands-on workshop, young women (ages 12-15) will use block programming to build their own smart device at the MIT Museum.
- IEEE Robot Challenge, Baltimore, MD (April 23; 9:30 am – 5:00 pm ET): The Robot Challenge engages high school students in a two to four-month activity which closely resembles the work that a graduate engineer would be doing in the “real world.” Participants build two-leg or four-leg walking robots from scratch, decorate them, teach them to walk and climb hurdles, and compete with other teams at the challenge event.
Those who are hosting or interested in hosting an event can download helpful resources from the National Robotics Week website, including National Robotics Week Snapchat filters to use for their event, a template press release to promote the event, a National Robotics Week logo, 2017 Trading Cards, an activity book for elementary school teachers and other helpful items. Official #RoboWeek posters are also available upon request.
National Robotics Week has an official website on which you can scope out the full schedule of events, and is also on Twitter (@roboweek and #roboweek) and Facebook (facebook.com/roboweek).