Clark School Press Release Story
What Do You Get When You Combine Kids, Cockroaches and Robots?
High School Students to Correlate Roach Neurophysiology and Robotic Sensing Technologies During Clark School Workshop
MEDIA ADVISORY July 23, 2012
301 405 6501
WHAT: "Robots and Roaches: Engineering applications and bio-inspired designs." High school students will participate in a one-day, university-level workshop on robotics and neurophysiology in which they will conduct experiments using cockroaches in the Clark School of Engineering's Controls Instructional Laboratory. The goal of the workshop is to look at how animals sense their environment and relate that to how robots can do the same. Students will examine the electrical signals and neurons in a cockroach's leg using SpikerBox kits (BackyardBrains.com) and then do analogous experiments with robotics. Finally, they will connect the cockroach leg to a robotic apparatus and use one to control the other and vice versa. The workshop is a Leadership Enhancement, Application and Design Academy run by the Clark School's Women in Engineering Program.
WHO: About 20 9th- to 12th-grade students from Maryland and Washington, D.C., will take part in the workshop, which will be led by Derek Paley, Clark School associate professor of aerospace engineering and the Institute for Systems Research, and Amanda Chicoli, a graduate student in neuroscience and cognitive science.
WHEN: Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend any portion of the workshop, which will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The students will be in the Controls Lab between 9:45 a.m. and 12 p.m. and also between 1:15 and 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 26.
WHERE: A. James Clark School of Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Directions to Parking: http://www.eng.umd.edu/visitus/visitus_directions.html (CALL AHEAD for a parking code)
WHY: Hands-on activities are important in order to interest and motivate students to study engineering and the other STEM disciplines. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This workshop will show the students how robotics can incorporate concepts of animal neurophysiology.
About the A. James Clark School of Engineering
The Clark School of Engineering, situated on the rolling, 1,500-acre University of Maryland campus in College Park, Md., is one of the premier engineering schools in the U.S., with graduate and undergraduate education programs ranked in or near the Top 20. In 2012, the Clark School was ranked 14th in the world by the Institute of Higher Education and Center for World-Class Universities in its Academic Ranking of World Universities. Three faculty members affiliated with the Clark School were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2010.
The school, which offers 13 graduate programs and 12 undergraduate programs, including degree and certification programs tailored for working professionals, is home to one of the most vibrant research programs in the country. The Clark School garnered research awards of $171 million last year. With emphasis in key areas such as energy, nanotechnology and materials, bioengineering, robotics, communications and networking, life cycle and reliability engineering, project management, intelligent transportation systems and aerospace, the Clark School is leading the way toward the next generations of engineering advances.