Our First Month: A Workshop Round Up!

Since opening on November 11th, we've hosted eleven workshops at the STEM Center + MakerSpace, serving almost three hundred girls in a just over a month! Those are exciting numbers, but we're just getting started. In January, we're hosting eleven more events for girls and two for adults. We'll continue to add to our calendar as we find qualified volunteers and learn more about what girls want to do!

So what workshops did we host in November and December? What have we learned from operating the STEM Center + MakerSpace so far?

Organized chaos at Design-A-Fort

Organized chaos at Design-A-Fort

Brownies learned about Design Thinking then designed and built a fort that would protect a stuffed animal from the elements during two sessions of Design-A-Fort. 

Sharing her design process with the group!

Sharing her design process with the group!

Daisies also got to try out their designing skills at A-MAZE-ing teamwork, where they constructed a 'maze' for a Hexbug, going through several iterations and MANY materials before finding the right fit. 

We had special guests from the Arcade Branch of the Sacramento Public Library to teach an Intro to 3D printing workshop. Girls learned about the parts and process of 3D printing, then were able to design a 3D object on TinkerCAD to print at the library during their next visit.

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For our first robotics workshop, Juniors earned their Programming Robots badge with the help of volunteers from Intel and the FM493RS robotics club. They brought Lego Mindstorm Robots to teach the girls about programming and accomplishing tasks with robots. We watched a video of Asimo the robot climbing stairs and Rathish, our volunteer facilitator, had some great advice for the girls:

If anyone tries to tell you that everything that can be invented has been invented, you tell them no, I will invent something new. The process of teaching this robot just to climb stairs took 30 years!

The girls did an excellent job of debugging their robots and accepting challenges from Rathish and the other volunteers. We can't wait to have them again for another workshop!

Troubleshooting their robot's programming

Troubleshooting their robot's programming

To celebrate Computer Science Education week, we hosted an Hour of Code event! Our volunteer facilitator, Jim (also a Brownie Dad), brought a list of great coding websites and activities that girls could jump in to with little or no experience. He provided help when girls were stuck and challenged them when it got too easy.

Working on Scratch

Working on Scratch

This past week, we wrapped up the year with a Maker's Workshop for Daisies and Mrs. Claus' Hack-A-Toy. At Maker's Workshop, girls were read the story Bear's Winter Party before designing and making their own animal mask, party hat and garland. Who needs to buy party supplies when you can make your own? 

The Hack-A-Toy was a hit! Girls brought a toy to donate to the Sacramento Food Bank's toy drive, then were invited to make LED holiday cards or to design and build their own toy.

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In just a month we've learned a LOT about hosting programs in the STEM Center + MakerSpace! Some snippets: Pom Poms are essential to engineering; you can never have too much masking tape; it's going to be a mess-- but Girl Scouts are great at helping to clean up!; the marble machine is a hit; there is no loose glitter allowed; when you challenge girls to think bigger they rise to the occasion; Girl Scouts are AMAZING!

Thank you to every girl and adult who participated in our opening month of workshops and events. We're learning as we go and appreciate the support (and patience!) you've given us so far. 2018 is going to be full of many more exciting workshops and events that encourage girls to be innovators and change-makers. We hope to see you here!

Happy New Year!