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Alburnett 8th grade girls showcase creative robotics as a part of "Femineers"

On Wednesday, sixteen eighth grade girls from Alburnett Community School presented their creative robotics at the Old Capitol Town Center in Iowa City.

A new program developed at California Polytechnic State University called "Femineers" hopes to introduce young women to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers through robotics.

Through a series of curriculum modules, girls use coding to create their own technology. On Wednesday, sixteen eighth grade girls from Alburnett Community School presented their creative robotics at the Old Capitol Town Center in Iowa City. The artwork was the product of a 30-hour module called "creative robotics" in which they created kinetic artwork--meaning, it moves. Which they started working on in November.

Femineers is being implemented at 41 schools—and the pilot program in Iowa at Alburnett school is the first outside the state of California. Chelle Lehman, the director of Women In Science and Engineering outreach and recruitment program at University of Iowa, says that STEM initiatives often focus on science, engineering and math, with technology taking a back seat. She hopes this program changes that.

"Part of the program is to introduce to them, if you like this, what steps can you take to do this as a career? What courses would you need to take in school to put you on that pathway?" said Lehman.

Next year the plan is to implement a wearable technology module, so next year you might just see kinetic Femineers fashion -- or even find yourself wearing it.


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