In this candid interview, Dr. Ayanna Howard of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) describes how she plays at work! How a gift of a build-it-yourself radio kit led her to become a Robotics Engineer.

Robotics engineers design, build, program, operate and fix robots.

This short video (4 minutes) covers:

What she does as a Robotics Engineer.

Describes building various capabilities into a robot.

How she got interested in math and science at the age of 8 or 9.

How her work helps the exploration of other planets.

Interest in STEM topics for your students can come from many sources. Demonstrations and experimentation in or out of class often lead to engagement and possible decisions about career choices.

Even showing them inspired STEM career videos could lead to engagement. This is how the Futures Channel can assist you.

Lesson Plans and activities:

The Distance Between Two Points. A robot must be programmed to compute the distance between two points in three-dimensional space.

Subject: Algebra
Topics: Coordinate Systems
Grades: 6 – 12
Knowledge and Skills:
– Can interpret (x,y,z) notation as the position of a point in three-dimensional space
– Can find the distance between two points in three-dimensional space

Click here to view this lesson