Posted Jul 29, 2010 at 06:16 AM
Updated Aug 02, 2010 at 05:13 AM
What do robots, an obstacle course, and bright pink tee shirts have in common?
They’re all signs that perhaps the stereotype boys are better in math and science is changing. And at the girls-only Summer Robotics Camp at FLATE, short for Florida Advanced Technological Education Center, in Brandon, camp organizers couldn’t be more excited to see the success.
“There is particularly interest in raising the numbers of girls and minorities too non-traditionally represented in the STEM workforce,” says FLATE Director Marilyn Barger.
STEM is short for science, technology and math - three fields statistics show boys typically outperform their girl counterparts.
But research indicates when teachers and parents offer girls more opportunities within these fields, achievement levels increase. And that is just what the camp offers.
Campers dressed in hot pink tee shirts to celebrate the movement toward girls in the science lab, spend one week learning how to program robots to respond to the sound of a clap instead of remote control. The final exam includes navigating the robot through an obstacle course, incorporating distance and 90 degree turns, without knocking down any of the upside-down water bottles which line the perimeter. Teams race to achieve this in the shortest amount of time.
For camp student, 12 year old Souvanna Dickerson, she has seen the change in perception about science among her fellow teammates during the week long program.
She adds, “Some people came here and they didn’t really care about science and they didn’t see what was so great about it but now they got to see how everything worked.”
For these girls, it’s a unique hands on learning opportunity that may just shift the future of science into the hands of a new gender.
Check out my visit to the Girl’s Robotics Camp by following this link: Girl’s Robotics Camp
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