Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) is a STEM research grant funded by the National Science Foundation. In partnership with the Girls Scouts of Southern Arizona, this program will create opportunities for young female scientists and members of GSSA Girls Scout Troops. The program is a tri-university collaborative research grant between Arizona State University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh. The grant is focused on creating a social programmable robot for middle school girls. Launching in the Summer of 2020, participants will engage in a 9-hour robotics camp focused on empowering young girls to work in team environments while learning various social and computer skills.
This project will focus on creating a programmable robot with social characteristics alongside human collaborators. More importantly, it will focus particularly on the development of a culturally responsive curriculum aimed toward underserved populations including Latina, African American and Indigenous females to inspire and empower young girls to become future scientists. The research will aim to demonstrate an improved rapport between learners and the programmable robot, increase computer science programming knowledge and skills, and improve attitudes toward computer science.
Recently, the three universities spent a week in Arizona to coordinate efforts and develop partnerships with various tribal communities and Girl Scouts. It is the intent of the AISL collaborators to develop meaningful and engaging activities and partnerships with everyone involved in the project. A commitment to pilot the culturally relevant robotics curriculum with the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona is tentatively planned for the 2020 Girl Scouts Summer Camp in Mount Lemon, Tucson, Arizona.