Middle schoolers visit Wachs ISAT lab

Photo of students with M-E Cabrera
Cabrera with middle school students
Photo of students with 3-D printed frog
Students take a photo of a 3-D printed frog
Photo of Cabrera, students and mannequin
Cabrera explains using a mannequin in medical applications of robotics
A middle school robotics club toured Purdue and included a visit to Dr. Juan Wach’s Intelligent Systems and Assistive Technologies (ISAT) lab to see robots in action.

The Northview MIddle School Robotics Club came to Purdue on October 19, toured the university with Mechanical Engineering Ambassador students, visited four robotics labs, and engaged in a Lego robot building exercise. The labs were: Collaborative Robotics Lab (Voyles), Multi-Scale Robotics and Automation Lab/Mobile Robotics (Cappelleri), Multi-Scale Robotics and Automation Lab/Microrobotics (Cappelleri), and Wachs' ISAT lab.

"The kids had a great time, and my daughter couldn’t stop talking about controlling a robot with her hand," said parent and Northview teacher Jeff Maze.

Associate Professor Juan Wachs feels it's very important to engage younger students in the field of robotics. "They get excited about STEM and see the connection between math and science classes and very concrete applications, especially when these applications are relevant to the medical arena," he said.

"These kids have already shown some interest in robotics," said Maria-Eugenia Cabrera, the PhD student who showed the students around the Wachs lab. "By visiting our labs at Purdue, they can cultivate that interest and make it a motivation for them to continue their education towards STEM areas."

"The trip today was amazing and far exceeded our expectations," Maze concluded. "It will be a trip not soon forgotten by the middle schoolers you impacted today."