April 4, 2017

Jane Taylor : A Mission to Bring Robotics to STEM Education

Jane Taylor is the Founder and President of . Bot Shop is an innovative one-stop shop specializing in integrating Robotics and Energy Education into K-12 public schools, informal education, non-profits and outreach programs. As a full-service...

Jane Taylor is the Founder and President of Bot Shop LLC. Bot Shop is an innovative one-stop shop specializing in integrating Robotics and Energy Education into K-12 public schools, informal education, non-profits and outreach programs. As a full-service consulting firm, Bot Shop provides turnkey solutions for effectively engaging youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through making. BotShop supports robots in education from the classroom to competition.

Jane Taylor began teaching middle school science in HISD in 2000 after graduating from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and joining Teach for America-Houston. She used robotics as an instructional tool in her science class in 2001 after securing a community grant which purchased LEGO Mindstorms RCX robots and registration fees for First LEGO League. In response to the amazing reaction from students to this new technology, Jane created a course called Project Based: STEM in 2004 and established one of the first robotics elective courses in the Houston Independent School Districts. She went on to successfully design, develop, and implement grassroots robotics competitions, after school programs, and course curricula throughout Greater Houston.

Jane currently chairs the SHEbot Initiative for Girls in STEM, is an advisor to the 4H SET AgriBotics Robotics Challenge, and has been recognized by Teach for America for her “Energy in Education” and numerous "National Teacher of the Year" awards. She earned her Bachelor’s in Biology from Lamar University and studied educational robotics at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy.

In this episodes we discussed:

  • how to talk to kids about STEM subjects to help them see their relevance.
  • which toys and activities teach STEM skills and which are a waste of money.
  • how parents can help foster a home environment that is conducive to STEM achievement.




Leg WeDo 2.0

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy


Boss Women Pray by Kachelle Kelly



Republicans are bracing for a backlash from Democrats over Congress' repeal of the FCC Privacy Rules, which the President signed on Monday night. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already been running attack ads against members who are up for re-electiom next year and who supported the repeal of the privacy rules. These members include Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada. Daniel Strauss, Zack Kopplin, John Farrell, Jeff Greenfield, David Sliders, Alex Byers, Austin Wright, and Martin Matishak cover this in Politico.


At least one state, however, is developing its own set of privacy rules. The state of Minnesota passed its own privacy bill last week.

The FCC's net neutrality rules are expected to be on the chopping block next.


Wikileaks has struck again, this time releasing details about the CIA's Marble Framework, which shows how the CIA obfuscates itself when it is surveilling targets. This leak is considered to be especially damaging because it demonstrates how the CIA is able to mask its identity and cover its tracks when it conducts online surveillance. Ellen Nakishima reports in The Washington Post.


Federal Law enforcement officials now say terrorists have figured out how to hide bombs in laptops and other devices in a way that evades airport screeners. So authorities are now considering expanding the device ban the White House began implementing a couple of weeks ago. Evan Perez reports for CNN.


The once-thriving White House Office of Science and Technology Policy--OSTP--which was active under the Obama administration and staffed with elite Silicon Valley insiders and technologists, is now a ghost town. Michael Shear and Cecilia Kang report for The New York Times that the office is down from 24 to just 1 staffer.


In another blow to the affordable internet access program known as Lifeline, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said last week that he would allow states to decide which companies can participate to dole out discounts to help low-income people afford broadband. The decision came a few months after Pai announced he'd cut 9 companies from the program. Now, in a shift, he doesn't think the federal government should be involved in providing broadband to the poor at all via the Lifeline program. Ali Breland reports in the Hill.


Finally, Rebecca Ballhaus at the Wall Street Journal reported that the White House has stopped keeping visitor logs. Under the Obama administration, the log was freely shared with the public online.