Hi! My name is Talia and I’m eight years old. So my older brother was on a robotics team at Young Makers Lab but I wasn’t interested in that or other “STEM” classes…I thought. My schedule is busy with ballet, music lessons, girl scouts and school and friends.
But then I heard that there is a girls’ robotics class and I like to make Lego sets so I said I’d try it out. The girls’ in the class are really nice and I like being with them. I like to look up the different pieces and figure out how to create the pictures in the books and other ideas. There are a lot of different pieces you can use, and we learned how to size them. The pieces come in all different colors even pink! I have a great time with them and our instructor. We made a robot in only a few meetings and now we can program it to do things. I like to see it follow our instructions and pick things up! We learned how to use the controls of the robot and how to fix it, connecting the robot to the ‘brain’ and pressing the correct buttons.
I got to see a 3D printer and some of the things you can make with it. I used a template of a puzzle heart and made one. It is really cool! I’m working on designing a nameplate with my name and a pencil holder in TinkerCAD, an online 3D designing tool.
I also got to see how to make Lego things that move with Lego Education sets that you can program. My favorite is the alligator that ‘bites’ and the spinning top.
Girls in STEM are magnetic, my mom says. “What’s ‘STEM’?” I ask. She says its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. I just think of it as making something fun. My mom says not to worry about the name, it is making fun things. She said girls like me attract more girls into STEM classes and math/science concepts stick more easily since we put them to use. After the first day, my mom asked me how we are going to build the robot. I told her we made a pulley out of the robotic pieces. My mom was impressed that I knew the name “pulley” and how it works. I also now know what a “lever” is and how they help people and how to make one with the pieces. Later, we were able to put a motor on the robot to make it move and learned how to power the robot. My mom said I learned some basic physics. I don’t know anything about “physics” but I do like the projects and want to make a cool robot that can pick up things!
Actually, when I went to my brother’s robotic competition I saw many all-girl teams. One got first place! They were some of the best teams there and got awards. Their robots got lots of points since they picked up so many of the rings. I can’t wait to test our robot! YML has a game-court to drive them around, like an air-hockey table.