It's a wrap. Twelve girls in grades 7-10 participated in our Smart Robots Camp held at the Blount County Public Library in Maryville, TN from June 27-30. This camp was originally scheduled for March 2020 and was the first event Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls cancelled because of the pandemic. During the four day camp the girls learned about machine learning, coding in Python and programming the smart JetBot robot, and teach it to avoid obstacles and follow objects or roads. Pair programming where girls team up and act as 'drivers' and 'navigators' working with the robots turned out to be a great way to learn and work as a team - in the words of Leah, a raising 8th grader "The Smart Robot Camp was an amazing experience where I not only learned more about robots, but discovered the possibilities of pair programming and teamwork.” Training the robots to avoid obstacles (and not drive off the table) or follow a road really illustrated the concept of machine learning applications that the data is the code.
During the pandemic, Oak Ridge Computer Science girls offered virtual classes and camps. Some of the girls at this camp had only met virtually before. "I thought it was really, really fun! Getting to work with people who I've seen before online was really cool. The volunteers were fantastic too! They worked out a lot of issues we had and were fun to be around. Overall, the camp was a great interactive experience and you could really see what your code could do in real life, and how it could help with real issues. Plus, the lunches were awesome " says Maggie, as raising 9th grader.
We loved running an in-person event again. As we move forward Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls will be offering in-person and virtual events and dive into experimenting with hybrid type events.
Thank you so much to our counselors Amelie and Bella and our photographer Yvonne. Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls likes to thank the Blount County Public Library for its hospitality and wonderful food and Oak Ridge National Laboratory for its financial support for this camp. Learn more about our programs at www.orcsgirls.org.
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