Penn FIRST LEGO League
The GRASP Lab manages the Southeastern Pennsylvania FIRST LEGO League and Jr. FIRST LEGO League region. GRASP supports over 230 middle school robotics team that participate in autonomous robotics competitions, including partnering with the LEGO Foundation and Americorps VISTA to fully sponsor 32 public school teams in Philadelphia, Camden, and Chester. Dr. Vijay Kumar’s students and staff organize competitions, provide training for coaches, mentor local teams and serve as judges and volunteers at events. Read More
Research Experiences for Teachers
Dr. Vijay Kumar is currently participating in two RET programs. Kumar received a NSF supplement under the Expeditions in Computing program to support a local high school technology teacher and robotics coach for a summer research experience. That teacher, Michael Johnson, worked with Gavin Kenneally and Dr. Dan Koditschek to develop curriculum for the application of a new robotics platform in a high school robotics class. Kumar is also committing 4 graduate students to participate in the in the summer of 2016.NSF Robotics Research Experience for Middle School Teachers RET Site
Each summer the GRASP lab teaches a 3-week long robotics course for high school students participating in the SAAST program. The course, founded by Dr. Vijay Kumar, is supported by GRASP students, faculty and staff. Read More
The Girls in Engineering Math and Science program is a weeklong summer camp for middle school girls that is hosted by the Advancing Women in Engineering Program. The GRASP lab teaches a robotics only track with robotics related lectures and activities. Read More
Philadelphia Robotics Expo
Every spring the GRASP Lab welcomes 400 K-12 students for the National Robotics Week and Philly Tech Week Philly Robotics Expo. Students have a chance to view robotics demonstrations, listen to lectures from robotics faculty, compete in robotics scrimmages, and participate in mechanical, electrical and programming workshops. The event is a collaborative effort with Central High School. Read More
GRASP Lab Tours
Throughout the year the GRASP lab welcomes robotics teams and K-12 classes for one-hour lab tours and extended learning experiences. Students get a chance to see the state of the art in robotics and even try hands-on demos. Each year, more than 1,300 K-12 students tour the Kumar lab. Read More
Summer Mentorship Program
The UNITE Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) in Robotics Leadership is a collaborative effort between Penn’s Vice Provost Office and the GRASP Lab and is sponsored by the Army Education Outreach Program. Ninth and 10th grade students participate in a four-week course with four instructors and three mentors. Activities include programming lessons, engineering design lessons, engineering projects, robotics competition, career day involving industry speakers, field trips to engineering facilities, and tours of GRASP. Read More
Philadelphia Science Festival
Dr. Vijay Kumar’s students have participated in a variety of events as part of thePhiladelphia Science Festival. The Philadelphia Science Festival is a nine-day, community-wide celebration of science that takes place annually in April, featuring lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions and a variety of other informal science education experiences for Philadelphians of all ages. Kumar’s students have been involved with the Science Carnival on the Parkway, Big Ideas for Busy People, and Inspired By Nature – an event focusing on bio-inspired robotics.
Kumar’s students and staff are currently developing curriculum for use in grades 6-12 that utilizes robotics, blended learning and project-based approaches to teach math and science. Kumar’s group is partnered with Steppingstone Scholars in this effort.
The goal of the Lift project is to create an inexpensive, printable quadrotor platform for use in the middle or high school classroom. The fully open source project involves the development of the printable platform, the design of a graphical programming environment and the investigation into the use of AprilTags for indoor localization. This project is funded in part through the NSF Expeditions in Computing program.