Jenny Wells

By

College: Engineering

'Aquabots' Makes a Splash with Kentucky Girls

Published: Aug 8, 2013

 

See video

Video by UK REVEAL Research Media. Transcript available for download. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2013) — Last week, nineteen girls from grades 7-11 participated in "Aquabots," a STEM camp (science, technology, engineering and math) designed just for girls. Hosted by the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative and the University of Kentucky, the camp teaches the girls about underwater robotics, or "waterbotics," using the Lego Mindstorm system.

 

Student mentors, faculty and staff from UK, as well as an engineer from Lexmark, worked with the girls as they designed, built, programmed and tested their own robots. Now in its second year, the camp is designed to promote interest and enjoyment of science and engineering study in junior high and high school girls.

 

Sue Scheff, co-chair of the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative, says the camp shows girls just how interesting STEM can be. 

 

"Our camp provided the girls with an opportunity to work in teams, learn about the engineering design process as they built their Lego bots, explore science and engineering careers, and most of all - through visits with role models from our community - discover that engineering can be an interesting, fun, and very rewarding career." 

 

Vanita Fitzwater, a 7th grader at Boyle County Middle School, attended the camp to see if she saw a future for herself in the STEM disciplines.

 

"I wanted to see what I would want to do in the future, like as a career," she said. "When my parents told me about this camp, I thought it was something I'd want to get involved in. The programming part is pretty interesting. For me, I like seeing the end result, how it all turns out.  People say 'oh guys are better at this than girls' but I don't believe that. I think this is a great thing to do if some girls are interested in STEM. I think it would be a great experience for them."

 

Bruce Walcott, the lead instructor for Aquabots and UK professor of electrical and computer engineering, was the only male at the camp, a scenario he doesn't usually find himself in.

 

"It really puts me in a position that a lot of our young ladies in engineering are in," he said. "I get to feel a little bit of the intimidation that our young ladies feel that go through engineering, who are historically underrepresented."

 

Divya Sunderam, a 7th grader at Winburn Middle School in Lexington, found some of the camp activities challenging, but fun.

 

"I thought the programming part was a bit hard, but I like learning how to put things together," she said. "It was really fun to build these robots out of Legos."

 

Erin Walden, a junior in civil engineering at UK, was one of the student volunteers who worked with the girls.  She participated in STEM camps as a child and experienced firsthand the positive impact they can have.

 

"Because I participated in these types of camps, I knew I wanted to pursue engineering and came to college with that in mind," she said. "It's so important to encourage girls and show them that even though they may receive other messages — that maybe this isn't something they can do — these kinds of camps show them that, yes, they can do this, and it's fun. So it's good to give them the chance to try it."

 

Elizabeth Skeans, a sophomore at Paintsville Independent High School, already knows she wants to be an engineer, but isn't quite sure what kind. She says the camp helped her learn about different aspects of engineering that she didn't know about before.

 

"This camp has opened the field up to me more. Now that I'm here, I understand it better," she said. "And I like that it was just for girls, because at other camps, where there are mostly boys, the teaching and examples are usually geared toward them. But at this camp, everything was geared toward us."

 

Skeans also made many new friends.

 

"My group was the best part of the week for me. Our personalities worked well together and we all became friends.  I would encourage other girls to try this camp. There aren't a whole lot of us, which means instructors take more time to individually teach us what we need to know."

 

Aquabots is supported by the National Girls STEM Collaborative, Cooperative Extension Service, and 4-H Youth Development. Additional support for the camp comes from Lockheed Martin and AT&T to support scholarships and camp supplies. Over the last three years, Lockheed Martin has also provided annual grants to UK for STEM programs and presented a $3,000 donation at the camp's showcase event last week.

 

More information about the UK Aquabots Summer Camp is available at www.kygirlsstem.com/ProgramsEvents/ProgramForGirls.html.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, (859) 257-5343; Jenny.Wells@uky.edu 

aquabots_img_2073.jpgaquabots_img_2066.jpgimg_2053.jpgaquabots_img_2122.jpgaquabot_group_-_thur.jpg
File Downloads
April
 
 
 
1
LNFS Presents: Inherent Vice
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Successful Networking & Job Search
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
The Arboretum presents a Party for the Planet! Celebrate Kentucky's Past
Mr. PharmD Pageant 2015
Wed
2
LNFS Presents: Manakamana
LNFS Presents: Donnie Darko
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
SEC-ACC Virtual Career Fair
Massage on the Go #3
Thu
3
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Fri
4
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sat
5
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
6
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Age Friendly Community Panel
Resumes & Cover Letters that Work
Mon
7
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Tue
8
LNFS Presents: The Godfather
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
UK Remembers
SpeakBlue: Richard Sherman
Wed
9
LNFS Presents: The Shawshank Redemption
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
From Plows to Plates: A Journey Through Kentucky Foodways
Workshop on Publishing
Teached Documentary
Thu
10
LNFS Presents: Enemy
LNFS Presents: Seven Psychopaths
Cultural Coffee Hour
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture: Julian Cox
Fri
11
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
fab-ric-ate Exhibit
Sat
12
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Kentucky's Present - Learn about the Bluegrass region of the Walk Across Kentucky and about invasive plants that threaten Kentucky landscapes
Sun
13
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Get Your DIY On! Fix-It Station Demonstrations
Mon
14
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Job Club - LinkedIn: Your Job Search Best Friend
Tie Dye Tuesday
#UK Kick Butts Day
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 2 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 3 p.m.
Take Back the Night Lexington
Tue
15
LNFS Presents: The Godfather: Part II
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 11 a.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ Noon
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Affrilachian Poets
Bike-In Movie: The Bicycle Thieves
Wed
16
LNFS Presents: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
CANCELED: Bike-In Breakfast
Human Rights in China: a panel discussion
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: North by Northwest
LNFS Presents: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Cultural Coffee Hour
Car-Free Day
Performance Conference
Audience Appeals and Performing Assistance Conference
Holi: The Indian Festival of Colors
Fri
18
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Bully Breed Awareness Walk
Spring Carnival 2015
Taste of Africa
GAYla Drag Show and Silent Auction
Sat
19
 
Sun
20
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Floral Sculpture
Pinterest Party #3
Mon
21
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Student Center "Farewell" Informational Fair
Tour de Downtown Art
Tue
22
LNFS Presents: Birdman
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Healthy Smoothie Demonstration
Ping Pong Ball Drop
Shake the Stress Fest
Wed
23
LNFS Presents: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
LNFS Presents: The Avengers
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Wildcat Wrap-Up
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
Kentucky's Future - Plant a Tree in the Pennyrile region of the Walk Across Kentucky
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Batman
LNFS Presents: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Cultural Coffee Hour
Art in Bloom Weekend
Fri
25
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Network Publishing: Digital Writing in the Humanities
The Party for the Planet final event in April is Arbor Day at The Arboretum!
Art in Bloom Weekend
Raise the Chinese Dream in Kentucky
Art in Bloom Cocktail Party
Sat
26
Art in Bloom Weekend
Sun
27
Resumes & Cover Letters that Work
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Fuel for Finals
UK Ag Equine Programs Distinguished Lecture Series
Mon
28
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Be PAWsitive!
Job Club: How to Write the Perfect Resume and Cover Letter
Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars
How to Impress Your Boss: Employer Panel
Tue
29
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Appalachian Research Day
Wed
30
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Thu
 
 

Repeats every week until Thu Apr 30 2015 except Mon Mar 16 2015.
Mon, 04/27/2015

Mon, 04/27/2015

Repeats every week until Thu Apr 30 2015 except Tue Mar 17 2015.
Tue, 04/28/2015

Reset Page