Offaly girl takes off on 'Mission to Mars'
An Edenderry Girl Guide has taken part in a Mission to Mars Lego Robotics Autumn Academy in Cork last week.
Sophie Moore (age 13) of Edenderry Girl Guides joined members of Irish Girl Guides from around the country at the week-long course organised by the Dublin City University Lego Education Innovation Studio in partnership with Irish Girl Guides (IGG).
During the course the girls, aged 13-19, had hands-on experience making Lego robots, which they learned to manoeuvre using programming. They gained a range of skills in computational thinking, engineering and programming during the course, which was engaging and hands-on.
The course, which also ran in Dublin in the summer, is designed to encourage girls and young women to take Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in school and college and to consider pursuing careers in STEM.
The girls feel that many STEM subjects are not offered to them in schools and through Guiding they are getting to experience the practical side of STEM.
“At our Lego Robotics course in Cork we overcame programming errors, I expanded my knowledge of coding and made new friends,” said Sophie. “It was a blast!”
During the course, the girls Skyped with Irish space enthusiast Dr Niamh Shaw who was in the European Space Centre.
IGG Chief Commissioner Helen Concannon said: “Irish Girl Guides are always trying to challenge stereotypes and by partnering with Dublin City University, we can give our girls opportunities to build robots, programme rovers to explore Mars and develop problem-solving skills."
"All this is useful for everyday life as well as giving the girls a taste of careers in engineering, science and technology. Seeing these girls embrace the challenges presented to them is inspiring. The future is safe in the hands of our youth representatives doing this course.”
Irish Girl Guides welcomes new youth members from age 5+ and adult volunteers from age 18+. To find out more, see www.irishgirlguides.ie or tel: 01 6683898.
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