The Power of LEGO: Nevada Girls Explore Science through Building Blocks

By: N M Lorde

America’s favourite 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, 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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