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Using CoSpaces VR with my FLL robotics team

I really enjoy attending ORCSGirls classes on really every topic. In August, 2023 I attended a ORCSGirls class on virtual reality (VR). In the class I learned how to import characters and images into games I created in CoSpaces. After going over how to code really anything you’d need I got to design and share my own game. The mentors and Dr. Proffen were all so kind and patient, willing to help with any problems with the code or anything I ran into along the way in the class, and pretty soon everyone had their own working game and the class was very successful. It was so fun to share my game and see what everyone else had created. At my school I participate in the FIRST Lego League robotics team. This is my fourth year on my robotics team, and on it I help to both build and code our Lego robot. I also work with other members of my team to help create the Innovation Project. The innovation project is a portion of FLL that is based off of a broad prompt, and teams have to create thei
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Gift Ideas - Right Here ..

We are using a lot of electronics, robots and other materials in our classes and often parents ask about more details and where to purchase them - so here is a list of things we use and love. We have included links to the retailers we use. Many time, there are multiple places to purchase these items including Amazon. However, it is worth knowing the original price, so you can judge offers you find :) Smart Train The sessions with the Intelino Smart Train are always fun. Many ways to control the little train - using an app, with the color snaps, from Scratch and even using Python. Intelino Train Sets MicroBit The MicroBit is definitely our most used little control board. Programmed via a webpage and there are plenty of ways to expand. There are many project ideas online (e.g. here ) and you can start just with the MicroBit and then build your electronics empire 😀 MicroBit Bundle Maqueen Robot for MicroBit - Note some robot kits include the MicroBit Boson Starter Kit - Get started wi

The Birth of ORCSGirls Jr.

    It's 1 PM on a Monday afternoon. 13 elementary school girls are waiting patiently for the camp to start. The excitement and anticipation can be felt through the Zoom screen as I start to talk... "Hi, my name's Katie! Welcome to the first ever ORCSGirls Jr. Virtual Reality Camp! Let's get started."      Last summer (2022), I had the idea to run a coding camp for young girls through ORCSGirls. Regular ORCSGirls classes are only open to girls in 5th through 10th grade, and as a middle schooler, I wanted 2nd-4th grade girls to have a chance to explore computer science too. The goal of ORCSGirls is to inspire young girls to pursue careers in technology, and giving them that spark as early as 2nd grade is an awesome opportunity.      A lot of planning went into making this camp possible. I started with an interest survey, which is how I chose virtual reality as the topic for the camp. Then I spent months gathering a team of counselors, making forms, and getting read

ProjectORCSGirls 2023

ORCSGirls mentoring and encouraging girls to participate in the ProjectCSGirls competition goes back to 2018 and every year more girls joined in.  The challenge is simple. Build something using computer science and technology that can help solve an imminent social problem under one of four themes - global health, a safer world, intelligent technology, and bridging inequalities.  Unfortunately it became clear after the girls had already spent time on their projects, that the 2023 ProjectCSGirls competition will not take place and we decided to hold a local competition for our eight girls and named it ProjectORCSGirls 😎 A big thank you to Prof. Katharine Page and the  Institute for Advanced Materials & Manufacturing at the University of Tennessee Knoxville for hosting or celebration gala on August 13. Four finalists joined us in person and four participated virtually. Below are the blog posts about each project the girls submitted as part of their entries ✨ Noise Recorder using t

ProjectCSGirls 2022

Back in 2015 my daughter Klara and her friend Jamie participated in the national online ProjectCSGirls competition creating a VR MRI Simulator and winning 2nd place ✨ Being at the awards gala and seeing the awesome project presentation from middle school girls around the US in many ways inspired me to found Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls.  ProjectCSGirls runs a national competition designed to challenge middle school girls to actively use computer science and technology to develop a solution to an imminent social problem. The challenge is simple. Build something using computer science and technology that can help solve an imminent social problem under one of four themes - global health, a safer world, intelligent technology, and bridging inequalities.  Since 2018 some of 'our' girls have entered and competition and in 2022 we set a new record with six projects and seven girls participating. Suchita , Leah and Kristen & Katie , Nishka , Nicole and Tvisha were all selected

Leah's Story

ORCSGirls is such a positive environment, and their mission is to inspire girls to pursue careers in computer science. I would like to share a few ways that ORCSGirls has inspired and empowered me. I took my first ORCSGirls class as a fifth grader in 2019. The first day I walked in and saw about twenty or more girls all on computers. Before this time I had never met any girls my age that were interested in programming and computer science. I took my seat and listened as Dr. Proffen introduced himself. Then, all the volunteers shared about themselves, and we played a game. I could tell I liked this already. We all opened  CoSpaces , a website for building VR games. My knowledge of how to operate a computer came in handy, and we soon got to work making a treasure hunt game. Even though I already knew a little bit about programming, I will not deny that I needed a lot of help. Thankfully, the volunteers were very helpful, and I soon got the hang of the CoSpaces environment. I left that cl

Girls Teach Tech partnership helps girls SOAR

Girls Teach Tech partnership helps girls SOAR By: Kaitlyn Nolte (10 th grade) and Sloan Mann (9 th grade) G-Force Robotics FRC Team #9008 is an all-girl, community based First Robotics Competition Team located in Clayton, North Carolina. We at G-Force Robotics have partnered with the Clayton library and Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls (ORCSGirls) out of Tennessee to offer free hybrid Girls Teach Tech classes as a part of our #FIRSTLikeAGirl and #GForceGirlsSOAR initiatives. In the simplest form, we offer these classes as a way to give back to our community. These courses are open to 5th-8th grade girls and this year our classes teach them everything from simple coding to 3D printing to the fundamentals of artificial intelligence. We started doing these Girls Teach Tech classes as a way to inspire younger girls and teach them about STEM.  We are so lucky to have ORCSGirls as a partner to help us with our Girls Teach Tech classes. After reaching out to Thomas Proffen, the founder of