Monday, September 8, 2008

100 Robots Talk at the University Lecture Series

I have some very exciting news. A couple weeks ago I was contacted by the CMU Provost's office. Apparently some people there had read about our project on the CMU homepage, and they thought it would make an interesting talk for the University Lecture Series. The ULS is a weekly broad-interest talk for the Carnegie Mellon community. Anyway, I'll be giving the talk on September 15th, 4:30pm in 136A Baker Hall (Adamson Wing). Here's an abstract of what I'll be talking about:

Abstract: 100 Robots, A Grassroots Project to Inspire Pittsburgh's Children

Imagine receiving $1,000 in the mail with a challenge: do some good in Pittsburgh. What would you do?

I received this challenge nearly two years ago as part of Oprah Winfrey's "Pay-It-Forward" program. In response, I launched the 100 Robots project with a simple goal. Our mission is to identify 100 children who have limited exposure to science and engineering, and teach them about robotics. Since receiving the initial challenge, the project has raised more than $25,000 from community organizations and taught more than 50 children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program to build a working robot.

In this talk I will present a case study of 100 Robots and explain some of the "nuts and bolts" of starting a community project. I will also talk about ideas you can use in your own project such as building trust, finding partners, and raising funds.

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