Project Splash: Girls Designing Robots for a Better World

Sixteen high school girls from the greater Seattle area and two from Idaho attended a five-day course called "Project Splash: Girls Designing Robots for a Better World." Hosted by the UW Summer Youth Program and taught by instructors with the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project, this camp is part of a larger national initiative designed to encourage girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) using the WaterBotics curriculum.  

Project Splash Participants By the Pool

Working in teams of four, girls built four underwater LEGO robots and completed various missions, including building a remotely operated robot that could descend to the bottom of the pool and collect objects. The girls also visited a nearby university lab which builds underwater robots for remote ocean exploration. They also had lunch with seven role models--graduate-level women in various science departments throughout the university.

After completing four missions and a series of learning activities that explored the engineering design process, the girls prepared for a final showcase for parents and friends at the end of the week. They demonstrated their engineering accomplishments and shared lessons learned about team work and communication. When a group of elementary school-aged campers came to visit, the girls excelled with their new found confidence and expertise and taught the younger visitors about the technology behind their robots and how to drive them in the pool.

Participant working on robot

The Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project trained educators earlier this year to implement Project Splash camps throughout the region. Five camps have already been completed this summer in Washington and Oregon, with four more scheduled in the coming weeks.

Check out this great photo essay from a Project Splash camp recently completed by the Washington County Museum in Hillsboro, OR.

For more information about Project Splash camps, please email Nimisha Ghosh Roy at nghoshroy@edlabbgroup.org.