G.I.R.L. Tech

After-school program, Interactive museum exhibit

Producer, Webmaster (Drupal), Designer

Lynxie's Art Studio interactive robotic painter exhibit

Growing Interest in Robotics and Learning Technology (G.I.R.L. Tech) was a fifteen-week, eight-person Entertainment Technology Center project pitched by students and sponsored by the Grable Foundation. Our goals were twofold: to get middle- and high-school girls engaged in engineering and computer science, and to produce a fun, gender-neutral robotics exhibit for children ages three to seven.

As producer, I created the project schedule and budget and maintained communication with clients, research contacts, and our student interns and their parents. I also led meetings, managed group direction, provided conflict mediation, and directed playtests, surveys, and focus groups.

To facilitate information tracking within our team, I created an internal wiki using Google Sites. For our public online presence, I used the free, open-source content management system Drupal to put together a shared website complete with multiple levels of login access and a blog that both team members and student interns could post entries to.

I also researched similar projects, performed materials research, testing, and acquisition, organized intern activities and field trips, and ensured that our deliverable was handed off to the Children's Museum with a comprehensive manual for running, troubleshooting, and maintaining the exhibit.

After-school program: G.I.R.L. Tech Interships

For clients YWCA Greater Pittsburgh and Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, we ran an eight-week internship program for ten middle- and high-school girls. Our interns met with us twice a week, clocking over three-hundred-and-twenty-four hours of program participation. In addition to prototyping the Children's Museum exhibit and completing a joint engineering and programming project using the Robotis Bioloid Expert kit, our interns visited with local robotics labs and companies. We had a brainstorming session with Bossa Nova Concepts, met BeatBots' robot "Keepon," participated in a demo at CMU’s Motion Capture Lab, visited the Mechanimal workshop, and toured the National Robotics Engineering Center. We also took a field trip to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh to see the ultimate home of our robotics exhibit, and met with Anthony Daniels (English actor best known for his role as the droid C-3PO in the Star Wars films) to talk about robotics and entertainment technology.GIRL Tech interns work on a tic-tac-toe-playing robotic arm

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Interactive museum exhibit: "Lynxie's Art Studio"

In tandem with our after-school internship program, we designed and fabricated a semi-permanent, interactive painting robot exhibit for our third client, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. Our final product, "Lynxie's Art Studio," was a painting robot that children can interact with by creating a digital painting with up to three colors on a touch screen. The robot picks up paint markers and uses real paint to recreate the child's drawing on a removable plexiglass "canvas".

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