“Rep. Fattah Honors Award-Winning Penn Woman Scientist (GRASP Post-Doctoral Researcher, Karlin Bark,) As A Superstar in Robotics and STEM Education Success”

September 16th, 2011

Source: Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) today hailed Dr. Karlin Bark of the University of Pennsylvania as “a superstar in robotics” during a Women in Science Awards Luncheon on Capitol Hill, and cited her as a role model for success in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education.

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Fattah, the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce Justice Science and related agencies, which handles appropriations for the National Science Foundation and other government-funded research, is bringing a national conference to Drexel University in Philadelphia next Monday, Sept. 19, at which NSF’s report on STEM educational practices will be released.

Dr. Bark is one of five exceptional women scientists honored today at the L’Oreal USA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowships for Women in Science Luncheon. Congressman Fattah, whose Philadelphia district includes both Penn and Drexel in the University City community, presented her with her fellowship award.

“This outstanding young woman is a superstar in robotics,” Fattah said as he introduced Dr. Bark at the L’Oreal USA and AAAS Luncheon and presented her with the award. “She is also a role model for the importance of providing science and STEM education to all our young people from the earliest age.

“It is critical for our success as a nation to seize all opportunities to win the future in the global economy. It is important to get more young women involved in science,” Fattah said.

Dr. Bark’s specialty is haptics, the field of robotics that applies the human touch sensation and control to interaction with computer applications. She is a postdoctoral researcher in the Haptics Group at Penn‘s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory.

The Sept. 19 conference at Drexel is “STEM Smart: Lessons Learned from Successful Schools,” the rollout for the National Science Foundation’s much anticipated report of best practices in K-12 STEM education. The report was requested by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on CJS where Fattah serves as the ranking Democrat. Both Congressmen will be speaking.

“Monday’s conference in Philadelphia will help us shine the spotlight on STEM education,” Fattah said, “And simply put, the goal of STEM education is to create more scientists, engineers and mathematicians like Karlin Bark.”

Dr. Bark has accepted the Congressman’s invitation to appear at the STEM Conference at Drexel Monday.

The L’Oreal USA Fellowship grant will allow Bark to study the potential use of haptic feedback in stroke rehabilitation. She will work alongside clinical specialists at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute in Philadelphia to develop, refine, and test an affordable upper-limb rehabilitation system that can be used in clinics and homes to assist stroke survivors in retraining the motor pathways needed to complete everyday tasks.

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