What is STREAM?

STREAM is a workshop to help K-12 educators utilize robotics as they teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. This workshop will provide educators the opportunity to explore how they might use robotics in their own STEM instruction through interactive sessions as well as through presentations by other educators currently using robotics as a way to teach STEM. Representatives of local technology companies will also describe potential careers for students interested in robotics and STEM disciplines.

The workshop will be held at iRobot in Bedford, MA from June 25—26, 2009. Click here for the flyer!

Click here for the STREAM 2010 page!


Click the thumbnails to view larger photos.

  Thursday Friday
7:30 Breakfast/Registration
8:00 Introduction "
8:15 Welcome from iRobot Short talk (Joe Jones, Harvest Automation)
Technology: LEGO Mindstorms Science: Real World Science Using iSENSE
Break Break
Technology (continued) Science (continued)
Short talk (Chris Beaton, Ashland High School) Short talk (Barbara Bratzel, Shady Hill School)
Lunch Lunch
12:40 Short talk (Joyce Plotkin, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council) "
Short talk (Benge Ambrogi, Kiva Systems, Inc.) Short talk (Kevin Brooks, Motorola)
Mathematics: Algebra Immersion Robotics Engineering: Modeling Systems: An Engineering Advantage
Break Break
Mathematics (continued) Engineering (continued)
Short talk (Ted Acworth, Artaic) Workshop evaluation
Q&A with Workshop Leaders Q&A with Workshop Leaders
5:00 Wrap-up Wrap-up
5:15 - 6:30 Networking Reception sponsored by iRobot  
Interactive Workshop Sessions


Real World Science using iSENSE
Fred Martin, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Sam Christy, Machine Science

iSENSE is a web-based system for aggregating and sharing sensor data collected using ordinary sensor probes used in K-12 classrooms. The system allows high school students and undergraduates to view, graph, analyze, and export data from individual sensors, and to combine data from multiple sensors to examine regional, national, and global phenomena. The system is designed to assist teachers and students in developing science projects with topics ranging from human health to environmental science and energy conservation.

In this workshop, participants will use the iSENSE data collector to gather real-world sensor data, share and visualize it. We will discuss ways to bring these materials and approaches into middle- and high-school classrooms.

Click here for the workshop notes (PDF)



Melissa Pickering, Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach

This session will involve hands-on LEGO robotics activities to show how basic technology can be used to teach data collection and analysis.

The main focus of the session will be the use of direct and remote data collection utilizing various sensors to interpret changes in the surrounding environment. Session participants will have the opportunity to build and program their own LEGO robot to remotely collect data with sensors and compare accuracy between sensors as optimal ways to gather information about the environment.



Modeling Systems: An Engineering Advantage
Michael Bastoni, GEARS Educational Systems

Pneumatic systems are fast, powerful and a bit dangerous, and therefore naturally attractive to kids. Many automated (robotic) systems employ pneumatic components and technologies. Since pneumatics is a particularly effective engineering tool for engaging students in the development and application of STEM knowledge and skills, GEARS Educational Systems includes them in all our GEARS-IDS products.

This presentation will include an immersion activity in which participants engineer a pneumatic system through the creation of virtual, mathematical and physical models of a working pneumatic catapult.

Click here for the workshop notes (PDF)



Algebra Immersion Robotics
Ricky Carter and Chris Hancock, Tertl Studos LLC

Robotics is full of algebra: variables, proportions, linear and nonlinear functions, and change over time. In a typical robotics class there is so much else going on that the math may not stand out. The Algebra Immersion Robotics project (AIR) is developing tools and activities to bring the algebra content of robotics to the surface, and to help students in grades 6-9 translate robotics experience into success in school mathematics.

In this session we will try out a couple of Algebra Immersion Robotics activities, using the novice-friendly, mathematically enriched Minitertl programming environment. And, since this project is in its early stages, the developers will be seeking participants’ comments and ideas about how to make these promising materials work well in a variety of educational settings.



8 Crosby Drive
Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 781-430-3000
Fax: 781-430-3001

Route 3 South:
Take exit 26 for MA-62 toward Burlington, turn left at Burlington Road/MA-62, turn left at Crosby Drive

I-95 North/South:
Take exit 32A-B, merge onto Route 3 North toward Lowell, take exit 26 for MA-62 toward Burlington, turn slight left at Crosby Drive

I-495 North/South:
Take exit 35A-B-C, merge onto Route 3 South, take exit 26 for MA-62 toward Burlington,turn left at Burlington Road/MA-62, turn left at Crosby Drive

STREAM Classroom Awards

Participants from STREAM 2009 were invited to submit applications for robotics materials for their classrooms. Two teachers received classroom kits through generous funding from Boston SIM and the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.

Joey Flournoy of Littleton Middle School received:

10 Lego Mindstorm Kits and software, 6 Lego Mindstorm Books

Elaine Mistretta of Haverhill High School received:

10 Cricket Cars, Practice Tables


Other STREAM Events

STREAM 2012: June 27—28, 2012
: June 29, 2011
: June 24—25, 2010
STREAM 2009: June 25—26, 2009

The STREAM 2009 workshop is organized by the Massachusetts Technology
Leadership Council, iRobot, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Financial Support for STREAM 2009

Presenters at STREAM 2009