Robotics/STEAM Program Introduction

     The world faces an unprecedented need for new innovators, thinkers, and problem solving leaders. Our goal is to create engaging, affordable, and powerful solutions that immerse students in STEAM through the excitement of building and programming robots.
 STEAM  Program Philosophy
      Fifteen yaers ago, members of the National Science Foundation were working to develop a curriculum that would enhance education in science, math, technology and engineering.  This effort was in response to the mounting concern that students grades K-12 were not being adequately prepared for solving real-world challenges in a changing job market.  Judith Ramaley, the former director of the NSF came up with the acronym "STEM" which offered a promising place to start.  This same team of educators believed that science and math are critical to a basic understanding of the universe, while engineering and technology offer a means for people to interact with the universe.  Kathy Luke further stated in her article "integrated Curriculum" that STEM was "designed to revolutionize the teaching of subject areas such as mathematics and science by incorporating technology and engineering into a regular or conventional curriculum.

     The STEM concept began to earn national acceptance around 2001 and was described as being an innovative and positive step in the direction of enhancing science curriculum in middle and high school grade levels.  The Rhode Island School of Design took the initiative by incorporating  art and design into this mix whereby true innovation would be realized through a relationship with the scientist/technologist interacting closely with the artist/designer.  This new approach to learning would foster flexible thinking, risk-taking and creative problem solving necessary to confront the complex problems of the world.  The STEAM platform was born.

   Incorporating STEAM into the Design Lab Concept
         During this same period, the design or "fab-lab" concept was being developed through collaboration between the Grassroots Invention Group and the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Media Lab at MIT.  This project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation in 2001.  The design lab program was based on the idea that a wokshop or lab occupied by computer driven tools could fabricate almost anything.  This idea could empower students to create almost anything out of a wide variety of materials collaborating as a team.  Projects emenating from the design lab would incorporate a project based learning approach incorporating a variety of disciplines such as math, science, language arts, history, art, design to name but a few.  The Design Lab offered the perfect learning environment outside of the conventional or mainstream classroom.

      At AME, we firmly embrace the idea that robot kits promote creativity, problem solving and teamwork through the engineering efforts of students and their designs.  

  The AME Robotics Program
         The Robotics Program at AME offers easy-to-use Robotics Education Curriculum that allows students to go from having no robotics experience, to programming advanced behaviors. We base all of our curriculum off of the best robotics platforms that are  currently available in the market while incorporating the robotics curriculum guidelines designed by Carnegie Mellon .   It features three levels for the middle and high school student starting with an introduction to robotics to a more sophisticated immersion into programming.  AME incorporates the VEX IQ, Modelblock, LEGO EVA and other platforms into its robotics program.

       It's hard to believe that a robotics program is not part of every STEM or STEAM powered curriculum.  Entry level robotics provide learning opportunities for design, assembly, programming, operation and customization to name but a few.  Besides, it's a very appealing departure from the day to day classroom tedium.  Listed below are the three levels of robotic interaction currently under development.

             Basic Robot Design             Intermediate Robot Design       Intro to Programming    

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