Soft Robotics Toolkit
In-region Community Outreach
Community outreach is an important part of the Soft Robotics Toolkit mission. The Toolkit has hosted speaking events and workshops both in India and the US. The Toolkit workshops help to pilot test the quality and age appropriateness of the instructional material, and generate student and educator feedback.
Early in 2021, the project produced 120 kits for a virtual pilot study involving 6 schools in New Delhi, Pune, and Bihar, deploying 72 kits with 60 students and led by 12 of the school educators. At the beginning of this, our team conducted a two-week-long, online professional development workshop to prepare the educators. The focus of these workshops was to test the adaptability to a digital medium and bolster student autonomy. Additionally, it aimed to test whether the toolkits influence students’ engineering identity, interest, and confidence and equip students to solve a problem using soft robotics.
The project had an end-of-pilot celebration in June to showcase student work and present awards. The attendees included people involved in supporting our efforts and in particular, individuals from the ATAL Innovation Mission who helped find the schools we worked with and the team hopes to continue a relationship with them and deploy our kits into more schools in their network.
The team participated in the India Science Festival 2020 held in Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. They organized a stall that garnered attention from the attendees – numbering in several thousands – and were able to gather substantial student and educator feedback.
October 14-18th, 2019
The Soft Robotics Toolkit held workshops in two schools in New Delhi, India. The goal of the workshops was to introduce students to soft robotics and to inspire them to find interest in STEM fields. The team took this opportunity to test the newly designed instruction manuals, as well as a newly developed magazine for providing insights into the concepts that make up soft robotics. They had overwhelmingly positive feedback and made important discoveries to further develop the kit to provide students and teachers with a rich learning experience.
During a two-week visit to Delhi, the team collaborated with Shiv Nadar Schools and Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya Schools to test the toolkits in the form of workshops, which was successful in fostering an understanding of the age groups the toolkit can target. Sufficient data was gathered by surveying and observing the workshops to be able to go into the next round of development and improve educational materials. 94% of the students found the toolkit interesting and 90% of them found the materials easy to use and assemble.