WonderBots! is an introduction to robotics and computing for middle-school girls. Using the medium of Lego EV3 robotics, participants will build robots to perform specific tasks while learning to program in a graphical environment. The course will loosely follow the CMU EV3 Robotics curriculum. Each session will start out describing a real-world robot application, and then translate the application into a simpler scenario that can be solved using the classroom robot. We will teach the software and hardware concepts required to solve the scenario, and provide as much guidance as needed to build a robot to perform the task.
Participants will apply Math and Physics concepts to operate motors, integrate sensor data and solve engineering problems. Application scenarios will be created around the theme of earthquake preparedness and recovery. The program will include a disaster recovery presentation about preparing and responding to earthquakes. This will provide the real-life context for the technology.
We will also invite a female professional to speak to the participants about careers in computing and technology. The program aims to instill confidence in young girls in their ability to learn and apply technology, create awareness of the role of technology in modern society, and get them excited about careers in STEM. As an added bonus, participants who complete the program successfully will learn the skills needed to compete in the FIRST Lego League robotics competition.