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Next week: The LilyPad Arduino inventor talks education inequality

Former MIT professor Leah Buechley is coming to Philly.

Leah Buechley. (Courtesy photo)

Next Tuesday Drexel’s ExCITe Center will feature a poignant discussion about how we need to be more innovative about tackling education inequality in a talk led by guest speaker Leah Buechley. When Buechley was younger she saw a deep divide between arts and sciences. She is now a designer, engineer and educator and is known for inventing whimsical pieces of technology, like the LilyPad Arduino toolkit. Initially, she concentrated on sharing her creations with young people outside of school hours in order to show how art can be used to expand technology beyond our imagination.

However, as her own child approaches school age, Buechley has become more introspective about the gap between technology and learning innovations and the various issues within our education system. She’s especially invested in confronting how diversity and inequality in our education system impacts young students and progressive methods that we can use to tackle these issues.

The ExCITe Center will host Buechley as a part of its Learning Innovation Conversations series on May 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There, Buechley will discuss her interest in expanding awareness about the issues surrounding education inequality and impart a newfound energy, as she would say, around “addressing these issues as an interesting challenge that is amenable to innovation” with the Philadelphia tech community.

The event is free.


Youngmoo Kim, director of the ExCITe Center, will serve as the moderator and invite audience members to engage in questions and discussion with Buechley at the Mitchell Auditorium at Drexel University (3126 Market Street).


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