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Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Junior FIRST Lego Girl Scout Kickoff

         This fall, OU INC hosted over 150 Girl Scouts and their parents for a day of learning. On Saturday, October 14, the business incubator hosted the Junior FIRST Lego Girl Scout Kickoff. This event, sponsored by the University, the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan and three local FIRST Robotics teams, promoted interest in STEM (or science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and was geared toward elementary school Girl Scouts. It was hosted by the School of Engineering and Computer Science Outreach Program and OU INC.

            The girls were given the opportunity to experience different STEM demonstrations, such as using Lego robotics, constructing paper helicopters, computer programming, career brainstorming, and even riding a Segway.

            From this event, there was opportunity for further involvement from both the girls and their parents. The Girls Scouts of Southeastern Michigan offered to pay for kits for up to ten Junior FIRST Lego League teams if they signed up at the event. This program, designed for children aged six to nine, is a hands-on program that promotes creative thinking and problem solving through STEM.

            Laura Dinsmoor, Special Instructor, Computer Science and Engineering was part of the event. “After being a Girl Scout leader for almost 12 years I had the opportunity see how the girls’ attitudes and opinions toward the STEM fields can change over time based on the exposure to media and peer pressure in school,” she says. “Events like this let the girls understand opportunities of exciting careers that they can explore, and to meet with high school and college girls who are doing it. If we can change their minds early, we have an opportunity to keep them interested when they start middle school and their priorities can be pulled in different directions.“