If you have been involved with any part of competitive robotics, you have most likely seen the smiling face of this week’s STEM Rockstar, Karthik Kanagasabapathy. When you listen to our conversation with Karthik, you will understand why he is often at the microphone at FIRST and IFI/VEX Robotics events. He excels in communicating the fun and passion of competitive robotics, but also has the engineering background as a past competitor himself to understand the competitions. We were so thrilled that our daughter Makenzie, who works at Innovation First International, was able to connect us with our special guest. Our conversation with this internationally known STEM Rockstar was so engaging that listeners will get to enjoy two full episodes with Karthik.
Karthik spent nine years at Innovation First International where he was responsible for exciting young people about STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Arts, and Math) education via participation in the VEX Robotics Competition in which he designed competitive robotic games that have been played by over 75,000 teams of students around the globe. He has won numerous awards for his dedication to furthering robotics education, including the prestigious Woodie Flowers Finalist Award for exemplary mentoring and being a positive role model for high school students through the FIRST Robotics Competition. He also hosts various international robotic events, having worked with media personalities such as Mythbusters’ Grant Imahara and Kari Byron, given an internationally recognized TEDx talk, and hosted televised robotics specials on ESPN and CBS.
Innovation First International
Dean Kamen (Co-Founder of FIRST Robotics Competition)
There are several robotics competitions including:
The Robotics Alliance Project (list of robotic competitions)
Resources on Karthik:
The Subtle Secret of Success: Karthik Kanagasabapathy
Competitive Robotics: Bringing Excitement Back to the Canadian Classroom
Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall, by Anna Funder
The Art of Smart Football, by Chris B. Brown
Dr. Woodie Flowers (Co-Founder of FIRST Robotics and considered the grandfather of competitive robotics)
Dr. Woodie Flowers – STEM Hall of Fame Induction 2017
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Paul Copioli and Karthik Kanagasbapathy, VEX Worlds 2018
(photo credit: Makenzie Gruenig, IFI)
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