MIT Hosts Middle School Students for Robotics Workshop

At a recent STEM mentoring workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a few dozen middle school students had the opportunity to learn about programming robots.

The 37 students were joined by 27 MIT undergraduates, graduate students and professional mentors, as well as engineers from iRobot. As part of the workshop, the students explored the complexities of programming robots through iRobot products such as the Roomba vacuum, telepresence robots and robots designed for the military to improve situational awareness, then wrote code that they employed to move around a grid picking up "dirt" as a Roomba does.

"It's empowering for students to learn about programming robots because it can help them view themselves as builders of technology rather than mere consumers," said Catherine Park, STEM program coordinator at MIT, in a prepared statement. "I hope this day brought robots from their imagination to reality."

MIT's STEM Mentoring Program is hosted by the MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Programs. More information is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].