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After being involved in primary and secondary school robotics education for over 20 years, it has become very evident to me that America must introduce our young scholars to engineering in the second, third, and fourth grades. By introducing students to engineering this young, America will develop better problem solvers, engineers, and innovators for our future. I greatly look forward to e3 providing valuable information about elementary engineering projects & programs to help parents, teachers, and schools inspire and educate America's young students in the engineering field.
Lucien Junkin is the Chief Engineer of the NASA Human Rovers, or Space Exploration Vehicles, that are currently being designed for the Moon and Mars. He also heads the robotics education efforts at the NASA Johnson Space Center, including being the head coach of The Robonauts. Lucien is also the founder of EARLY, or Engineering And Robotics Learned Young, which is a program to introduce young scholars to engineering and robotics. Originally from Natchez, Mississippi, Lucien has lived in Houston and worked at NASA for over 30 years. Lucien has two wonderful children, Casey & Billy, both of whom have enjoyed the benefits of elementary engineering education and are team members on The Robonauts.
The Robonauts have been on a mission to "Engage Students in Engineering before Stereotypes Takes Hold" for decades and our efforts have really been fruitful and rewarding. The Robonauts have 60 students making up the team and 50% are girls, 50% are boys, and ethnically very diverse ... primarily because we mentor the elementary robotics teams in our school district.
The Robonauts, F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Team 118, is a district-wide high school robotics team from Clear Creek Independent School District (CCISD) in League City, Texas. We are made up of 60 students from 6 different CCISD High Schools (grades 9-12). We have the privilege of working alongside NASA-J.S.C. engineers as our mentors, as well as faculty mentors from the high schools.