From Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy blog:
PITTSBURGH—A new four-year, $7 million educational initiative by Carnegie Mellon University will leverage students’ innate interest in robots and other forms of “hard fun” to increase U.S. enrollments in computer science and steer more young people into scientific and technological careers.
The initiative, called Fostering Innovation through Robotics Exploration (FIRE), is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and designed to reverse a significant national decline in the number of college students majoring in computer science, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (CS-STEM).
FIRE will develop new tools that enable middle and high school students to expand upon their interest in robots, leading them from one CS-STEM activity to the next. Examples are programming tools that create game-like virtual worlds where robot programs can be tested, as well as computerized tutors that teach mathematics and computer science in the context of robotics.
The initiative will target robotic competitions such as FIRST, VEX and Robofest that already are popular among secondary school students, but also will create new competitions for autonomous, multi-robot teams and for computer animations that will attract a broader array of students and offer new challenges.
Read the complete story at http://robotics-academy.org/blog/?p=340
And visit the FIRE website at http://fire.cmu.edu/