Several of our team members conducted a robotics demo on October 30th, 2016 as part of a program run through an organization ,which we met at the Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition, called STEM 3G. STEM 3G is a program that allows high school students to teach young girls about STEM through educational and team building exercises. We met these young girls at the Gum Spring Library and had a variety of activities to demonstrate. These included our Sumo Bots, Demo Bots, and Craft-A-Bot robotics kit.
After explaining to the girls about Geared Up and Robotics in general, we allowed them to branch off into different groups. Our goal was to make it as interactive as possible, so we encouraged the girls to participate in all these activities in a “hands on” fashion in these different stations.
The kids had a blast with the Sumo Bots! They asked amazing questions about our robot design and why we chose certain parts for our robot. In specific, the girls had a lot of insight on our mecanum wheels! Not to mention, both the mentors and the girls had so much fun in the process of driving the Sumo Bots and Demo Bots and watching the programs work, as well as learning about the robot’s various functions and parts, such as the sensors on the robot.
The young girls were amazed when we showed them how you can create a robot that normally costs around $400 to under $10 with a low cost robotics that we developed in our FLL years, the Craft-A-Bot. We developed it as part of a research project to make robotics education more accessible to kids of any age. We used simple materials such as cardboard to build the kit. We even demonstrated another one of our bots, the Bunny Bot for the girls to experiment with.
We truly hope to have inspired the girls and encouraged them to develop interests in the STEM fields while boosting their self confidence!