2019 WildStang Miss Maker Workshop
On October 12th and 19th, 50 girls attended WildStang’s 6th annual Miss Maker Workshop. MMW is a half-day camp that brings girls ages 9-13 from the Chicagoland area to introduce them to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math related fields.These weekends were student led by two WildStang students who participated in MMW when they were in middle school. MMW has come completely full circle, which fits with the main goals of the workshop, to make STEM accessible to girls. MMW focused on three engineering areas: mechanical, electrical, and software. All the girls got a chance to participate in each activity taught by WildStang students.
The mechanical activity included building bridges out of popsicle sticks and testing their weight capacity with various items. The girls were shown examples of different bridges around the world, and then were given support to build whatever bridge they chose to make using popsicle sticks along with hot glue, duct tape, string, and beads. The strongest bridge held over 100lbs.
The electrical activity included wiring a heart-shaped board with different LEDs and joining them with soldering. Soldering is melting lead onto a circuit board to connect the LEDs and other parts of the board together, students on WildStang often use it while building the robot, as do people in engineering careers. They learned about how the various parts of the circuit work, such as resistors and the LEDs. When complete, the heart flashed on and off. Each girl had a WildStang student work with them, teaching them how to solder and how the board should work in the end.
The software activity included making a game with a visual programming language called Scratch. The girls made a game which involved falling hearts being caught by a controllable basket.This activity allowed the girls to be introduced to basic programming in a fun and educational way.
To conclude the camp, the girls were able to see a live demo of our 2019 robot. Attendees and parents were able to get a close up look on the robot and were explained the basic functions of it.
These activities fostered the girls’ creativity and challenged them to think outside of the box. They thoroughly enjoyed the day and learned a ton! Many expressed an interest in coming back and even joining WildStang! Thank you to all the girls and parents who came out, along with the numerous volunteers who made this event possible. We look forward to seeing you next year!