NYU-Poly professor brings robots to kids

For most kids robots are reserved for the big screen. But Dr. Lester Young, Jr., is trying to change that.

Young helped create the Central Brooklyn Robotics Initiative in 2007, which partnered with NYU-Poly's robotics program to provide opportunities in science and technology for underprivileged K-12 students who otherwise would not have access to this sort of technology.

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NYU-Poly professor Vikram Kapila, a principal investigator of CBRI, said he hopes the program will move robotics "from an after school activity into the classroom."

"In October 2010, we conducted a day-long Teaching STEM with Robotics workshop which was attended by over 100 teachers," Kapila said. "Our hope is that as more teachers gain knowledge of robotics, they will begin to develop and conduct activities that engage students in their learning and expose them to tools and techniques used by engineers and scientists in the real world."

NYU-Poly Fellows are selected after a rigorous application process, including review of academic records, assigned essays and letters of reference to evaluate who the best candidates are. The interview seeks to determine applicants' abilities to think on their feet and break down concepts to their most basic elements.
Sharon Holliday, an elementary school technology teacher, believes CBRI has played a crucial part in kids' lives.

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