25/11/2019 - Events
Poznan (Poland), 14-16 November 2019: news from the Central Event of the European Robotics Week
For three days, the Poznań University of Technology was the venue for exhibitions, workshops and conferences hosting the Central Event of European Robotics Week 2019.
by Beatrice Masala, School of Robotics
Every year the European Robotics Week includes a central event, which in this edition was held in Poznan, Poland, and many events in the participating countries. In the past eight editions, Italy has organized a high number of events involving universities, research centers, manufacturing companies, integrators, arts, theater, associations, educational centers, and hundreds and hundreds of schools.
In the exhibition area of the Poznań University of Technology, international leaders in the robotics market shared the space with scientific associations, groups of students and academics who illustrated their most interesting projects and infinite future prospects in a playful and passionate atmosphere of in-depth study and exchange.
Exchanges of experiences and perspectives were also at the center of the panel "Women in digital and robotics: A must-have" where School of Robotics participated with a speech on teaching methods specifically dedicated to the involvement of girls in the world of robotics and new technologies. These methodologies have been developed over the years with the aim of creating an educational context increasingly free from prejudices and stereotypes more or less internalized and to bridge the gender gap still existing in schools and academia but even more in the job market.
During this workshop, we discussed about the evolution of the role of women in big companies and the impact of this growing female presence. The central role of education and awareness of educators in dealing with cultural obstacles and established preconceptions was discussed. We talked about the importance of reaching the marginal areas of our cities and opening the doors of locked computer rooms to help teachers get rid of fears and take over all those technologies that are fundamental to the education of students. Virtuous examples were presented, developed in communities in which robotics is usually used as an educational tool for boys and girls, without distinction of gender, from the first year of age; we outlined the realities in which there are still many obstacles that stand between young women and the world of ICT. Much has also been said about the importance of no longer talking only about STEM but about STEAM and never underestimate the value of that A of Arts, remembering the need to establish bridges between the world of technology experts and the world of art and creativity, in all its forms.
We stressed the need for role models for young women, figures and stories that are close and reachable, real but also present and visible on all those social platforms to which is entrusted today the task of conveying examples and models to follow. As a School of Robotics we have reiterated the need to leave no woman behind, aware of how distrust and rejection of technology in today's world correspond in fact to the impossibility of understanding the changes taking place, as well as being independent as the basic services are gradually digitizing.
During the workshop "Robots at school - ideas for pan-European citizen science projects" representatives of many realities from different European countries presented a series of projects in which robotics has been put at the service of education, cultural and scientific dissemination. Scuola di Robotica presented the project that in recent years has allowed the creation of a series of low-cost submarine ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles), equipped with a camera and controller programmed with Arduino, which can be used for different educational activities, environmental awareness, and exploration of the local seabed. With our Colleagues we thought about how to spread at the European level some of these innovative and low-cost ideas in order to create a network between schools, youth associations, museums and science centers scattered in different countries.
The next appointment is for the European Robotics Forum in March 2020 in Malaga, Spain, with a full programme of workshops and conferences focusing on issues such as technological innovation, education, automation, social policy, security and much more.