Monday 22 July 2019

Fingal girl guide Meline (12) blasts off into LEGO orbit

A Fingal Girl Guide was one of 21 members of Irish Girl Guides (IGG) to successfully complete a mission to blast off 'Into Orbit' at a LEGO Robotics Summer Academy in Dublin City University's LEGO Education Innovation Studio.

The four-day camp, which was run by LearnIT LEGO, included many fun and challenging activities that helped the girls to develop skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Meline Dingreville (12) worked with other Girl Guides from around the country to conduct research projects relating to real-world challenges.

The girls, who were aged between 12 and 17, were selected from dozens of aspiring IGG space explorers who applied to take part in the project.

Through a series of hands-on, engaging workshops, the Girl Guides discovered programming concepts, experienced elements of computational thinking and developed an understanding of a range of mechanical engineering procedures. They worked in teams of four.

At the end of the four-day academy, each group gave a presentation on their research project at a special ceremony, which many of the girls' parents attended.

Each team also participated in a robotics challenge using the robots they had designed and programmed.

Dara Callanan, an IGG Leader from Drogheda who has recently qualified as a Science teacher from DCU, said the Guides had enjoyed their time exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths): 'It's been great to see them engage with STEM challenges in a fun and interesting way,' she said. 'It's great too to see them being collaborative thinkers and resilient problem-solvers.

'Each group had to be determined to fix every problem they encountered, even when their robot seemed to have a mind of its own and wasn't quite doing what they wanted it to,' she said.

'Taking part in the academy reminded the girls that it's OK not to be perfect first time around and that making mistakes and working hard on something can actually make it better than it ever could be with just a perfect first try.'

Fingal Independent