“GIRLS” is a face-to-face and online hybrid programming/robotics workshop for 6th grade girls in which each participant will receive training with the Lego Robots and Scratch programming. They will learn about the building blocks of an algorithm, Scratch programming, and how to use the Lego MINDSTORMS EV3 software. The girls will be instructed by university students and middle school teachers who aim to inspire the girls and give them confidence in their ability to join computer related fields.
During the Phase one (face-to-face phase), the participants will receive 8 hours of programming for each of the first four face-to-face days. For Phase two (Online Phase), they will continue to do programming at home through online support. At the end of Phase two the girls will come back for final presentation day. Participants will make use of material provided online (or on a USB drive if they do not have access to the internet) to continue their learning and complete a final project. On the last day of the program (during fall), the girls will show their parents what they have learned in hope of inspiring them as well.
First day (Orientation and Scratch programming):
Our team members will introduce themselves and speak on their relevant experience. We will have icebreaking activities and time for everyone to become acquainted. We will give the participants a tour of the website. We will then divide them in groups of 2. The participants will learn about algorithms and programming and practice these concepts using the CS First platform and the simple Scratch projects we created.
Second day (Scratch programming):
After reviewing content from the previous day, the participants will apply what they have learned. They will implement their choice of several small-scale projects we will have available for them. Participants may also create their own. Working in six teams of two, the girls will demonstrate teamwork and pair programming to plan and complete their projects. Throughout each activity, the applications and Computer Science and Information Systems careers related the concepts discussed will be emphasized.
Third day (Lego MINDSTORMS EV3 software):
We will work with the Lego Robots. Participants will learn how the motors, sensors, and other robotic components work and become familiar with the Lego MINDSTORMS EV3 software. They will implement practice projects using the different sensors and motors at every step of the way to aid in their understanding. Throughout each activity, the applications and Computer Engineering and Robotics careers related the concepts discussed will be emphasized.
Fourth day (Lego MINDSTORMS EV3 software and conclusion of Phase one):
Time will be allocated for the girls to finish their small robotics projects. They will then present them and talk about what they learned while doing the project and ways it could benefit a community or teach others. We will then demonstrate the online portion of the workshop and explain the plan for their final project. Time will be allowed at the end for them to work on the final project with our help.