One of my favorite days of the year is the RoboExpo. It’s a sweet, kid-friendly, age-appropriate celebration of robotics, programming, and physical computing for students in the Metro NYC area. I’m proud to be a founder and annual organizer along with Michael Tempel of The Logo Foundation, Lan Heng of Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Tracy Rudzitis of The Computer School, Hope Chafiian of The Spence School, Erik Nauman of The Hewitt School, Erin Mumford of Friends Seminary, and Francesca Zammarano and Javier Alvez of The UNIS School.
The line-up of challenges changes a bit from year to year, and this 2017 event included: Follow the line, Get out of the box, Stay on the table, and Collect/avoid the obstacles. This year we introduced a dance-a-long where children choreographed their robots to boogie to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling — it was equally hilarious and magical. One child wondered if there were a Sumo Bot ring like last year, and I offered, “Maybe next year?!”
Many thanks to The Marymount School for hosting our Robo Expo for a second year in a row! (We’ve been so lucky to have a network of schools graciously offer their spaces to us over the years.) Marymount held a mini maker fair in the morning (dubbed Marymount Maker Day), so it was especially awesome to be part of a full day of programming celebrating STEM and STEAM! To top it off, I wore my prized Girls Garage tshirt emblazoned with Fear Less. Build More. Thank you for the constant inspiration and glorious shirt, Emily Pilloton and Christina Jenkins!
Along with a handful of awesome educators, I’ve been a proud co-founder and co-organizer of the annual RoboExpo for over a decade. A bunch of us had been to the FIRST LEGO League competitions, and while they are amazing and important events, we yearned for something more low key and kid-friendly. At RoboExpo, students celebrate robotics and programming, share their awesome projects, and participate in a few light challenges for sticker prizes.