Robotics, STEM AND Girl Power
“Girl power” reigns supreme this summer as STEM education takes center-stage at FLATE’s robotics camps. The picture gets clearer as Elizabeth Heli, one of the lead instructors for the 2010 robotics camps talks about teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) concepts using a robotics platform to middle school students throughout Hillsborough County.
The possibilities are endless. Heli hopes the lessons learned during the camp will motivate kids to encourage teachers at their respective schools to start a robotics program, or encourage them to join FIRST Lego League clubs/competitions. “If they can have more hands-on time with robotics and/or STEM-related activities it will enhance their learning, as well as build on problem-solving skills they gained during the camp.”
Indeed, Heli is a big proponent in securing students’ interest in STEM/robotics, as well as high-tech manufacturing. She says attractive flyers are an effective way to spark students’ interest, particularly for girls. Capturing students’ interest while they’re young, using curriculum that portrays a fun or the real-world side of what they are learning, and finding innovative ways to showcase careers and educational pathways in high-tech fields is yet another way to garner interest.
Heli points to FLATE’s camps as a great platform to expose students to the world of STEM and robotics. To that effect, she is interested in using some of the resources she is learning at the camp to improve curriculum for future camps, and/or implement some of the concepts into her daily teaching experience. “It’s all about STEM and fun. This is how learning takes place, and is what matters at the end of the day” Heli said.
For more information on FLATE’s high-tech robotics camp visit www.fl-ate.org/projects/camps.html, or contact Dave Gula, FLATE’s camp manager/outreach coordinator at 813.259.6581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.