June 20, 1985.
On this day, a recent graduate of IUPUI's Purdue School of Engineering and Technology demonstrated robots to a group of 58 high-school students enrolled in the school's Minority Engineering Advancement Program (MEAP) for the summer. The graduate, Bruce Seawood, operated several robots designed and built by SET students or used in the school's robotics courses. The demonstration took place at the 38th Street Campus.
The MEAP project began in 1976 as an effort to increase the number of professional engineers from underrepresented minority groups (see our On This Day post for June 7). In the 1980s MEAP had expanded to include sixth-through-eighth graders and was going strong. While the robot work was going on, a group of middle-school MEAP scholars participated in an architectural engineering design contest to repurpose the Washington Street bridge between the Indianapolis Zoo and the White River State Park. According MEAP director Christine Fitzpatrick, the MEAP students had been invited to share their ideas as part of citizen input into the design process. The winner was Monique Vorhis, a sixth grader from Indianapolis Public School #48. Her design was judged the winner by architects from the Indianapolis firm hired to work on the White River State Park project, Walter Blackburn and Associates.
To learn more about the MEAP project, come to IUPUI Special Collections and Archives. Ask an archivist by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.