In this year’s Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) event girls from the Kealakehe Tiki Techs immersed girls into the world of robotics as an attempt to get them excited about math and science. Girls Exploring Math and Science or GEMS is an annual event held by the American Association of University Women for 5th grade girls to expand their knowledge of careers available in math and science. The Kealakehe Tiki Tech women were excited to help run an event that inspired them as children. Ariana Kaneshiro Tiki Technologies member and Kealakehe High School sophomore said, “The highlight of my fifth grade year was attending GEMS it was so inspiring and helped me to realize how many opportunities there are for women in STEM careers. I hope I am able to inspire a young girl, like how I was inspired.” This event gives girls hands on experience with real life activities and situations. At GEMS the girls investigated three different fields that interested them and throughout the day they rotated between these programs.
During this event, the Kealakehe High School Robotics Team set up three different stations for the girls curious about robotics. Each of the stations were run by girls on the Robotics Team. Justin Brown, the robotics head coach, oversaw the program. The activities educated the fifth graders on robotics and design thinking. At one station, the girls drove the Tiki Tech robots and scored the VEX toss up game balls. In the other Tiki Tech stations the girls learned about design processes through Stanford Design Thinking. Design Thinking is a style of thinking using empathy, creativity, and rationality to innovate and problem solve. Some of the Design Thinking projects the girls did involved building towers out of marshmallows and spaghetti. Another activity was Write It Do It; this involved building a boat in under eight minutes while writing fabrication instructions. The second part of this activity involved using a separate team’s instructions to recreate the boat. We had so much fun working with the girls and teaching them about Stanford Design Thinking, engineering, and robots. We hope to get more girls into the robotics and STEM community.