Succeeding at robotics and life: Reflections from the iSchool-Davinci STEAM-EBB partnership


“It feels like… a Leader.”

We conducted exit interviews of students at the end of the Innovative Engineering and Robotics Course through the Excel Beyond the Bell Collaborative in partnership with the Davinci STEAM School of Engineering for Youth. We are so proud of the impact we made on the lives of these young people – from helping them realize they can be leaders to appreciating more about engineering – their growth was both heartwarming and impressive.

Find our new EBB programs in the fall at Roberto Clemente MS in Germantown and E. Brooke Lee MS in Silver Spring!

In their own words:

On being a Leader:

*  I learned that I’m a real good Captain
*  I can also motivate others to do their job.
* I learned that I have so much more in me.
* I learned how to work with other people and how to incorporate everybody’s ideas together

On the value of Collaboration:

* I learned that working with other people is going to be more fun
* I need to learn how to collaborate and how to work in a team. It’s something that I really want to work on because it’s something that will help me to be better and it’s going to help me help my peers and to help myself so that I can learn. Cause I’m always going to need help and they will always need help and if we work together we can complete a lot of good things.
* I used to think working with a team – they would just slow you down. I realized team work can help you with a lot of stuff – it can help you or you can help them to accomplish your goals. You are going to do that when you get to a job – you have to work with some people so you have to get along.
* It’s fun, first of all, and working with other people – that’s awesome.
* Their perspectives could be better than yours – it could be an easier and faster way


On the value of Empathy in Innovation:

* I learned a story about a hospital in China – a robot that comforts people.
* I would like to make a real-life robot – to help people go to other place where they cannot go and it’s dangerous
* You shouldn’t be rude to other people because nothing good comes out of it.

On worldviews… of themselves and others:

* I have a talent of building things with Legos
* I never really built anything before
* Now I know how to collaborate with people.
* Now that I know how to succeed and what it is to be a Robotic Engineer I can go and do it.
* We get to make groups and that was so fun because sometimes I don’t get along well with other people and I learned that I can actually get along well with other people
* I learned that I really like to build things
* I liked building things with my hands
* I liked that we got to be creative with our projects and that we got to do what we wanted
* That I’m creative and stuff
* Something I need to work on is working with other people. I’m used to completing tasks on my own


On Robotics and Engineering:

* I learned a lot of new vocabulary – like autonomous and what a robot is
* I liked making the system work
* I never knew that if you make a robot you have to program it and code and stuff. I thought that you just make a robot and it do stuff for you. But I learned that you have to program your robot and code it to tell it what to do.
* A robot is something that can perform a simple task through a language of programming such as HTML, C++, and others. … That was new

On having fun!

* I think that I liked everything… machines, making robots, gears, cars, motors, making simple machines – everything!
* I thought that I was going to be bored because my parents made me come here. But later on I started liking it and learned new stuff about robots.
* When I saw they were doing Robot Engineering, I was like, ooh, my dream is coming true. So when I joined it was so much fun especially when we all were in a group and got all the pieces and put them all together. And in the end we sometimes took them all apart.