PORPOISE Robotics’ mission is to provide high quality, hands-on robotics training integrated with STEM and STEAM education. (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math)
PORPOISE Robotics was initiated with funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The PORPOISE developers include an Academy Award winning producer, a Harvard trained inner city teacher, and a brilliant high school robotics student. (Yep, quite a mix!)
In 2012, PORPOISE launched as a daily robotics class at Washington Prep High School in Los Angeles (LAUSD). PORPOISE is one of the most popular classes. Students utilize hands-on building skills and invoke high levels of computational thinking to create autonomous robots. Their creations navigate on table tops, scurry around the room, and occasionally crash into each other to the students’ delight and laughter. Skills learned include robotic design, implementation of electrical circuits, soldering, the Arduino microprocessor, and the C++ coding skills to make their robots come to life.
The LAUSD is now proposing PORPOISE Robotics for accreditation as a high school science elective in California.
In 2014, PORPOISE expanded to middle school (6th, 7th and 8th grade) as a twice weekly after-school robotics club at Rancho Minerva in San Diego. This program, sponsored by the San Diego Futures Foundation, proved that middle school students are fast learners and capable of understanding mechatronics and basic C++ coding. The students built their LandShark ground vehicle, added the Arduino microprocessor, and were able to modify existing C++ code or write new autonomous command sets (sketches) to drive their robots.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: PORPOISE Robotics initiated Teacher Training sessions at the invitation of the U. of California, San Marcos campus, and at local middle schools who are now initiating PORPOISE Robotics.
PORPOISE encourages students to participate in competitions such as FIRST, Lego, VEX, and Sea Perch. Wherein PORPOISE is not a competition, it gives students the mechatronic skills and underlying math and science to be highly successful at third party competitions.
PORPOISE Robotics excites students to continue their education and seriously consider careers in STEM fields.