STEM Seminar Looks at ‘LEGO Education-Supported Outreach Programs for Girls’

February 21, 2014

Cathy Helgoe of Lego Education, Karen Sullivan of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), Renee Fall of the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE), and Sarah Dunton of Girls, Inc. will discuss “LEGO Education-Supported Outreach Programs for Girls” at a STEM Education Institute seminar on Tuesday, March 4 at 4 p.m. in 138 Hasbrouck.

They will talk about two programs supported by LEGO Education that are aimed at encouraging girls to be active, engaged, motivated learners.

Through Girls Connect, CAITE, FIRST, Girls Inc. and LEGO Education have collaborated on several one-day sessions inviting teams of 4-6 girls in grades 3-8 to participate in a robotics experience. Seven teams of girls and an adult coach spend a Saturday developing their robots to compete in missions based on a theme e.g. climate change, smart transportation or tools for helping senior citizens. The theme can change but the focus on designing, building and programming robots provides hands-on experience for girls to explore and increase their interest in computer technology, programming, engineering, science, and mathematics and to help them think of themselves as technologically competent and capable.

Girls Inc. has a new program, Technology and Literacy, that incorporates technology to provide tools and inspiration for reading, writing, and storytelling. Using iPads, LEGO Education StoryStarter building sets and StoryStarter Visualizer software, girls unleash their creativity through storytelling and multimedia technology to illustrate and publish their stories. This project encourages girls to work collaboratively and to strengthen public speaking and literacy skills while building their confidence in a fun, supportive environment.