Robotics Inventor & Founder of The STEAM Connection
Divides time between Troy, MI USA and San Diego, CA USA / American Indian or Alaska Native, White or Caucasian
🎓 Founder of The STEAM Connection
😁 I have three rescue cats: Yoyo, Yoda, and Rex!
Danielle empowers indigenous youth to use their voices through robotics and innovation.
ABOUT HER WORK
Danielle Boyer is a 22-year-old Indigenous (Ojibwe - Sault Tribe) robotics inventor and advocate for youth who has been teaching kids since she was ten. Driven by her family's own inability to afford science and technology education, she is passionate about making education accessible and representative of her community so that no child is left behind. Danielle creates equitable and innovative learning solutions for Indigenous youths with robots she designs, manufactures, and gives away for free. In 2019, she created The STEAM Connection, a minority and youth-led charity that has reached 800k+ youth with technical education emphasizing language revitalization. The STEAM Connection focuses on the future: ushering in a new education age via personal and wearable robotics, artificial intelligence systems, and augmented reality. Informed by the past and present, The STEAM Connection utilizes traditional knowledge to uplift and protect Indigenous communities.
WATCH & DISCUSS
Watch: This Woman- And Her Robots-Are Giving Indigenous Kids Life-Changing STEM Skills
Discuss: As a member of her high school robotics team, Ojibwe native Danielle Boyer saw that robots were out of reach for low-income families. Since then, she’s made it her mission to get free robot kits to Indigenous youth—and arm them with the STEM skills that will shape their futures.
How is Danielle using technology to create radical systemic change?
What was Danielle’s first robot’s name? (EKGAR)
Why did Danielle create her company? (Feared the future would not include her native voice)
What is SkoBots (A language learning robot)
Danielle is a recognized changemaker and innovator, acclaimed by PEOPLE Magazine, MIT Solve, L'Oréal Paris, Teen Vogue, NDN Collective, Echoing Green, and Verizon Forward for Good. She's been a guest at the White House twice and is featured in MIT Solve x HP's "The Big Idea" docu-series. Her life was documented in "Indigenous Robotics," a film that premiered at the MIT Museum and is now showcased at film festivals.
ADVICE TO YOUNGER SELF
Danielle first learned computer science in High School. High school (grades 9-12, ages 14-18):
“If I could advise my younger self, especially when I began my journey in STEM at age ten, I would emphasize the importance of surrounding yourself with people who share your passion for technology and your dreams of making a positive impact. Building connections with mentors, peers, and like-minded individuals can be invaluable. Remember, you don't have to do it alone. Don't be afraid to explore various aspects of computer science and embrace the learning process. The progression and experiences you accumulate will help shape your current and future path, guiding you towards your goals.”
HOW HAS DANIELLE'S WORK CONTRIBUTED TO OR HARNESSED COMPUTER SCIENCE'S GOOD, NEUTRAL, AND NEGATIVE IMPACTS?
Ethical or Moral Impacts of Computing: “Ethical dilemmas in my job revolve around balancing the goal of prioritizing Indigenous communities and ensuring equitable access to opportunities while also safeguarding against potential exploitation or bias that can occur in AI systems.”
Good: Danielle Boyer's work with SkoBots and Every Kid Gets a Robot (EKGAR) has significantly contributed to positive educational outcomes by enhancing accessibility to STEM education, particularly in underserved communities. These inventions inspire and motivate young individuals to pursue STEM careers, fostering an interest in technology and science.
Neutral: While these initiatives provide valuable educational resources, their impact can vary depending on available resources, community engagement, and scalability. Their impact on language preservation and STEM career aspirations may vary among individual users, making the overall impact a mix of positive and neutral outcomes.
Negative: Potential negative impacts include the risk of AI biases in language recognition technology, which could perpetuate stereotypes or misrepresent cultural nuances if not adequately trained. Limitations in scaling and distributing these inventions due to resource constraints may leave some communities underserved, leading to negative disparities in access to technology and STEM education.