Ms. Katie Magrane
Executive Director, Innovation Learning Center
Program Manager, Zero Robotics
Ms. Katie Magrane serves as the Executive Director of the Innovation Learning Center (ILC), a public-private partnership dedicated to innovating educational resources for children and youth. ILC partners with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Space Systems Laboratory to implement the Zero Robotics Program, for which Magrane serves as Program Manager.
Zero Robotics is a robotics programming competition inside the International Space Station (ISS) where the robots are SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage Reorient Experimental Satellites). The competition starts online where teams program the SPHERES to solve an annual challenge. After several phases of virtual competition in a simulation environment that mimics the real SPHERES, finalists are selected to compete in a live championship aboard the ISS. An astronaut will conduct the championship competition in microgravity with a live broadcast to students. There is one middle school and one high school competition per year. Magrane developed the middle school program in partnership with MIT in 2010 and has served as lead program manager since the program’s inception.
Prior to joining ILC in 2014, Magrane served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP) where she developed public policy and legislation to increase, improve and coordinate the state’s afterschool and expanded learning system. Magrane also served as the founding director of a nationally recognized afterschool program as well as a case manager for a residential treatment facility serving children with behavioral, psychological, educational and social disadvantages. She is dedicated to supporting the development and sustainability of quality out of school time programming and has a strong commitment to youth, inter-organizational collaboration and coalition building. She is a native of Lynn, Massachusetts, a graduate of Trinity University in Washington, DC and an alumna of LeadBoston.