AGSS Robotics Workshop Turns Gears
By Danica Chen, Del Norte High School
Although many people think of robotics as a dull subject, the excited girls at the All Girls STEM Society would tell you otherwise. Back by popular demand, on October 23, 2016, the AGSS hosted their second Robotics Workshop for 30 girls from third to eighth grade. Though the girls came from 20 different schools and most of them had never met before, they quickly bonded over their excitement for robotics, mathematics, and of course, prizes.
Although there were a number of fresh faces, many of the girls at this event were veterans of the AGSS, like Sophia Chanek, whose favorite event was "the one with the turtles", or the Python Programming with Technical Turtles workshop hosted back in July. She is very enthusiastic about the organization.
"I'm not sure how to describe it. It just makes me learn more," she said simply with a smile.
The event began with an introductory PowerPoint about robotics and the importance of women's place in the STEM community. The PowerPoint was followed by a trivia section about robotics that awarded prizes such as colorful pens and erasers for correct answers.
After the presentation, the girls were handed Scribblers, the S2 Robots designed by Parallax. The girls used their newly learned knowledges of robotics and computer programming to make their robots light up, draw, and even sing. It was safe to say that they really enjoyed the process, as evidenced by Kiana's joy.
"I've done robotics before, but this is even more fun," she said cheerfully. I tried asking her more questions, but she seemed far too engrossed in what she was doing to pay me any mind.
The girls were so involved in robotics they hardly noticed the time pass, so they were surprised when break was announced. As always, during break the AGSS provided cookies and bananas for the girls to eat. As one parent watched the girls eat cookies and chatter, he described why he thought the event was so important.
"It's run by high schoolers, so there's this informal, fun environment for the kids to learn," he says. "It's really helped my daughter improve."
At the end of the event, the girls participated in a "dance contest", showing off their robot's special movements. A pair of girls placed a bear-shaped pencil sharpener (which they won during the trivia section) on top of their robot as it spun in circles and played music.
"The bear is our mascot," they declared proudly.
When the events was over, the girls all proclaimed they loved it. When the were asked whether they would want to come again, the answer was always a resounding "yes", certifying another success for the astounding All Girls STEM Society.
The next event is Python Programming With Digital Turtles on Sunday, November 13.
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