Robin Máxkii

RoadTrip Nation
Robin Maxkii has always been able to make a lot out of a little. It’s a spirit of plucky resourcefulness that comes from growing up in a small Native American tribe where access to technology was scarce. Drawn to computers from an early age but unable to consistently use them, she started to finagle her way around the limitations. It started in fourth grade when she learned how to override the time limits on public computers; later, it grew to building her own computer when she couldn’t afford the one she wanted. Her choice to pursue tech hasn’t always been easy: she’s often viewed as an outsider by peers, but she’s determined to show the world that the face of computer science is more varied than people think. Her goal at the beginning of Roadtrip Nation & Microsoft’s “Code Trip” was to find role models that understood her experiences; however, time and time again, leaders told her that instead of seeking out worn paths, she should blaze her own she did. She credits the road trip with helping her choose a focus for her work and studies: learning the policies behind Indigenous science and technology in order to then improve STEM participation within Indigenous populations. Following her subsequent research in the field, she was invited to speak on the floor for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and she recently visited the White House for an Office of Science and Technology Policy meeting. Robin spent the past summer interning at the National Science Foundation in Washington D.C., and is currently exploring her options for graduate school. She’s also organizing and directing the first national American Indian Hackathon, hackAISES, which will be held this November.