Girl-Powered Robotics Day Camp uses LEGO building systems

By: N M Lorde:   America’s favorite toy building brick isn’t just used for fun and games. Beginning Monday August 6th, young Nevada girls will have a chance to use LEGO to explore the worlds of science, technology, engineering and architecture at a girl-powered robotics day camp sponsored by Girl Scouts Nevada.   “The purpose of the Girl Powered Robotics Day Camp is to introduce girls to science and technology in a fun and exciting way,” says Emily Smith, Chief Marketing & Development Officer of Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada. “Throughout the week, girls will learn how to build and program robots using LEGO building systems.  Girls will be challenged to use their creative thinking skills as they identify real-world challenges where technology (and) robotics can be a useful solution.”   Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada has been providing robotics programs and camps since 2006.  The organization received their first set of LEGO robotics through a grant from Speedway Children’s Charities of Las Vegas and the program has grown since then.   “We provide robotics and STEM programs at day camps, drop-in centers, resident camp and Title I schools throughout the valley,” says Smith. “We even have Girl Scout teams who compete in competitions – last year, one of our teams won a Creative Thinking trophy.  Thanks to Station Casinos, this year we’re expanding our after-school programs in Title I schools to include STEM programs.”   This year’s camp, co-sponsored by Bricks 4 Kidz, will also explore the contributions of famous women engineers and inventors from the past century and their contributions to society – all in honor of the Girl scouts centennial celebration.   “What’s great about Girl Scout robotics programs is that the activities are age appropriate – the problems are demanding, the challenges difficult; but every girl has the ability to rise to the occasion,” says Smith. “Using their creative thinking skills and teamwork skills, girls work together to overcome obstacles and in the process they gain confidence in themselves and in their skill set. The best part is that most girls don’t even realize all of this is happening; they’re just having fun!”   According to the U.S Department of Labor, as today’s girls graduate from college, America will need three million more scientists and engineers. Yet Smith says girls start leaving science and math to the boys as early as the fifth grade.   “In high school, girls match or surpass boys’ aptitude but are less likely to take advanced placement physics or computer science exams,” says Smith. “A recent Girl Scout Research Institute study discovered that girls’ future career choices are more influenced by inspiring role models than by academic interests.  This is why Girl Scouts offers unique programs, like the robotics day camp, where girls can explore the sciences in a fun, all-girl setting.”   Girl-Powered Robotics Day Camp begins Monday August 6th at Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada Leadership Center. Age suitability: Grades 4 – 8. Cost: $100. For more information, please visit: http://www.girlscoutsnv.org/

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