Ben Finio
Cornell: Fab@School

During my time at Harvard I received one question over and over again from parents and teachers upon seeing my presentation about bio-inspired robots: “That’s awesome. How can we build these robots at home/in my classroom?” Unfortunately, I couldn’t give them a good answer as I didn’t have time to develop an appropriate set of directions and materials for classroom use. As a postdoc in the Cornell Creative Machines Lab, working collaboratively on the “Fab@School” project with the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, I hope to finally be able to answer that question. The project is focused on bringing cheap, easy and reliable engineering fabrication technologies into K-12 classrooms, allowing students to design and prototype their own devices, while simultaneously addressing state and national learning standards in a hands-on manner. My goal is to develop curricula for students to design and build their own bio-inspired robots (see the Harvard Microrobotics Lab’s YouTube channel for some cool examples). I will post more information about the project as it develops.

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