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LA Robotics Club Message Board › Displaying ethnic and gender diversity in robotics through a music video

Displaying ethnic and gender diversity in robotics through a music video

A former member
Post #: 1
Greetings fellow roboticists,
Yesterday Dave Grober, from Motion Picture Marine here in Venice CA, and I had a great day attending the Riverside Robotics Society meeting at CSLB and talking with Walter Martinez about how, as a kid in Honduras, he fell in love with Robots after seeing Star Wars, and dreamed of coming to the US to study how to make his own. We talked about how we might be able to get more under-served groups into robotic engineering and computer programming, closing the ethnicity, cultural and gender gaps that pervade this field. It was not lost on us that of the 19 people present at the meeting yesterday only two of us could not be considered traditionally "white male"; this may have reflected simple regional demographics but we are aware that overall we aren't doing a good enough job of inviting enough young women in general as well as African-American and Latino women and men, to share in the joys of one of the 21st century's most powerful areas of inquiry and development.

To help correct that, I wrote my "Making Robots with My Arduino"Song (lyrics and chords are here http://melodic-mnemon...­ we expect to record the music in the next month or so) and we presented it to the Office of Naval Research in Washington DC which is getting behind a big STEM outreach program to address the dearth of women and minorities in robotics.

They liked the idea of using music and video to bring attention to the issue (we Angelino Robot enthusiasts are out in Hollywood-Land after all!) so we are now looking to put together a music-video from the Arduino song that would feature women and ethnic minority "robotics impassianados" singing and dancing in a robotics lab in a theatrical number that would be reminiscent of the auto-garage based "Go Greased Lightening" scene in the movie/play "Grease". We would then present it to the folks in DC for possible inclusion in educational materials that would go around the country and possibly the world to schools trying to bring more folks into engineering.

At this point we aren't sure how we are going to pull this off (no budget yet, but we will seek some funding and in any event we have friends in the film industry who have offered to donate time and equipment) but after going to see the musical "Bring It On" downtown last night, we are currently seeking to build our rainbow "crew" or "squad" of ethnically/genderly mixed "performers" who would be interested in participating.

Let us know if you are interested!!


Thomas Taha Rassam Culhane
A former member
Post #: 2
PS, Because the song is a rockabilly, we intend to have the Wowee "robotic elvis", which we saw yesterday at the Riverside Robotics Meeting, sing a few lines, both with his face on, and with his face off... (­)
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