Bits & Bots

Bits & Bots aims to inspire and motivate primarily underprivileged 3rd-8th grade students in the Boston area to further explore and pursue the STEM fields. More often than not, STEM opportunities, especially in robotics, are neither accessible nor encouraged in the home and classroom environments of many of these youth. In response, we aim to provide a high quality introductory robotics education program, free of charge, to Boston-area students at the Grove Hall site of the Boston Public Library. While providing the educational service, we will be collecting data on what methods and techniques work best with our target population with the goal of producing tangible conclusions on how to better serve this critical population.

The program will run for 8 weeks in Spring 2017 with one weekly hourly teaching session at the library.

Service Project Details:

We are currently looking for a few individuals to join our Research Subteam, Curriculum Subteam, and Classroom Subteam, whose responsibilities include:

  • Research Subteam:
    • Collaborating with outside partners to understand current learning research context and methods
    • Refining a research question centered around teaching and learning methods
    • Designing an experiment to measure the effectiveness of these methods
    • Collaborating with the Coding Subteam, Curriculum Subteam, and Classroom Subteam to make informed recommendations
    • Collecting relevant data and acknowledging statistical limitations and confounding factors
    • Analyzing data to measure effectiveness of teaching methods
  • Classroom Subteam
    • Review and learn teaching materials in order to properly convey lessons
    • Travel to Library weekly
    • Build LEGO robots
    • Teach students from prepared teaching materials
    • Assist Research Subteam with collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data
    • Eat pizza

Job Description:

We are looking to further diversify our Bits & Bots cohort. We hope to recruit 3-5 students who are interested in joining the above subteams. We want individuals who not only meet our role requirements, but who just as importantly contribute to the passion Bits & Bots shares for trailblazing this specific and unique form of STEM outreach. Backgrounds in computer science, statistics, research design, or robotics are encouraged but are by no means necessary.

Timeline and Commitment Details:

Expect to communicate and collaborate with Bits & Bots group members several days a week via Slack, an online forum app with a computer and smartphone interface. In-person meetings between the entire team are expected weekly (every Sunday). Those who want to be on the classroom subteam and be volunteers would be expected to travel with other volunteers to the Grove Hall site every Thursday from 3 to 6 pm.

Service Location:

Boston Public Library- Grove Hall

Why you should join!

If you’re a self-paced worker with an interest in technology,

If you want to create/validate methods for more engaging and effective teaching,

If you want to counter demographic bias in education by serving the underserved,

If you want to follow in the steps of Faraday, Sagan, and other scientific greats,

and ensure that their great work to democratize the paths to science doesn’t go to waste.

Team Leaders:

Brett Krutiansky and Kim Terrizzi